Top 10 Reasons to Live in Western Washington

I grew up in the Seattle area and have lived here all my life. I know firsthand all of the wonderful things Western Washington has to offer. Whether you are moving here from out of state, or not sure you want to stay in Washington, here are 10 reasons to make Western Washington your home.

  • The weather: Before you ask “doesn’t it always rain in Washington?,” let me answer that for you. No, it actually doesn’t. Because we are located between two mountain ranges (Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Mountains), our weather tends to be pretty mild, giving us milder temperatures, fewer storms and not as much rain or snow as everyone thinks. None of the 10 rainiest cities are even in Washington – Mobile, AL; Pensacola, FL; New Orleans; LA, West Palm Beach, FL; Lafayette, LA; Baton Rouge, LA; Miami, FL; Port Arthur, TX; Tallahassee, FL; and Lake Charles, LA, according to Climate Corporation. Sure, we get a lot of rain November through January, but we don’t get a lot of snow unless you are in the foothills of the mountains or higher.
  • Proximity: We are just hours away from some of the most beautiful mountains in the country, including Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Baker and Mount Hood, and just a couple of hours from the Pacific Ocean. In the Kent and Covington area, we are about 20 miles from Tacoma to the south and 20 miles from Seattle to the north.
  • Educational Opportunities: The Seattle and Tacoma areas both feature excellent universities, including University of Washington, Seattle University, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Puget Sound and Bastyr University, along with some great local colleges, including Green River College and Highline College.
  • Beautiful topography: Whether you enjoy summer river rafting, peaceful hikes or boating, the Western Washington region has an abundance of opportunities. In Kent, we have Lake Meridian, a popular spot for fishing, boating and swimming. In nearby Black Diamond, we’ve got Lake Sawyer. We are about 10 minutes away from Des Moines if you’ve got a sea-faring vessel for diving, fishing or late-night cruises. In nearby Renton, you’ll find the southern tip of Lake Washington, a freshwater lake that is the largest lake in King County and the second largest natural lake in the state. Lake access is available via Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. Whether playing on the shores of Lake Washington or launching your boat, this park is a must-visit!
  • Employment opportunities: No matter what field you work in, you can find a job here. The South King County area is particularly known for aerospace, aviation, manufacturing and logistics, but we also have large healthcare employers, agriculture, ecommerce and traditional retail. Though technology employers tend to be physically located in Seattle, Redmond and Bellevue, many employees live in the South King County area (Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Black Diamond, Federal Way, etc.).
  • Diversity: When we say diversity, we mean diversity of every kind – age, race, country of origin, ethnicity, identity, education, diversity of thought, etc. People from around the world come to Western Washington, and to the Kent area specifically, bringing with them their ideas, customs, cuisine, religion, language and more. This makes our area a rich tapestry and a welcoming place to call home.
  • No income tax: This may not be as “sexy” as the first six reasons, but it is just as important. Our sales taxe is 10% in most townships, but WA State currently does not have a state income tax. We are only one of seven states in the U.S. without this tax!
  • State parks: This goes hand in hand with topography, but we love our parks so much we wanted to put them in a separate category. Western Washington has some breathtaking state parks, as well as some national parks. Perfect for day trips, weekend getaways or staycation, here are a few to check out, in addition to Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park (above):
    1. Mount Rainier National Park
    2. Olympic National Park
    3. Saltwater State Park
    4. Deception Pass State Park
    5. Cape Disappointment State Park
    6. Discovery Park
    7. Alki Beach Park
    8. Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park
    9. Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden
    10. Soos Creek Botanical Garden & Heritage Center
  • Food: Our area has such an incredible mix of cuisine from all over the world. Whether you are craving sushi, curry, pizza or steak, you’ll find it in Western Washington. You’ll find coffee houses, breweries and wineries, farm-to-table brunches, lunch spots, after-work hangouts and nightlife. We truly have a little bit of everything. You are only limited by your imagination – and desire to drive.
  • People: The people in Western Washington are amazing. There are always exceptions, but most are kind, caring and open-minded. They are hardworking, compassionate, community-minded people, and they are willing to give back to their communities. We also have a strong social service support system for those who need a helping hand.

Bonus: Sports! If you are a sports fan, we’ve got a little bit of everything – football, baseball, soccer, hockey and basketball. Our pro teams include the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle Kraken and Seattle Storm. There are many local teams and kids’ leagues, too.

If we haven’t convinced you yet, give us a call. We’d love to tell you our favorite spots and why we’ve decided to stay here. We can also tell you the “best of the best” in the specific area you are considering moving to.

Marti Reeder, Realtor, Managing Broker