Population: 16,389

Land Prices in Aberdeen: If you want big bay views, you’re going to pay. But for $65,000 you can get nearly 6 acres with views of a small creek; you put in the septic and well.

Why we love it: If you can handle the rain—they don’t call Aberdeen, the “gateway to the Olympic Peninsula” for nothing—you’ll find yourself in a place where the fog paints an impressionist landscape, the Olympic Mountains peek through the clouds, and the beach is just minutes way.

Aberdeen also is famous as musician Kurt Cobain’s hometown and as the birthplace of Grunge music, but that’s incidental trivia compared to the comfortable, outdoorsy lifestyle people lead here. Located at the convergence of the Wishkah and Chehalis Rivers, Aberdeen brims with parks—240 acres, of which 150 have been developed for community use that include a paved path along the Chehalis through Morrison Riverfront Park. Lake Aberdeen is just minutes away. And the town is dotted with grand, historic homes.

Though Aberdeen has a long logging history, the city is developing something of a “green” economic base. An enormous biodiesel plant, the largest in the nation, opened in August. Grays Harbor Paper, located in nearby Hoquiam, uses wood waste to generate 65 percent of its power (the company also produces the only 100 percent post-consumer-recycled paper made with 100 percent renewable energy). And there are other initiatives on the books.

Why you’ll love it: Beaches. Mountains. Rainforest. Great neighborhoods and parks. And so many trees that a log home seems as natural here as soft rain and seagulls.

Aberdeen is a regional shopping area, so dry goods are easy to come by. And after years of gloomy economic weather reports—brought on by the collapse of the timber industry—Aberdeen is starting to see an up-tick in its fortunes. Only two hours from the Seattle-Tacoma Airport and two-and-a-half hours from Portland with wonderful natural resources within spitting distance, Aberdeen is nicely positioned for a greener, sunnier future.

Aberdeen Web Resources: www.graysharbor.org

Photos by: <a title="http://www.graysharbor.org/" target="_blank" href="http://www.graysharbor.org/" rel"nofollow">www.graysharbor.org


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