With the nickname "Blue Hole" one might not know what to expect about Sequim, Washington. Pronounced (skwim), this growing town of about 6,600 (with 20,000 more in the area) gets its name because pilots kept noticing that there was almost always blue skies over the area - it is in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. At about 14" of rainfall per year, Sequim almost qualifies as a desert - not what people typically think of when they ponder Washington State. Sequim's proximity to the Juan de Fuca Strait and the Dungeness River make Sequim's environment more humid than would be expected from lack of serious rainfall. Sequim has won numerous awards as a great place to live and retire. The New York TImes gave a glowing review in an article called "A Sunny Spot Amid the Clouds". The area has many festivals including its annual lavender festival (picture of lavender, above, is courtesy of Wikipedia and Kgrr. Photo of New Dungeness Light courtesy of Wikipedia.
Watch this short Youtube video prepared by Ytech Seattle:
Sequim is popular both with retirees and with people looking for second homes (in fact many of them are pilots). There are a number of developments and 55+ communities in the area, including some that are fly-in/fly-out communities. Zillow.com reports the median home value to be $295,200 in early, 2017. However, homes can go over a million if they are large and have stunning views of the mountains.
What is special about Sequim
What's not to like about Sequim. The Olympic Mountains are close, the Dungeness River, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and a dry and temperate climate in what is usually thought of as rainy Washington. Many festivals. Popularity as retirement and vacation spot makes it easy to fit in. The Lavender Festival.
What is not special about Sequim
Although Sequim has a nice old downtown there was a lot of pressure put on it during the boom of 2004 -2006 - buildings were out of scale and everywhere. Fortunately there has been a movement to control growth. It is a fairly long drive or ferry ride to Seattle.
Who will like retirement in Sequim
Retirees, pilots, and second home owners who like the mountains and water will enjoy Sequim. The majority of people moving here come from Seattle or California. The average age is 58, higher than the national average.
Local economy is driven by
Tourism, retirees, and lumber are the major industries.
Climate and Physical Environment
Sequim is in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, on the Olympic Peninsula. Port Angeles is to the west, Port Townsend to the east, and Juan de Fuca Strait to the north. It gets about 14" rainfall per year - the average July high temp is 69 and the average January low is 29.
Restaurants & Cultural Scene
There is a nice weekly farmers market thanks to this being an agricultural area. Two big annual festivals are the Irrigation Festival and the Sequim Lavender Festival. The Museum and Arts Center features both natural and cultural exhibits. Nearby Sequim Bay has the Sequim Bay State Park and the John Wayne Marina - both popular birding areas.
The crime rate is slightly higher than the national average.
The nearest hospitals are 15 miles away in Port Angeles and Port Townsend.
There are a number of small airports in the Sequim area. The Olympic Discover Trail connects with Port Angeles. Ferry service to Victoria (CAN) is about 30 minutes.
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