Seattle, Washington

A Boutique Cosmopolitan Enclave In The Middle Of Twin Peaks

Seattle Skyline
Seattle Skyline
Downtown Seattle
Downtown Seattle
Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Mount Ranier
Mount Ranier

783,137

Population

Sunny Days: 152
62100 Affordability
90100 Schools
53100 Diversity
46100 Safety

My wife and I just prefer Seattle. It's a beautiful city. Great setting. You open your front door in the morning and the air smells like pine and the sea, as opposed to bus exhaust. -Ron Reagan

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Imagine a boutique city in the middle of the woods. Boeing and Microsoft and Amazon and Nintendo have brought tech and lot’s of smarty pants people to the area but it’s still the Great Northwest. It’s easy to veer off the beaten path and you are immediately in Twin Peaks country (for good or bad.)

Here's the pov of a lifer who loves his city: I still love it here. It’s not the indie/punk/cheap/dicey/old school place I fell in love with in the 1990s. But things change in 38 years. I was never into the outdoors but if your in reasonably good shape, the hiking can change your life. And most of the coast remains untouched. Imagine that! (Though it’s often raining sideways).

For more reviews from locals check out: The Reviews.

The Best Thing About Seattle?

Edgy beauty

Seattle is edgy. Scrappy even. There’s a rawness that persists despite the delicious restaurants and fancy wine. This is not a city for glamorous, chic people. And that’s probably why the people who love it, do. There’s a reason that it’s the home of Grunge. But, the seedy mixes with the unseedy and the blue collar mixes with the white collar and the dive bars mix with the only posing as dive bars -- unpretentious is always in concert with a little pretentious in Seattle. And that’s kind of the fun cocktail that is Seattle.

Here's a recent transplant with a point of view on living in Seattle:
I'm loving it here! I live close to the Puget Sound and hike to it every other day or so. As I type this, I think we are having a record for no rain- 30 days? Here are some of my fave things about it:

It's very diverse. I came from a white bred town in Colorado, and that is just not the case here. There are many races prevalent here, including black, Asian and Hispanic, and Indian. There are many religions here as well. It's a beautiful tapestry of America! No snow! Welllllll… hardly any snow. Lol. Once again, I came from buckets of snow and now if there's an inch everyone stays home.

For more reviews from locals check out: The Reviews.

The Worst Thing About Seattle?

Drizzle

It’s very drizzly. And damp. And while the inhabitants claim to like it that way, they’re a pretty downbeat crew. (It’s even got a name; “The Seattle Freeze”.) They cling to their coffee and shuffle through. Prepare to drive to work in the pitch dark and for the dark to start it’s return at 3pm. (Except in the summer when everybody perks up and revels in the daylight until 10PM.)

Although there is a thriving LGBTQ scene, the general population marries young and can be surprisingly conventional in their lifestyles (although the city is uber progressive politically.)

Here's a local on the drizzle/rain deal here:
about 5 days a year we get more than 1 inch of rain - but there is measurable precipitation on something like 152 days. we get 37 inches of rain a year on average - NYC gets 50 inches but they have something like 300 days with no precipitation. buy a good raincoat. buy neoprene booties (but you'll still get wet feet.) good gloves and a helmet cover are recommended. rain pants are optional.

How You Living?

In a community.

Downtown Seattle is not really a thing. Life is lived in the surrounding neighborhoods. Craftsman and 19th century Victorian style homes and mostly lush greenery define all but the most feral youth neighborhoods (Capitol Hill is raucous with man buns and rainbow crosswalks, Belltown and Fremont with storied music venues) These more urban neighborhoods boast low-rise apartments, industrial space, dive bars and funkiness. Queen Anne is more upmarket and the hill, of course, has great views and a few converted schoolhouses. Ballard is where Capitol Hill kids grow up to live. Surrounding neighborhoods have different vibes -- Greenlake is very self-care oriented (and there’s an actual lake) Microbreweries and bespoke coffee mix with pricey foodie spots all over. Shopping is more crafty than fabulous.

If you want to see what people get up to Seattle check out the calendar of events.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Nature + City

You want a sleepy existence in nature with access to city sophistication.

Neighborhoods in Seattle

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Belltown

Young Professionals

Our general neighborhood section references highlight several of the most popular young professional neighborhoods. Not surprisingly the closer you are to Downtown (the primary business district) the more young professionals congregate. Belltown and Capitol Hill are two of these perfect neighborhoods. They are a walk to work or to the train station, they have perfect apartment/condo loft spaces and tons of bars and restaurants for high walkscore socializing. Seattle is traditional in the sense that the closer you are to the center the more the Zoomers and Millennials congregate.

  • Belltown
  • Capitol Hill
  • Fremont
  • Lower Queen Anne

Capitol Hill

LGBTQ+

Capitol Hill is the city center for the LGBTQ+ community in Seattle with nearly 5% of the households same-sex couples. It's also home to one of the biggest entertainment districts, including those run by and supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. It's also a beautiful outdoor space with amazing city views for those who like to enjoy the outdoors.

  • Capitol Hill
  • Madrona
  • Vashon Island

Upper Queen Anne

Young Families

Seattle is pricey, particularly for young families, but if that doesn’t frighten you off then there are great neighborhoods here. Upper Queen Anne is one of the favorites. It is a perfect blend of urban and suburban if you’re hanging onto some city-lifestyle. It’s just north of the city center making it incredibly convenient for work and access to culture/downtown. It has a mix of beautiful Victorians but also townhomes and condos for anyone looking for smaller, less expensive purchase options. Greenwood is another great option. It’s more “budget-friendly” than other city neighborhoods with smaller Craftsmen and bungalow-style homes but still has access to top-rated schools. It also has a growing commercial district with boutique shopping and great restaurants and coffee shops.

  • Upper Queen Anne
  • Greenwood
  • Magnolia
  • West Seattle

Laurelhurst

Established Families

Big families in Seattle typically pop out to the suburbs as they expand. Big homes, yards and great public schools are of course the draw. Seattle though is blessed with some schmancy neighborhoods in the city for families that cling to city life in large part due to the proximity to the Lake. Laurelhurst is one of the preeminent of these “luxury” options. It is known locally as “a gated community without a gate”. Huge homes, both historic and modern, are surrounded by neighborhood parks, the University of Washington and Lake Washington, making this one of the most beautiful settings in the city.

  • Laurelhurst
  • Windermere
  • Denny-Blaine
  • Madison Park