A Guide to Seattle WA
by Kara Masteller, intern writer for Executive Auto Shippers
Known for coffee and rain, this cityscape is nestled among a great number of trees and placed atop rolling hills. Nicknamed, “Emerald City” because of this greenery, Seattle poses a perfect blend of city living and outdoor exploration. And coffee. Seattle loves their coffee. If you’re thinking about moving to Seattle, you’re not alone! It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S and has been for the past 5 years. Not surprising, since its business world is largely dominated by newer technology corporations. Five Fortune 500 companies have made their headquarters here, which is attracting many young professionals. However, Seattle has proven itself to be more than hipsters and millennials, it’s a wonderful place to raise a family or move to after the kids have grown. This city has a little bit of everything to offer to each person (not to mention, Washington state has no income tax!)
Upon moving to Seattle, you may be faced some housing questions. Because of Seattle’s rapid growth, rent is high and it can be challenging to find a place to rest your head. But before just googling “places to live in Seattle,” try looking into the neighborhoods. Seattle is described as a city made up of a bunch of smaller cities- each neighborhood has its own culture and personality. Millennials tend to go towards neighborhoods like South Lake Union, Queen Anne, and Capitol Hill. Many Seattle hotspots can be found in these areas. For a lower priced option, look at areas like West Seattle or Beacon Hill, just be aware that the commute from the city could be significant. The neighborhoods of Magnolia or Ballard are great choices for family living close to downtown. And if you’re not sure where you want to live, but are eager to start life in the city temporary housing is readily available. Rivet is a temporary housing apartment complex with quite reasonable prices for being in the South Lake Union area. It’s pet-friendly and has a patient and helpful staff. Other temporary housing reviews all over the city can be found on Yelp. And don’t hesitate to move those pets with you! With plenty of pet care centers, you’ll have someone to take care of them during the day. And with plenty of hiking trails and parks to explore, there’s no need to worry about pets being unable to adapt to city life.
As for the kids, Seattle has some great public School programs. You’ll want to consider each neighborhood and the districts, as certain schools have had to close or relocate due to economic issues. Each district is assigned to a public school, though you can always make an intradistrict choice and attend a public school outside of your residence, it’s just not guaranteed since you’ll have to apply. The Seattle school system is safe and high-quality. The primary complaints seen are about the administration, but with the search for a new superintendent, there’s hope this will improve quite soon. If you’re interested in the public school system, more information can be found here: https://www.seattleschools.org/
Once you’re settled in (or at least have your wallet unpacked), get ready to explore the new city you call home. If you want to treat yourself after the move, head over to Metropolitan Grill, an American steakhouse with raving reviews. But as you adjust to your Seattle life (and can’t afford to treat yourself nightly), locals love the inexpensive diner Luna Park, and Pike Place Chowder is perfect for a cheap and delicious meal. Often when looking at cheaper options you’ll find that Asian cuisine is a good go-to option. Green Leaf is a local favorite for Vietnamese and Jamjuree for Thai. Need a morning pick-me-up? Not to worry; there’s a coffee shop on nearly every corner (though yes, most of them are Starbucks). And on those days you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, locals swear that Dick’s Drive-In far surpasses the classic In-n-Out Burger.
With so many people moving to Seattle, there won’t be a shortage of people looking for something new to do on those weekend nights. If you’re looking for something a little different, you’ll get a delicious meal with a fascinating and unique atmosphere at the Pink Door. Afterward, head to the Unicorn Bar, a carnival-themed bar you probably haven’t experienced anything like before. And if the morning after has you in need of some brunch, the locals swear by Portage Bay.
Things To Do
Sure, when you first move to Seattle, you’ll be tempted by the classics: visit the first Starbucks Café, the Space Needle, and the Seattle Art Museum/Olympic Sculpture Park. While these are fascinating parts of the city (and highly recommended), you won’t be acting a tourist during most of your Seattle residence. In addition to exploring whatever neighborhood you end up in, here are a few options to venture out, on the weekends. (Just beware, there’s no income tax, so sales taxes can be a pricey addition to your adventures.)
Chihuly’s Garden and Glass is a gorgeous and unique gallery featuring the work of glass artist Dave Chihuly. Pike Place Market is a fun and energetic place to be a great way to explore downtown and the local vendors in the area (plus, the original Starbucks is in that area, so you can cross that off your Seattle bucket list at the same time). If you’re looking for something for a classy day out, Woodinville Wine Country is a mere 30 minutes outside the city. And for intellectual stimulation, check out the Boeing tour- a tour of a working Boeing factory and a hands-on way to learn about aerospace and the craft. For outdoor fun, check out Discovery Park or the Burke-Gilman trails, these are great places to take the pet or to get some exercise (Seattle is quite hilly after all!)
No matter where you’re from, Seattle is a growing city filled with things to do, people to meet, and live to grow. Your children will find a home here, your career will find success, and your lifestyle will fit right in.