It’s bragging time, Seattle. U.S. News just published its 2022-2023 list of the 150 best places to live in the United States. Unsurprisingly, Seattle ranked high on the list. Seattle was placed well within the top 50 places to live, sitting high up at number 36.
Seattle was given an overall rating of 6.4 out of 10. The rankings were divided into five categories: desirability, value, job market, quality of life, and net migration. Seattle scored lowest for value in its overall ranking and highest for job market and desirability, respectively. For many Seattleites, the thriving job market balances out the high cost of housing.
As for the other downsides of life in Seattle, one might consider them a simple matter of personal preference. Seattle has a reputation as a gray, rainy city but it might surprise you to learn that the annual rain accumulation here is less than in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Miami (just to name a few). It does tend to get wet and cloudy starting in November and lasting well into spring, but many Seattleites will swear it’s worth it for our perfect summers.
There is also the myth of the Seattle freeze. Rumor has it that it’s hard to meet people and make friends in Seattle due to the residents’ chilly dispositions. While it’s true that Seattleites may not be the warmest or most chatty bunch, it’s not hard to strike up a conversation at a coffee shop or a brewery. And if you’re an introvert, good news: you’ll fit in here just fine.
Here’s some of the highlights that make Seattle a great place to live.
1. The natural beauty
Seattleites enjoy a surplus of natural beauty year-round, both inside and outside the city limits. Residents can enjoy autumnal leaves, spring cherry blossoms, and plenty of trails at the many scenic city parks, gardens, and arboretums. Views of stunning mountain ranges and the sparkling Puget Sound are easy to come by. Hikers and campers can take their pick of the hundreds of trails in the state and national parks that are a short drive from Seattle.
2. Incredible restaurants and fresh seafood
Seattleites are spoiled for fresh seafood and a huge variety of cuisine options. Whether you’re in the mood for poke, sushi, BBQ, pho, Thai food, fresh oysters, street food, or a high-end dining experience, Seattle has it in every neighborhood.
3. The coffee… enough said
What can we say about the Seattle coffee scene that hasn’t already been said? We suggest skipping the line for the original Starbucks and instead checking out the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Capitol Hill. And, of course, every neighborhood boasts plenty of indie coffee shops with unique offerings.
4. Epic outdoor activities
If you’re outdoorsy, you’ll love Seattle. You can spend summer weekends boating and floating on Lake Union, Lake Washington, and Green Lake. If the many city parks aren’t enough of the outdoors for you, you can easily drive (or take a bus) to incredible locations such as the Olympic National Park and Rainier National Park.
5. The music scene
Seattle earned its grunge reputation back in the ’90s with Nirvana and Pearl Jam. To this day, the music scene in Seattle is thriving. There are tons of bars, clubs, and live music venues where you can catch a show any day of the week. There’s also several music festivals in and around Seattle every year. Possibly the most popular of these is the Capitol Hill Block Party, which returns this July.
6. Seattle sports teams
If you’re into sports, there’s plenty of teams to cheer on in Seattle. Catch a Sounders game, root for the Seahawks, and take your furry friend to see the Mariners and run laps around the bases.
7. The beautiful summers
Ahh, Seattle summers. There’s nothing like it. After several months of gray, rainy weather, everyone flocks outdoors to enjoy the sun. There’s rarely any humidity or extreme heat (which is why most of Seattle still doesn’t have air conditioning). Just long stretches of sunny, 70-degree days without a drop of rain. Be very careful about visiting Seattle in July because you just might end up moving here.