City Guide: Seattle

Choosing to take the giant leap across the pond and re-locate your life to the US is only the first decision an America-bound expat needs to make. This huge country offers such a range of dramatically different landscapes and climates, as well as a frankly mind-boggling array of cities, that cater to a variety of tastes – it can be hard to know where to consider setting down roots.
The sunny west coast has been a long-time favourite for British expats due to the tempting weather, but as anyone planning to move their life and family abroad well knows, there are a number of other factors that come into play. Crime rates, public transport, employment opportunities and education options are all key elements to overall quality of life and these were just some of the factors took into consideration when it recently recommended their top ten US cities for expats.
Unsurprisingly, die-hard choices such as New York and San Francisco featured prominently on the list, but giving them a run for their money is one of the fastest growing cities in the US – Seattle.

Life in Seattle

Ranked by Forbes as the ninth best city in the US for business, Seattle enjoys a reputation as a magnet for bright, ambitious individuals attracting some of the top minds in the fields of business, computing and related fields. Microsoft, Google and Facebook are top employers in the city and expats will also find opportunities in the healthcare and engineering sectors, too.
Getting around Seattle without a car is wonderfully straightforward. The city boasts an excellent network of buses and trolleybuses, as well as a light rail and commuter train system linking the suburbs with the centre. Many employers offer an Orca Pass for regular public transport use which can cut costs significantly – this encouragement of the use of public transport is all part of Seattle’s drive to be green; in fact, the city government aims for Seattle to become the first climate neutral city in America by 2030.
For expats with families, there is a wide range of high quality schools, from public to private as well as reputable higher learning institutions such as Seattle University and the University of Washington.

Things to do in Seattle

Perhaps not as consistently sunny as some US cities, Seattle’s location on the edge of Lake Washington and the Puget Sound Estuary means it benefits from a generally mild climate and reliably warm, dry summers. The shifts in the seasons provide the opportunity to indulge in a range of outdoor activities from winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding during the chillier months, as well as sailing and hiking as the summer rolls around. Green Lake is a favourite nature spot for those that live in Seattle, nestled in Discovery Park where beautiful forests and beaches have earned a reputation as one of the best park systems in America.
Seattle also has a thriving performing arts scene and is home to the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Seattle Opera, as well as a myriad of theatre companies. Additionally, it’s renowned for being the birthplace of the Seattle grunge movement in the 90s when rock bands like Nirvana shot to fame. Festivals, concerts and smaller live venues are found in abundance within the city as a result. A good feel for all the things to do in this vibrant city can be found on the Seattle website.
If you’re moving to the USA, find out how our international removals team can help to arrange packing, storage and transportation on your behalf.
Information correct at time of publication.