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Why Pacific Northwest colleges are so unique

Last Updated 20 June, 2015

To visitors and onlookers, the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. is known for its mountains, rivers, lakes, salmon and the Pacific Ocean. And maybe the Seahawks. It’s all true, but there’s more.

Within this laid-back haven for outdoor recreation is a rugged spirit of discovery. So many entrepreneurial minds in the Northwest have used learning at top-notch universities as a springboard to careers that shape the region, the country and sometimes the world.

Overall, many of the best college campuses in America are located in the Northwest—in some of the most amazing places to live.

Friendly people who care
When people move to the Northwest for the first time, one of the most commonly uttered queries is, “Why are people here so friendly?”

In the Northwest, the pace of life eases down while passion for faith, family and hard work runs high.

Outdoor recreation
In Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Montana, fun outdoor activities are never more than a short car ride away. Hiking trails line the maps. Fly-fishing hot spots dot the landscape. Pristine lakes provide relief from the shimmering summer sun. Mountain ranges are just sitting there, practically screaming to be camped at.

The best colleges for outdoor adventure are set in some of the most majestic settings this country has to offer. The Northwest is second to none in this regard.

Natural haven for entrepreneurs
Plentiful natural resources including timber, ocean, rivers, lakes and fish play a major role in the Pacific Northwest’s economic profile. However, perhaps more prodigious is the dogged entrepreneurial spirit that gets the most out of such resources.

In Oregon, Phil Knight turned a simple running shoe idea into Nike. In Idaho, tech titan Micron and agribusiness giant J.R. Simplot Co. have grown to help shape the entire state. In Washington, Bill Gates of Microsoft become the world’s most famous nerd, while Howard Schultz turned Starbucks, a small coffee-beans outfit into a worldwide phenomenon.

Such innovation and economic vitality helps college students in the Northwest, too. High-quality internships abound every year. Each one is yet another opportunity to make the future as bright as possible.

From campsites and river bends to classrooms and boardrooms, the Pacific Northwest is a place where people enjoy life and learn to thrive.