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This coastal town is the best socially distant getaway in Washington

Seabrook becomes a magnet for people seeking a change of pace amidst the pandemic - 2020's Best of the Best Socially Distant Getaway, Sponsored by Premera Blue Cross

SEABROOK, Wash. — Seabrook is the winner of Best Socially Distant Getaway in 2020's Best of the Best.

It's estimated more than half of Seattle area residents are working from home. And that means work can happen anywhere.

Casey Roloff, the founder of the beachtown known as Seabrook, says home sales there have shot up between 30 and 40 percent since the pandemic began. 

"The primary buyer is still buying for a second home. But a second home means something completely different than it did before because we have so much more time on our hands and so much more.flexibility, with telcommuting online school, telemedicine.  I just think this shift is going to be long lasting," said Roloff.

 When Pamela Sue Jones found out her husband wouldn't have to go back to work until at least March, they made the decision to stay full time at the beach. 

They even sold their home in Sammamish and plan to worry about living closer to work when the time comes. 

"We get to enjoy the beach and my husband on breaks gets to walk down to the beach and it's stress free," shared Jones.  

Rhonda Salvesen made a similar housing pivot after being laid off from her job at Hawaiian Airlines. 

She and her family have long kept a small vacation home at Seabrook, but now they are putting down roots. 

"We went and bought a bigger house because we know this is where we are going to be; and who knows how long Covid is going to be around.  So we are going to stay here," said Salvesen. 

She even found a job within walking distance of her home, in Seabrook's sales office.

"Going from Tacoma to Seatac was 45 minutes. Now my commute is 3 minutes and 15 seconds. If my husband comes it's 3:30 seconds, because he meanders," jokes Salveson.  

Each Saturday, Roloff gives a walking tour to tell the Seabrook story.  And part of that is his vision of a community that brings everyone together

Seabrook has a variety of housing types, from apartments and tiny cottages to grand ocean front homes.  The idea is to ensure more people can afford to live there. 

About 120 people live in Seabrook full time and many of the other homes are available for rent. 

Roloff says Seabrook is a throwback to the towns a hundred years ago before the United States started planning housing around cars. 

It's a place where you can walk, bike or skateboard anywhere you need to go, from restaurants and the market to the town hall and clothing stores.  

"It seems like a dreamland to people, but that used to be the norm and we are just bringing it back. People come out here for the ocean, but it's the town that brings people back," shared Roloff. 

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