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Old 10-03-2018, 06:52 PM
 
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My Wife and I are considering a move to eastern Washington. At this time, I live in a smaller town outside Knoxville Tennessee and we really like the manners and people of this region of the country. However, my family and I are looking at moving to a town/city like Wenatchee, WA. And I was wondering if any fellow Southerners out in that area could describe the difference in cultures? Or maybe locals who can enlighten me on the people and culture of this area.

My wife and I have lived all over the place as we grew up as kids, such as: Northern Cali, England, Italy, Israel, Russia, Sweden & France. And as young adults we have lived in southern California and then Florida, before we moved to Tennessee. The reason we moved to the “country” was we wanted a different lifestyle that was more country with good people and not in a melting pot.

So, I wondered what's really different about the Pacific Northwest on the east side of the cascades from the South like Appalachia (TN,GA,NC,KY,VA).

We would visit before we moved, if we decide to go that way. I'd appreciate any insights anyone can offer. Thank you.
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Old 10-04-2018, 02:24 AM
 
Location: WA Desert, Seattle native
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I live in Eastern Washington, (Tri-Cities), and am not real familiar with Appalachia. I will offer that Eastern WA is still quite rural, lots of agriculture, but also a thriving wine/tourist industry. My basic knowledge of your current part of the country is there are some areas of poverty (please correct me if I'm wrong), but this is quite rare in Eastern Washington.

Wenatchee is fine, but also consider my area of Tri-Cities, definitely the fastest growing in the region. Just be prepared for an almost desert climate, hot summers with low humidity, and cool to cold winters but usually little precipitation. Actually Wenatchee and Tri-Cities have similar summer weather, but Wenatchee is colder with more snow in the winter.

Politically, Eastern WA is more conservative than the west side of the State, but still has an independent streak.

Washington has no state income tax, which is a definite plus for those still working.

Culturally, E. WA has a somewhat rural feel, somewhat a cowboy mentality, but is modified by the larger metros like Tri-Cities, Yakima, and Spokane. However, even in Tri-Cities, there are rural towns around the main metro that feel like the country...(Benton City, Finley, even West Richland to some extent, but that area is quickly being swallowed up by subdivisions).

I wish I could offer more comparisons, but simply don't know your current area that well!
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:07 AM
 
Location: WA
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Eastern WA is not like TN at all.

Eastern TN is very rural in the sense that there are tiny towns and people living pretty much everywhere in the valleys and "hollers" and there is a real rural country culture around country music, blue grass, and so forth. And you have the bible belt Baptist influences.

Eastern WA is either arid desert landscape or large-scale irrigated agriculture. Because the climate is dry there never developed the little rural farms and towns scattered everywhere. It's mostly large-scale irrigated farms and orchards/vinyards along the Columbia Valley and wheat country and arid land further east that will look more like Western Kansas. People tend to live more in towns than out in the country. So serious big $$ agriculture compared to the scrappy dirt poor Appalachian farms you find in that part of TN.

Wenatchee is really more Central WA than Eastern WA. It's right on the eastern slope of the Cascades. It will feel more like a mountain city in Colorado than anything you'll find in TN. Large scale agriculture dominates the region and there is a large and growing Hispanic population in the larger cities like Wenatchee and Yakima that came as farmworkers but have now settled in the area. The culture is more conservative than Western WA but much more libertarian/business conservative and not at all like the bible belt cultural conservatism you find in TN.
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Old 10-04-2018, 02:49 PM
 
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Thank you for your responses.

So Eastern WA isn't rural in the smaller towns/cities or outside of the medium cities? like 5k - 50k population? If Wenatchee is considered Central WA then we would be looking Central and Eastern WA.

Also what about the people, can you tell me what people are like in Central and Eastern side of WA? Are they warm, cold? welcoming, friendly, standoffish?
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Washington State. Not Seattle.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claick View Post
Thank you for your responses.

So Eastern WA isn't rural in the smaller towns/cities or outside of the medium cities? like 5k - 50k population? If Wenatchee is considered Central WA then we would be looking Central and Eastern WA.

Also what about the people, can you tell me what people are like in Central and Eastern side of WA? Are they warm, cold? welcoming, friendly, standoffish?
Wenatchee is central WA geographically, but in general WA is separated by the Cascade mountains into Western WA and Eastern WA, which tend to vary starkly in terms of demographics, politics, and climate. Wenatchee is certainly part of Eastern WA in that sense.

I can't speak to Tennessee, but most non-natives describe people in Eastern WA as friendly but aloof. In other words, people are talkative and may even strike up a conversion in the grocery store check-out line, but you probably won't have very many neighbors showing up at your door when you move in with a pie and a church pamphlet. People mostly keep to themselves.
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
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I've only been to Middle Tennessee, and Wenatchee is about as opposite from there as it gets.
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:36 PM
 
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"Also what about the people, can you tell me what people are like in Central and Eastern side of WA? Are they warm, cold? welcoming, friendly, standoffish?"

compared to Knoxville: cold, standoffish, and insular.
in Knoxville, you can spend 5 minutes talking with the grocery cashier and whoever is behind you.
in Wenatchee, 5 minutes is a loooong time to talk about anything with anybody you don't know.
in Knoxville, schools teach English as a Second Language.
in Wenatchee, it's best to be conversant in common Spanish.
finally....compared to Knoxville, it doesn't rain in Wenatchee.
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:52 PM
 
Location: WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claick View Post
Thank you for your responses.

So Eastern WA isn't rural in the smaller towns/cities or outside of the medium cities? like 5k - 50k population? If Wenatchee is considered Central WA then we would be looking Central and Eastern WA.

Also what about the people, can you tell me what people are like in Central and Eastern side of WA? Are they warm, cold? welcoming, friendly, standoffish?
Eastern WA most definitely has lots of empty rural land and small farm towns with not much more than some farms and a grain elevator. It is very rural and remote but it is not "country" in the same way that Eastern TN is with the music and culture and all. It's more Scandanavian and German immigrant farmers like say North Dakota. There are no Dolly Partons or Taylor Swifts or Rosanne Cashes from Eastern WA. But you will find the occasional rodeo.

Last edited by texasdiver; 10-04-2018 at 09:55 PM..
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:10 PM
 
Location: WA Desert, Seattle native
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Another interesting comparison is the governmental influence 75+ years ago with the Grand Coulee Dam and the Hanford atomic plants in Eastern WA, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) roughly around the same time. Both areas benefited from these major US expenditures, and they were closely related, both to bring new economic development to these previously barren areas, but also with an eye to mostly military-based projects at the end of the day.
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
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^Both areas have a Tri-Cities too.
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