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9 Reasons to Move to Puyallup and Sumner, WA

Find out why remote workers and job seekers are flocking to this haven just south of Seattle.

By Kevin Litwin on March 15, 2023

Puyallup, WA
Puyallup/Sumner Chamber of Commerce

In these days of many companies offering or converting to remote work, employees don’t have to live where their company is based.

Thanks to its slew of assets, Puyallup and Sumner come in hot as a region that remote workers will love – and many have already discovered the long list of benefits.

One of them is affordability. The region offers access to the booming Seattle-Tacoma metro area, but at a much lower price point. According to Zillow in May 2022, the average home value was $573,000 in Puyallup and $562,000 in Sumner. That’s below the statewide average and significantly below the average home value in Seattle, which was nearing $1 million in May 2022.

Thinking about making the move to Puyallup and Sumner? Here are nine reasons why relocating to this stunning western Washington region may make sense for you.

1. Enjoy the Amazing Cuisine Scene

For foodies, the Puyallup/Sumner region offers an envious food and drink scene. Be sure to frequent hot spots like Crockett ’s Public House, Toscano’s, Fiesta Taqueria & Tequila Bar, Scorci’s Italian Cafe and Enoteca, Fat Zach’s Pizza (in Puyallup and Sumner), River’s Edge Cafe, and Mama Stortini’s Restaurant and Bar, to name only a handful.

2. The Outdoor Opportunities Are Endless

Meanwhile, outdoor activities available in this region are nearly endless, with several recreation destinations available such as Bradley Lake Park and Clarks Creek Park. And if hiking is your preference, residents can walk numerous trails as well as along nearby Mount Rainier – the tallest mountain in Washington.

3. Farming Continues to Thrive in the Region

Farming has been a key industry in the region for multiple generations, and a number of local farmers still work the land.

“To be a farmer these days, one needs to keep up with innovations and be adept at skills like marketing, communications, social media and even drone photography,” says Doug Collins, soil scientist at the Washington State University Puyallup Research and Extension Center.

Collins says the Puyallup/Sumner region is blessed with excellent soil, and that advantage allows the experts at the Puyallup Center to research a number of ag issues.

“For example, raising raspberries and strawberries was once a major industry here and now has a smaller footprint, but we oversee a berry-breeding program to still look for breakthroughs to produce better berries,” he says. “Other research programs at the center include finding ways to eradicate diseases in Christmas trees, and a new area called green stormwater infrastructure looks into creating more rain gardens throughout this region to reduce stormwater runoff.”

Collins adds that the agriculture industry continues to change over time and now includes more than traditional farming jobs.

“Statistics show that 70% of the farmers in the state of Washington also have other off-farming jobs, with many of those jobs still related to the industry,” he says. “There is also a lot of interest in indoor farming that features growing crops in vertically stacked layers, and we even have a 4-H Youth Development program here at the Extension Center to help young people who are interested in finding out about agricultural careers.”

JoJo + CoCo Boutique in downtown Sumner, WA
Chelsea Atkins

4. Discover Delightful Downtowns

Historical downtown shopping districts in Puyallup and Sumner offer local residents small-town charm and character with modern-day amenities. With state-of-the-art spas like Salon-Ish and Solei Day Spa and high-quality home goods, clothing and gift shops, there are many options to pamper oneself or pick up a unique treasure.

“Sumner’s Main Street is lined with a variety of small businesses and bustling restaurants, many of which have been a part of our community for 20 years or more. Together, with the City of Sumner and The Cultural Arts Committee, we bring over 20 events to the streets of Sumner each year. Whether it’s Nights on Ryan, a chalk art festival, a car show or the signature community event Rhubarb Days, you’ll find entertainment in Sumner,” says Ashley Krebs, Sumner Main Street Association board chair.

Main Street Associations for both Sumner and Puyallup are focused on creating community, preserving history and supporting businesses to create a thriving economy.

“If you want a variety of restaurants, cocktail bars and pubs, that’s what downtown Puyallup offers best, with more than 25 restaurants and bars to choose from,” says Kerry Yanasek, Puyallup Main Street Association executive director.

Red, White & Varoom in Puyallup, WA

5. Main Streets Are on the Move

The name Puyallup itself means “generous people” and Yanasek says that PMSA is generous and helpful with grants that allow business owners to upgrade their downtown properties to preserve the charm of district’s past.

“Puyallup as a city is inviting and friendly, and city officials provide great support in all aspects of business and quality of life,” he says.

Both cities continue to invest in the walkability, vibrancy, and unique look and feel of their downtown districts. With nighttime light attractions, artful streetscapes and charming way-finding signs, downtown Puyallup and Sumner offer a safe, fun and vibrant lifestyle.

Pioneer Park Pavilion in Puyallup, WA
Pioneer Park Pavilion

6. Immerse Yourself in a Vibrant Arts Scene

There’s a creative air about this community, thanks to its thriving arts and culture scene. Whether you prefer to peruse galleries, enjoy music or relish a work of art at a museum – the region has it all.

And it’s not just local residents who appreciate what the area has to offer. Puyallup welcomes about 2.5 million visitors a year, with about half that number here for the annual 21-day Washington State Fair, while the other half attends various events and visits local attractions.

One of those attractions is Big Whisky Saloon, where friends, music and drinks combine on weekends to make for what is billed as “Always the Best Country Party.”

Also in Puyallup is the landmark Liberty Theatre, a vintage movie palace that was recently restored and will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2024.

Another part of the arts and culture landscape is Pioneer Park Pavilion, which opened downtown in 2004 and is perhaps best known for hosting Puyallup Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning from mid-April through mid-October. The Pavilion is an enclosed building with large garage doors on its park side as well as the street side, and the doors are raised for the market to become an open-air building with a roof on top.

“We also host a summertime Puyallup Night Market on Thursday evenings with a free concert series and food trucks, and that provides a great vibe for the downtown area,” says Ellen Palmer, Pioneer Park Pavilion supervisor. “The Pavilion also hosts banquets, weddings and a six-concert Northwest Sinfonietta chamber orchestra series on Sunday afternoons from the fall through May.

WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center
Washington State University

7. Score Your Next Job in Puyallup and Sumner

Thinking about getting a new job? A variety of job and career opportunities are available to residents and newcomers in Puyallup/Sumner, thanks to the area’s diverse industry sectors.

One key sector is military, with several civilian jobs available at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord military instillation near Tacoma. Base officials say they are always looking for talented professionals in areas such child and youth services, financial management, information technology, food and beverage, outdoor recreation and much more.

Good jobs in the health care industry are also in abundance. Puyallup is home to MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital as well as the Mary Bridge Children’s Outpatient Center, which provides award-winning pediatric specialty care.

Data centers are also popping up here, including infrastructure provider Centeris, whose South Hill campus is equipped with a Transpacific Hub to serve businesses on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Also doing business in Puyallup is Wave, a gigabit fiber and broadband services company with fast and secure connectivity for businesses throughout the West Coast and key Asian markets.

8. You Can Easily Get Around

It’s also easy to get around and in-and-out of this region, thanks to the three highways (SR 167, SR 410 and SR 512) that run through the area.

Plus, with Seattle-Tacoma International Airport only about 20 miles north of Puyallup/Sumner, remote workers can ultimately travel to wherever they need for work-related meetings or to visit family and friends.

9. Get a Great Education and Job Training

At Pierce College Puyallup, preparing students for top careers in a number of growing economic sectors is its mission, and the community college features six career pathways. They are business, education, health care, social and behavioral sciences, STEM, and arts-humanities-communication.

And in the city of Sumner, officials are looking to expand the lucrative manufacturing industry, which today has many high-paying and innovative job choices. Sumner is home to a Manufacturing Industrial Center, which houses more than 14,000 jobs that range from aerospace to coffee roasting, and there is room for further growth and another estimated 12,000 jobs.

“The Puyallup/Sumner region is a beautiful place to live and work,” Collins says. “The quality of life here is fantastic for individuals and families.”

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