When one of your friends says they’re moving to Seattle, you might immediately start thinking of the coffee scene, the music scene, and a wardrobe consisting entirely of North Face and Carhartt. While some of these stereotypes might be accurate, there’s a lot more to Washington than just that.
Living in the Pacific Northwest has some stellar benefits. Washington State regularly treads that line of being beautiful and green without being humid or muggy. Whether you’re planning on exploring, visiting, or moving to Washington, here are five reasons why we love the Washington State life.
Your favorite four-legged friend is more than welcome in the Evergreen State. It is one of the top ten states that are friendliest toward pets. Dogs are welcome in many venues in Washington, the percentage of pet-friendly apartments is high, and there are many laws in place protecting your dogs, such as pets-left-in-car laws and anti-cruelty laws.
You’ll often see dogs out and about with their people at breweries, on hikes, in parks, on public transit, and even in some workplaces. Some restaurants and cafes even let well-behaved dogs eat inside with you. Hotels and motels are likely to welcome your dog as well, which comes in handy when you plan a road trip to the many state and national parks.
Make sure before you go on a hike that dogs are allowed on the trail you’re interested in (sometimes your dog requires a recreational pass for certain trails), and keep your dog on a leash, as per the park requirements. The Seattle area has many off-leash dog parks as well, so your four-legged friend can wander freely. A stellar example of these dog-friendly parks is Magnuson Park, which boasts a nine-acre fully fenced dog park. It even has a separate area for small dogs and provides access to a portion of beach along Lake Washington.
2. Employment Opportunities
Many companies and brands you’re familiar with started in Washington. The Seattle area is home to Amazon, Boeing, Costco, UPS, Starbucks, Nintendo, and Microsoft. Seattle is considered one of the best cities in America for tech jobs.
That’s not the only type of employment available. In 2022, the seven most in-demand careers in Washington State were marketing managers, public relations and fundraising managers, financial managers, compensation and benefits managers, architectural engineering managers, medical and health service managers, and natural sciences managers.
Other jobs in great demand in Washington include registered nurses, physicians, and food service professionals. The state itself is one of the largest employers and provides flexible work hours and telecommuting options as well.
3. That Outdoor Life
Washingtonians care about the environment and it’s no wonder, considering all the natural beauty around the state. It’s also one of the top 10 greenest states in the country. You’ll get used to seeing bins for recycling and composting and opportunities for consignment shopping to reduce waste.
Washingtonians also tend to be outdoor active people, spending time hiking, biking, camping, and enjoying all kinds of mountain sports. Some of the top outdoor activities on TripAdvisor include day trips to any of the mountains surrounding Seattle, whale-watching excursions, and national park tours.
Wine tasting is also a popular pastime, and Washington is the second-highest wine-producing state in the country, second only to California. There are almost 800 wineries spread across the state, and most of these wineries and tasting rooms are centered in the Columbia River Gorge, in the eastern half of the state. Plan a tasting trip between June and September, as the Pacific Northwest summers tend to be less intense than in other states.
4. City Living
The population of the state of Washington is about 7.8 million, and about a third of those live in the Seattle area (King County). As the most populous city in Washington, Seattle has a reputation for being a leader in sports teams, such as the Seahawks (NFL), the Mariners (MLB), and the Kraken (NHL), as well as several minor league teams.
You probably will spend a little more time commuting around the city, but many people find the drive worth it since there are so many big employers in the area, and the views are usually quite stunning.
If you’re not as interested in an urban setting, you could live in Olympia, the state capital. A smaller city, Olympia is known for its fine arts and theater, such as the Olympia Symphony Orchestra and the Olympia Family Theater. It’s built along the water like Seattle but has a smaller population and claims a less rushed aesthetic.
Not everyone loves the consistent moisture on the western side of the state. If you’re looking for a drier climate, you could try living in Spokane, close to the border of Idaho. This college town has very definitive seasons with marked amounts of snow in the winter and heat in the summer and is home to Gonzaga University.
5. Wide Variety of Climates
Choosing which part of Washington State to live in could be the most difficult part of your decision. From the arid, temperate desert of the eastern half of the state to the Cascade mountains that split the state in half to the Hoh Rain Forest on the peninsula, you have your choice of climates to call home.
The winters in Washington are known for being cloudy, with an average of 226 days per year of at least 75 percent cloud cover in Seattle and less snow than rain. If you prefer the snow, there are two mountain ranges (the Cascades and the Olympics) to keep in mind, as well as the entire eastern side of the state, with Spokane getting an average of 44 inches of snow in the winter.
Want some sun with your summer? Seattle summers are beautiful and temperate with the average temperature in the mid-70s, but Spokane runs an average of 10 degrees hotter, in the mid-80s for most of June, July, and August.
Washington has something for everyone. Does the Washington State life sound like your next stop? Solarity Credit Union has your back if you’re looking for checking and savings accounts or a loan for your new home. Contact them today to see how they can help you achieve your financial goals.