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Seattle is a vibrant metropolitan city situated against a stunning natural backdrop. Expats moving to Seattle will find they really can have the best of both worlds in the Emerald City.
While expats living in Seattle do have to work hard for their money, they will find that this will be balanced by the great leisure opportunities the city has to offer. Whether one is a food lover keen to try the latest culinary creations, a party animal looking for a good night out or an outdoor enthusiast seeking an adrenaline rush, Seattle has something to please expats with a wide variety of interests. Plus, when it comes to spending those hard-earned dollars, expats will find there is no shortage of shopping options in the city.
Shopping in Seattle
Seattleites aren't particularly known for their fashion sense, but as the city’s wealth has grown so have the retail opportunities. Seattle’s diverse neighbourhoods offer pretty much every type of shopping imaginable. From the latest outdoor gear and gadgets to must-have designer shoes, every shopper can find what they are looking for in Seattle.
Fashionistas can head downtown where they will find an abundance of high-end retail outlets including the Nordstrom flagship store, Macy’s and Tiffany & Co. Those looking for a unique vintage piece should check out the indie boutiques along Ballard Avenue, while bargain hunters should visit outlet malls surrounding the city for brand-name items at reduced prices. Pike Place Market and the Seattle Waterfront are good places to find unique locally made crafts.
Nightlife in Seattle
Expats living in Seattle will find that there's no shortage of evening entertainment. For those who enjoy socialising over a drink, there are plenty of bars and clubs to choose from.
Pike Place Market is a Seattle landmark and each night throngs of tourists flock to enjoy the nightlife. While this is a great place to get to grips with Seattle’s nightlife, most Seattleites prefer to head to Belltown, Pioneer Square or Capitol Hill. Ballard in North Seattle is popular with a more grown-up crowd looking for a quieter evening out.
Arts and entertainment in Seattle
Seattle has an active and diverse music scene with a plethora of classical, jazz and rock music events. Expats who enjoy a night out at the theatre will be pleased to that Seattle has a thriving fringe theatre scene which exists alongside larger-scale productions. The city also plays host to several touring Broadway productions a year.
Eating out in Seattle
Food lovers will be spoilt for choice thanks to Seattle’s eclectic restaurant scene. Seattle offers residents everything from Italian, Middle Eastern and Nepalese cuisine to traditional American fare, showcasing the best of local ingredients.
Thanks to the city’s creative chefs, top-class local produce, adventurous diners and bold entrepreneurial spirit, Seattle has become one of the culinary hotspots in the US. The city is home to a number of fearless new chefs who have revolutionised the restaurant scene by using imaginative techniques while maintaining an emphasis on good-quality ingredients.
Beyond Seattle’s restaurant scene, one cannot forget that Seattle is the home of Starbucks and as such Seattleites are serious about getting their caffeine fix. Seattle has one of the highest concentrations of coffee houses in the country and they can be found in all sorts of interesting locations. Expats who enjoy coffee will find plenty of quaint spots where they can lose themselves in a good book or simply people-watch over a cup of java.
Outdoor activities in Seattle
During the summer months, Seattleites love to get outdoors and enjoy nature. The city has plenty of options for those looking to enjoy its natural beauty. From lush forests to the crystal clear lakes, green city parks to wildlife reserves, expats will find there is much to discover in this city.
Seattle is bordered by lots of water and it provides a really unique way to enjoy the city. From sea kayaking to spending a weekend on a houseboat or having sundowners on a luxury yacht, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the surrounding ocean. Residents often enjoy taking a drive out to Lake Washington to enjoy a picnic by the water.
For those that prefer to remain on dry land, there are several cycling trails, especially in the South Lake Union area, where one can take in some stunning views of the lake. Another great way to experience the outdoors is to take to one of Seattle’s many hiking trails. Seattle has hundreds of parks that provide green spaces for residents to take part in some recreational sports or simply relax and take some time out from the hustle and bustle of city life.
►Getting Around in Seattle provides an overview of the transport options available in the city.
Are you an expat living in Seattle?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Seattle. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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