Moving to a new city is normally an exciting time in someone’s life. Moving in the middle of a pandemic, however, can put a damper on all that excitement. For those who are relocating to the Seattle area, here’s what to expect in terms of COVID regulations, along with a few tips on how to make the settling in process a little easier.
Tip #1: Stay up to date on local regulations
With information constantly changing, it’s more important than ever to stay up to date on current COVID-19 restrictions and regulations. Since all states (and even many cities) have their own set of rules and reopening practices, frequently checking city and state websites is a good idea. Seattle and Washington State have what the governor calls a “Safe Start” phased reopening plan.
King County (which includes Seattle and surrounding cities) is currently in Phase 2, which allows for the partial reopening of some businesses and activities, in addition to limited social gatherings with five or fewer people outside of the household. There are currently no domestic travel bans in place for Washington State, but because of the increased precautions and stringent health orders, travel can become more challenging. Many hotels, area attractions, and restaurants are still closed temporarily or are operating at limited capacity.
For more information on the Washington State Coronavirus response, visit the state’s website at: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/
Tip #2: Get outside
One of the great things about living in the Seattle area is its abundance of outdoor activities! You won’t need to worry about being socially distant from others while exploring Olympic National Park or admiring Mount Rainier.
Seattle and the surrounding area has outdoor activities for all seasons (it’s not nicknamed the Emerald City by accident!) While there are seemingly endless options, here are a few of our favorites:
- Lake Sammamish/Lake Sammamish State Park
Lake Sammamish is a freshwater lover’s dream. In the summer, you can swim and rent kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. If being in the water isn’t your thing, picnicking at Lake Sammamish State Park (to the south) or Marymoor Park (to the north) is always a solid option, along with hiking the Sammamish River Trail.
- Bike the Burke-Gilman Trail
Winding 27 miles through many of Seattle’s popular northern neighborhoods – such as Ballard, Fremont, and the University District – the Burke-Gilman Trail is delightful for even the most novice cycler, offering uninterrupted pedaling through the city.
- National Parks
Those who live in the Seattle area are lucky to have three National Parks within driving distance – Mount Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic. All three offer stunning scenery ranging from towering mountain peaks to lush northern rain forests. To avoid cramming in too much, consider taking at least a weekend to explore these magical lands.
- Discovery Park
Located about ten minutes northwest of downtown, this park in the Magnolia neighborhood offers a great hiking trail that meanders down to the Puget Sound, with a lighthouse and beach. On clear days, you can see both Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker from the lighthouse (pro tip – go during sunset).
- Summit at Snoqualmie/Stevens Pass/Crystal Mountain
During winter months, Seattleites can take advantage of some terrific skiing in the area. Downhill skiing can be found throughout the Cascade Range and into Eastern Washington. The Summit at Snoqualmie (also with sledding and snow tubing for kids), Stevens Pass, and Crystal Mountain are some of the most popular.
- Washington State Ferries
For a beautiful and convenient way to get out on the water, hop aboard a Washington State Ferry – the largest fleet of ferries in the US. Ferries have routes to and from Bainbridge Island or Bremerton.
Tip #3: Customize your space
It’s safe to assume that you’re probably spending a bit more time inside your home these days. As someone who recently moved into a new space, why not use the blank slate to your advantage? There’s no better time than the present to customize your space, making sure it works for your quarantine lifestyle.
If you’re one of many who are currently working from home, you might want to think of investing in functional furniture or organizational items to create your own home office. Studies have shown that committing to a dedicated workspace within the home makes individuals more productive during the day. Stores like The Container Store or Ikea make organization a breeze (and won’t break the bank), so whether you have a separate room or just a small corner of your bedroom or kitchen, you’ll be able to customize any space to literally work for you.
For all of your Seattle area questions and resources (housing or otherwise), feel free to reach out to us. Our local team of experts know the ins and outs of this city and we’re here to help when you need it.