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Moving to Seattle? Customs, Quirks, and Hidden Gems You Need to Know

Find Your Internet - Camryn Rabideau

Camryn Rabideau on July 3, 2020

Find Your Internet - Moving to Seattle? Customs, Quirks, and Hidden Gems You Need to Know

Thinking about moving to Seattle? This West Coast city is an extremely popular destination thanks to its bustling economy and lively social scene, but there are several things you need to know about the Emerald City before you decide to call it home.

Prepare Yourself for the Rain

Summers in Seattle are beautiful, so be sure to take advantage of the sunny weather while it lasts. The expansive Washington Park Arboretum and seaside Seattle Great Wheel are two must-see warm weather attractions.

But once October and November roll around, the skies will get gloomy as the city’s notorious rainy season arrives. But the total rainfall throughout the year isn’t as high as you might expect—it’s typically lower than New York, actually—but the city is frequently subject to gray skies and all-day drizzle. Be sure to pack your umbrella.

The nickname “Emerald City” is a nod to Seattle’s lush greenery, but the city is green in more ways than one. Seattle is extremely environmentally friendly, with mandatory recycling and composting within the city.

The Tech Takeover

The job market in Seattle is booming thanks to local tech corporations. Amazon, Microsoft, and Nintendo are all based out of the area, as are Fortune 500 companies such as Starbucks, Boeing, and Nordstrom.

Additionally, Seattle residents earn above-average incomes compared to most Americans, taking home more than $1,500 per week. Therefore, Seattle is a promising place to build your career, especially if you’re in the tech field.

Don’t Get Too Excited About No Income Tax

Most people jump for joy when they hear that Washington state doesn’t have income tax, but the cost of living Seattle is still quite high. In fact, it’s often ranked in the top 10 most expensive cities in the U.S.

What contributes to the high cost of living? Above-average rent and home prices, high sales tax, and the country’s highest tax rates on hard liquor, just to name a few factors.

Start Thinking Green

The nickname “Emerald City” is a nod to Seattle’s lush greenery, but the city is green in more ways than one. Seattle is extremely environmentally friendly, with mandatory recycling and composting within the city. Additionally, you won’t find any plastic bags, straws, or utensils at establishments in Seattle, as the city has banned all these single-use products. When you move to Seattle, you’ll also need to get in the habit of bringing reusable bags with you on a daily basis.

Coffee and Craft Beer is a Way of Life

Yes, Seattle is home to the coffee chain Starbucks, but there also tons of other options for your morning cup of joe. A few local favorites include Victrola Coffee Roasters and Elm Coffee Roasters, but don’t be afraid to try one of the many small coffee shops you’ll pass on your way to work—chances are you’ll be impressed.

Once you’ve wrapped up your workday, you can head to one of the city’s 50+ microbreweries to discover your new favorite local beer.

Discover History at Off-the-Path Attractions

Learning about Seattle’s history doesn’t have to mean hitting the library to comb through old books. There are plenty of fun ways to find out about the city’s origins and historic events. Take the Smith Tower, for instance—it was Seattle’s first skyscraper, built in 1914, and it boasts panoramic views of the city.

There’s also the Seattle Underground Tour, which takes you into the hidden tunnels beneath Pioneer Square. This maze of tunnels was once the hub of the city, but it was buried after the Great Seattle Fire in 1889. To cap off your day of local history, grab a meal at the Orient Express restaurant. This establishment is run out of the private presidential railroad car of Franklin D. Roosevelt, used during his 1944 reelection campaign.

Break Out Your Bike to Beat Traffic

As in any major city, you’ll run into headache-inducing delays during rush hour in Seattle, but there are a few ways to avoid traffic. The city has a fairly comprehensive bus network, and it’s been expanding its light rail system.

On nice summer days, you can grab your bike and cruise down the Burke-Gilman Trail, which stretches for nearly 20 miles around city. There are also protected bike lanes throughout Seattle, earning the city a reputation as a cyclist-friendly community.

Welcome Home

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when moving to Seattle, including everything from inclement weather and job opportunities to how to get around the city. Overall, this urban area has a rich culture that makes it an enjoyable place to live.

Camryn Rabideau

Find Your Internet - Camryn Rabideau

Camryn Rabideau is freelance writer specializing in fashion, beauty, home, smart technology and general lifestyle content. She holds a degree in fashion merchandising from the University of Rhode Island and jumps at any opportunity to combine her love for fashion and writing.

Camryn is a regular contributor to popular media sites such as Martha Stewart, Food52, InStyle, Taste of Home, USA Today,, The Spruce, Elite Daily and The Everygirl. She has also worked with several Fortune 500 companies to create engaging articles for their content marketing initiatives.

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