Why the Pacific North West?

By: Eric Badgely

"Why would you want to move to the Pacific North West?", I was once asked over the phone by my friend from back east. "Doesn't it rain there all the time?" I smiled as I squinted in the bright sunshine, attempting to answer this question.

Rainfall seems the last thing to think about in the scenic and diverse Pacific North West region. There is such a plethora of recreation that everyone is too busy planning the next weekend's activities to even check out the Internet weather. Still it got me thinking, why does everyone think we live in the rain?

Surprisingly, statistics tell us that we get even less rainfall here than in New York! In fact some areas of the Pacific North West are described as 'arid' or 'semi-arid'!

Residents, both young and old, of the Pacific North West enjoy spending lots of their time in the great outdoors. Shorts are the norm, even in winter, and barbecuing is always popular. We even have our own style of real estate, known as West Coast style, full of tall, angular windows and red cedar decks!

Perhaps one reason that the climate is secondary to us residents of the Pacific North West is because we feel we have the best of everything. Even in the winter, we can ski, snow board and frolic in the snow and then sail, or cruise, play in the sand, fish, hike and climb mountains - and all on the same day.

Hiking and camping are great favorites over here. With the giant firs framing views of the mountain peaks there is always a good panorama around the next corner! We have more than our share of mountains (sorry folks!) including Mount Rainier at over 14,000 feet high. As well as five mountain ranges we have four National Parks in the region. For history buffs, we can date ourselves back several centuries and there are still buildings to explore that are over a century old.

If we tire of the countryside, we are lucky to have two of the slickest cities in North America to amuse ourselves in. Seattle and Portland have everything a person could ever want, from sport to music to art. The events that are held in this area are too varied to mention, although the most famous one is the 24 day Seattle International Film Festival.

All sports are well represented in Pacific North West, with Seattle being the first American hockey team to win the coveted Stanley Cup (in 1917).

Enough people keep wanting to move here and that has kept the population growth up - and made the real estate a good investment. As we are largely coastal, this is a great retirement place and Seattle is expecting its share of baby boomers to flock West and push the prices up even more in the next few years. (Baby boomers will start to reach the retirement age of 65 in 2011, so its not too late for a bargain home!)

If you think that we are all outdoor buffs, I should tell you that Seattle is the most educated city in the USA! Nearly 50% of our residents aged over 25 have at least one degree. Seattle has been ranked by 'Expansion Magazine' to be among the top ten cities to have a climate favorable to business expansion.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention it; Seattle is the birthplace of grunge music.

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