the journal

10 Things to Know Before Moving to Seattle

The Pike Place Market in Seattle

Seattle is a dynamic city and a great place to live. However, there are a few things to know about the area before the big move: 1) To avoid confusion with Washington, D.C., you may hear people say “Washington State,” 2) Although Seattle is the state’s largest city, the capital is Olympia, and 3) Seattle is the most northern large city in the USA. Now that you know those important things, here are 10 things to know before moving to Seattle:

 

  1. History: Native Americans originally inhabited Seattle before other settlers arrived. The population of Seattle grew rapidly in the late 1880s when newly built railways opened the city. The coastal city soon became an important port for trade with Asia and the North Pacific and shipbuilding bolstered the economy. The 1962 World Fair was hosted by Seattle to show off the latest advances in technology (the iconic Space Needle was built for this significant event). Today, the city is home to some of America’s largest and most exciting global companies.
  2. Time Zone: Pacific Daylight Time is the time zone in which Seattle falls. This is abbreviated to PDT and is three hours behind New York City. The states of California and Washington fall completely within this time zone. In the winter, cities including Seattle will switch to Pacific Standard Time (PST) by adjusting the clocks one hour difference in order to benefit the most from daylight.
  3. Climate: Seattle has a damp climate due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The city has an average of about 40 inches of precipitation per year. The temperature is mild throughout the seasons, mostly staying within 40-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Cloudy skies are common above Seattle. To be sure you’re always prepared for the weather, dress in layers to stay warm in the wind and rain.
  4. Layout: Seattle is one of the largest and most affluent urban centers in the United States. Therefore, having a basic understanding of the orientation of city will really help you get around. The most notable neighborhoods are Capitol Hill, Ballard, the U District, Rainier Beach, Greenwood, Fremont, Beacon Hill, Georgetown, Green Lake, Columbia City, First Hill, Queen Anne, Lake City. Take note of the directional cues in street names: streets that run west to east start with the direction and streets that run north to south start with the street name. There are many other helpful hints hidden in street names!
  5. Sports: Seattle fields many sports teams with passionate fans. The Seattle Seahawks are the National Football League team. For baseball fans, the Seattle Mariners play in T-Mobile Park. The women’s basketball team, the Seattle Storm, has held the title of WNBA Champion three times.
  6. Attractions: Even during the damp, dark winters, you will have plenty to explore in Seattle. Some of the top attractions are:
  • Space Needle
  • Pike Place Market
  • Museum of Pop Culture
  • Chihuly Garden and Glass
  • Seattle Art Museum
  • Woodland Park Zoo
  • Seattle Aquarium
  • Museum of Flight
  • Olympic Sculpture Park
  • Gum Wall
  • Pacific Science Center
  • Kerry Park
  1. Transit: There are plenty of smart transportation options to get around this expansive city. A good place to start is by purchasing an ORCA card (One Regional Card for All) for $5. You can reload and reuse this card to ride all local public transit. The monorail and ferry system operate in different systems, so you’ll have to purchase tickets to ride those separately. Ride sharing and rental cars are also available throughout the city.
  2. Coffee: Residents in Seattle consider coffee drinking to be a serious hobby. In fact, one of the first things that many people associate with Seattle is coffee. While the history of the world’s most familiar coffee company is rooted in this city, locals prefer visiting smaller coffee shops around town in the quest for the perfect espresso.
  3. The Mountain: Seattle is nestled between Mount Rainer, the Puget Sound, and acres of parklands in all directions. Locals will comment on the visibility of “the mountain” depending on the weather of the day.
  4. People: Since the early days of the city, Seattle has been a diverse community. Different industries brought different groups of people to the city. Today, the population is around 730,000. Many of the residents work in the technology industry and have moved to the city for their jobs, so this makes the median age fairly low at 35 years old.

 

Now that you’re aware of the top things to know before moving to Seattle, the relocation and settling-in process should go more smoothly. However, if you still have questions, reach out to us – we can help!