Gift giving is always tricky. Fortunately, when it comes to friends and relatives living in the Pacific Northwest, their choice of living in that region helps gift buyers make some basic assumptions about what they might enjoy.

While it may be wrong to assume anything based on geography, if the recipient of a gift is living on the far northwestern edge of the United States, we can assume a few things:

  • They’re outdoorsy.
  • They’re pretty smart about technology.
  • They might lean toward the more “liberal” political persuasion.
  • They’re concerned about the environment.

Before conducting some serious eye-rolling about our assumptions, let’s look more closely at the Pacific Northwest to help discern whether these predictions are accurate — or off base.

About the Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest spans the coastal region of the Pacific Ocean north from BC, Canada, and southeastern Alaska, all the way south to northern California. It includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and parts of Montana. This still-rugged tree-lined country features sprawling forests with a few concentrated population centers in Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, and Vancouver. From deep gorges holding the Columbia River to the high peaks of Mount Rainier, this territory is known for its lush greenery and gorgeous wild untamed places.

The climate of the Pacific Northwest is wet and cool. Further inland you’ll find drier patches, but the coastal territories are populated by rainforests with some of the biggest trees in the world. But some of the planet’s biggest technology companies have still found space to make a home here, like Amazon, Expedia, and Boeing.The forestry industry is also big here, along with fishing the coastal waters. Speaking of coastal, Coastal Living says residents claim the lush beauty of this region is the number one reason for settling there.

In addition to the traits we’ve suggested, Matador Network suggests that people from the Pacific Northwest have a number of things in common including:

  • A love of coffee. Starbucks was born in Seattle, right?
  • A respect for great music. From Pearl Jam to Kurt Cobain, the Pacific Northwest has spawned some of the best talents in the U.S. music scene.
  • Being total beer snobs. (There are microbreweries everywhere in the PNW.)
  • Considering recycling a necessity.
  • Eating organic food.

People in the Pacific Northwest look like they are either about to attend a grunge concert or ready to go hiking at a moment’s notice. That makes buying them presents easy, but potentially expensive.

Here are five great suggestions for buying a gift for anyone from the Pacific Northwest.

#1 Give them a taste of all the best things in the Northwest, from the Gift Tree.

The Pacific Northwest Wine Tasting Basket features honey from Portland and wine from the Willamette Valley. There’s wild-caught smoked salmon from the Pacific, and chocolate from Seattle. The basket, from GiftTree (promo codes here and here), contains some of the best from the region and it can be hand-delivered to the doorstep of anyone anywhere — including a houseboat anchored on Lake Roosevelt.

#2 Consider a gift card to Blue Apron

Blue Apron (they have a $20 off code right now) is a farm-to-table meal subscription service that delivers a box of organic fresh ingredients along with instructions on how to cook it. The produce is in-season, the herbs are fresh-picked, and the recipes are delicious. It eliminates the time spent on meal planning and shopping. For any resident of the Pacific Northwest, this is the kind of gift that will surely satisfy.

#3 How about a gift card from the Columbia Sportswear Company? 

Columbia has carved out a niche in outdoor clothing as distinctive as the snowy peaks of Mt. Rainier. That’s why you’ll find this gear on the backs of most of the residents of the Pacific Northwest. Columbia (codes here, here) is an environmentally conscious company that sells high-quality gear to keep the outdoor enthusiast warm and dry in the wettest coldest weather, or to wick moisture away keeping hikers and runners cooler in the dry season. Giving a gift card or picking out some gear from Columbia is like mother’s milk to a resident of the Pacific Northwest. Here’s one more tip: Columbia features some web-only specials that offer the same quality gear for less

#4 A cool t-shirt from Cafepress is great for any occasion.  

Shoppers can find a t-shirt or coffee mug on Cafepress (discounts here & here) for just about anything. In the case of the Pacific Northwest, there’s every t-shirt imaginable, from the space needle to the pine forest to Sasquatch. Hit two loves of PNW resident by snagging a coffee mug with a recycling logo. Cafepress is a good site for budget-conscious gifters.

#5 Shop the Pacific Northwest Shop for true regional flair.

The Pacific Northwest Shop features all things PNW. Shoppers will find gift boxes, home and garden, clothes, books, and more, all geared for those with a love of the region. The food section offers wild Pacific smoked salmon, candy and snacks, and huckleberry foods which are a staple of the area.

Another truly unique gift on the site is hand blown glass ornaments that feature a little bit of the volcanic ash that came from the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens.

There are even cotton throw blankets with the unique Native American design the area is known for.

Shop the PNW

Residents or transplants to the PNW fall in love with the gorgeous scenery of the region along with the rich cultural traditions based in intellectualism, technology, and even, the grunge music scene. When buying a fit for a Pacific Northwesterner, as long as the shopper keeps in mind the rich landscape and the liberal attitude the shopping excursion is sure to be a success.