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Denver to Seattle: Anyone made the jump?

by tom44 on June 20, 2014

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Question by Chronos: Denver to Seattle: Anyone made the jump?
Considering moving to Seattle next summer/ fall and was curious if anyone from an area like Denver, Colorado has made the move? I’m looking to expose any “Seattle/ Pac NW surprises” before I make the move.

I’m mid 30’s, work in IT, so finding a job won’t be the brunt of the battle. I’ve already investigated house prices, so I’ve had the sticker shock already. I’ve visited Seattle earlier this year for a week, and may visit again in early November…. so I’ve done the touristy things and want to focus on residences now.

Is the commute to Seattle really that bad from outlying areas like: Lynwood, Kirkland, Green Lake, etc. ? Do people commute into the city daily?

Buy a home outside the city and commute, or in the city and walk?

I’ve heard that it’s difficult to “break in” to a group of friends, and that Seattlites are a bit cool towards new people. Thoughts on that?

I’m just looking for someone to give me good answers to some of these questions. Be creative!

And Thanks!
Wow Chris, that was about as negative a review as I’ve ever read. One would wonder why you came back to Seattle, if in fact it was as bad as you purported. My guess is that right now, your mad at the world and taking it out on Seattle. Tell you what, you move out and I’ll move in. I know I’ll be happier there than you.

Best answer:

Answer by madamemeisha
The commute from outlying areas is notoriously bad. I’d recommend living in the city and walking, or taking the really excellent public transit system. I’ve never been in worse traffic anywhere than just outside of Seattle.

I haven’t moved from Denver, but I lived near Seattle nearly all my life. It’s a beautiful and vibrant city, and if you can handle grey skies, it’s almost perfect. The only reason I moved away was to go to school and to get some more sunshine. Other than that, I loved Seattle.

Seattllites can be a bit cool, but I don’t think that only happens in Seattle. There are a lot of music festivals and happenings around the city, which should make it easier to meet people.

Hope that helps some. I can’t wait to get back to Seattle!

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2 thoughts on “Denver to Seattle: Anyone made the jump?

  1. Chris C says:

    Altho Seattle has many good points and is close to a lot of other nice places,…..

    The traffic is unbearble.
    A commute of 20 miles in any direction can take up to 2 hours on any given day, with accidents, traffic jams and construction/closures.

    The Meth/Heroin problem here is horrendous.
    I live on Capitol Hill and walk 10 blocks to work.
    I stay off Broadway because last time I counted I was asked for money 23 times in 10 blocks.

    Needles in the street, junkies sleeping/shooting up in doorways all over the city.

    No smoking ordinance in Washington.
    You can’t smoke in ANY public place…bars etc.
    The streets are like ashtrays from the ZILLIONS of butts all over the place.

    Graffiti covers everything.
    The sidewalks smell of urine all along Broadway and Downtown.

    VERY aggressive pan handlers.

    A house you can get almost anywhere else in the country for $ 75,000 will cost $ 750,000 here… before you upgrade it.
    Look at and type in any zipcode beginning in 980, 981,982 or 983

    Was here less than 2 weeks when my new car was stolen.

    Groceries are REALLY expensive here.

    Gasoline averages $ 3.00-$ 3.99 depending on brand and neighborhood.

    Car insurance is thru the roof.

    Licence plate registration tabs are really expensive.
    You pay extra in King County (Seattle) to cover the cost of the Monorail that was voted in and voted out… Never will be built but we still have to pay for it.

    Politically, they are handwringers and whiners.
    Spend spend spend on studies, do nothing.

    I moved here originally in 1990, left and came back in 98.
    Am stuck here now with a low paying job and exhorbanent rent, can’t afford to move away or I would so gone your head would spin.

    Native Seattleites are not that cold… it is mostly the people who moved here 10 years ago and were treated badly back then. They pass it along.
    Natives have pretty much thrown up their hands in resignation that the place has been irrepairably over built, over hyped and is now overcrowded.

    I would think about Portland Oregon if you you are determined to move to the NW.
    Cheaper, smaller, cleaner and much friendlier.

  2. dances_with_unicorns1955 says:

    I moved from Colorado Springs (I worked in Denver) to Issaquah, Washington (just outside Seattle) about two years ago. There is a lot of IT work here, of course, and not just at Microsoft, although that’s why I came to the area. The traffic is no worse than the traffic through the Denver Tech Center (at least it MOVES, which is more than I can say for DTC ). It’s not nearly as cold here as in Denver; we get snow a couple of times a year, and that’s about it. It IS cloudy here a lot, which is a big contrast to the Front Range. It’s also MUCH greener here than in Colorado in general.

    People here do tend to be a little cooler than in Colorado; it will help to be involved with groups that share your interests. Water sports are a big deal here – not surprising, given that Seattle is surrounded on three sides by water. I would say that Seattle is far more cosmopolitan than Denver; there’s a much greater mix of people of all races and backgrounds than you’ll find in Colorado. There are quite a lot fewer people who are Hispanic here, and quite a lot more people who are Asian, as compared to Denver – also not surprising, with Seattle’s history. The Native American population here is much better represented than it is in Colorado. I think people of a wide variety of races just get along better here. I think that maybe the big variety of cultures is part of what makes it tougher to break in, in a way – not because anybody is “mean,” but just because there’s such a spectrum, and sometimes the “rules” aren’t obvious – I hope that makes some sense 🙂 Again, getting with a group of people that enjoys the same thing you enjoy helps a lot.

    I like being outside Seattle proper, but a lot of people wouldn’t live anywhere else – I think it all depends on whether you’re a city-dweller or not at heart. People do commute; there’s a REALLY good bus system here. If you haven’t already, be sure to take a ferry across Puget sound when you visit, even if you don’t actually NEED to 🙂

    If you happen to be into jazz, this is definitely a great place. There’s a LOT of emphasis here on the arts and education, too – places like the museums, the Seattle Aquarium, and similar spots are important here. There are lots of festivals, too – things with a small-town feel, and they get a lot of attention in the media. If you haven’t already discovered it when you visited, there’s a sort of “CNN” for the Pacific Northwest, called “NWCN,” (Northwest Cable Network). Dining is heavy on seafood, as you might imagine; if you don’t like salmon, DON’T say it out loud; it’s a BIG deal here! Politically, it’s definitely a liberal area, and it’s not at all unusual to see protests in downtown Seattle. The eastern part of the state is considerably more conservative, but the higher population in the area of the Sound offsets it, and most of the officeholders actually tend to be moderate.

    This is also a great place if you like to garden; if it doesn’t grow here, well, it just must be SICK 😉 Things like nature trails are very important here; the health of the Sound is a major topic in the area. The Hoh rain forest on the Olympic peninsula is amazing; and of course the beaches are wonderful. It’s a little cold to swim in the ocean most of the time, but there are lots of lakes. The Columbia River is a major focus of the state both for environmental purposes and because of its production of electrical power.

    I think that’s about all I need to put for one answer; hopefully I’ve touched on things that are important to YOU. You’re welcome to contact me at if you would like to know more. I really like it here 🙂

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