Whether you are looking to spend more time in nature, advance your career, or start a family (or even a combination of all three!), Washington state is one of the best places in the country to consider living.
It touts several opportunities for outdoor recreation, incredibly beautiful scenery, and bodies of water all over the state. There are also ample employment opportunities, both in some of the major cities in the state and in the smaller towns. Statewide, residents have a strong local focus in their support of farmers markets and mom-and-pop shops.
Washington is also very invested in its education systems and environmental stewardship. In fact, it is continuously named one of the greenest states with one of the best education systems in the country.
In addition to these many benefits, there’s one more: Central Washington has plenty of land to build on. So, if you are interested in breaking ground in Central Washington but aren’t quite sure where you would like to settle down, here are the top four cities you should consider.
Typically, when people think of Washington state, they think of the rain. However, the Cascade Range, which is the mountain range to the east of Seattle and the surrounding region, serves as a natural wall to block the clouds that develop on the coast.
One of the first major towns to the east of the Cascade Range is Ellensburg, a perfect place for residents who want to be close enough to Seattle but far enough away for a quieter way of life.
In Ellensburg, there are many options for recreation and entertainment to enjoy yourself throughout the year, all with small-town charm.
With Central Washington University close by, you can visit the McConnell Auditorium to see a theater production or stop by North Campus to hear one of the university’s music ensembles at the Jerilyn S. McIntyre Music Building.
Downtown, you can find Main Street in Ellensburg’s historic district, where you can shop at local bookstores, clothing and gift shops, florists, and sporting goods stores. You can also spend an afternoon at the local museum and art galleries or grab a bite to eat at a local eatery or pub.
Like most places throughout Washington, Ellensburg is an excellent location for outdoor recreation, offering gorgeous weather in both summer and winter. Ellensburg is located just a few short miles from many hiking trails and only 55 miles from Snoqualmie for those hoping to ski or snowboard.
Richland, one of the Tri-Cities along with Pasco and Kennewick, is located on the Columbia River. Over the years, this area has attracted former residents of Seattle and Portland who want job opportunities and a thriving culture but with a more affordable cost of living.
Richland offers its residents a dense suburban experience, with most of the residents owning their homes. There are several coffee shops and parks as well as the REACH Museum, which is perfect for the history or science buff.
With an above-average public school system, Richland is a great place for young families to grow together. And just like most other areas in the Evergreen State, there are many parks, including several along the Columbia and Yakima Rivers. At every park, visitors can enjoy bird-watching, salmon fishing, boating, water sports, golfing, biking, and more.
Wenatchee is a town that consistently lands on lists of best places to live in Washington due to its beautiful seasons, charming neighborhoods, vibrant arts and culture scene, and outdoor recreation opportunities. It’s the perfect place to work, start a business, raise a family, or retire.
With more than 20 local and state parks to explore, Wenatchee residents spend a lot of time outdoors throughout the year.
- Ohme Gardens, a nine-acre garden on the Columbia River, provides tranquility to visitors with its serene waterfalls and panoramic views.
- Both Riverfront Park and Wenatchee Confluence State Park are popular spots for hiking, biking, camping, nature photography, and general exploring.
In addition to the public parks, hiking trails, playgrounds, and nature centers, Wenatchee offers other outdoor recreational activities, especially when the temperature drops and snow starts to fall. When this happens, the town becomes a winter playground for kids ice skating or playing hockey and families going cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or hiking the snowy hills of Twin Peaks.
Established in 1893, Wenatchee has a rich and vibrant history. In that time, the community has built an impressive arts and culture scene:
- The Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center provides an account of the area’s history.
- Throughout the city, art galleries line their walls with local artists’ work for all to enjoy.
- The Musical Theatre of Wenatchee puts on musicals, comedies, and melodramas throughout the year.
For art, music, and performing arts lovers alike, Wenatchee is a place that believes in the value of the arts.
Speaking of value: Wenatchee has an active chamber of commerce that provides resources, networks, and funding opportunities for local entrepreneurs. A part of this community’s small-town feel comes from its encouragement and support of local businesses. And for those who might work remotely for a company in one of the larger cities in Washington, there are several coworking spaces throughout the city.
With a consistent yearly job growth rate and solid public school systems, Moses Lake is another excellent place to reside in Central Washington. Combined with below-average national property prices and a compelling job market that includes several tech companies that serve as major employers, Moses Lake is an attractive location for homebuyers.
When residents aren’t working or in school, you will likely find them doing a variety of outdoor activities, keeping them fit, healthy, and entertained. Here are some favorite spots:
- Potholes State Park features boating, swimming, and fishing as well as skating, skiing, and sledding in the winter.
- Soap Lake, a mineral lake that is similar to a hot spring, is a place to take mud baths and soak in water for softer skin, refreshed joints, and relief for aching muscles.
Moses Lake also provides a variety of restaurants, shopping areas, museums, and theaters. The most popular options include:
- Centennial Amphitheater and Gorge Amphitheatre both offer great places to enjoy live music.
- The Moses Lake Museum and Art Center is dedicated to exploring the human and natural history of the Columbia Basin and celebrating the works of local and regional artists.
As you have read, Central Washington has a lot to offer those interested in professional development, good schools, lively culture, and, of course, the great outdoors.
If you’re interested in building a new, custom home in Central Washington, now is an ideal time. There is plenty of beautiful land available at a reasonable price, and many buyers are able to easily find property in their preferred area.
To learn more about finding land in Central Washington or about the custom homebuilding process, call us or visit us at our office in Union Gap.