is defined by water and everywhere in this city, the focus is on water. To the west lies the Puget Sound, to the east is the freshwater Lake Washington, and in the middle lies Lake Union. Seattle’s historic maritime heritage began with the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1890s, when the city became a major Pacific port. Today, Fisherman’s Terminal is a working commercial fishing port, the Port of Seattle is vital to international trade, and the waterfront is bustling with the commercial, retail and tourist trade. Seattle has dozens of yachting clubs, and even marks the beginning of the yachting season with an annual celebration. The “Opening Day of Yachting Season,” held the first Saturday in May, has University of Washington-hosted crew races and a colorful parade with well-appointed yachts as well as leaky rowboats. Places to visit in Seattle include the Seattle Aquarium on the downtown waterfront, Odyssey, the Maritime Discovery Center, the Center for Wooden Boats, Pioneer Square and the Pike Place Market. Seafair in Seattle is an annual water festival, which includes hydroplane races, a performance by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and a milk carton derby. Yachting in Seattle generally focuses on the Puget Sound, with over 2,000 miles of breathtaking shoreline. From Seattle it’s also easy to connect to some of the most beautiful destinations in the Pacific Northwest, such as British Columbia, the Inside Passage and Alaska.