By Vince Mancuso, Storage.com
With its strong tech industry bolstered by the city’s well-known green practices, Seattle (also known as “The Emerald City”) often places among the top fastest-growing cities in the country. If you’re one of the many moving to Seattle or already call it your home, check out this list of reasons why living in Seattle is great!
1. PEOPLE DO WELL HERE.
Most noted for the presence of Microsoft, Seattle is an amazing place to work for those looking to get into the tech industry. In fact, it was ranked the second among the highest-paying cities for tech jobs by Forbes with the average salary coming in around $99,000. Seattle is so successful that it actually ranks fourth among the richest cities in the United States, too. More than 16% of the population has an income of more than $150,000 a year. And it comes as no surprise since the city also boasts a well-educated population—57.4% of the population over the age 25 have at least a bachelor’s degree.
2. YOU’LL LOVE THE VIEWS.
Seattle is a city of gorgeous landscapes. To the west, you have the beautiful Puget Sound, and Mount Rainier looms over the southern horizon. Also, Seattle is surrounded by national parks and forests, including Olympic National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, and North Cascades National Park (which has the most glaciers in the U.S. outside of Alaska).
3. A CITY OF NEIGHBORHOODS.
The early European settlements that were scattered throughout the area combined with Seattle over time, creating a “city of neighborhoods,” as former mayor Greg Nickels coined it. The city still celebrates its neighborhoods with a Department of Neighborhoods and 13 districts across the city to promote community involvement. Some of the most popular neighborhoods in Seattle include areas like family-friendly hot spot Ballard, vintage Capitol Hill, and stately Queen Anne, which includes Lower Queen Anne. With so many places to live, you can explore the area that best fits you, though you’ll be welcome no matter where you go!
4. IT RAINS, BUT NOT ALL THE TIME.
When speaking in raw numbers, Seattle isn’t the rainiest city in the country, despite what people tell you. The city only gets about 37 inches of rain per year, which is about ten inches less than New York City. Here’s the catch—rather than a relatively quick downpour, Seattle’s rain is more of a constant mist (so don’t carry an umbrella unless you’re okay with telling everyone that you’re new). That said, the wet winter makes for a great and relatively dry summer with clear nights and temperatures in the 70s.
5. SEATTLE IS GREEN—LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY.
Seattle ranks fourth among the top ten greenest cities in America. There are more than 20 public buildings that currently are or will be LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). On a more “greenery” point, Seattle has roughly seven parks per 10,000 residents. Locals and visitors alike love places like Kerry Park, a lookout point in Lower Queen Anne that offers tremendous views of the skyline. There’s also Waterfall Garden in Pioneer Square near downtown. This 22-foot urban waterfall was made to honor the workers of UPS when the delivery-service giant was headquartered in Seattle.
6. PIKE PLACE.
The people of Seattle love Pike Place Market, a nine-acre market just north of Downtown Seattle that overlooks Elliott Bay. Opened in 1907, it’s easily one of the oldest public farmers’ markets in the United States, as well as one of the most diverse. You can support more than 225 local craftspeople, 200 owner-operated shops, 80 restaurants, and even live in the market. While visiting Pike Place, locals like to grab a Tuscan chicken sandwich from Michou, a deli that uses local sources to create paninis, pizzas, soups, and more. Seattleites also enjoy Piroshky Piroshky. While the lines will be long, it’s worth the rate for the unique, Russian baked goods like the smoked salmon pate—loads of fresh salmon stuffed and baked into a flaky pastry. This particular piroshky is also known to be served in the shape of a fish.
7. WHY, OF COURSE, THERE’S COFFEE.
It’s well-known that the internationally-loved coffeehouse Starbucks got its start in the historic Pike Place Market with its first coffee shop on the corner of 1st and Pike. But Starbucks isn’t the only coffee option for Seattle residents. Be sure to check out Drip City Coffee in Belltown. People love smooth-drip coffee, fresh soy lattes, breakfast burritos—which they’ll totally grill if you ask—as well as the overall friendly attitude. Plus, dogs are greeted with treats! If you’re looking for something stronger with a bit of flair, check out Espresso Vivace Roasteria in Capitol Hill. This espresso-only coffeehouse offers no drip or pour overs, but you won’t regret enjoying their Café Nico, a small espresso drink lightly sweetened and spiced with organ, vanilla, and cinnamon. Don’t be surprised if your drink also comes with some latte art!
8. THE SEATTLE HOT DOG.
Found in trucks and carts all over town from noon to 2 a.m., the Seattle-style hot dog is typically covered in grilled onions, jalapenos, and kraut or grilled cabbage on a toasted bun. However, what truly sets the Seattle dog apart is the cream cheese—something about the creamy texture and meat flavor keeps locals coming back for more. Seattleites love places like Mad Dawg’s Hot Dogs, which offers both meat and veggie dogs, as well as gluten-free buns. Locals recommend getting some caramelized onions or spicy mayo on your dog at either their Lower Queen Anne or Capitol Hill locations.
9. GO HAWKS!
It doesn’t really matter what mode of transportation you take; the city more or less shuts down when the Seattle Seahawks have a home game. Seattleites serve as the 12th man for the Seahawks, raising enough ruckus to throw off any visiting team. In fact, the 12s broke not one but two Guinness World Records for loudest crowd noise at a sporting event in 2013, reaching 137.6 decibels in a December playoff game. It was that same season the Seahawks went on to win their first Super Bowl title. Forbes even ranked the 12s among the NFL’s top ten best fanbases, due to their hometown crowd reach, TV audience, social media rank, and stadium attendance—for which they ranked top, we should add.
10. SAFE FOR PEDESTRIANS.
Seattle was named the safest city for pedestrians by Liberty Mutual Insurance. According to Liberty Mutual, The Emerald City has more than 108,000 pedestrians each day, but only ten pedestrian fatalities each year. Additionally, the city started campaigns like the Safest Route to School Program, which created 501 new crosswalks for students and placed speed cameras in school zones, and the Be Super Safe campaign that targeted dangerous driving behaviors. People in Seattle will tell you they feel safe walking around as well. While creating the pedestrian safety index, Liberty Mutual found that 96% of Seattleites surveyed felt safe while 97% said they think the city takes a proactive approach to ensure pedestrians are safe.
11. ALL THAT WALKING PAYS OFF.
The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro is actually fourth among Nerdwallet’s healthiest places in America, due to residents’ high activity and the city’s “Healthy Parks, Healthy You” initiative. Besides being the safest for pedestrians, Seattle ranks among the top bicycle-friendly cities with plans for 239 miles of new greenways and more than 100 miles of protected bike lanes, as well as bike-sharing and helmet-renting kiosks.
12. SEATTLE IS COOL.
No, seriously. Forbes has the stats to prove that Seattle is one of America’s Coolest Cities. Analyzing a number of factors, such as diversity, recreation, arts and culture, and the percentage of 20 to 34-year-olds in the population, Seattle comes only second to Washington, D.C., in cool factor. This can be seen in how welcoming the people of Seattle are to people of all races, religions, and sexual orientations, which makes Seattle not only a great place to relocate to, but an all-around cool place to live.
Did we miss anything? If so, please share with us in the comments!