11 Signs You Belong in the Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest region of the United States is a pretty special place. From the cliffs of the Oregon Coast to the high peaks of the Cascades, the landscape is as diverse as the cultural experiences. If you love outdoor recreation, if you’re into craft everything, and if you have an equal love of the beach and the mountains, you just might belong in the Pacific Northwest.
1. You love outdoor recreation and activities.
From alpine skiing in the winter to hiking in summer, from kayaking along the coastline to sailing down the Columbia River, the Pacific Northwest is a paradise for anyone who loves everything from casual to extreme outdoor recreation.
2. You love the beach as much as the mountains.
The Pacific Northwest is as much about the coastline as it is the high peaks of the Cascades. The Oregon Coast is famous for its dramatic beaches and small-town charm and the San Juan Islands and the Olympic Peninsula are unrivaled in their beauty. If ocean air refreshes you as much as mountain air, you might belong in the Pacific Northwest.
3. You’re very good at layering.
The Pacific Northwest weather is nothing if not unpredictable and ever-changing. Bring a raincoat, umbrella, a warm mid-layer, and waterproof boots for everything from hiking to snowshoeing to exploring the area’s best urban centers.
4. You’re all about big trees and old growth forests.
The forests of the Pacific Northwest are just simply incredible. Giant deciduous trees are the kings of the forest; they’re cloaked in moss and greenery, making any hike or mountain bike ride a magical experience.
5. You’re all about local craft beverages and local foods.
The craft beverage scene in the Pacific Northwest is one of the best in the country. If you’re into trying the latest IPA and tasting all of the different varieties and flavors of handmade beverages, head to any corner of the PNW. The climate is also perfect for local farmers, so summertime in the PNW is all about farmers markets and local, farm-to-table cuisine.
6. You’re all about festivals.
Whether it’s holiday festivals in small mountain towns or big summer music blowouts, the Pacific Northwest knows how to throw a good festival. Head to Leavenworth, Washington for a magical Christmas experience in a Bavarian-style village or visit Pike Place Market where the festival vibe is always alive with the many street performers.
7. It’s all about doughnuts for you, and no, Dunkin Donuts doesn’t cut it.
If the PNW is all about craft beverages, it’s also all about craft doughnuts. In Portland, Oregon, Voodoo Doughnut reigns supreme, while in Seattle, Washington, Top Pot Doughnuts are the favorite. Don’t be wary of trying the colorful pastries—you can’t go wrong!
8. You know that natural beauty isn’t something to be taken for granted.
The Pacific Northwest is home to volcanoes, a temperate rainforest, Pacific Ocean reefs and islands, desert, and snowy mountains. You’ll never run out of places to explore and things to do in the Pacific Northwest.
9. You never start the day without a cup of fair-trade coffee.
Starbucks was founded in Seattle, and though folks are more excited about the craft coffee scene these days, the Pacific Northwest coffee culture is thriving. Walk down any block in any city in the Pacific Northwest, and you’re sure to find a coffee shop brewing their favorite beans.
10. Winter is all about chasing that pow.
Alpine skiing and snowboarding destinations are legendary in the Pacific Northwest. From famous resorts like Mt. Hood Resort and Whistler-Blackcomb to local hills, the snow is deep and the lines are epic. Grab your skis and helmet, and have the season of a lifetime.
11. You love water sports, precipitation, and everything to do with water.
From beaches to lakes, from waterfalls to heavy amounts of precipitation, the Pacific Northwest really loves its water. On any given day, you can hike to hidden waterfalls, view sea lions along the shore, walk through a dripping rainforest, and dip into natural hot springs.