Living in the Northwest

The Pacific Northwest area of the United States, including the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, was first explored by Lewis and Clark in early 1800s. Today, the area is home to a diverse population of young professionals, outdoor lovers, and entrepreneurs.

Although most of the Pacific Northwest is considered rural, there are several large cities, the most populated of which is Seattle, Washington. In 2010, Kiplinger rated Tri-Cities, Washington as one of the best cities in the US to raise a family. Many Fortune 500 companies originated from Seattle including Starbucks and Microsoft. In Oregon, Portland is the largest city, with a population increase of over 90,000 between 2000 and 2014.

Natural Attractions

Geologically, the area includes several volcanoes and mountain ranges – most notably Mount Saint Helens, Mount Rainier, the Cascades Mountains, and the Rocky Mountains.

Idaho has been called the “Gem of the Mountains,” because more than half of the state is part of the Rocky Mountains range.

Oregon is called “Pacific Wonder,” due to its many natural wonders like the Columbia River Gorge, Hells Canyon on the Snake River, Oregon Caves National Monument, and Crater Lake National Park in the Cascade Mountains.


The climate in the Pacific Northwest tends to be cool and wet, which has allowed this part of the continent to produce rainforest-like conditions and some of the largest and oldest trees in the nation. The logging industry has been prominent in Washington and Oregon. Idaho is world-famous for their potatoes, and Washington for their red delicious and granny smith apples.

The summers tend to be cooler and drier than the rest of the country, and winters can have extreme snowfall in the mountains. Outdoor activities are limitless and abundant, encompassing everything from birdwatching to zip lining, surfing to skiing. Between the three states, you have it all from snow-covered mountain tops to white sand beaches.