In Hawaii, you’ll see a lot of Seattle Seahawks paraphernalia: bumper stickers, flags, jerseys, and more. That’s your first indication that there’s some special kinship between the Aloha State and the Evergreen State.

Then, when you examine the IRS migration data on the subject, the link becomes more clear:

When people leave Hawaii for another state, their second-most popular choice is Washington. (The top choice is California if you’re curious!)

And vice versa, when people move to Hawaii, their second-most common state of origin is Washington. (California takes the top spot in this category, too, for #1 most common state of origin.)

Why would someone from Seattle—or one of its surrounding neighborhoods—move to Hawaii? We’ve already offered our top ten reasons to move to Hawaii, and, if that’s not enough, nine numbers that will make you want to relocate to the Aloha State. But maybe you don’t have to look any further than Seattle’s overwhelming reputation for rain and gray skies. The city gets 37.49 inches per year vs 17.05 per year in Honolulu, although we could certainly find rainier spots in the state!

However, moves to Hawaii only represent half the picture. Relocations from Hawaii to Washington also rank high on the list. What draws so many Hawaii residents to Seattle and its surrounding areas?

Why Make the Move Between Hawaii and Seattle?

After helping thousands of people move to and from Hawaii, we can say with certainty that everyone has their own reasons for relocating. That being said, Seattle can make an attractive home base for a number of reasons:

  1. Strong job market: At the start of the year, projections suggested that Seattle’s job market will continue to offer plentiful opportunities to job seekers. That being said, many have noted that a majority of these jobs fall in the technology sector, which could be a positive or a negative, depending on what you’re looking for.
  2. Seasonal weather: Whether it’s your preference or not, many people in Hawaii find they miss experiencing distinct seasons. Although Seattle’s seasons are milder than many other parts of the country—and some have argued that Seattle’s “seasons” consist of nine months of rain and three months of beautiful weather—you’ll likely feel more of a seasonal shift than you would in Hawaii.
  3. Schools: Washington’s schools have a strong reputation. U.S. News and World Reports ranked them #19 in the United States, with Hawaii taking spot #30. So if education is an important factor for you, Washington state might be an attractive locale.
  4. Cost of Living: Depending on where you end up, this might be a factor for you. Those who settle in downtown Seattle may not see much of a difference in the cost of living than, for example, Honolulu—except maybe in food and groceries. However, if you choose one of Seattle’s surrounding areas, including Issaquah, Maple Valley, Covington, Snoqualmie, or North Bend, you might see a much bigger difference, including finding a house for much less than you would in Hawaii.
  5. Easy Access to Plentiful Activities and Destinations: Island fever can be a real condition for those who live in Hawaii. However, in Seattle, you’ll find plenty of arts and cultural activities, as well as a myriad of outdoor spaces to enjoy. Plus, there are plenty of interesting places in easy driving distance, including Portland, Vancouver, and many, many more. If you’ve got wanderlust, living in Washington will make it easier (and likely cheaper!) to follow your passion.

Maybe you’re already sold on moving to Washington, but you’re still looking for a place to live. We’ve moved customers to downtown Seattle, Bellevue, Bellingham, Issaquah, Maple Valley, Covington, Snoqualmie, and North Bend—among many, many others.

But there’s one up and coming area that recently caught our eye, and many are finding it more affordable than the downtown Seattle area and its close suburbs.

Discover the North End of Tacoma

Tacoma is a diverse, waterfront neighborhood that’s seen a significant facelift in the last ten or so years. The website Livability ranked it #42 on its list of Best Places to Live, and many have reported that it can be a family-friendly and affordable place to live.

You’ll find Tacoma about 45 minutes south of Seattle, and it’s home to seven college and university campuses. In addition to its Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, you’ll also find the Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, which offers 760 acres just waiting to be explored.

And the kicker? Tacoma’s cost of living is estimated at only 5% more than the U.S. national average, with average home prices hovering right around $310,000. So if the cost of living on-island is something that’s spurring you to leave Hawaii, Tacoma might offer you a soft landing spot.

Tacoma offers a number of neighborhoods to choose from, and the North End comes with plenty to recommend it. Because the North End sits right next to the water, you’ll enjoy easy access to the picturesque waterfront and all the green spaces it has to offer. Additionally, the neighborhood has plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops to keep you entertained and well stocked, in case you don’t want to make the trip to downtown Tacoma. And if that’s not enough to convince you to give the North End of Tacoma a look, according to Zillow, home values have risen 7% over the last year, so investing in a home in the area could come with some nice dividends.

Finally, if you’re considering a move to the Seattle area, but you haven’t made a final decision, we’ll give you a taste of Seattle life with some ideas for activities in and around the area.

7 Activities to Enjoy in the Seattle Area

Below, we’ve compiled our list of top activities in and around the city to give you an idea of how you might spend your time if you move to Seattle. By no means an exhaustive list, consider these seven a head start on envisioning whether life in Seattle is right for you:

  1. Visit the Starbucks Reserve Roastery: Lines for the original Starbucks Coffee at Pike Place Market are often out the door, but coffee lovers might get even more of a thrill from a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery. One of six in the world, the Roastery offers a chance to sample coffee creations you won’t find anywhere else, such as a bourbon-barrel-aged cold brew or one of Starbucks’ small-lot Reserve coffees.
  2. Take a Hike: The Seattle area offers plentiful hikes for outdoor enthusiasts of all fitness levels. One to try: the Little Si trail alternates challenging inclined stretches with leisurely, flat strolls, and the view at the end can’t be beaten.
  3. Tour the MoPop: Originally created by Microsoft founder Paul Allen as the Experience Music Project, the Museum of Popular Culture has broadened its horizons to showcase a number of aspects of popular culture. Current exhibits showcase topics as diverse as the video game Minecraft, the bands Pearl Jam and Nirvana, and the art of tattooing.
  4. Discover Seattle’s Unlikely Beginnings: If you want to discover how the city of Seattle truly got started, you’ll have to look deeper than its sidewalks. Take one of Seattle’s Underground Tours—Bill Spiedel’s is the most famous—and you’ll understand why.
  5. Follow in the Steps of McDreamy: Hit television show Grey’s Anatomy was famously based at Seattle Grace hospital, and its star doctor, Derek Shepherd (also known as McDreamy), frequently waxed poetic about the city’s ferry boats. You’ll have many options to choose from, but you might consider taking the ferry to Bainbridge Island and grabbing lunch.
  6. Take in Seattle’s Music Scene: Seattle bands like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden first grabbed headlines in the ’90s, and the tradition of Seattle’s vibrant music scene continues today. Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, and the Head and the Heart all hail from Seattle and its environs, and Seattle also plays host to plenty of talented national and local acts. Whether you catch a show at Neumos, the Tractor Tavern, or one of the area’s other music venues, you’re in for a great night.
  7. Go Camping: If camping was something you enjoyed in Hawaii, you’ll want to keep the tradition going in Washington, where the campgrounds are plentiful. Try Cranberry Lake Campground in Deception Pass State Park. During your trip, you can also take advantage of the area’s hiking, boating, and tide pooling opportunities.

Aloha, Washington State

If you’re saying “hello” to Washington, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy in the Evergreen State: music, culture, arts, food, hiking, camping, and more. Or, if you’re saying “goodbye” to Washington (and “hello” to Hawaii!), we couldn’t be more excited for you. Island life and all of its perks await. No matter where you’re headed, you’re in for an adventure and all the excitement that comes with a new locale to explore.


Need help moving to or from Seattle or somewhere else in Washington? We’d be happy to help! We can also get you from Hawaii to Seattle—or wherever else you’d like to call home. Just reach out for a complimentary quote to get started.

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