The pride we have for the Pacific Northwest is pretty strong. In fact, it’s enough to create a list of reasons we think you, too, should live in the area — if you’re not already our neighbor. From the region’s stunning geography and outdoor recreation opportunities to its thriving arts culture and renowned wineries, here are just a few reasons you should make the move to the beautiful PNW.
Grab your hiking boots (but leave your umbrella behind!) while you consider a move to this gorgeous region nestled in the upper left-hand corner of the country.
And if you’re already lucky enough to live here, consider passing this list along to your friends and family living in other cities. Who knows? Your subtle hints may just inspire them to become your neighbor!
Beautiful Springs + Summers
The Pacific Northwest has some of the most enjoyable summers — marked by pleasant warm temperatures, clear skies, and colorful trees and flowers. After enduring a fair amount of rain and overcast days throughout the fall and winter, residents take full advantage of the sunshine between June and October through outdoor recreation, dining on patios, or simply opening their back door to let in the light breeze and rays of sunshine. While the PNW is filled with lush greens all year long (thanks to the ever-present evergreen trees!), spring and summer brings a myriad of colors, including blue skies, pink and purple flowers, green grass, and many more brilliant hues.
This is an ideal region for the outdoor enthusiast. The Pacific Northwest has options for just about every activity you can imagine — including hiking, biking, skiing, swimming, kayaking, camping, rock climbing, and more. The Cascade Range is surrounded by hiking trails, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and other features that make the PNW a renowned destination for outdoor recreation. From Bend, Oregon to Portland and throughout Washington, there is plenty to do in our green backyard.
It’s no surprise that this is one of the best regions to order seafood in the country. There is no shortage of fresh seafood sourced directly from the Pacific Ocean and nearby lakes. In large cities like Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver, choose from a large selection of seafood eateries. Portland has an impressive roster of places specializing in oysters and coastal towns like Cannon Beach have plenty of restaurants, many of which serve fish and chips, oysters, salmon, and other seafood dishes.
Thriving Arts Culture
The PNW is undeniably artsy. In addition to an overall creative spirit permeating the local businesses in the region, you’ll find an overwhelming number of art museums, performing arts venues, and quaint art galleries.
The Portland Art Museum is one of the finest art museums in the Pacific Northwest — and the oldest art museum on the West Coast! The museum hosts a mixture of permanent collections and rotating exhibitions, in addition to a variety of events.
It’s no secret that Washington and Oregon produce some of the world’s best wines — especially in the Willamette Valley, home to over 500 wineries, encompassing over two-thirds of the state’s wineries. The region is known as one of the best producers of pinot noir in the world, but there is no shortage of pinot gris, chardonnay, riesling, and cabernet sauvignon. While it’s hard to narrow down a list with hundreds of wineries, take a look at some must-visit tasting rooms in Oregon and Southwest Washington to add to your bucket list.
Education is taken seriously here. From top-notch school districts for elementary-aged students to higher education institutions, the PNW has it all. Some of the area’s most renowned colleges and universities include the University of Washington, University of Oregon, University of Portland, Clark College, Oregon State University, and more.
Photo Courtesy of Local Haven via Paley’s Place
Many cities in the region, especially Portland and Seattle, appear on prestigious dining lists created by the country’s most renowned food critics and bloggers. In fact, Portland is home to seven (and counting!) James Beard Award-winning restaurants. But the focus on excellence extends to kitchens all throughout the region — from New American eateries to seafood restaurants, and everything in between.
Many assume the Pacific Northwest is extremely cold and especially snow-laden. However, the coast regulates the temperature for a majority of the region, which equates to moderate temperatures throughout most of the year. This means we enjoy neither scorching hot summers nor particularly freezing winters. We can get a few exciting snow days throughout the winter, but it is not nearly as snowy as many predict! If you’re looking for a little more extreme of a climate, consider Bend in Central Oregon — an area known for its ever-present sunshine and snowy conditions.
Pro Tip: Avoid standing out like a sore thumb (or perhaps worse: a tourist) by leaving your umbrella behind if you end up moving here! Locals know that umbrella usage is unnecessary with the light rain we typically experience — and that it’s an easy way to distinguish yourself as an out-of-towner.
Along those lines, the region enjoys a diverse landscape, which includes everything from dry desert scenery to lush rainforests. In fact, the state of Washington contains most of the American West’s major ecosystem types, including marine waters, rainforests, dry coniferous forests, subalpine and alpine meadows, grasslands, prairies, sand dunes, riparian areas, and more. Oregon has a similar varied landscape, which you can clearly see as you travel from Portland to Bend. Residents of the Pacific Northwest can easily access the ocean, mountains, desert land, forests, or a combination of the above — all in a matter of minutes!
Spend just a few minutes in the PNW and you’ll immediately pick up on the laid-back vibe. It’s common to see people decked out in outdoor gear during their trip to the grocery store. But hey, you never know if you might encounter a prime hiking trail on your way to Trader Joe’s. Also, there seems to be a slower pace of living here; many are not worried about maintaining the status quo. There’s a lot of room to express yourself as you are without worrying about social pressures and “keeping up with the Joneses.”
Eco- and Health-Conscious
From promoting an active lifestyle to health food stores aplenty, the Pacific Northwest is very focused on healthy living. There are a variety of options for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free folks, and those with other food sensitivities. Plus, the region is concerned with the health of our planet by making recycling easier for residents and patrons, reducing plastic straws in the city, and other eco-friendly initiatives. The small steps the area makes to create healthy bodies and a happy planet go a long way.
Hot Real Estate Markets
This home is for sale here.
The word is getting out. The Pacific Northwest is a pretty magical place to live. This influx of new residents has ramped up the real estate market quite a bit. This makes buying a home in the area an even more valuable investment, as prices are steadily rising. Two cities in the region made it on Homes.com’s list of The 10 Hottest Real Estate Markets From 2018, including Portland at the #2 spot.
“Housing values are expected to rise another 3.7% in Portland through 2019. This, coupled with an average annual income of $60k and plenty of jobs available, should mark Portland as a strong contender for anyone looking to move somewhere out of the ordinary.” — From Homes.com
Artisan/Craft-Everything (Beer, Coffee, etc.)
The Pacific Northwest is in the business of craft-everything, it seems like. While Starbucks got its start here, you will rarely find a local ordering a grande frappuccino at the drive-thru. Instead, we revere the minimalist coffee shop exclusively selling manual brews or the cozy cafe lined with bookshelves and plants. The same goes for craft beer. Beer brewing is an art in the Pacific Northwest, and there is an impressive number of breweries (with a similar garage-setup-turned-microbrewery story) to prove it!
Mixture of Large Cities + Small Towns
Whether you favor the hustle and bustle of a larger city or prefer the laid-back feel of a smaller community, the Pacific Northwest has something for you. You can live in the middle of the action in the heart of Seattle, Portland or Vancouver, Washington, opt for a more medium-sized city like Bend, or retreat to a quaint coastal town like Cannon Beach, Manzanita, or Seaside. Or instead, enjoy the best of both worlds by residing in a community just outside of a metro area. That way, you can get the tight-knit feel of a small town but still access big city amenities and attractions.
Feel free to contact us if you need assistance during your move to the Pacific Northwest. Our brokers are extremely knowledgeable about the areas we serve, including the Portland Metro, Southwest Washington, Central Oregon, and the Oregon Coast.