The Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau has a full calendar of events at www.visitseattle.org/cultural. Foodies will want to hit up Taste of Washington (spring www.tastewashington.org) for the best of food and wine, as well as Bite of Seattle (July www.biteofseattle.com), the Northwest Chocolate Festival (September www.nwchocolate.com) and Seattle International Beer Fest (July www.seattlebeerfest.com). The Seattle International Film Festival presents more than 200 features (May and June www.siff.net).

Music lovers have three major events to keep them happy: Bumbershoot (September www.bumbershoot.com) is Seattleā€™s premier music festival, packed with major acts, as well as dance and theater, while Northwest Folklife Festival (May www.nwfolklife.org) is a free, family-friendly event featuring folk music and dance from around the globe. Hipsters will want to check out Capitol Hill Block Party (July www.capitolhillblockparty.com) for the best indie pop, rock, hip-hop, and alt-country.

The Seattle Pride Festival (June www.seattlepride.org) has the Northwest's biggest gay, lesbian, and transgender pride parade. A local favorite, the quirky Fremont Fair Summer Solstice Parade (June www.fremontfair.org) provides a glimpse into the true character of the city. Seafair (July and August www.seafair.com) is the biggest summer festival; hydroplane races are just one major event.

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