Are you a recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest? Want to make people think you've been here for years? We have a few tricks you can employ (along with these carefully curated socks) that will make locals think you're a true Northwest native. For bonus points, you can even wear them with sandals.
The PNW is known for its coffee – after all, Starbucks got its start here. However, these days most coffee snobs will only sip artisan, fair-trade beans lovingly prepared by a dedicated barista in an independently owned café. So if someone asks you if you want to meet at Starbucks, just say, "Nah, let's go to The Black Drop instead."
Every proud Pacific Northwesterner knows that one of the best parts of living here is pranking gullible tourists. To get in on the action, tell visitors "fun facts" like the age at which deer turn into elk, send them out to spot the endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, or put them on the trail of that most elusive prize: Bigfoot. Say, "Apparently the Sasquatch species is highly attuned to the scent of sour cream and onion chips, so make sure you bring a family-size bag camping and scatter them around your tent." Then you laugh when they get eaten by a bear.
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Repeat after me: the only salmon is wild-caught Pacific salmon. Throw your farm-raised Atlantic salmon in the trash, because it can never compare to freshly caught Sockeye, Coho or King from Washington waters.
The only drink that Washingtonians and Oregonians like more than coffee is beer. And while they may be local, bring Olympia or Rainier to a barbecue and people will look at you like you're crazy. The reason: fizzy yellow beer in cans can't compare to our truly exceptional local craft brews. Our hometown of Bellingham is blessed with an abundance of breweries, including the beloved Boundary Bay Brewery. (With one of their "Save the Ales" sweatshirts, you'll look just like a true Bellinghamster.)
There is a curious social phenomenon at work in the PNW called the Seattle freeze. New transplants claim native Washingtonians are polite yet distant, and it can be hard to connect with new friends. It's tricky to beat the freeze, but with the right socks, you can keep your feet warm even when there is coldness all around you! Darn Tough socks are not only made from cozy merino wool in the U.S., they are also built to last – their unconditional lifetime guarantee means that if you are ever dissatisfied with your socks, you can return them for a new pair or your money back. Unlike people, these socks will never let you down.
If someone asks you what you did last weekend, there are a number of responses you can give. By far, the most impressive is, "I climbed a mountain." If you can't resist the call of the wild and you want the world to know it, these outdoorsy socks are perfect for displaying your adventurous spirit.
Hey, have you heard marijuana is legal? Are you actually completely sick of hearing about how marijuana is legal? Now that everyone and their grandmother is toking up, you might need a pair of these pot socks to prove you were waking and baking long before dozens of dispensaries popped up in your neighborhood.
Real Washingtonians don't use umbrellas. In an area known for its rain, you might expect to see an umbrella or two on the street, but using one will instantly identify you as a tourist. Some say it's snobbery, but the real reason? Umbrellas are useless against our mighty rain. During a wet Washington winter, rain seems to come at you sideways and the wind will flip an umbrella in 10 seconds flat. So skip the umbrella – a hooded raincoat will keep you drier, and you'll look like a local.
Fact: Washington has more ferries than any other state, most of them running between islands and cities in Puget Sound and the larger Salish Sea.
Fact: The Salish Sea is one of the best places to see a wild orca, usually on an expensive whale-watching tour.
Fact: You can trick an entire ferry full of people into running out onto the boat's observation deck and staring at the water by yelling, "Look honey, a killer whale!" and pointing vaguely off into the distance with your cell phone camera. Always works. Always funny.
We hope you've enjoyed this guide to life in the Pacific Northwest. With the right pair of socks and the right attitude, you'll be living like a local in no time.