Let's tackle the rumors first: yes, Seattle is cloudy about nine months of the year. But as any resident can attest, the rain is nothing! It's just a little mist-hardly worth grabbing an umbrella for, and certainly not enough to keep the natives down. Nestled between two mountain ranges and built around three bodies of water, Seattle has good looks and mild weather on its side, and it rewards those who ignore the clouds. Most people know Pike Place Market for its fish-throwers (and it's not just a tourist trap; Seattleites really do shop there). But venture outside of downtown, to the city's charming, distinct neighborhoods, to see where farmers' markets and chefs are setting up camp. Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft notwithstanding, Seattle loves its small, independent businesses-and especially its neighborhood restaurants. Like the locals themselves, the best food in town is casual, relaxed, and quietly brainy.