Washington July 15, 2017
11 Things Longtime Washingtonians Wish They Could Tell Newcomers
You’re not imagining it – people are moving to Washington at a high rate. Between our thriving Seattle economy, the affordable cost of living on the east side and the fact that our state is just plain awesome, we see tons of newcomers each year. And there are definitely a few things we want newcomers to know.
1. There's truly something for everyone here.
Washington does lack white sandy palm tree-lined beaches, but you'll find just about every other scenery you can possibly imagine. From the beautiful Cascade Mountains to the Eastern Washington farmland to our city skylines and otherworldly Olympic National Park, we're one of the most diverse states in the nation.
2. We really hope you'll skip the Starbucks in favor of our local coffee shops.
While it's true that Starbucks originated here and plenty of Washingtonians drink it, we've got so many small coffee shops that will make you a much better brew.
3. We're really proud of our beer and wine industries, and we hope you will be too.
Washington has the perfect conditions for growing grapes and hops. As a result, we've got some amazing beer and wine that wins international awards. If you drink, please drink local.
4. You'll hear tons of stereotypes about Washingtonians. Ignore every last one of them.
Despite what others may tell you, you WILL find conservatives in Seattle, liberals in Eastern Washington, farmers who hate country music and Amazon execs who love it. Get to know us... we will always surprise you.
5. Take the time to learn about our local history.
Washington played a pivotal role in the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Our local history is fascinating and worth learning.
6. Please shop local.
We have some of the best produce in the entire nation. Try apples from Wenatchee or the Yakima Valley and Walla Walla sweet onions - you'll never want to shop anywhere but Farmers Markets again.
7. Please avoid telling us how much better your home state is.
We know Washington is far from perfect. And once you've been here awhile, you've certainly earned the right to complain about the daily annoyances. But we're also proud of our beautiful state and we don't appreciate newcomers telling us how awful it is.
8. Our tourist attractions are actually awesome and worth checking out.
The view from the top of the Space Needle is incredible, especially if you're new to Washington.
9. Take as many ferries as you possibly can, especially if you're from a landlocked state.
Your first ferry ride, like this one from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, is amazing... and they never cease to be beautiful.
10. The sooner you learn how to pronounce Puyallup, Spokane, Yakima, Steilacoom and Sequim (among others), the better off you'll be.
It just makes life here easier. Ask a local - we're happy to tell you.
11. We really do hope you'll be happy here.
You'll hear about the "Seattle freeze" and how people in small towns hate newcomers. None of this is true. As long as you're respectful and willing to work hard and contribute to our beautiful community, you'll always be welcome here.
The most important thing any newcomer to Washington should know…. we really do think
Washington is the best state.