Travel

Seattle and Sunshine

There is a common perception that it rains a great deal in Seattle. Does it rain in Seattle? Yes. Does it rain as much as people think it does? No, but if you were to visit Seattle for a week there is a pretty good chance you would get wet at some point.

When I travel and people ask me, “Where are you from?” I always answer, “Seattle.” It simplifies my life. I can’t tell most people I am from Washington, because everyone always assumes that I am speaking of Washington DC. If I say I live on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, I get a lot of blank looks, so I just cut the chitter-chatter and say I am from Seattle. It isn’t like I am forming life-long friendships so a little white lie isn’t going to hurt.

Last summer I was in City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco and an older couple approached me for directions. I don’t know if I looked like I knew where Chinatown was but I noticed they had one of those unfortunate accents that can only be described as a drawl. I asked where they were from and they said, “Tennessee,” rather more proudly than anyone should. (Okay, I have never been to the American South and I know people don’t run around eating possum every night, but I need to keep my preconceived notions about the groin of the Bible Belt.) The folks from Tennessee folks asked where I lived and when I told them Seattle, their first reaction was to comment on how much it rains there. I got a bit defensive and wanted to say, “At least our hillbillies wear shirts,” but instead I explained that it doesn’t rain that much in Seattle and that our sunshine is epic. I also told them I can go a whole year without turning on air conditioning in my house. My comments had the desired effect; living in a place that is beautiful and temperate should be envied.

Summers in the Pacific Northwest are nearly unmatched in the quality of life: Long days, mild temperatures, and sunshine.

This weekend we had a taste of the upcoming summer and no city loves its sunshine like Seattle.

Sunshine brings the pale hoards into the light and on to the city's green spaces.

A picture of tourists taking pictures of the original Starbucks.

North overlooking the Puget Sound.

Is Seattle a great city to visit? Yep. Is it going to rain when you visit? There is about a 70% chance during the winter and a 20% during the summer. If you are afraid of the rain then I suggest you go someplace like Las Vegas where you can stay inside the whole time, but if you love the outdoors and all the beauty of the ocean and mountains Seattle is best city in the world.

9 replies »

  1. I think the only problem with Seattle besides the weather is that the roads can be like peaks and troughs thus it’s not an easy place to walk in. Otherwise, it’s a lovely city. I had fun looking at the fancy houses in the suburbs.

  2. What a beautiful description of your native city.
    I would love to live in Seattle. Reading “Snow over Cedars” (have I got the title right?) brought that whole area into my imagination. Unfortunately Seattle is a long way from Ireland.

    • Thanks, Conor. There are direct flights from Seattle to most of Europe so you could be here in about 8 hours. I finished reading you book and need to send you my thoughts. I will visit your page and drop you a lengthy message. I really enjoyed reading it.

  3. I’m convinced! Seattle is almost perfect in the summer, but where would you live during the long dreary winter if you had a choice?

    • Given no restrictions, I would live in Auckland. Then I could have mild summers all year long. If I had to stay in the Northern Hemisphere, I would probably go for San Luis Obispo during the winter. Santa Barbara wouldn’t kill me either.

  4. Hear hear. I empathize with the ambiguity of being from “Washington.” Takes 3 tries (Washington DC, Washington University of St. Louis(???)) before non-residents realize that there is an actual Washington State. Saying “Seattle” is easier, particularly if one is slightly unkempt/bookish looking at the time.

  5. Pingback: I Love Washington

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