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As you research, explore, and consider moving to a Washington community, here’s an overview of what you can expect when living in The Evergreen State.

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Climate & Geography
Entertainment & Recreation
Cost of Living

Washington isn't just about stunning scenery and outdoor adventures (although there is plenty of that to be had in The Evergreen State). It's also an ideal location for those seeking a dynamic, convenient lifestyle. Enter master-planned communities—thoughtfully designed neighborhoods that cater to a variety of residents.

With thriving cities, tax advantages, a strong economy, and some of the country’s most sought-after outdoor recreation, communities in Washington appeal to families, young couples, active adults, and retirees. Yearn for waterfront living with stunning Puget Sound vistas? Explore communities near Seattle or Tacoma. Seeking a tranquil haven for active adults? Find your oasis near charming towns like Bonney Lake. Does a championship golf course within your doorstep sound enticing? Tee off in communities nestled amongst rolling hills.

Start your journey to a life less ordinary in a Washington master-planned community.  Let the evergreen adventure begin!

Washington Climate & Geography

Washington offers a range of climates and landscapes to choose from, whether you prefer the cool, damp embrace of the evergreen rainforest or the sunny skies and drier plains of the east.

Regions & Landscapes

West of the Cascades:

Puget Sound Lowlands: This urban corridor, encompassing Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia, nestled between the Cascade Range and the Olympic Mountains. 

Olympic Peninsula: This dramatic region is dominated by the Olympic Mountains, a temperate rainforest teeming with lush evergreens, ferns, and moss. The iconic peaks of Mount Olympus and Hurricane Ridge offer stunning vistas.

Washington Coast: This long, narrow strip along the Pacific Ocean boasts sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, and rocky headlands. Explore tide pools teeming with life, spot migrating whales, or simply soak in the beauty of the ever-changing coastline.

East of the Cascades:

Columbia Plateau: This vast, semi-arid region stretches across eastern Washington. Rolling hills, grasslands, and deep canyons carved by the Columbia River characterize the landscape.

Okanogan Highlands: Nestled between the Cascade Range and the Rocky Mountains, this transitional zone offers a mix of forested hills, valleys, and rivers. This region is perfect for those seeking a taste of mountain living without the extreme weather patterns.

Rocky Mountains: The northeastern corner of Washington features a portion of the Rocky Mountain Range with dramatic mountain peaks, alpine lakes, and coniferous forests.


West of the Cascades: This region enjoys a marine climate, influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Summers are cool and relatively dry, with mild winters that see more rain than snow. Think frequent drizzle and cloud cover in the winter and spring, with beautiful sun breaks in the summer. The average annual temperature here ranges from a cool 51°F (11°C) on the coast to a slightly warmer 40°F (4°C) in the northeast.

East of the Cascades: This area experiences a more continental climate with distinct seasons. Summers are hot and dry, with average highs reaching the upper 80s to mid 90s (27°C to 34°C). Winters are colder and drier than the west, with average daytime temperatures ranging from the upper 30s to just above freezing (3°C to -17°C). The landscape here transitions from rolling hills to drier plains, perfect for agriculture.

Washington Entertainment & Recreation

From the massive mountains to the bustling cities, Washington has something that’s sure to appeal to everyone.

National Parks: Immerse yourself in the grandeur of nature at Washington's crown jewels: Mount Rainier National Park (glaciers, wildflower meadows, majestic peak), Olympic National Park (temperate rainforest, dramatic coastline, towering mountains), North Cascades National Park (glacier-carved valleys, alpine lakes, jagged peaks).

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument: Witness the power of nature at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, where you can learn about the 1980 eruption and explore the dramatic landscape.

Hiking & Camping: Lace up your boots and explore a vast network of trails, from gentle forest paths to challenging mountain ascents. Pitch a tent under a canopy of stars or choose from a variety of campgrounds catering to all styles.

Water Activities: Kayak through the tranquil waters of the San Juan Islands, sail Puget Sound, or go whitewater rafting on thrilling rivers like the Skagit. Whale watching tours offer unforgettable encounters with orcas and other marine life.

Seattle: Dive into the vibrant energy of Seattle, with its iconic Space Needle, world-class museums like the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), and the Pike Place Market, a bustling waterfront haven for fresh seafood and quirky entertainment. Professional sports teams include the Seahawks (NFL), Mariners (MLB), Kraken (NHL), and Storm (WNBA).

Spokane: Explore the rich history and vibrant culture of Spokane, with its beautiful Riverfront Park featuring a historic carousel and Ferris wheel. Don't miss the chance to visit the impressive Spokane Falls.

Washington Cost of Living

  • Overall: The cost of living in Washington is 17% higher than the national average.
  • Housing: 29% higher than the national average.
  • Taxes: 
    • Income tax: No state income tax
    • Property tax: .98% of homes assessed value
    • Sales tax: 6.5% (as high as 10.4% depending on local taxes)
    • No tax on Social Security benefits

Washington Healthcare

Washington offers a robust healthcare system with a good mix of public and private institutions.

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is the state’s health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act, making it easier for residents to find and enroll in health insurance plans.

Washington boasts several nationally recognized medical centers, particularly concentrated in the Seattle area. These institutions offer top-notch care across a wide range of specialties.

  • University of Washington Medical Center (Seattle)
  • Virginia Mason Medical Center (Seattle)
  • Providence St. Peter Hospital (Olympia)
  • Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center (Vancouver)
  • Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital (Spokane)

Read Articles About Washington Communities