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Old 07-29-2010, 06:15 PM
 
20 posts, read 51,145 times
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Hi,

I am thinking about moving to Seattle, (also consider Boulder and Austin). I enjoy hiking, running, trail running, and cycling.

I am curious about the following:

- I hear Seattle is an outdoor mecca, but doesn't the weather hinder most of my hobbies above?

- Is Seattle a good place for a single bachelor in his early forties? Is it easy to meet folks? Are people friendly?

- Are sports clubs (e.g. cycling or running) that would enable me to easily meet people?

- How do people deal with the long winter months of grey skies? Is that why there are so many coffeehouses? What is done in the city to combat this long winter and make it more fun?

- What is a good neighborhood for a single bachelor given above in his forties? I don't want to be right downtown (e.g. Belltown), but close enough or in a cool town outside the city.

Any info is appreciated.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:52 PM
 
3,698 posts, read 10,767,333 times
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If you think that the long gray months are something that you'll have to combat then Seattle may not be an optimal choice. It is dark here in the winter - we get about an hour's less daylight than Boulder and probably about 90 minutes less than Austin in the middle of winter. We also get more light during our relatively short summers.

Seattle is a good place for a single bachelor. There are a fair number of unattached people in that age group. There are groups where you can meet others with your interests.

Some folks just can't seem to find a way to have fun in the winter months. A lot of folks experience SAD (which I think is a physiological response similar to a mini-hibernation as your body slows down for the colder months). Some people, like myself, like the slower pace of winter and the focus on indoor activities and socializing and game nights. But unless you learn to like running or biking in the rain or gray weather than it might drive you crazy. Rainproof gear is widely available here and a few hardy souls ride their bikes 365 days a year.

If you take up skiing or snowboarding then you'll survive the winters with a little more comfort.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:13 PM
 
1,160 posts, read 2,221,030 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by applenick View Post
Hi, I am thinking about moving to Seattle, (also consider Boulder and Austin). I enjoy hiking, running, trail running, and cycling.

I am curious about the following:

- I hear Seattle is an outdoor mecca, but doesn't the weather hinder most of my hobbies above?
Hello. I enjoy the same types of outdoor activities, year 'round. I ended up in the PNW for one year. I was initially excited because I'd heard it was great outdoorsy types. I'd seen pictures of sunny, blue skies and people kayaking and fishing, etc. Wow, did that ever misrepresent the place! Unless you enjoy getting drenched (or frozen), prepare for a very sedentary lifestyle. I joined a gym, but it wasn't the same. (Putting it this way–don't bother bringing the bike, you won't ride it that often.)

The summers are great. I suppose that's what people refer to when they point to the PNW as some bastion of outdoor life. But that's only three months (probably only around two, if you consider that it still rains a lot in the summer).

Also, S.A.D. is no joke. There were days when I looked out the window (more rain ... more rain) and just broke down and cried. I was peached to move back to a sunny climate where I could resume a "normal" lifestyle. I literally kissed the tarmac when I got off the plane. Second thing I did was toss my antidepressants in the trash.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC/ West Palm Beach, FL
1,044 posts, read 2,094,028 times
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Melissa, interesting post. I have been here in Seattle for most of this month and have actually been thinking about the winters, rain, cloud, etc. Since it's an area of consideration for relocation. I live in Florida where we get plenty of sunshine year round. I do not need to live in a place that gets as much sunshine as I get in FL, but not sure if that big of a change will affect me. I guess I have to visit in the winter and see for myself.

By the way what sunny state do you live in?
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:22 PM
 
7,752 posts, read 14,676,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa78703 View Post
Hello. I enjoy the same types of outdoor activities, year 'round. I ended up in the PNW for one year. I was initially excited because I'd heard it was great outdoorsy types. I'd seen pictures of sunny, blue skies and people kayaking and fishing, etc. Wow, did that ever misrepresent the place! Unless you enjoy getting drenched (or frozen), prepare for a very sedentary lifestyle. I joined a gym, but it wasn't the same. (Putting it this way–don't bother bringing the bike, you won't ride it that often.)
I don't agree. It does have all outdoor activities, and it only takes proper wear not to get drenched or frozen. Seattleites oftentimes don't even have umbrellas with them when it does rain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa78703 View Post
The summers are great. I suppose that's what people refer to when they point to the PNW as some bastion of outdoor life. But that's only three months (probably only around two, if you consider that it still rains a lot in the summer).
Hmm... I take it you never visited Eastern WA?

In general, people here aren't scared off by the rain and/or coolness.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Austin is unbearably hot in the summer, so the activities you listed might be a bit hard to do.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:23 AM
 
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I lived in Denver four years ago before moving here and also do a lot of outdoor activities. I do miss having sunny days in the winter, but so far am pretty ok with it.

I mainly ski and whitewater kayak so the conditions are optimal for those in the winter. It will be drizzly and 45 degrees in the winter and there are tons of rivers and creeks nearby with good rapids. It's a good sport to pick up if you move here. There is also little traffic going up to the ski areas which is nice when compared to I70.

If it hasn't rained a lot, there are great trails 40 minutes from the city for trailrunning in the winter. Biking as well. Also, the hiking in the Cascades (only good from June to early October) is way better and prettier than most anything in the front range.

That being said, Boulder is quite different size and geography wise than Seattle so it's interesting that they ended up on the same list. Boulder probably fits your bill a little better unless you have a strong urge to live near a lot of water.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:30 AM
 
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Default Some strange replies here

Did somebody say "it rains a lot in the summer?" I'd like to know which summer you've experienced here where that's the case. It's drier than Phoenix here in the summer.

As for the rest of the year - come on. Yes, we get lots of gray, and plenty of drizzle. If you have the right equipment, there are virtually no days where you can't enjoy the outdoor activity of your choice.

You may not get bluebird days on the slopes, but you'll get oceans of snow. You may not get 70 degree December days for your run, but you also will rarely get soaked by a massive downpour.

Don't take advice from people who equate 'gray' with 'I can't function in Northwest weather'. I understand that it's a particular species of person who feels like that, but they make their feelings known disporportionately.

Put it this way - there may be 30 total days in a year where I won't wear shorts outside when exercising. That would not be the case in, say, New York, or Chicago, or Boulder. Yep, I'd get more sun there, but I don't care for the tradeoff.

Your mileage may vary.
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:11 AM
 
20 posts, read 51,145 times
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Thanks all for th replies.
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Greater Seattle, WA Metro Area
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I have lived in all three areas and they are all great places to live for very different reasons. I am also very active outdoors and IMO, Seattle provides the best opportunities for me recreation wise because I ski, hike AND boat regularly. We live in Sammamish (eastern suburb) and are <2 miles from Lake Sammamish, a half block from Pine Lake, 15 minutes from Lake Washington, 10 minutes from Tiger Mtn trailheads, and 45 minutes from the closest skiing and 35 minutes from some of the best trailheads in the state in National forest. It's hard to make a choice on the weekend of what to do! I also cycle extensively and it has great opportunities for long rides in beautiful venues though Austin and Boulder are both fantastic for that as well. Seattle is only place you have ocean and mtns so close and the day trip opportunities are amazing with Oregon and BC nearby. It's a much bigger city than the other two though Boulder has Denver and Fort Collins nearby so if you aren't a big city person, you might consider that. Austin felt too small for my husband as he grew up in Cali and Denver and lived in NYC. Austin was the right size for me coming from a midwestern town.

Cost of living wise, Austin is the best and IMO is the most livable if you stay in the central area. It lacks public transport but has a lot to do packed in a small area. I loved running on Town Lake (now Lady Bird Lake) and will always miss that. Boulder can be very expensive for sure as can Seattle but there are some great Denver areas to live in as well that are more affordable. Austin and Boulder both have great vibes being college towns. Of all three, Austin has the most friendly people and would likely be the easiest place to make friends. The summers are long and hot. When I trained for races, I would have to get up very early in the morning to keep my heart rate down and even then I would be in 80-85 degrees already at 7:30am. In Seattle you can go for a run anytime of day and it's always great running temps. Colorado can actually be pretty hot in the summer and cold some winter days, but again you can always go to the mtns to find something to do regardless. I also don't mind the heat at all...but my husband, he was miserable and had reverse SAD in the summers in Austin. He was very depressed and grumpy 5 months out of the year. We mostly boated in Austin and in a non drought year, you can go for most of the year. We sailed in the winter and power boated in the summer. The "hiking" gets really boring after a few months relative to the choices in Boulder and Seattle. But the Tex Mex and BBQ, live music, you can't beat it. It's a happy place with people wearing flip flops and shorts much of the year...translates to vacation feel much of the year. Very laid back. But now that I am back to skiing every weekend in the winter, that would be really hard to give up.

For me, Colorado has the best weather of the three but the salaries are not very high there relative to Seattle or Austin. It's also brown much of the year in CO and now after living in the Emerald City, the green would be hard to give up. Austin is surprisingly fairly green much of the year because the cedar trees maintain their color but the allergies can kick your butt and make you miserable if you are an outdoor exerciser. I ended up with allergy induced asthma there from all my outdoor training. In Seattle I don't get bothered too much by the gray because I force myself to dress appropriately and get out in it and the air and water are so clean here! I also exercise extensively and eat really healthfully which I think helps with any depression lurking. I think if you are prone to situational depression, the gray in Seattle winters can add to it, no doubt about it. But I have to tell you, I haven't lived anywhere where people don't complain about the weather!
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