Nestled in the heart of the Puget Sound, Seattle is the jewel of the Pacific Northwest.
Home to some of the world’s most influential, powerful companies and boasting world-class leisure options at every turn, the Emerald City has become a global destination for those wanting to make America their home.
Its laid-back culture, ample job opportunities, exceptional dining, and breadth of entertainment options make Seattle the kind of city that molds itself into anyone’s platonic ideal of home. As soon as new arrivals catch a glimpse of Mount Rainier on a clear summer day, the lights of the Bainbridge Island ferry gliding across Elliott Bay at night, or the colorful bursting of cherry blossoms at the beginning of spring, they understand what’s so special about the Emerald City. Here’s what you need to know before you make your move.
Seattle has to offer
Just like the wider city, Seattle’s neighborhoods have grown and evolved, providing a diverse and unique set of communities that can satisfy new arrivals looking to find their slice of happiness.
Young professionals who want to be close to downtown and its multitude of dining and nightlife options have their pick of neighborhoods, including Belltown on the waterfront, Capitol Hill on the northeast edge, and tech hub South Lake Union just north.
For families looking for a quiet place to call home without straying too far from the central city center, Queen Anne provides an upscale option close to downtown, while Ballard and Fremont offer family-friendly dining and large green spaces that can be hard to come by in other neighborhoods.
True suburbs can be found in every direction from Seattle too, including Shoreline and Lynnwood to the north and Federal Way and Tacoma to the south. For those interested in working for the tech giants on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, Bellevue, Redmond, and Kirkland are home to some of the highest-rated (and most expensive) neighborhoods in the Pacific Northwest.Collapse
Food & CultureExpand
It’s impossible to talk about Seattle without mentioning Pike Place Market, a cultural and culinary institution deeply ingrained in the city’s identity.
Whether it’s fresh fish from the famous market itself, a pastry from French bakery Le Panier, or an award-winning bowl of clam chowder from Pike Place Chowder, there are extraordinary and unique options at every turn.
For those looking for world-class, elegant dining, your choices are many and varied in Seattle, but your first stop should be Canlis, a historic, family-run paragon of Pacific Northwest cuisine with a diverse menu and incredible views of Lake Union. For a more affordable taste of Seattle’s famous seafood, locally-owned Ivar’s Fish Bars can be found all over the city, doling out fish and chips, chowder, and more—often with a picturesque view to boot. Sandwiched in between those extremes are troves of popular, reasonably-priced local spots with unique menus and special atmospheres; one that truly lives up to its hype is Fremont’s Korean fusion outfit, Revel, whose dishes are creative without being intimidating, making it an ideal port of entry to the Seattle foodie scene.
Professional sports in Seattle are also a huge draw for those looking for incredible atmosphere, talent, and facilities. The city has a dedicated fan base for its professional American football, baseball, and soccer teams, and a new hockey team on the horizon.Collapse
Higher education has blossomed with Seattle’s growth,
led by the University of Washington on the northeast side of the city. UW, as it’s colloquially referred to in the area, is a prestigious research and educational institution, with highly-ranked medical, business, and engineering programs. As for K-12, the broader Western Washington region is home to a number of top schools; the Eastside is home to the best primary education in the state, but those looking for great options in Seattle proper will surely find what they’re looking for at schools in neighborhoods like Mercer Island and Roosevelt.Collapse
The presence of top medical research facilities and professionals means that Seattle is on the forefront of healthcare innovation and excellence. The city is home to a number of highly-rated hospitals: University of Washington Medical Center and Virginia Mason Medical Center, which both rank nationally across departments.Collapse
The bus system is quite expansive, stretching outside of Seattle in every direction.
The light rail is steadily expanding too, providing speedy service from Seattle-Tacoma Airport to the University of Washington with new stations set to open over the next decade. Seattle’s mild climate means that cycling is an option for those who don’t mind getting a little damp on their commute, though only the bravest on two wheels make the trek up Cherry Street, a steep stretch of road that connects downtown Seattle with many of the city’s hospitals.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (or just “SeaTac”) is one of the country’s busiest, with more than 51 million passengers passing through every year. It’s a popular hub for those traveling to the U.S. from Asia, and most major airlines have a presence there.Collapse
Weather & ClimateExpand
Life isn’t just lived inside, and many moving to the Pacific Northwest are doing so because of the natural beauty.
The region’s surrounding nature is enough to pull even the most outdoor-averse person out of the house and into its green paradise. Seattle tends to be synonymous with rain and dreary weather, but locals will tell you that the rain really isn’t that big of a deal. For many, the months of semi-consistent, light rain is worth the sheer abundance of greenery during the rest of the year. Spring, summer, and fall provide plenty of sunny (or at least dry) days in which anybody can enjoy hiking, camping, and outdoor sports without even leaving the city.Collapse
Jobs & IndustriesExpand
What used to be a sleepy fishing and logging village has surged into relevance over recent decades,
as Seattle and the surrounding area has become a global epicenter of tech, aerospace, medical research, and more. With new startups popping up regularly and large companies moving swathes of their employees into the area, you’d be hard-pressed to find an industry that hasn’t yet staked a claim in Seattle. Most have set up downtown or in the nearby South Lake Union neighborhood, which offer perfect public transportation options for commuters.Collapse
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