Seattle, a city whose motto could be: “What’s Wrong with Overcast? Don’t You Enjoy Mother Nature?”
Located in Washington state, Seattle enjoys the reputation of being relatively easy-going, politically moderate/liberal, and hosting a diverse culture of people. And there’s rain. Lots of rain. Rain and big clouds. If Phoenix, Arizona, is the Valley of the Sun, Seattle could be the Rain Bowl. It’s a wonder all those vampires supposedly living in the state ever worried about sparkling in the sunshine.
But the sun does shine here, and the city has a great deal to offer.
Living in Seattle
Seattle sits north of Portland and just a little way south of the U.S. Canadian border, which can be an unexpected benefit if you’ve never traveled outside the country. Move to Seattle and you’ll be within a daytrip of being an international traveler.
The actual city rests on a strip of land with Puget Sound to the west and Lake Washington to the east, so water will be a daily reality. We’ve mentioned before that relocating to a new area means dealing with potential changes in climate and temperature, and it’s always wise to plan ahead for those changes. Understand how to move in a new geographic terrain also plays a big role in personal safety, so anyone moving to Seattle should know how to swim or, depending on the day’s amount of rainfall, possess a pair of rain boots that can double as a floatation device.
If you’ve ever watched an episode of Frasier, you may have noticed none of the characters ever wore shorts. That’s accurate. Plan accordingly.
Speaking of planning, you might be happy to hear the state of Washington does not have personal state income tax. But don’t get too excited; state residents do have to contend with high taxes on liquor.
Working in Seattle
The Census ACS 1-year survey reported the median household income for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Washington metro area was $82,133 in 2017. Seattle median household income was $11,154 higher than the median Washington household income and $21,797 greater than the US median household income.
Translation: big-city living in Seattle isn’t going to be cheap. True, it’s not as expensive to live in Seattle as it currently is in other big West Coast cities like San Francisco, but keep in mind that Seattle also serves as the West Coast technological headquarters for companies like Google and Facebook, so it’s become very trendy to live and work in Seattle in the last few decades. And with more people looking to move here on an ever-expanding basis, even the rental housing market can be especially competitive.
Renters haven’t resorted to bodychecking each other out of the doorway of rental units yet, but give it time. Things won’t get too out of hand, though; the traffic gridlock will effectively stop anyone from outfitting their Honda Insight into a Mad Max-style doom buggy with flamethrowers.
And speaking of traffic, it should be observed that Seattle gridlock will play a factor for anyone looking to commute into the city for work. If you’ve seen movies and shows set in Seattle, you may have noticed that most of them don’t feature driving. There’s two reasons for this: watching actors pretend to drive a car is boring, and even the filmmakers understand that asking viewer to believe Seattle traffic flows smoothly would be a step too far past believability.
Also, houseboats. They are a thing, but they’re expensive, too. Treat houseboats like real boats and just make friends with someone who has one.
Seattle is part of Washington state. Washington state is known for its surplus of overcast days and perpetual rainfall. Therefore, Seattle is known for its surplus of overcast days and perpetual rainfall. That’s logic.
But this is reality: the rain may fall, but the sun still shines. And few things are more glorious than a Seattle summer.
By definition (and marketing, let’s not lie), summer gets typecast as being oppressively hot and listless, with the humidity making it hard to breath and causing clothes to stick to places most people don’t wish to accentuate. But not in Seattle, where the weather tends to be warm and dry and lacking in humidity. Plus, the sun shines brightest on Seattle during the summer, which should encourage everyone to get outside and see things like Olympic National Park or the San Juan islands.
But perfect summers never last long, and Seattle winters carry a marked increase in overcast days, so it’s a bit of a tradeoff on the way to being mild. And mild weather will be the mark of life in Seattle: beautiful summers not getting much hotter than low 80s, mild winters that tend to bottom out in the 40s. Plan for shorts and light shirts for summer, and keep at least one heavy jacket handy for the winter. Anyone needing heavier winter clothes can save those for the inevitable trek north to Canada.
Seriously, the Canadian border is RIGHT THERE. Why would you not want to at least drive up to see it? You don’t even have to cross it; just pull over long enough to say something like, “Yup, that’s the border,” and then turn around and find a Dick’s Drive-In.
Things To Do in Seattle
We’ve mentioned in previous posts that Washington state offers a lot of outdoor activities, and the Washington Trails Association also offers detailed maps on more than 3,000-plus hikes throughout the state.
Professional sports enthusiasts can take advantage of the Seattle Supersonics (basketball), Seahawks (football), and Mariners (baseball). And you can always stare at Mount Rainier, especially when the peak gets capped with snow.
Also, marijuana is legal in Washington state, which may be of use if that housing market competitiveness starts getting out of hand. It’s illegal to smoke it in public, but that doesn’t stop the locals from celebrating it with Hempfest. The city also boasts a lot of microbreweries, like in the double digits and climbing.
It’s been said that Seattle is technically a city of neighborhoods that each have their own personality and coffee preference. This is broadly true; Starbucks might be on every corner, but there are other varieties of local coffee makers operating in the city. And as with most places in Seattle, don’t be surprised if you end up sitting at the bar next to a dog, though; dogs will be very welcome here, strolling with their owners in grocery stores or hanging out while they have a drink.
It’s Not Raining, It’s Just Misting
Seattle sounding awesome but not sure where to start? Don’t panic about how to get there. We get that moving down the street can be stressful, and moving to a new state can be downright horrifying. But Colonial Van Lines has the experience and the expertise to make sure your moving experience will be straight forward and stress free.
Call a Colonial Van Lines professional and find out how to start your journey to Seattle.