11 Trends to Embrace When Moving to the Pacific Northwest

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Seattle skyline with mountains

Different regions of the U.S. have rather distinct traits, with residents often sharing certain passions and preferences. If you’ve found an apartment in Seattle or are touring Eugene apartments, here are 11 trends you should prepare to embrace.

Say Goodbye to Harsh Winters

One of the biggest draws for living in the Pacific Northwest is that “winter” here doesn’t get much below 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit in some places, such as Seattle. This can be a welcome change for someone from the Northeast, where winter weather is harsh and temperatures hover around 0 degrees Fahrenheit – or even lower! – for several months out of the year.

Cold Brew Coffee

Once popular only during warmer weather, cold brew coffee has quickly become a mainstay at coffee shops in the region year-round. It’s not hard to see why, with its mellow flavor and trendy status. It’s no surprise that Pacific Northwesterners love their cold brew – Seattle is the birthplace of Starbucks, after all. While there are ample cafés where you can pick up a delicious cuppa cold brew, you could also get your own cold-brew coffee maker to avoid frequent runs to the café and save some cash – oh, and you’ll impress your discerning, cold-brew-loving friends, too.

Food Trucks

The food scene in the Pacific Northwest is second to none, featuring plenty of fresh local ingredients from seafood to fruits and vegetables. One popular trend that’s taken deep roots in the region is food trucks. These trucks aren’t just dishing up hotdogs and fries though – they’re serving up everything from tacos to gourmet coffee, various ethnic dishes, and more, all at affordable prices. Portland’s food carts are probably the most iconic in the region, but several other cities have embraced this trend. So if you’re planning a move to the Pacific Northwest, grabbing lunch on the go is sure to become your new normal.

Fresh salmon steaks

Fresh Seafood

With access to the Pacific Ocean, there’s plenty of delicious Dungeness crab, Chinook salmon, and Geoduck clams to go around. A fresh catch each day means you’re getting the best of the best when it comes to quality seafood in this region.

Arts and Culture

Major cities in the Pacific Northwest such as Portland and Seattle are well-known for their arts and culture scenes, with no shortage of museums, symphonies, and other arts and culture events to take in. There are also plenty of festivals in the region to check out, including the popular Seafair festival in Puget Sound, Oregon’s Gresham Arts Festival, and the Idaho Winter Carnival in McCall. In other words, arts-lovers in the Pacific Northwest are never short on fun things to do.

Juice Bars

Pacific Northwesterners on the whole believe in taking care of themselves and consuming healthy food, which is why you’ll find plenty of fresh juice bars in the region. Fresh pressed, cold pressed, organic, or raw – no matter how you like it, Pacific Northwest juice bars promise to deliver. And, with plenty of local farms to source produce from, there’s no shortage of healthy, local ingredients.

Active Commuting

This area of the United States boasts well-developed cycling infrastructure and walking trails, making active commuting a popular trend. Whether you enjoy biking, running, or even kayaking, you’ll have no problem fitting in your sweat session on the way to and from the office in any of the major cities and towns in this region. In your downtime, enjoy participating in various outdoor sports and activities, and don’t forget that the northern portion of the Pacific Crest Trail runs through both Washington and Oregon if you’re looking to up the ante on your outdoor adventures.

Comfortable Wardrobe

People in the Pacific Northwest tend to not take themselves too seriously, including when it comes to their fashion choices. This laidback vibe doesn’t mean they slack off on their style though – on the contrary, the people here have creative, individual senses of style. Cozy plaid is a popular look, along with puffer vests, rain boots, denim, and slouchy beanies. Beards, piercings, and tattoos are all popular accessories, making this region an ideal place for those who like to express themselves through their appearance.

The Pacific Northwest is home to Mount Hood

Spending Time in Nature

This region of the United States boasts unsurpassed areas of natural environment, thanks to its combination of saltwater coastline, islands, rivers, and freshwater lakes, as well as mountains and old-growth forests. There are ample city, state, and national parks and wilderness areas to explore, with plenty of bears, wolves, seals, and whales for the watching. Some popular spots include Oswald West State Park in Oregon, Nez Perce National Historical Park in Idaho, and Olympic National Park in Washington.

Sunbreaks

While the Pacific Northwest might get a bad rap for the grey and gloomy weather, locals embrace the popular trend of the “sunbreak.” This is the sense of euphoria experienced when the sun finally breaks through the frequent cloud cover. It’s a phrase that’s believed to have originated in this area, and finds locals coming together and running out to enjoy these glorious periods of fair weather.

Home Brewed Beer

Pilsner, stout, IPA – if you live in the Pacific Northwest, there’s a good chance you enjoy a regular bottle of homebrew. Making one’s own beer has been a popular pastime of the region since the mid-1900s. There are also plenty of high quality craft breweries in the area if you’d rather not go through all the work of brewing your own.

Living in the Pacific Northwest is a unique experience, and it’s no surprise that those who live in cities like Portland and Seattle feel a strong connection to the city they call home. Whether you’re an outdoors enthusiast, a busy professional, or a laid-back hipster, the Pacific Northwest lifestyle has much to offer.