Quick question: what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “Washington?” The White House? The Lincoln Monument? Congress? Good, because that’s not the Washington we’re talking about.
No, today we’re going to talk about Washington state, which probably calls to mind images of never-ending rain, old Fraiser reruns, and sparkly vampires.
If any of those things rang a bell, unring it right now; Washington has so much more to offer.
Living in Washington State
Contrary to what popular culture would have you believe, living in Washington state does not require anyone to deal with a surplus of teenage vampires. It will, however, require you to deal with water.
Sitting on the northwestern edge of the United States, Washington state boasts 2,500-plus miles of shoreline, a thriving shipping industry, and several islands. Coupled with the rain, anyone moving to Washington state will have to contend with water one way or another.
In other words, if you’re relocating to Washington from anyplace that’s landlocked or doesn’t have a YMCA swimming pool nearby, it’ll be a good idea to learn how to swim before you get there. And don’t think that living away from the coast relieves you from that responsibility; Washington has inland lakes, too, and odds will be good that you’ll drive by one at the very least. Washington gets wet, so you should be prepared to swim. You wouldn’t move to a mountain area without at least buying a good pair of hiking boots, would you?
On the plus side, the state has the distinction of being one of the few without a personal state income tax. Anyone who’s ever dealt with the pain and anguish of completing their federal tax returns only to be met by the grinning specter of state tax returns will appreciate the change in pace. Keep an eye on the state sales tax, though; there’s always something.
But if swimming and tax relief don’t seal the deal, consider the wonders of outdoor Washington living. The state boasts three national parks, including Olympic, North Cascades, and Mount Rainier, Washington strongly encourages outdoor activities. We’re talking kayaking, sailing, swimming (see?), fishing (it’s a port, for heaven’s sake), and whale watching. And that’s not even including the skiing opportunities in the winter.
Working in the State of Washington
While the 2018 census ACS data won’t be available until September 2019, the 2017 data shows the median household income for Washington stood at $70,979, with median household income sitting at almost $11,000 higher than the median U.S. household income.
Part of the reason for that? The companies that have a strong presence in the state are pretty darn impressive. We’re talking Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing among others, not to mention the seafood and coffee industries. Yes, Starbucks makes its home here, but we have it on good authority there are other coffee companies operating within the state borders, too. And did we mention the produce? Washington state has a great apple and cherry industry, too. The most in-demand jobs include pest control, optician, hardware engineer, and web developer.
Weather in Washington
The climate of Washington state could probably be called mild. It doesn’t get much hotter than the high 70s-low 80s at the height of summer, while the winters may experience lows around the mid-40s. It all depends on which side of the state you’re moving to. The eastern side of the state has been referred to as arid, but it’s a completely different story to the west, next to the Pacific Ocean.
Washington state has the reputation of being perpetually stuck under a rain cloud, but in terms of rain volume, the state actually gets less rainfall than parts of Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida. Washington State just gets more frequent rainy days instead of the torrential downpours of those other areas. Why all the rain, anyway? All that moisture from the Pacific Ocean makes its way to the mountain area, turns into rain, and then falls on the state.
But not to worry; investing in a rain slicker or waterproof jacket will solve the problem, although you may want to think twice about an umbrella since the wind can present further challenges. Nobody wants to look like Mary Poppins trying to fly with a faulty umbrella.
Washington natives may imply that umbrellas are for wimps, but in truth they just don’t want to keep buying them if all they do is fly away. Keep the shorts and light shirts for summer, and keep at least one heavy jacket handy for the winter. You’ll probably be fine with a variety of lighter jackets unless you’re relocating from someplace like Wisconsin or Minnesota.
Things To Do
As mentioned, the rain will fall constantly in Washington state. But when it doesn’t, the residents like to get outdoors. Camping will be a big draw for many during the summer months, with more than 60 parks offering camping, although they tend to operate on a first-come, first-served basis. The Washington Trails Association also offers detailed maps on more than 3,000-plus hikes throughout the state.
In the fall, make your way to Leavenworth to experience Oktoberfest, which goes on every weekend during the month of October. Later, when the leaves have fallen and snow covers the ground, hit up Mount Baker, one of the snowiest places in the world.
Note: we don’t know who bestowed that title on the Mount Baker, but it sounds nice. Anyone who’s ever been skiing will appreciate the joys of fresh snow powder. Anyone who hasn’t will appreciate it the first time they fall on the bunny slope.
Washington State Culture
For a place stereotyped by the rain, Washington residents like to get outdoors. But they also like coffee and bars, which you’ll find in abundance here. 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.
Head For The Water! It’s Not Hard To Find!
Got your rain gear packed but not much else? The idea of moving to Washington making you feel all wet? Don’t fret, just call Colonial Van Lines. With the experience and care needed to pull off such a relocation, the staff of Colonial Van Lines will make your move to Washington easier than splashing in a rain puddle. Call today and we’ll tell you how simple it can be.