When you’re looking to move somewhere new, you need to know not only what’s great about the area you’re looking at, but also what’s not. Often, Googling will bring you extremes you have to sort through, but how do you find an honest assessment from someone who is happy to live there?
If you’re looking for an honest list of the pros and cons of living in Port Orchard, Washington, you’re in the right place. As a realtor who lives here, I not only know why I love living here, but why those selling choose to move.
So, if you’re ready for a real list of the pros and cons of living in Port Orchard, let’s dive in!
Is Living in Port Orchard Worth It? Pros and Cons
Pros of Living in Port Orchard: Plenty of Fun Things to Do
Top of the list has to be that there are just so many fun things to do in your spare time. Of course, the beautiful city of Seattle is just an hour away with the Space Needle, the wonderful Pike Place Market, the Olympic Sculpture Park, and so much more. And if you like pro sports, it’s the home of the Sonics, the Seahawks, the Mariners, and the Sounders. Tacoma is close by too, and it has a great zoo and aquarium at Point Defiance and all sorts of museums and parks.
Here in town, we have plenty of great stores to explore, delicious restaurants, and one of the best things about Port Orchard, Washington, is the landscape. If you like getting outside, whether that be for a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood, or out for some serious hiking, we’re in a perfect location. From here, you can take a short drive and soon have some of the best hiking, fishing, sailing, and hunting in the state. The Olympic National Park is nearly a million acres, so there are endless opportunities!
Cons of Living in Port Orchard: Traffic
Like any well-positioned town or city, the downside is all the traffic. In Port Orchard itself, it’s not too bad, but when people are trying to get to and from work, Highway 16 can get quite congested. Highway 16 is the major arterial we have to use to access I-5 and Seattle. When you get to know the roads, you can usually find routes to avoid the traffic, but you can’t ignore the fact that it is busy. Of course, if this wasn’t the case, it would be because no one wanted to live here!
There’s also always the Southworth Ferry, which only takes half an hour to get to Seattle. We’re getting a fast ferry very soon, which will cut the journey time even further, so Port Orchard is still a good option for those commuting to Seattle.
Pros of Living in Port Orchard: Small-Town Feel
The second great thing about living in Port Orchard is the small-town feel. The population is only 19,000, so while there are plenty of people in town, there aren’t people everywhere you go at all hours of day and night. If you’re looking for a place to live close to the action but in a quieter location, Port Orchard could be the place for you.
Cons of Living in Port Orchard: Takes Time to Get Across Town
The con to the small-town feel is because Port Orchard is so spread out, it can seem like it takes an age to get across town. If you want to get groceries on one side of the city and, say, go to the bank across town, then it can take 30 minutes. I guess it wasn’t well planned when the city was first established – and it’s certainly not a deal-breaker, but if you’re moving to Port Orchard from living somewhere where everything is on your doorstep, it may feel like it takes a while to get around.
Plus, if you live in the heart of Port Orchard, accessing State Route 16 can be even more of a chore, and you may find one of the outlying areas is a better choice if you need to do this regularly.
Pros of Living in Port Orchard: Natural Beauty
Next up on the list of pros of living in Port Orchard, Washington, is definitely how beautiful it is. We have mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, streams and lovely beaches. Everywhere is so green it takes your breath away. The first thing you need if you move here is a good pair of walking shoes, you will want to be out and about as much as you can!
Cons of Living in Port Orchard: It is Washington, After All
And the second thing you will need is a waterproof jacket. The reason it is so green in this part of the country is because it rains! Most people know that the Pacific Northwest is green because it rains often, but if you didn’t, this is your wakeup call!
Now, it certainly doesn’t rain all the time, and often just a drizzle, and rains a lot more by the coast, but we do get our fair share. It is extremely rare that it stops you from going out, but if you are looking for somewhere with endless days of blue skies, then perhaps the Pacific Northwest shouldn’t be your number one choice. On the plus side, it is mild, and we don’t get those achingly cold winters many other states have to suffer.
Pros of Living in Port Orchard: Delicious Local Food
Food. I love food, and we have some wonderful restaurants right here in town. Not only do they serve great food, but many offer stunning waterside locations and have a wonderful ambiance. And if you like seafood, then this is heaven, as we have some of the finest seafood restaurants in the country right here in Washington and fresh ingredients that cannot be bettered.
Pros of Living in Port Orchard: Coffee!
The fifth pro on my list is… Coffee! As we’re next door to the city that gave birth to one of the most popular chains of coffee shops in the world, we have a Starbucks on every corner and in every grocery store, or at least it seems like it! I adore coffee so what’s the downside? Personally, though I like Starbucks, my favourite brand is Tully’s and with so many Starbucks there’s not enough room for enough Tully’s. But that is just a personal opinion.
So they are my favorite things about living in Port Orchard, Washington, and some of the things I am not so crazy about. There are two other points it’s worth mentioning, but I haven’t added a pro or con to them, as it really depends on your personal views. They are:
Pros and Cons of Living in Port Orchard, Washington: Weed
It doesn’t personally bother me, but marijuana is legal in the state of Washington as it is in a few others. If you come from one where it hasn’t yet been legalized, you will notice a difference, as it is smoked openly and you can buy it at many stores in the area. If you are interested in cannabis that’s a good thing, but I can totally understand why it might be viewed as a con by some.
Pros and Cons of Living in Port Orchard, Washington: No Income Tax
We don’t have income tax in this state – yay! But we do have a 9% sales tax on everything except food – boo. This means everything is 9% more than the sticker price, which can make a big difference to your bill when you get to the checkout.
So there you have it – an honest list of pros and cons. Is living in Port Orchard worth it? I believe so! If, after reading this list, you agree and think this wonderful area is right for you, please give me a call or send me a text or email. I love living here, and I’d be thrilled to help you find your dream property.