Land in Seattle
Things to do
The greenery of the Emerald City makes Land in Seattle, Washington a true gem
The land in Seattle, Washington is situated on an isthmus between the fresh waters of Lake Washington, and the salty Puget Sound. Because of these constraints, there’s only so much land in the city to go around, and it’s divided between public and private developers, residential landowners, and preserved and protected areas for green spaces and parks. All of this to say that buying land in Seattle, Washington is not achievable—it definitely is—but you’ll need to pack your patience and your deep pockets for the ride.
History of Seattle
History of Seattle
Sailing Into Seattle There are many great things about Seattle, all of which we’ll explore here, but perhaps one of the best things about the land in Seattle is its location along the Salish Sea (its Indigenous name), or the inland ocean waters now known as the Puget Sound. When the Denny Party landed at Alki Point in the dead of winter in 1851, they found a thriving Indigenous community. The land that was to become Seattle was first stewarded by the Duwamish and Suquamish Tribes whose deep knowledge of the land, climate, and flora and fauna are what helped the settlers survive that first winter. The party was met by David Denny, one of the Denny brothers who traveled overland scouting ahead of the party who arrived via schooner from Portland, Oregon. They all had come an incredibly long way from the east coast via covered wagon along the Oregon Trail, and though their trek was arduous and their settlement continued to be so, dreams of free land in Seattle, and all of Oregon Territory for that matter, will possess families to do extraordinary things. Across Elliot Bay By the following spring, most of the party had relocated across Elliot Bay to the eastern shore of the Seattle land that is now the historic Pioneer Square. The location offered a better harbor, and since overland travel in the dense conifer forests of the Pacific Northwest was nearly impassible by wagon, waterways were the lifeblood of the region (and still are to this day). The new village was called Duwamps, but was swiftly changed to Seattle to honor the Duwamish Indian leader, Chief Sealth. (Seattle is the anglicized version of Sealth, a Chinook Jargon word.) In 1853, the new area had been platted and filed, recording the “Town of Seattle” on May 23, 1853, (even though the Indigenous tribes had not ceded their land). The Great Seattle Fire Henry Yesler was also hard at work during this time building the region’s first steam-powered sawmill, a business vital to regional development and one of the most important businesses in the region’s history that helped transform the raw land in Seattle into the bustling metropolis it is today. By the 1880s, the railroad had arrived, and a second one was en route. This virtually unlocked the region that was once thought to be remote wilderness and Seattle’s population exploded. The area grew steadily, population estimates suggest that in the first half of 1889, the city was adding 1,000 new residents a month—until one fateful day—June 6, 1889, when a massive fire leveled 116 acres of the city’s business district. The fire burned hot and fast because of the steady supply of fuel it was charring. It gutted nearly every building in the area—all of them made from Henry Yesler's timber. Seattle built back better and more grandiose than before. The new buildings were made from brick or steel for fire resistance, and a professional fire department was created too. The city also benefited from the discovery of gold in 1897 along the Klondike River in Alaska, and savvy entrepreneurs and marketers capitalized on the messaging that Seattle land was the “Gateway to Alaska.” Word of how wonderful the land in Seattle is has long been touted far and wide, and people are still moving here from all over the globe for an opportunity to live in this fine city.
Things to do in Seattle
Things to do in Seattle
The problem with things to do in Seattle is that there are likely more than you have time for. But if you’d like to experience some not-to-miss local favorites, explore the list below:
Visit Pike Place Market for a true Pacific Northwest shopping experience. The fishmongers are tossing fish, flower sellers are brightening days, artists are decorating homes and bodies with their creations, and even Beecher’s Handmade Cheese delights the senses with authentic cheese curds that give a little squeak when you bite them.
Grab a burger, hand-cut fries, or individually made milkshakes from Dick’s Drive-In. The beloved burger joint has been slinging all-American fast food since 1955. In an Esquire poll, Dick’s was voted “most life-changing hamburger joint in America” due to the massive benefits they provide like a $22,000 college scholarship after six months of employment.
Get out on Seattle’s waterways and take a ride on one of Seattle’s ferries. On the Washington State ferry system, the largest in the country, you can reach places like Bainbridge Island, Vashon Island, and Bremerton. Then there’s the King County Water Taxi that will ferry you over to West Seattle, or take a ride on the Victoria Clipper, a privately-owned company that shuttles up into the San Juan Islands or into Victoria, Canada.
For a bird’s eye view of the city, head to the top of Smith Tower, or take a spin on the Great Wheel along the waterfront.
Shop Capitol Hill for its counter-culture vibe and super funky second-hand stores, or head to Belltown for the opposite experience and peruse the high-end shops and fine dining options there.
As we mentioned before, the land in Seattle is located on an isthmus, a narrow strip of land that connects two larger ones. The City of Seattle land is carved out of the steep banks of the Puget Sound Trough, and the city’s notorious hills rival San Francisco, yet in a different way. The hills in Seattle run mainly north and south in ridges, whereas San Fran’s are separate hills that generally have routes around them. Either way, you’ll see a lot of the cyclists in Seattle with electric assists, and getting a little help hauling up from the waterfront to uptown is not a bad idea. Seattle is part of the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metro Region, and this metropolitan area is home to more than half of Washington State’s population. Seattle is 30 minutes from Tacoma, an hour from the state capital city of Olympia, a little under three hours to Portland on the Washington/Oregon border, and residents can be out at the wild waves of Ocean Shores on the Pacific Coast in two and a half hours. It’s nearly that same travel time to reach the Canadian border from Seattle, and a quick jaunt down Interstate 90 and over Snoqualmie Pass will get you to the sunnier, drier side of Washington, the eastern side, in under two hours. As you can see, the land in Seattle seems to be equidistant to everything.
Washington is a stand-out in great places to invest in real estate, and land in Seattle is no exception—if you can find it. Those who move here and are up for the challenge are handsomely rewarded with a vibrant and rapidly growing economy and good quality of life.
Seattle residents are afforded one of the highest minimum wages in the country, and as of 2022, most workers earn $17.27 per hour, depending on the business size. A vast majority of Seattleites earn above minimum wage though, with the area one of the nation’s foremost hubs of technology.
The average household income in Seattle, according to the United States Census Bureau in their 2020 Census, was $97,185. This figure seems like a lot, but when you factor in that the average price for a house in Seattle starts at around $800,000, with vacant land in Seattle priced even higher, these high wages that the workers are earning are a key piece in turning dreamscapes into landscapes. The city would be out of reach without them.
There are 10 Fortune 500 companies that now call Seattle home. Giants like Amazon, Costco, Expedia, Microsoft, Weyerhaeuser, Alaska Airlines, and more are all headquartered in the city.
As of 2020, three-quarters of a million people now call Seattle home, a far cry from the mere 2,000 folks who lived there when the city was officially incorporated in 1869, 20 years before Washington was ever a state.
Arts in Seattle
Arts in Seattle
“Here We Are Now, Entertain Us”
That title takes a line from Kurt Cobain’s playbook, the frontman of the band Nirvana, whose song and album, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” helped cement the alternative Grunge music genre as one of the most “take-it-or-leave-it” styles of music that history has ever seen.
The 1990s were explosive in Seattle, with world-famous bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden all hailing from the Emerald City. Minor bands like Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, and the Posies all continued on with the city’s musical successes.
Seattle continues to produce musical legends to this day, with hip hop anthems from musical greats like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis calling Seattle home, and Sir-Mix-a-Lot and his raps about the Seattle burger institution that is Dick’s Drive-In (where under no circumstances may you make any sort of menu substitution).
Seattle’s music halls are numerous, with Seattleites highly valuing live music, with favorite local haunts being the Showbox Theater (that Seattle residents rallied together to save), the Tractor Tavern, Neumos, and The Crocodile, what Rolling Stone Magazine calls “One of the Best Clubs in America.”
And as far as the arts are concerned, in Seattle, there is no shortage. With abundant galleries throughout the city’s neighborhoods, and venues large and small that host live theater, film screenings, seminars, and all manner of spoken word, the City of Seattle places a high value on the enrichment that arts and entertainment bring to its citizens' lives.
Take in a show are any one of the three historic theaters, the Moore, Paramount, and 5th Avenue Theaters, with larger venues like McCaw Hall more appropriate for the robust crowds that performances from the esteemed Pacific Northwest Ballet company draw. The company’s performances are said to have the highest attendance per capita in the United States, so for things like The Nutcracker, patrons must purchase tickets well in advance.
Schools in Seattle
Schools in Seattle
Seattle residents are among the most educated in the nation. 95% of them have achieved a high school diploma or higher, and 65% of them hold Bachelor’s degrees and beyond. Although not all of the residents were educated within the city, Seattle offers some great options when it comes to higher learning. The University of Washington, or “UDub” is the city’s largest and most credentialled university, but depending on the type of education you need there are other highly-acclaimed options that may be a better fit. Check out: Seattle Pacific University, Seattle Central College, Bastyr University, Cornish College of the Arts, Antioch University, DigiPen Institute of Technology, or Seattle University.
The land in Seattle is among the most beautiful in the country, and for such a densely-urban area it sure does stand out as one of the most scenic cities in America. With its location along some of the region’s most prolific waterways, the calming vistas of incessant waves have been soothing Pacific Northwesterners since the beginning of time.
The Coast Salish peoples knew that the land in Seattle, (or what is now called Seattle) was special, and that’s why they live in a way that protects it.
The settlers knew it was special too, writing home to tell those they’d left behind about this new rich and fertile land where the never-ending trees tower and the hills roll endlessly.
New residents know that the land in Seattle is special too, for the minute you step foot onto it, you are awash with the green from the Emerald City. It’s a gem of a place to live.
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