Exploring for a possible move to the area....
So, I'm taking a three week trip to drive between Seattle and LA - I work in the food business and I'm a foodie... and I'm thinking of moving from the East Coast to some where out there on West Coast - I'm looking for suggestions for towns/cities in which I should spend some time (please tell me why when you make a suggestion :-) and specific places to eat or wineries to visit - I'll be on my own, so restaurants that have bars to eat at will be much appreciated... I'll post this same message on other relevant boards as well! Thanks in advance!
If you're able to venture north of Seattle, I'd suggest exploring the various towns and communities dotting the Puget Sound coastlines between Tacoma and Bellingham, especially the islands and peninsulas. More so if this is your first time out to the Pacific NW (or first time to do serious exploration).
Sorry if this doesn't fit your inquiry's criteria, but the Pacific NW with its combination of magnificent mountains, islands, waterways, wildlife and marine life (and the peoples are ok too, wink), is a true gem in the Lower 48 not to be missed. And of course there are lots of great eats.
Portland OR just hosted a Food convention, besides L.A. the only one on the west coast. It got rave reviews. They have more micro brews than anywhere else is what I hear, and of course the wines are well known. The whole of Willamette Valley (south of Portland), I swear is one huge winery, every road has multiples of wineries to choose from. And the Coast is only a couple of hours away. There are too many great places to eat, and without your preferences, hard to recommend one or 2 places. Try looking at www.oregonian.com and go to their food section. That will tell you a lot. James Beard is from Portland and a foundation of his still operates in Portland.
Well, just for the pure foodie pleasure of it, you might want to spend an evening on Lummi Island and enjoy dinner at The Willows Inn. Now featured on several top 10 lists of restaurants around the world and all you have to do is drive to the ferry dock and head over. There are more threads about Willows Inn on this board, and if you Google you'll find loads of articles about it and chef Blaine Wetzel. http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/...
Besides, the view is amazing!
Not really food related, but harryharry...as a midwesterner who's spent a couple of winters in the PNW, I recommend you make a visit in Jan/Feb before you decide to relocate. Those endless gray rainy days...I'd rather deal with 20 inches of snow myself :)
But if you're really gonna do it...there is some AMAZING food, particularly seafood to be had. And the produce in the spring/summer is just fabulous.
I think Pike Place Market in SEA is a mandatory stop, and Coupeville on Whidbey Island for local mussels/shellfish.