Is Moving to Washington Right for You? An Ultimate Moving Guide 2021

Is Moving to Washington Right for You? An Ultimate Moving Guide 2021

Table of Contents

At the Pacific Northwest of the United States, the State of Washington unfolds the wild and rugged scenery. Moving to Washington, you will realize that here, the natural world seems larger than life. Sleeping volcanoes, wild beaches, verdant rain forests, and never-ending lush green landscapes turn the state into paradises to escape into. Rounding out the northwest corner of the US, Washington is the 18th largest state in the country.

Is moving to Washington State right for you in 2021? Apart from being blanketed with scenic beauty, what is making the state so special? Let’s explore that.

Bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, Oregon to the south, Idaho to the east, and the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north, the State of Washington is a centre of business and industry and at the same time, a major portion is dedicated to agriculture.

Washington is home to some of the top brands in the world including Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, Digital Properties, Classmates, Starbucks, T-Mobile, and Nordstrom. At the same time, it’s also a great destination for camping, hiking, off-road tours, rock climbing, and several other exciting outdoor adventures. So if you feel like getting the best of both worlds, moving to Washington isn’t a bad idea.

Washington quick facts

  • Area: 71,362 square miles
  • Population: 7,614,893
  • Density: 103/square miles
  • Capital: Olympia
  • Largest city: Seattle
  • Major cities: Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, KentDemonym: Washingtonian

What should you need to know before moving to Washington?

Washington is the most beautiful state in the Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest often referred to as Cascadia, is possibly the prettiest region (or bioregion) of the United States. It is intoxicatingly pretty.

In Washington, you will see sleeping volcanoes like Mount Rainier rise above the horizon and lush landscapes of the Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula. There are The San Juan Islands and Puget Sound to escape to Pacific Northwest paradises. The city also has many trekking trails drenched in scenic beauty.

Nothing makes Washintonians happy than a beer

Washingtonians love their beer, and the hoppier it is, the happier they are. The beer market here is a $4 billion industry, providing for more than 40,000 jobs. The state has 284 brewers and beer wholesalers, making it one of the largest beer-brewing meccas in the country.

Don’t Be Surprised To See Kids Down At the Pub

You may find kids roaming inside pubs but that’s common in Washington and there’s nothing to be shocked about it. The people here are cool in attitude and believe in liberal values. Some places have a designated area where kids are not allowed, but beyond that, they have free reign.

Animals are welcome everywhere

Washingtonians are famous for their love for dogs. You’ll be surprised to see them everywhere – the grocery store, the hardware shop, and, yes, brewpubs. The people here take dogs everywhere and you’ll see them waiting in the car in summers or walking through the streets accompanying the masters. And then there are tons of dog parks and small bodies of water for our furry friends to take a dip.

The people here love nature

Moving to Washington, there’s no option other than to madly fall in love with nature. Here, you are surrounded by nature packed with thick forests, valleys, mountains, and lakes. Do you want majestic mountains for hiking, camping, and biking? Done. Do you want resplendent waters for fishing, boating, and kayaking? That will be taken care of. Wherever you stay in Washington, you are just a few steps away from nature.

In the warm season, folks here sleep under the stars

When the summer hits Washington, the folks here prefer moving to campsites. There are about 60 state parks in Washington and each will turn into a festival spot a day before a holiday. Washingtonians love spending time at campsites as it makes them feel close to nature.

You can legally get stoned in Washington

Marijuana is legally acceptable in Washington as the state legalized it in 2012. It is one of the biggest recreational commodities here and you don’t need to get flummoxed to see someone smoking a pot at the park or a street bench.

Cherries here cherish high and tastes sweeter

The cherries in Washington stand apart as much for their reddish-yellow color as they do for their sweet and succulent flavor. Named for Mount Rainier, these babies are considered a delicacy and you will pay a premium for them.

You can fish here like nowhere in the US

Washington waters are famous for a wide range of salmon fishing, including Sockeye, Chinook, and Coho, Pink, and Chum, among others. Check fishing guides for timing and availability — some years are more bountiful than others.

What are the pros and cons of moving to Washington?

Moving to Washington State has got its pros and cons. Let’s take a look at some of them. Let’s begin with the pros of moving there, followed by the demerits of moving to the 18th largest state of the US.

The Pros

It is amazingly beautiful to live in

Washington State is packed with coastal beaches, fishing locations, 100+ beautiful state parks, hiking trails, rain-forests covered with moss, adventurous mountains, and crystal-clear lakes. The state also has 3 national parks, recreation areas, and countless wilderness areas. Its sleeping volcanoes and marvelous gorges complemented with clean water bodies never fail to allure anyone. Living in Washington is the best way to feel a part of nature.

Washington has higher resident satisfaction

One of the best things about Washington is that the residents rate their state the best to live in or at least one of the best. A very few states in the US can claim this.

There are plenty of job opportunities here

Washington State is the home for some of the best companies in the world which include Microsoft, Costco, Starbucks, Boeing, and Amazon. This opens a wide range of job opportunities with a decent pay rate. Washington has a robust tech job market, probably the best in the US. The unemployment rate in this state is around 4.6% and the average income is around $66,174. That sounds pretty good.

The tax system here is relatively good

In Washington, the tax system is relaxed and residents aren’t required to pay a corporate or personal income tax. Instead, you need to pay for roads, law enforcement, schools, and other services as real estate and sales tax but that too is very low in comparison with other states.

The education system is excellent in Washington

Washington takes pride in its education system. Moving to Washington State, you will be surprised to see the diversity of the student population here. Students from several corners of the world like Asia, Spain, etc. move here for education. Washington has the 12th best education system in the US and it is the most reliable for foreign students aspiring to come to the US for education purposes.

The state has the highest minimum wage and the cheapest electricity

Though the cost of living is not that low here, Washington guarantees affordable living with the highest minimum wage per hour in the whole country – $9.47. The state also boasts the third-cheapest electricity in the USA due to the multiple hydroelectric dams.

Let’s now see some of the cons of moving to Washington.

The Cons

Climate is extreme in Washington

The state is divided into two climate zones. The western part has a moderate climate with an abundance of rainfall, while the central and eastern parts of the state are characterized by a dry climate with temperature extremes. Washington is also home to several active volcanoes and storms and hurricanes ferociously hit the state every year. There are also 150 rainy days and several days of dark clouds. If you have no soft corner for rain and is crazy about vitamin D, Washington is not your state to begin a new life.

Traffic is disastrous here

One of the drawbacks of moving to Washington is the traffic here. It’s so disastrous. Thousands of people migrate to Washington every year and almost everyone rides a car here. As a result, the roads are choked during the peak hours and you may get stuck up in traffic jams every day for hours. According to the latest studies, the traffic of Seattle ranks the 9th worst, where an average driver in a year, spends about 55 hours inside their car.

Washington is highly expensive

You dream to lead a comfortable life in Washington but unfortunately, it is extremely expensive here. Housing, grocery, and transportation costs high here. An average home in Washington State cost around $3, 69,900, while the average cost of the same home throughout the U.S. is $2,36,100.

There is a high crime rate in Washington State

Moving to Washington, you will be surprised to note that the state has an extremely high crime rate. As per the records, the crime rate here is higher than the national average. Also, some violent crimes like murder, rape, robbery, and assault are relatively higher than many other states.

Is Washington a tax-friendly state?

Washington is one of seven states in the US that do not levy a personal income tax. It does not collect a corporate income tax or franchise tax either. However, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to pay any tax. Businesses are levied different state taxes, including business and occupation tax (B & O), a gross receipts tax.

Washington has the highest sales taxes in the country, with a combined state and average local rate of 9.23%. The state’s property taxes rank among the top 25 in the country and the gas tax is second-highest overall.

Washington State levies an excise tax on certain products such as gasoline, cigarettes, and alcoholic beverages. Property tax accounts for about 30% of Washington’s total state and local revenue.

You need to believe that marijuana is a source of income for the state. Since its production and use is legalized, it is heavily taxed, facing an excise tax rate of 37% of the sales price.

Here’s places with the least tax burden in Washington

RankCountyIncome TaxSales TaxProperty TaxFuel TaxTax Burden Index
1Lincoln$8,465$1,397$1,273$20382.40
2Ferry$8$1,397$1,341$19082.00
3Pend Oreille$8$1,397$1,463$17681.34
4Garfield$8$1,397$1,417$23081.15
5Stevens$8$1,397$1,521$17780.91
6Klickitat$8$1,270$1,650$23380.35
7Okanogan$8$1,469$1,494$23880.00
8Adams$8$1,397$1,618$22479.73
9Wahkiakum$8$1,379$1,716$20479.29
10Lewis$8$1,415$1,689$24078.96

Is housing affordable in Washington?

What’s the current cost of buying a home in Washington State, in 2020? That depends upon where you live in Washington. The housing costs vary throughout the state and the most expensive is in Seattle, obviously because it is the economic center of the state. 

According to Zillow, the real estate company, the median home price for the state of Washington is $412,900, which is 4.3% higher than the last year. If buying a home is not in your plan, you can rent a home. A one-bedroom apartment may cost approximately $1,168 a month while a two-bedroom apartment is available for $1,464.

We compiled the most important data (from Zillow) about the state’s housing market to help you make an informed decision.

  • The median home value in Washington State is $428,896
  • The median list price per square foot in Washington State is $237
  • The median price of homes currently listed in Washington is $415,000
  • The median price of homes sold in Washington State is $408,400
  • The median rent price in Washington State is $1,995
  • Per 10,000, 0.8 homes are foreclosed in Washington, lower than the US average of 1.2
  • 4.3% of homeowners in Washington are underwater on their mortgage

Here’s a quick summary of the average costs of renting a home in Washington State:

  • Washington Studio Apartment is $1,011. The U.S. average is $821
  • Washington 1 Bedroom is $1,168. The U.S. average is $930
  • Washington 2 Bedroom is $1,464. The U.S. average is $1,148
  • Washington 3 Bedroom is $2,006. The U.S. average is $1,537
  • Washington 4 Bedroom is $ $2,374. The U.S. average is $1791

Here’s a list of 10 cheapest places to buy a house in Washington State

Sultan

  • Population: 5,040
  • Median Home Price: $257,100
  • Population Change: 1.8%
  • Home Price Change: 10.3%

Wapato

  • Population: 5,041
  • Median Home Price: $107,600
  • Population Change: -0.2%
  • Home Price Change: -2.0%

Blaine

  • Population: 5,172
  • Median Home Price: $301,700
  • Population Change: 1.9%
  • Home Price Change: -4.3%

Connell

  • Population: 5,482
  • Median Home Price: $117,200
  • Population Change: 0.6%
  • Home Price Change: -4.2%

Ocean Shores

  • Population: 5,814
  • Median Home Price: $219,800
  • Population Change: 1.8%
  • Home Price Change: 10.7%

Woodland

  • Population: 5,912
  • Median Home Price: $223,500
  • Population Change: 2.5%
  • Home Price Change: 5.1%

Prosser

  • Population: 6,076
  • Median Home Price: $168,600
  • Population Change: 1.8%
  • Home Price Change: 6.0%

Union Gap

  • Population: 6,142
  • Median Home Price: $105,200
  • Population Change: -0.2%
  • Home Price Change: 7.7%

Steilacoom

  • Population: 6,270
  • Median Home Price: $338,100
  • Population Change: 1.1%
  • Home Price Change: 3.4%

Normandy Park

  • Population: 6,678
  • Median Home Price: $584,000
  • Population Change: 0.7%
  • Home Price Change: 16.1%

Is Washington expensive to live in?

Let’s make no bones about it. Washington is an expensive state to settle in. The cost of living in Washington State is 118.7%. This means the cost of living in the state is 18.7% higher than the U.S. average. 

Seattle, the major city in the state requires you to cough up $2,100 for a two-bedroom apartment. If that keeps you wondering, remember that it is 80% higher than the national average. The other cities are cheaper than Seattle but you need to spend more than any other city in the US unless you are in New York City, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. However, you are fortunate that moving to Washington State will open a plethora of job opportunities for you. The economy is thriving here and the minimum salary is much better than the rest of the US. But do remember that the expenses – groceries, gas, and transport – everything is expensive here.

Let’s see the top 10 cheapest places to live in Washington State

Connell

  • Population: 5,482
  • Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
  • Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (2nd most affordable)
  • Income To Rent Ratio: 79.7x (7th cheapest)

Quincy

  • Population: 7,531
  • Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
  • Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (3rd most affordable)
  • Income To Rent Ratio: 82.5x (2nd cheapest)

Ephrata

  • Population: 8,050
  • Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
  • Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (7th most affordable)
  • Income To Rent Ratio: 79.9x (6th cheapest)

Toppenish

  • Population: 8,906
  • Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
  • Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (6th most affordable)
  • Income To Rent Ratio: 62.4x (34th cheapest)

West Richland

  • Population: 14,187
  • Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
  • Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (4th most affordable)
  • Income To Rent Ratio: 81.3x (5th cheapest)

Pasco

  • Population: 71,858
  • Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
  • Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.0x (12th most affordable)
  • Income To Rent Ratio: 68.9x (20th cheapest)

Wapato

  • Population: 5,041
  • Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 10)
  • Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (8th most affordable)
  • Income To Rent Ratio: 59.1x (49th cheapest)

Grandview

  • Population: 11,124
  • Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 7)
  • Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.9x (10th most affordable)
  • Income To Rent Ratio: 61.1x (41st cheapest)

Hoquiam

  • Population: 8,454
  • Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
  • Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (1st most affordable)
  • Income To Rent Ratio: 57.7x (59th cheapest)

Othello

  • Population: 7,980
  • Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
  • Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.1x (14th most affordable)
  • Income To Rent Ratio: 63.0x (32nd cheapest)

How is the weather in Washington?

The weather pattern across the state of Washington is diverse. While the climate is moist and mild on the west side of the Cascade Mountain Range, it’s drier, with hot summers and cold, snowy winters on the east side. 

At the west of the Cascade, the temperature rarely rises above 79°F, and in winter, seldom below 45°F. Snow is rare here, but winter temperatures can easily drop down to the 20s and 30s. While at the east, summers are warm and winters are cool. Western slopes of the Cascades receive up to 200 inches of snowfall. Here, the cities like Wenatchee, Ellensburg, and the Tri-Cities enjoy up to 300 days of sunshine a year. Annual rainfall is far less than in Western Washington.

The climate at the center part of the state is a blend of coastal and continental weather and rainfall is approximately 7 to 9 inches (18 to 23 cm) annually. In Spokane, which is at the eastern edge of the state, rainfall averages 15 to 30 inches (38 to 76 cm) a year. Summers here are much hotter and the winters are much colder compared to the western half of the state. During the summer, the average will go up to upper 80s to mid-90s while during the winter; the average temperature will come down to just above 0° F. 
The state is prone to avalanches, wildfire, and drought, and periodically earth quakes happen here. The city also has many sleeping volcanoes. One of the biggest natural concerns in Washington is the recent discovery of high content of high contents of phosphorus in water which has resulted in a boom in the algae population. Experts warn that an invasive amount of algae in bodies of water would lead to a variety of excess ecological and technological issues.

How is the economy in Washington State?

The economy of Washington State is robust with an approximate average annual growth of 5.7%, which is almost two and a half times the national average. Washington State is the 10th strongest economy in the country. The minimum wage here is $13.50 an hour, the second-highest of any state or district in the country behind Washington D.C at $14.00 an hour. This makes the state one of the best places to move in search of a better life.

There are several large industries in Washington State including aerospace, information technology, and trade.

Here’s a list of the leading industries in the state:

  • Food and Agriculture
  • Aerospace and construction
  • Information and communication technology
  • Forestry
  • Trade
  • Forest products
  • Life science/global health
  • Military and defense
  • Maritime
  • Clean technology
  • Agriculture and food manufacturing

Here’s a simple analysis of Washington’s job market:

  • The unemployment rate of Washington State is 4.5%. US average is 3.9
  • Washington has witnessed a job market boost of 1.8 in the last year
  • Washington’s future job growth is projected to hit 39.1% in the next 10 years.
  • The US future job projection is expected to 33.5% in the next 10 years.

Here’s a list of some of the big companies operating in Washington State

Sr. No.EmployerCityNumber of Employees
1Boeing Co Everett FactoryEverett39,000
2Microsoft Corp. Redmond20,000
3Boeing Co Renton FactoryRenton16,774
4Swedish Issaquah CampusIssaquah15,000
5NAVAL Air Station Whidbey IsNas Whidbey9,078
6UW Medical CtrSeattle5,091
7Boeing Co Auburn FactoryAuburn5,000
8Emergency Dept Virginia MasonSeattle5,000
9Providence Sacred HeartSpokane5,000
10Schweitzer Engineering LabsPullman5,000

How much are you likely to earn when you get a job in Washington?

Using data from ZipRecruiter, Credit Bureau, and Data.io, here’s how much money you’re likely to earn when you move to Washington:

  • The median household income in Washington is $70,116
  • Average salaries in Washington range from $22,118 to $146,733
  • The Per capita income of Washingtonians is $36,888
  • 10.3% of Washington residents are living in poverty
  • Average jobs category range between $53,406 to $79,839

How to search for a job in Washington State?

Since the economy of Washington State is booming and there are a lot of companies having offices in the state, there’s no shortage of jobs here. Here’re a few job-related portals, browsing which you can find jobs in the state.

How is the traffic in Washington State?

One of the biggest drawbacks of Washington State is the traffic there. Due to the heavy growth in jobs and booming economy, the state has seen a huge influx of people and everyone moving to Washington has brought cars with them. This makes the roads choked up during peak hours, especially those leading and connecting to big cities like Seattle and Bellevue. Washington drivers spend 102 hours each year in traffic delays, the third-highest amount in the nation, states a report by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

According to the 2019 Urban Mobility Report by Texas A&M University’s Transportation Institute, Seattle is seventh in the list of worst traffic-congested cities in the US, behind Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York City, San Jose, and Boston. A few studies state that annually Washington is incurring a loss of $3.1 billion due to congestion.

The heavy traffic has also contributed to the steep rise in traffic-related offenses here, especially hit and run and reckless driving. The Washington traffic law ensures the suspension of a driving license as the initial step against these offenses and driving while his or her license is suspended can lead to jail time, fines, and an extended period of suspension or revocation of the license.

How is the transport system in Washington State?

Washington‘s transport system is robust and is a blend of all three – water, land, and air.

Road transport:

Highways 2, 20, and 12 and Interstate 90 connect Western and Eastern Washington, traveling through several mountain passes in the Cascades. Smaller highways connect communities along the Pacific Coast and in Central Washington to major freeways. 
The state has seven designated Interstate Highways, totalling 764 miles, owned and maintained by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). These highways connect every city in the state with a population of over 100,000 (Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, and Everett) as well as the state capital, Olympia.

Here’s the list of interstate highways crossing through Washington

Railroad transport

Washington State is connected with 3,000 miles of railroad lines, providing mobility for both freight and passengers throughout the state. Two Class I railroads, the BNSF Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad, as well as 23 short-line railroads, operate in Washington connecting the state to major markets throughout North, Central, and South America and Canada.

Here’s a list of 10 common rail carriers in Washington

Air transport

The state has 140 public airfields including 16 state airports owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) is the major commercial airport of greater Seattle. Boeing Field in Seattle is one of the busiest primary non-hub airports in the U.S.

Here’s the list of 20 major airlines flying to airports in Washington State

  • Aer Lingus
  • Aeromexico
  • Air France
  • All Nippon
  • ANA
  • Asiana
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • Condor
  • Emirates
  • Eurowings
  • EVA Air
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • Korean Air
  • Lufthansa
  • Norwegian
  • Singapore
  • Virgin Atlantic 
  • Xiamen

Water transport

Washington has an extensive ferry system, which is the largest in the nation and it connects almost all the largest cities in the state including Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, and Olympia. There’s a fleet of twenty-eight ferries that navigate Puget Sound and its inland waterways to 20 different ports of call, completing close to 147,000 sailings each year. The major seaports in the Pacific Ocean in Washington State include SeattleTacomaKalamaAnacortesVancouverLongview, Grays Harbor, Olympia, and Port Angeles.

What are the major things to do in Washington?

The epic Cascade Mountain range, cold weather rainforest, sleeping volcanoes, and hundreds of state reserve forests – Washington is a paradise of outdoor activities. For adventure enthusiasts, Washington State is a gem in the Pacific Northwest to explore. There are a lot of hidden treasures to add to the bucket list if you are moving to settle in Washington.

Let’s see 10 must-visit places in Washington

Olympic National Park

From ocean beaches to glaciered mountaintops, Olympic National Park overflows with unmatchable scenery. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve, it is spread over most of the Olympic Peninsula and has four regions – the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west-side temperate rainforest, and the forests of the drier east side. 

A scenic drive on the US 101will leads you to the park’s mountainous heart, where the iconic coastal areas like Ruby and Rialto Beach define the rugged western edge of the park. 

The attractions in the park include:

  • Hoh Rain Forest
  • Hurricane Ridge 
  • Sol Duc Hot Springs

There are also many hiking trails at Olympic National Park including a Hall of Mosses and the family-friendly Marymere Falls.

Seattle Center

A 74-acre arts, educational, tourism and entertainment center in Seattle, it was originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair. The 184-meter tall Space Needle, once the tallest building at the west of the Mississippi River is the landmark of the center. You need to visit the colorful glass artworks at Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Frank O. Gehry-designed Museum of Pop Culture.

Other fun things to do at the Seattle Center include a plethora of art installations, various theater and stage accommodations, and multiple garden and fountain settings.

San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands at the North of Puget Sound is one of the best known of Washington’s many islands and can be easily accessed by ferry. All four islands here have a mix of galleries, seafood restaurants, and parks, including San Juan Island National Historic Park where British and American troops became embroiled in the Pig War border dispute.

The popular destinations within the San Juan Islands include:

  • Friday Harbor
  • Eastsound
  • Moran State Park

Mount Rainier National park

The 14,410-feet Mount Rainier is the tallest peak in the state lies at the center of its namesake national park and is visible from miles away in every direction. The park is open year-round, allowing visitors to reach high elevations for hiking in summer and snowshoeing in winter.

Lying near to the park is Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville and the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad in the little town of Elbe.

Seattle Downtown

A densely packed city, Seattle has a relaxed downtown where piers and parks rim the shoreline. Historic buildings and venerable institutions including Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, and Benaroya Hall will add a majestic touch to the city.

Leavenworth

The town is a replica of a Bavarian village and it’s common to see residents wearing lederhosen or blowing a morning serenade on an alphorn. There are several annual festivals, including a holiday lights celebration in December.
Moving to Washington, you can come to Leavenworth to take a trip to the Icicle Gorge and Alpine Lakes Wilderness nearby. The Wenatchee Valley at the east is famous for its apples and hosts the annual Washington State Apple Blossom Festival.

North Cascades National Park

One of the most unspoiled tracts of country, North Cascades National Park shares a border with British Columbia, Canada. A popular destination for Anglers, walkers, and nature lovers, you can reach the park driving through North Cascades Scenic Byway catching up the scenic beauty of the Washington Pass Overlook, the aquamarine waters of Ross Lake, and the western-inspired town of Winthrop in the Methow Valley.

Lake Chelan National Recreation Area borders the southern edge of the national park and is home to one of the deepest lakes in the country and provides a stunning backdrop for the mountain town of Stehekin.

Puget Sound

At the western border of Washington, Puget Sound, a watery region filled with inlets and islands, separates the Olympic Peninsula and Seattle. You can sea kayaking, whale watching, and visiting the vibrant communities that define the islands. There’s an extensive ferry system to access the different destinations in Puget Sound, allowing for easy day trips and island hopping.

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

In 1980, the eruption of Mount St. Helens reduced the peak by 1,300 feet and leveled much of the surrounding area. The eruption devastated about 150 square miles of forest and a cloud of ash rose 13 miles into the air. The landscape of Mount St. Helens today is still rebounding from the massive event, and moving to Washington, you can learn more about the geological processes still underway at the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. It is also one of the best destinations to explore hiking and trailing in the state.

Deception Pass State Park

An iconic landmark of the region, the Deception Pass Bridge is a civic achievement dating back to the Civilian Conservation Corps. Spanning Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands in Puget Sound, it is one of the best parks in the State of Washington and is the best location for tide pooling, hiking, and boating. If you have a passion for adrenaline-pumping activities, you need to visit the park after moving to Washington State.

Are there state parks and museums to visit in Washington State?

Washington is drenched in scenic beauty and also has a rich historic past that is still preserved. There are more than 100 state parks in Washington, which proves how fabulous nature here is.

Here’s a list of 10 state parks in Washington

The museums in Washington State display not just the vibrant historic past but even objects of cultural, artistic, scientific, or historical interest.

Here’s a list of 10 top museums in Washington State

NameTown/cityCountyArea of study
Aberdeen Museum of HistoryAberdeenGrays HarborLocal history
Admiralty Head LighthouseCoupevilleIslandMaritime
Alaska Packers Association Cannery MuseumBlaineWhatcomMaritime
Alder Creek Pioneer Carousel MuseumBicletonKlickitatAmusement
Alpowai Interpretive CenterClarkstonEsotinHistory
America’s Car MuseumTacomaPierceAutomobiles
Breazeale Interpretive CenterAnacortesSkagitNatural history
Cascadia Art Museum EdmondsSnohomishArt
Chehalis–Centralia RailroadChehalisLewisRailroad
Colville Tribal MuseumCoulee DamDouglasEthnic native American

How is the education system in the State of Washington?

The education in Washington is one of the best in the country and there are hundreds of schools and colleges in the state imparting high-quality learning.

Here’s the list of best schools in Washington State

Best Elementary Schools in Washington

  • Bennett Elementary School, Bellevue School District, Public, PK-5 | 435 students
  • Somerset Elementary School, Bellevue School District, Public, K-5 | 721 students
  • Coe Elementary School,  Seattle Public Schools, Public, K-5 | 560 students
  • Timber Ridge Elementary School, Snoqualmie Valley School District, Public, K-5 | 656 students
  • Capt Johnston Blakely Elementary School, Bainbridge Island School District, Public, K-4 | 367 students

Best Public Middle Schools

  • Davenport Senior High School, Davenport School District, Public, 6-12 | 330 students
  • Pine Lake Middle School, Issaquah School District, Public, 6-8 | 939 students
  • Inglewood Junior High School, Lake Washington School District, Public, 6-8 | 1207 students
  • International Community School, Lake Washington School District, Public, 6-12 | 438 students
  • Jefferson Middle School, Olympia School District, Public, 5-8 | 432 students

Best Public High Schools

  • Anacortes High School, Anacortes School District, Public, 9-12 | 795 students
  • Newport Senior High School, Bellevue School District, Public, 9-12 | 1834 students
  • Skyline High School, Issaquah School District, Public, 9-12 | 2194 students
  • Eastlake High School, Lake Washington School District, Public, 9-12 | 1871 students
  • Kamiak High School, Mukilteo School District, Public, 9-12 | 2082 students

Universities and colleges

  • Georgetown University
  • University of Maryland
  • George Washington University
  • American University
  • George Mason University
  • Howard University
  • Catholic University of America

What are the cuisine specialties in Washington State?

The Northwest is a food lover’s paradise. Before moving to Washington State, you need to know that the state is home to some of the best cuisines in the US. If you’re looking for some real Washingtonian eats, here are 7 local foods that’ll leave your mouth watering for days:

  • Cedar planked salmon
  • Fish & Chips
  • Almond Roca
  • Dungeness Crab
  • Oysters on the Half Shell
  • Teriyaki
  • Craft beer

How can you become a resident of Washington State?

It’s easy to become a Washington State resident. You need to simply take some action that proves you intend to live in the state on more than a temporary or transient basis.

The following are a few examples of actions you can take to become a resident of Washington:

  • Obtain a Washington State driver license
  • Register to vote
  • Buy property and/or maintain a residence for personal use

How to gain voting right in Washington State?

Moving to Washington State, you might aspire to vote in an election. For this, you need to register as a voter of the state.

To register in Washington you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be a legal resident of Washington State, your county, and your precinct for 30 days immediately preceding the election in which you want to vote
  • be at least 18 years old by election day (16- and 17-year-olds can sign up as Future Voters and be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18)
  • not be disqualified from voting due to a court order
  • not be under Department of Corrections supervision for a Washington felony conviction

How can you obtain a driving license in the State of Washington?

By law, after moving to Washington State, you have 30 days to get your WA driver’s license. You will also need your driver’s license before you can register any vehicles in WA.

The state has different offices for driver licensing and vehicle licensing. You won’t be able to get your license and register your vehicle at the same place.

Before you apply for a driving license:

  • Establish residency in WA
  • Decide if you want a standard driver license or an enhanced driver license (EDL)
  • Pre-apply online
  • Make an appointment to visit a driver licensing office
  • Get WA plates for your vehicle, if applicable

What are the best places to live in Washington State?

Before moving to Washington, you’ll need to decide where you are planning to reside in the state. 

To help you, we’ve filtered out a list of the 10 best places to live in Washington.

CityPopulationRank Last YearMedian Home ValueUnemployment Rate
Mercer Island 25,492 1 (No Change) $1,135,200 (1st best) 3.6% (17th best)
Sammamish 64,049 2 (No Change) $749,000 (2nd best) 3.1% (8th best)
Brier 6,819 7 (Up 4) $454,700 (20th best) 3.1% (7th best)
Snoqualmie 13,317 4 (No Change) $582,000 (10th best) 3.3% (10th best)
Redmond 63,197 9 (Up 4) $631,700 (6th best) 3.9% (22nd best)
Duvall 7,811 3 (Down 3) $452,200 (21st best) 4.7% (46th best)
Mill Creek 20,164 17 (Up 10) $486,600 (17th best) 3.2% (9th best)
Kirkland 88,079 6 (Down 2) $607,800 (7th best) 3.6% (19th best)
Lake Forest Park 13,378 10 (Up 1) $559,000 (13th best) 4.3% (34th best)
Bellevue 142,242 15 (Up 5) $737,000 (3rd best) 4.0% (25th best)

How to plan your move to Washington 2 months before the moving day?

You have two months to move and you want to plan that duration impeccably. Here’s a list for you to follow and effectively plan the move.

  • Week 8: Get estimates from movers
  • Week 7: Select a mover and review the details of the move
  • Week 6: Collect boxes
  • Week 5: Begin packing little-used items
  • Week 4: Go through your stuff and identify unwanted items
  • Week 4: Have a yard sale
  • Week 3: Donate items to charity
  • Week 3: Notify correspondents of your move
  • Week 2: Plan menus to use up food in the cupboards
  • Week 1: Arrange air travel for family, if necessary

What are the main moving companies in Washington State?

Washington is one of the most prosperous states in the US and the state witnesses a huge influx of population here from different parts of the country.

To help you move to Washington, we’ve filtered down 10 affordable long distance moving companies for both residential and office purposes in the State of Washington.

  • U-Pack Moving
  • All Service Moving
  • Established Moving and Storage
  • Morgan Transfer
  • Kangaroo Movers
  • Bellhop Moving
  • Cross Country Movers
  • John Volken Academy Movers
  • New Horizons Moving Company
  • Washington Movers

Here’s a list of 10 affordable local and interstate moving companies in Washington

  • SeaPort Moving & Storage
  • Bekins Northwest
  • Frontier Relocation
  • Coast Movers
  • Fantastic Movers
  • Express Movers, Inc
  • T & S Transportation and Installation Inc
  • Miracle Man Movers
  • Help-U-Move, Inc.
  • Boush Moving and Storage

Here’s a list of 9 international moving companies in Washington State

  • Sunset International Shipping
  • All Service Moving
  • Established Moving & Storage
  • Bellhop Moving
  • Morgan Transfer
  • Kangaroo Movers
  • I Heart Movers
  • Seattle Small Moves
  • Mountain Moving and Storage

Here’s a list of 10 small load moving companies in Washington State

  • Neo Moving
  • Pure Movers
  • Sunset International Shipping
  • Marsik Movers
  • Adam’s Moving & Delivery Service
  • InMove
  • Seattle Select Moving
  • B & Z Moving
  • U-Pack Moving
  • Eco Movers Moving

Are there specialty moving companies in Washington State?

If you are moving to Washington State and have special items at home such as piano, art pieces, or paintings, packing them, loading the truck, and transiting them at your new home is not a challenge. There are many specialty moving companies in Washington for you to hire.

We’ve filtered a few names among them to help you choose from.

  • Bekins Northwest
  • Puget Sound
  • Big Al’s Specialty Mover Inc.
  • World Wide Movers, Inc. 
  • NW Specialty Moving
  • Specialty Moving, Inc.
  • Relo Solutions Group

Is there any storage service company in Washington State?

Moving to Washington, you may require hiring a storage unit to store your household belongings for initial months. You need not worry as we have listed out 10 storage service companies for you.

Simply Self Storage, Seattle

  • Moss Bay Self Storage, Kirkland
  • CubeSmart Self Storage, Woodinville
  • Public Storage, Seattle
  • CubeSmart Self Storage, Seattle
  • Belltown Self Storage, Seattle
  • StorQuest, Redmond
  • Tukwila Self Storage, Tukwila
  • Fremont Heated Storage, Seattle
  • Armadillo Self Storage, Edmonds