There is no charm to Sequim. I routinely advise visitors that we don't do charm in the Olympic Peninsula, with the exception of Port Townsend. Sequim has attracted a middle income group of retirees, partly because of its mild climate in the rain shadow of the Olympics and partly because it is much cheaper than California. If you think its bad now, you should have seen it ten years ago. At least today the town leadership is trying to promote some centralized development with a sense of place. There are also some very good restaurants in Sequim, and one terrific restaurant, Alder Wood Bistro.
But what on earth were you doing burying yourself in Sequim? We DEs would have told you not to base yourself there. It seems I spend half my time telling posters not to stay east of Port Angeles (another charm free zone, but it's closer to the good stuff). The Olympic Peninsula is home to some of the most beautiful and wild places on earth. Olympic National Park is incomparable. Some of the state forests and parks like the Buckhorn Wilderness are gorgeous. And even near Sequim there are wonderful spots like the Dungeness Spit and the Old Dungeness farmlands along Towne Road where you can swim in the Dungeness River, fish for steelhead, and count a dozen eagles in an afternoon. Did you see any of these places?
I wouldn't judge NJ, home to the beautiful Pine Barrens, Princeton, and many a lively, if crowded, beach town, by the NJ Turnpike.
I guess I would have to ask what you were expecting. Our towns and cities here are like those anywhere else. Real people live and work there. It is unfortunate that you won't be there long enough to get to know the real treasure of Sequim which are the friendly people who live there.
The winter views of the mountains covered with snow are quite striking from Sequim. The lavender fields and flower baskets make for a pleasant setting. People go into the grocery store and almost always run into someone they know. The community supports the schools. This is part of the charm of Sequim or any other community here on the peninsula. Take a walk out on the Dungeness Spit or ride a bike on the Olympic trail.
Happy you are from NJ and you are talking about urban sprawl! I am house sitting on the water as I write this looking out at the Straights of Juan De Fuca and the Dungeness Spit. Unless you walked, the Spit, hiked the nearby trails in the Olympic National Forest, kayaked in any number of great spots, cycled the Discovery Bike Path or took the time to drive the surrounding countryside, then I do not think you actually saw anything of Sequim. I have spent two weeks here and love it. I used to own five acres in the woods with a recreational trailer we escaped to from Seattle often. The fact that it had far more sunny days than Seattle and one third the rainfall and its proximity to Olympic National Park had a lot to do with us buying that property. It may not be the perfect base for visiting one of the National Park's true Gems in Olympic, but it's about 3000 miles closer to it the Pacific Ocean and Hood Canal than New Jersey is. For anyone like me who loves Olympic National Park and the Pacific NW Sequim and has spent years working and living in the Big City it is actually a great place to live IMO. It is is the only place I would personally consider living on the Olympic Peninsula other than Port Townsend.
You did not give it much of a look. Next time take time to ask those who have settled here why they did and if they are happy with their choice. By the way there are no Casinos in Sequim. Send me your email and I would be happy to send you the sunrises and sunsets I have witnessed every morning and evening from Dungeness and the Golden Eagle perched on the roof of the house next door.Edited: 06 August 2015, 10:08
For someone who has traveled as much as the OP, who evidently is ill informed, and who has to live in New Jersey, her other forum posts, like this one, are, to be kind, "cranky".Edited: 06 August 2015, 22:53
I'm one of those who love and who has raved about the Sequim area. My boys, when they were younger, played in annual baseball tournaments at the Sequim ball fields. I can't tell you how I looked forward to our yearly trips sitting on the sunny, wooden bleachers taking in the fabulous views and vistas. The Dungeness Spit is still one of our family's all time favorite walks and coastal picnic spots. The boys would build driftwood huts for hours. We loved the kitsch and of the long-time, throw-back restaurant Three Crabs (now closed). We loved the access to trails and hikes in near-by Olympic National Park. It was a rustic, blink-and-you'd miss it area, but that was fine for us.
As a side-note, there are *very* few charming resort towns or areas in Washington as you would find on the east coast. Sometimes, I wish we had them, however, most times I truly love the wild, vast, undeveloped, untethered, and rugged side of Washington.Edited: 06 August 2015, 23:10
Thank you both for chiming in! IslandGirl I am house sitting a half mile up the Beach from where the Three Crabs used to be. So sad I so miss the place! It had gone downhill as the owner lost interest for personal reasons, but we ate there up until the end and still enjoyed it. She kept it going not wanting it to become a MacMansion. She got what she wanted as it is now a public Park. I have been walking there every night to watch sunsets and enjoying the surrounding wetlands at dusk. All that is left of the restaurant is the foundation. Every night people drive, walk and bike to the beach to watch the sunsets. I would be happy to send you photos if you send me your email.
As I have been visiting the Peninsula since 72. As I said earlier for years we had recreational property here near the foothills, so I know the area really well. We want to get closer to our much beloved Olympics and have decided to move to Sequim next year. Nice people and very quiet which for us is a priority. No offense to our neighbors in PA, but I prefer Sequim.
Nature, no traffic jams, no pollution, nature, wide open spaces, temperate climate, Olympic and water views, community spirit, nature! I moved from a developed tourist town - no thanks. This is a real place to live, not just for tourists. And sorry, Kaleberg, much less crime than PA.