An Ode to the Pacific Northwest

Every region of the country has its perks. The south has their endearing hospitality, the Northeast is home to the bulk of US history, and the Midwest has the best BBQ (sorry Texas). The west coast is known for its trend-setting culture, but I think the Pacific Northwest deserves our special attention. Here are five things I’ve learned to love during my year in the PNW:

1. Dutch Bros. If you haven’t heard of it before, I apologize. The world has done you an injustice, but I am ending the misery now. Dutch Brothers is a chain of coffee shops that are concentrated in the PNW and serve the best coffee in the universe. From the hipster workers to the blaring music to their frequent fundraising events, everything about Dutch will make you happy. Not to mention the coffee, which will help you get through the suckiest of days (I recommend the Caramelizer).

2. Their chill, laid-back attitudes. I might be alone in this, but I personally have found that the PNW has all the trendiness of California with all the friendliness of the Midwest. They’ve managed to balance the best of both worlds, simultaneously capable of being nice to everyone while also staying hip in today’s society.

3. Their fashion sense. Like the rest of their culture, their sense of style is laid back and trendy. With their dressed-up bohemian outfits, I am in a constant state of disappointment over the inadequacy of my wardrobe. I probably couldn’t pull off the outfits anyway, but props to those who can!

4. The views. Perhaps the best-known perk of the Pacific Northwest is the stunningly beautiful surroundings that can be found literally anywhere you go. They have mountains, they have deserts, they have trees, they have beaches—in short, they have it all. They also have a disgusting amount of rain, but I like it. Kind of.

5. The mix of urban and rural. While being home to some of this country’s prettiest natural wonders, the PNW can also boast of some fun and unique cities. Both Seattle and Portland are vibrant cities with their own personalities and an endless number of things to do. With Pike Place Market, Powell’s City of Books, and the OG Starbucks, you’re left with no shortage of options if you want to take a break from hiking.

Although I love my native Missouri and have always planned to end up there, the wonder that is the Pacific Northwest has me warring with myself. The PNW is basically a place where people love life, drink coffee, and climb mountains— 10/10 would recommend.

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