If you’ve been considering a move to Seattle, Washington, you’re not alone. The population in Seattle has been growing at record rates over the last few years and won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Many have attributed the city’s sudden rise in popularity to the recent growth of tech companies in the area, but while people may come for the jobs, they stay for Seattle’s vibrant and active culture.
Living in Seattle: 10 Things to Know
Since you’re thinking of moving to Seattle, you need a good picture of what the city is like – we love it here, and think you will too!
1. It Doesn’t Rain As Much As You’ve Heard
To start off, let’s get the big Seattle rain myth out of the way. While you might move here expecting never-ending days of rain, what you’ll quickly see is that living in Seattle comes with over 150 days of sunshine and only 92 days of precipitation. If this still sounds like a lot of rain, you’ll be surprised to learn that Chicago, Boston, Houston, and New York City all receive far more rain than Seattle.
Another perk of Seattle’s weather is that despite the rain, you probably won’t need an umbrella. The rain here falls as more of a light sprinkle, due to the small size of the raindrops, making umbrellas optional (unless you’re a local, who take pride in not relying on umbrellas).
2. The Summers Are Glorious
If you like warm summer days, low humidity, and incredible views, moving to Seattle will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. With the average summer temperature resting right at 75 degrees and with some of the lowest humidity in the U.S., summer days in Seattle are perfect for any kind of outdoor sport or activity.
One of the many benefits of living in Seattle is how many things there are to do during the summer! If you like hiking, there are hundreds of trails within an hour’s drive of the city. If you prefer water sports, you can go kayaking, water skiing, or parasailing around the Puget Sound. Or, if you are into festivals, there are dozens of art, music, and food festivals around the city.
3. It’s One Of The Nation’s Tech Capitals
Seattle has recently taken second place on the list of the nation’s greatest tech cities, surpassed only by San Francisco, and each year finds more and more tech companies flocking to the city. While Seattle’s own tech giants (i.e. Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing) already employ over 160,000 Seattleites, recent additions to the region include Google, Adobe, Dropbox, Apple, Facebook, and Snapchat.
4. It’s One Of The Fastest Growing Cities In The U.S.
Don’t worry about being the only new guy in the room when you move to Seattle – lots of people are moving to Seattle. The city is ranked by Forbes as the second fastest growing city in the U.S. and the population is expected to increase by nearly 2% between now and the end of 2018. A visible sign of this growth are the dozens of tower cranes spread out across the Seattle skyline, earning the city the nickname “The Crane Capital of the U.S.”
5. Prepare For Bad Traffic
One downside to the massive growth in population is that Seattle’s aging infrastructure hasn’t caught up with the population boom. When packing for your move to Seattle, make sure to get your audiobooks ready, because Seattle is the 7th worst traffic city in the country.
6. It’s America’s Greatest Coffee Town
For coffee drinkers, living in Seattle is like being a kid in a candy store. Whether it’s tasting coffee history at the first Starbucks, or enjoying a handcrafted brew at one of the city’s many artisan roasting rooms, Seattle’s coffee scene has something for everyone.
Seattle has the nation’s largest number of coffee manufacturers per capita, and for good reason, as Seattleites consume more coffee than any other city in the U.S. Seattle also has some of the country’s most affordable coffee, tied with San Diego, San Francisco, and Portland for most affordable and highest rated coffee shops.
Each Seattle neighborhood has its own specialty coffee shops. If you’re in Pioneer Square, make sure to stop by Slate Coffee Roasters for some of the best Kenyan roast you’ve ever had. Or if you’re in Fremont, visit Milstead for a refreshing cold brew made by some of the highest rated baristas in the city.
7. Seattleites Love Their Beer
For many Seattleites, it’s coffee in the morning and then beer in the evening, and with the wealth of taprooms and breweries scattered throughout the city, you have a lot of options for your after-work drink.
If you’re passing through Fremont, stop by Brouwer’s Café with its sixty-four taps and 300-bottle list. Or if you’re getting off work in Queen Anne, make sure to visit Holy Mountain Brewing for hoppy pale ales and innovative new beers, but be prepared for a crowd, as Holy Mountain Brewing is one of the most popular breweries in the city.
8. It’s A City Built On Hills
Seattle is surrounded on all sides by mountains, so while it may be a challenge when biking to work, it seems appropriate that the city itself is built on hills.
The hills here are not as in-your-face as in other cities, like San Francisco, rather, the hills of Seattle seem to meander here and there around the city, often hidden behind the many buildings until they spring themselves on unsuspecting newcomers.
Some see the hills as an annoyance, but for the thousands of avid joggers and bicyclists in the city, taking on the hills is just part of the morning routine.
9. It’s A City Dedicated To The Arts
Before it’s shift to tech, Seattle was most famous for its contributions to the performing arts and popular music. Beyond being the birthplace of grunge rock, the city is also home to one of the world’s most recorded orchestras, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, as well as the distinguished Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Seattle Opera. As for popular music, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Kenny G all got their start in Seattle.
If you’re moving to Seattle and are in the mood for music or art, you’ll be able to choose between more than 140 theater companies, over 100 art galleries, and the beautiful Benaroya Hall where the Seattle Symphony performs.
10. Seattleites Love The Water
While most cities stick to water sports, Seattle takes its love of the sea to a whole new level with its landmark houseboats. The city is second only to Asia in the number of houseboats it contains, and for many Seattleites the hundreds of houseboats floating on Lake Union are as much of a landmark as is the Space Needle.
Other popular ways to enjoy the sea are by renting canoes or kayaks and paddling down past West Point Lighthouse, or by taking a ride on one of the city’s famous Ducks for an exciting tour on a bus which then drives into Lake Union and becomes a boat!
Making the Move to Seattle
If you love the outdoors, coffee, culture, mountains and water, Seattle is the place for you. If you can’t stand rain and have a passionate hate of traffic, then you might be better off finding a better place to move to.
If you’re thinking about moving to Seattle, we here at On the Go Moving would love to help. With over a decade of experience and local knowledge, we can help move your belongings into your new home quickly and carefully. Contact us today!