The Pacific Northwest has a reputation for attracting young, wealthy professionals, but it’s not just for millennials. In fact, Washington is a bigger and more geographically diverse state than many people realize. Businesses are flocking to Washington, and workers like it because there’s no state income tax. It’s no wonder The Evergreen State is regularly listed as one of the most livable states in the country. If you’re ready to move, here are five places worth checking out.
You can’t talk about Washington without mentioning Seattle. It’s the biggest city in the Pacific Northwest, which means it’s also a major economic engine for the entire state. Seattle is known for being home to major corporations like Amazon and Starbucks. If you like progressive politics, you should also like Seattle, as it’s a very blue city. On a purely aesthetic level, Seattle is just gorgeous. There’s a lot of water, plus you get a view of Mount Rainier in the distance.
If you want to get farther away from big city life and closer to Canada, drive 90 miles north of Interstate 5 to Bellingham. Bellingham sits on Bellingham Bay and offers easy access to outdoor hot spots like the San Juan Islands. If you’ve got a passport, a drive of just over an hour will land you in Vancouver. Bellingham is great for people who want access to big cities like Vancouver and Seattle minus all the chaos.
It’s easy for people to assume the state capital is Seattle, but that’s not the case. It’s actually Olympia, a town of about 50,000 on the South Puget Sound. Not surprisingly, a lot of people here work for the state government. It’s a bit more laid-back and easygoing than Seattle, which makes it a great spot to reside permanently.
Olympia is a good 60 miles from Seattle so if you live here, you’re better off working close by as well. That gives you more time to explore local sites like the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and the famous Mima Mounds.
Spokane is the second-biggest city in Washington. It’s also nearly 300 miles east of Seattle, and the culture of Eastern Washington is more rural and conservative than Western Washington. However, Spokane has found itself becoming almost trendy in recent years as people flee the coasts in search of more affordable living. Real estate prices are rising, though an apartment in the Lilac City is still cheaper than one in Seattle. From a cultural standpoint, the music and literary scenes have both made major strides in recent years.
The Spokane River runs through downtown and divides the northern and southern portions of the city. The river is a sight to behold whether you’re in town for the first or fiftieth time. And no trip is complete without photos and videos to share with everyone back at home. Make sure that your phone has the features needed to quickly nab high-quality footage of the dramatic Spokane Falls. You don’t want to miss a cascading waterfall because your shutter speed is too slow! There are plenty of AT&T Stores in Washington that can help you with your current phone or purchase a new one so that you don’t miss out on photo and video ops. Take care of your cell phone and you will be ready to post great content from your trip to Spokane on your favorite social sites.
5. Walla Walla
Don’t let the odd town name detract you from checking out Walla Walla, because there’s a lot of hidden treasures in the southeastern Washington town of about 30,000. The biggest draw here is the wine industry, which is growing fast and producing high-quality grapes. It even got a write-up from Vogue magazine in 2018. There are more than 100 wineries in the area, which means you’ll never run out of excuses for a toast when you live in Walla Walla.