Life in Seattle
Seattle is the largest city in Washington and offers a dynamic urban atmosphere with charming coastal living. Surrounded by water, stunning mountains, and beautiful evergreen forests, it’s easy to see why Seattle is one of the most popular cities to live in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, 57 new residents move to Seattle every day! Seattle is best known as being the home of Starbucks and the famous Space Needle, but it also boasts eclectic neighborhoods, a hip culture, and fabulous outdoor oasis. For these reasons and more, Seattle is often considered one of the best places to live on the West Coast for young professionals.
Cost of Living in Seattle
While there is certainly an abundance of things to see and do, living in Seattle doesn’t come cheap. With a cost of living that is 53% higher than the national average, Seattle is considered the 8th most expensive city in the U.S. Even though Seattle is cheaper than L.A., San Francisco, and New York City, it still has a very high cost of living. The good news is that the state of Washington has no income tax so that will provide some relief. Real estate costs are the biggest factor in the cost of living, and are about 109% above the national average. You can also expect to pay nearly 30% more for groceries and 35% more for transportation expenses. It is estimated that an individual should make a salary of $65,000 or more to live comfortably in Seattle.
Seattle Job Market
Known for having one of the strongest job markets in the country and the second highest median income, many young professionals move to Seattle to take advantage of the many job opportunities. Some of the top economic industries in Seattle include technology, aerospace, manufacturing, global health, and retail trade. Some of the biggest companies headquartered in the city include Microsoft, Amazon, Wells Fargo, Boeing, Starbucks, and many others.
Seattle has a temperate climate which equates to cool, wet winters and short, dry summers. Temperatures rarely drop below 28 degrees or get above 88 degrees and average summer temperatures are a pleasant 72 degrees. That said, Seattle has a reputation for being the rainiest city and you can expect about 150 days of rain a year. You can also expect about 6-8 inches of snow in the winter.
While the rain may seem like a damper, it’s the abundant rainfall that supports the beautiful greenery that can only be found in this area. This is why Seattle was nicknamed the Emerald City. The city is also home to plenty of parks, a picturesque waterfront on Puget Sound, and three national parks within a two-and-a-half hour drive. Seattle is the perfect place to live for those who love spending time outdoors hiking, biking, and exploring. Here are some favorite outdoor activities near Seattle:
- Mount Rainier: This is the tallest mountain in Washington and the Cascade Mountain range and a stunning backdrop for the city.
- Discovery Park: This 534-acre park is the largest park in Seattle and has over 11 miles of walking trails.
- Washington Park Arboretum: This public park is home to a vast selection of trees and plants from all over the world and has dog-friendly areas.
- Mount Si: This is one of the most popular hiking trails and sees close to 10,000 visitors each year.
- Stevens Pass: Located just two hours North of Seattle, this is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders.
Neighborhoods in Seattle
No matter your interests or lifestyle, there is sure to be a Seattle neighborhood to suit your needs. If you prefer to live close to downtown and seek a vibrant nightlife, you might consider Capitol Hill or Belltown. If you are looking for a quieter, more family-friendly neighborhood you might try Greenwood, Magnolia, and West Seattle. If you want to be a bit further from the hustle and bustle of the city, the community of Bainbridge offers a quaint, small-town feel and is just a short ferry ride from downtown.
Getting Around Seattle
Many people do own cars in Seattle but traffic can be a headache during rush hours. You would need to add an extra 30-60 minutes to your commute no matter where you are going in the city. This might not be a huge change if you are moving from another major city but can be a bit of a shock for those moving from a smaller city. If you don’t own a car or prefer not to drive, you can rely on Seattle’s public transportation system. The city has buses, light rails and street cars that can take you anywhere in the city. Seattle is also considered a very bike-friendly city with a good network of bike lanes and trails.
Food and Drink
Seattleites are very serious about their coffee and there are fantastic coffee shops on nearly every corner. Seattle is most famous of course for Starbucks, but there are also plenty of local coffee shops to choose from. Seattle is also one of the country’s best beer cities. With over 50 microbreweries, there is a huge variety of beers to taste. Food is also a big deal in Seattle. You will find excellent restaurants serving everything from the freshest seafood to Oprah’s favorite fried chicken.
We have put together several guides on moving to Seattle from some popular cities. Read these for more information:
Ready to Move to Seattle? Allied Van Lines Can Help
Known for its beautiful scenery, hot job market, eco-friendly way of life, and love of coffee, there are so many great reasons to consider moving to Seattle. If you are ready to move to the Emerald City, let the professionals at Allied Van Lines assist you with your relocation. With over 95 years of experience, we know exactly what it takes to plan and execute a seamless move. Allied offers a comprehensive list of moving services to fit any budget, so call today or start by getting a free quote using our convenient Instaquote tool.