Moving to Seattle, WA

Thinking about moving to Seattle?

You’ll be in good company. Seattle is currently growing quickly, with over 15,000 people relocating to Seattle each year. New residents are attracted to the area’s thriving tech scene, hip ambiance and emphasis on work-life balance.

Seattle City Essential Resources

Seattle Essentials City of Seattle website Everything you need to…


Moving to Seattle Checklist

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Living

The Seattle metro area is home to over 3.6 million people, but less than 700,000 live within the city’s borders. Those that do live in well-defined neighborhoods, each with their own distinct character. Read our guide to top Seattle neighborhoods, then consult our list of best Seattle realtors to help make your search easy.

Weather

Seattle’s reputation as Rain City proceeds it, but the news isn’t as bad as you think. In reality, Seattle receives less average rainfall than Atlanta, New York and Houston. However, Seattle excels at overcast days, with more heavily clouded days than any other city in the country.

What redeems Seattle is its golden summers when rainfall is almost nonexistent and temperatures stay in the balmy 70’s. By October, the cloud cover sets in and you can expect a wet and mild winter. Temperatures typically remain above freezing and snow is rare.

Summer average (June – Aug): 74°F high, 54°F low
Winter average (Dec – Feb): 47°F high, 36°F low

Traffic

As Seattle’s population booms, the city is experiencing serious growing pains as the traffic problem worsens. Hour-long commutes are quickly becoming the norm for those that live outside the city limits.

The upside is that Seattle is a terrific city for pedestrians, with many residents opting to bike or walk to work. The public transit system consists of buses, light rail and streetcars and is extensive, particularly in the downtown area.

Beat the commute: Many Seattleites have opted out of owning cars completely. Instead they use public transit, bicycles and car sharing sites like Zipcar to get around.

Economy

Seattle’s current economic boom can be contributed to a mix of established industrial giants like Boeing and fast growing internet start ups like Amazon. Several Fortune 500 countries have their headquarters in Seattle including Starbucks, Nordstrom and Expeditors International of Washington. Even more are based in the metropolitan area including Microsoft (Redmond), Costco (Issaquiah), Expedia and T-Mobile (Bellevue).

The fastest growing industries in Seattle are the technology and biotech sectors. Seattle is also the first city in the U.S. to test out a $15 per hour minimum wage.

Unemployment rate: 4.5% (as of October 2015)
Average weekly wages for all industries: $1,268 (first quarter 2015)

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Seattle, WA Arts and Entertainment

Wing Luke Asian Museum

Wing Luke Asian Museum, 7th Avenue South, Seattle, WA, United States

Nordic Heritage Museum

Nordic Heritage Museum, Northwest 67th Street, Seattle, WA, United States

Northwest African American Museum

Northwest African American Museum, South Massachusetts Street, Seattle, WA, United States

EMP Museum

EMP Museum, 5th Avenue North, Seattle, WA, United States

Seattle Art Museum

Seattle Art Museum, 1st Avenue, Seattle, WA, United States

Chihuly Gardens

Chihuly Garden and Glass, Harrison Street, Seattle, WA, United States

Museums

Seattle’s museum scene reflects its rich cultural heritage. There are also over 400 works of public art scattered around the city.

Wing Luke Asian Museum
Nordic Heritage Museum
Northwest African American Museum
EMP Museum
Seattle Art Museum
Chihuly Gardens

Volunteer Park

Volunteer Park, 15th Avenue East, Seattle, WA, United States

Discovery Park

Discovery Park, Discovery Park Boulevard, Seattle, WA, United States

Golden Gardens

Golden Gardens Park, Seaview Place Northwest, Seattle, WA, United States

Waterfall Garden Park

Waterfall Garden Park, 2nd Avenue South, Seattle, WA, United States

Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture Park, Western Avenue, Seattle, WA, United States

Myrtle Edwards Park

Myrtle Edwards Park, Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA, United States

Nature

In spite of (or perhaps because of) the frequent inclement weather, Seattleites will seize any and all chances to get outdoors.

Volunteer Park
Discovery Park
Golden Gardens
Waterfall Garden Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Myrtle Edwards Park

Culture

Seattle is heavily influenced by its surroundings. With mountains to the east and the west, the San Juan Islands to the north and three large lakes close to the city center, most locals enjoy spending time outdoors in nature. While they work hard, they also like to play hard and you’ll often find people camping, skiing or kayaking on the weekends.

While not as ethnically diverse as other large cities in the United States, Seattle’s culture is heavily influenced by the East Asian populations that have been settling in the area for decades. You can find this reflected in the food, the annual festivals and in many other ways.

Nightlife

Seattle is not known for it’s happening nightlife scene, but there are plenty of options for those who seek it. Seattle’s music scene is well known (grunge anyone?) and you can find decent live music on almost any day of the week at venues like the Paramount, Showbox and the Crocodile.

Several neighborhoods are well known for their nightlife options. Capitol Hill is the headquarters for LGBT nightclubs and bars, while more dance clubs can be found in Belltown. You’ll find tons of hip bars in Fremont and Ballard, and too cool for school warehouse parties in SoDo.

Food

Anthony Bourdain once quipped that “Seattle’s food scene is better than it has any right to be.” It’s true that foodies will be thrilled at the many options available to them. The culinary trail starts at Pike Place Market or one of the many other local farmer’s markets that serve up delicious local produce and fresh seafood. It continues in the many innovative restaurants, microbreweries and the coffee culture that defines the city.

Seattle’s rich cultural heritage is also represented here with a wealth of authentic Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants. That’s not all though: you can find everything from Mexican to Bosnian to gourmet vegan food. Seattle’s Central District is home to Ezell’s, which Oprah once named her favorite fried chicken in the country.

Sports

The undisputed kings of Seattle Sports are the Superbowl XLVIII winning Seahawks. If football isn’t your thing though, you can also catch a Mariner’s (baseball) game, or check out the Sounders (men’s soccer) or Seattle Reign (women’s soccer), all of which have many loyal fans.

Events

During the warm summer months Seattle explodes with festivals, ranging from the nautical themed Seafair to the Seattle International Poetry Festival. Seattle is home to one of the largest Gay Pride events in the United States and there are quite a few ethnic festivals as well. The music festival Bumbershoot attracts over 100,000 people annually.

Moving to Seattle, WA?

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