Is Port Angeles A Good Place To Live? (Find Out Now!)

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins

A quiet town in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, Port Angeles is a popular destination for tourists looking for a magical vacation. But what would it be like if that magical vacation didn‘t have to end? Is Port Angeles a good place to live?

Port Angeles, Washington is the primary urban center of the North Olympic Peninsula. It is a great place to live because the houses are affordable, the weather is great, and the community is friendly. However, the population is less diverse, and employment opportunities are limited.

The question of whether a place is a good place to live is hard to answer for sure because everyone has their own preferences. Therefore, we thought it would be a great idea to tell you the pros and cons of living in Port Angeles so you can make an informed decision.

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Port Angeles Residents

During 2018 Port Angeles had a population of 19.6k people; their median age was 38.1 and their median household income was $42,967. Between 2017 and 2018, Port Angeles grew by 1.1% in population and by 4.04% in mortgage debt.

A total of 83.2 percent of Port Angeles’ population is White (Non-Hispanic), 4.58 percent is Two+ (Non-Hispanic), 4.21% is Hispanic, 2.24 percent is American Indian and Alaska Native, and 2.2% is Asian. In Port Angeles, WA, 0% of the households speak a language other than English at home. 97.7% of Port Angeles, WA residents are U.S. citizens.

Why Is Port Angeles A Good Place To Live?

There are countless reasons to move to the Olympic Peninsula, but it’s probably a question you’d be better able to answer in person. It is jaw-droppingly beautiful, and because of that, you get to appreciate it every day. In addition to its beauty, the Olympic Peninsula has friendly and welcoming communities that make living here a delight.

As you consider where you want to live, we invite you to come and experience the peninsula for yourself and see why so many people have made it their home. Walk the beaches, breathe in the lavender, dine at a fine restaurant, or hike the mountains. Here are several other reasons the residents of Port Angeles love it there:

1. Affordable Housing

There are parts of the Pacific Northwest that have become so expensive that middle-class families cannot afford to live there. This is why the Olympic Peninsula is so valuable. Fortunately, that’s not the case on the Olympic Peninsula, where median house prices hover around $300,000.

There are also have low local property taxes and no state income tax. So not only is the housing market excellent when it comes to cost but also to tax situation. Add in the lower cost of living, and you’ve got it made!

2. Mild Weather

In addition to some wet spots such as Forks and the Hoh Rainforest, did you know that Sequim has on average more sunny days than cities farther inland like Seattle?

This is true. Sequim, along with Port Angeles and Port Townsend, is in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, which means we have less rain and more sun than other regions of the Pacific Northwest. Our climate is mild throughout the year, and we also have 4 distinct seasons.

3. Friendly Community

If you walk through the downtown areas of Sequim, Port Townsend, and Port Angeles, you’ll see the signs of friendly communities. Each town has its own unique character and offerings, but all three are active and friendly places to live. While this article is aimed at Port Angeles, it’s good to know your nearby communities are friendly as well since you’ll be frequenting them too.

The friendliness factor helps during the summer went there are tons of events going on too. No one wants to spend time with irritable, mean people. When you have friendly neighbors and a tight-knit community, this allows you to enjoy yourself and remain carefree.

4. Perfect For Nature Lovers

While there are plenty of natural marvels in the Pacific Northwest (think Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, the North Cascades, Seattle’s waterfront), none of them compare to those found on the Olympic Peninsula. It’s easy to see why the Olympic Peninsula offers the best of the Northwest: Towering ancient trees, countless mountains, and breathtaking coasts.

There are so many hiking trails in Port Angeles alone and across the entire peninsula, state, and whole west coast. So, if you’re an avid backpacker or hiker, living on the Olympic Peninsula presents you with plenty of journies that you otherwise wouldn’t have anywhere else.

5. Outdoor Activities

You need to keep physically active in order to live a long, healthy life, and the Olympic Peninsula has it all! If you love hiking, biking and boating, or kayaking or fishing, or even snowsports, then you are sure to enjoy the Olympia Peninsula! However, if you prefer more of a mellow sort of adventure, many different options are available.

Paddle boating, canoe rentals, swimming, taking a pleasant stroll on paved walking paths… You name it; Port Angeles has it. But, if Port Angeles doesn’t have it, then there is sure to be a place nearby that does.

6. Low Cost Of Living

Cost of living is essential when it comes to deciding whether or not you’re going to move to a particular area. As far as Port Angeles goes, it’s right about the same as the national average when it comes to the cost of groceries. However, healthcare costs, utilities, and transportation fees are much lower than the national average.

You can expect to pay just a little bit above the national average for housing, but even then, the housing market is not too expensive for the area you’ll be living in.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Living In Port Angeles?

While Port Angeles is a fantastic place to visit and live, we would lie if we said there were no downsides to it. We thought it was relevant to discuss as some of these drawbacks are pretty significant and will make or break this decision for you.

  • Shopping is more scarce. There are no local solutions for those with specialized needs or less plebeian tastes. Seattle is often the answer and it is about 2 to 3 hours away. Most of my shopping is done online, and Victoria, British Columbia is about an hour away by ferry.
  • Medical team shortages. There are some medical shortages – but it is improving. Many have to go to Kitsap County or Seattle for specialist care. If traveling isn’t an option for you, but you’re a high medical need individual, then Port Angeles may not be the best option for you.
  • Not a great job market. Jobs are few and pay is not good (though living in the area makes up for that). Forestry jobs are diminishing. There have been a number of small tech-oriented companies moving to the area, but the need for good paying jobs is not being replaced fast enough.
  • Not much diversity. The town is largely white with few African-Americans. However, the area is not governed by racism. But, this can make someone uncomfortable when thinking of living here as most people are more comfortable having people from their culture or background.
  • Winter makes it hard to travel. While it doesn’t look like Port Angeles is too far from any major cities, you would be wrong to think it’s close, especially in fall and winter. When the ice hits the road, you will have a hard time traveling through the surrounding forest as Washington does not salt their roads. You’re then left at the mercy of the ice, which is why most people do their traveling to and from the major cities in the warmer months, and then hunker down for the winter.

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Related Questions

What is it like to live in Port Angeles?

Port Angeles offers residents a suburban environment and many residents own their homes. There are many restaurants, coffee shops, and parks in Port Angeles. Many young professionals and retirees live here and residents tend to lean conservative.You don’t have to travel far to the beach or walking and hiking trails. If you wanted, you could go boating every day instead of having to plan a weekend trip away with your friends and family.

How safe is Port Angeles?

Port Angeles is rated as being in the 3rd percentile in crime. 97% of cities in the United States are safer than Port Angeles; however, this is only applying to property crime. There isn’t much violent crime. You have 1 in 173 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime and 1 in 28 of being a victim of a property crime.

What is Port Angeles known for?

Port Angeles is home to a U.S. Coast Guard station as well as an Olympic National Park headquarters and the Salmon Derby, held each Labor Day weekend. Peninsula College was founded in 1961 there.Not only that but Port Angeles is also known for its natural beauty. There are plenty of lush, green forests, as well as beaches, lakes, oceanfront, and creeks. Also, it’s known for the scene when Bella went prom dress shopping and out to eat with Edward in the famous movie, Twilight.

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Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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