Best Places to Live in Washington State | What are the Top 10 Cities?

Considering a move to the Evergreen State? Not to be confused with the District of Columbia, Washington State is one of the fastest growing states in America; ranked in at number 7 as of this writing. The state is up to 7.4 million residents and counting. Where are the best places to live in Washington State? Read on…

Best Places to Live in Washington State region

Washington is a complete package; You get all nature has to offer: gorgeous pacific coastline, lush green forests, mountains and snaking rivers. Whether you’re a hiker, fisherman, mariner or weekend warrior, Washington can scratch your outdoor itch.

For you entrepreneurs and job seekers out there, the Seattle area has an up-and-coming tech sector and plenty of employment opportunities; Microsoft, Starbucks, Costco, Amazon, and Boeing have their headquarters here, just to name a few. We have stellar school districts to choose from. Check out our post on the top districts for more information.

Since you can have your cake and eat it too here, housing prices and the cost of living come with a high price tag. The Seattle area has relatively high house prices compared to the rest of the nation (median price of $688,500 at the time of this writing). Check out our market stats page for more info. Be prepared to bring your pocket book, especially if you want to move to some of the cities listed below.

If you’d prefer a detailed post on the pros and cons of moving here, check out our other blog post.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 best places to live in Washington State in our opinion:


Redmond
King County

Best Places to Live in Washington State Redmond
Redmond Town Center
  • Population 67,000 as of 2018
  • 15mi East of Seattle
  • Median Household Income: $123,721 (source: city-data.com)
  • NWMLS Average Housing Price Oct 2019: $865,000

The home of Microsoft and Nintendo, Redmond has a lot to offer to its residents. 

It hosts one of the most popular parks in the State (Marymoor Park); a whopping 640 acres and brings in over 3 million people a year. 

Cyclists find it super friendly with bike lanes incorporated throughout the city. Redmond Derby Days hosts multi-day cycling events with lots of other activities to choose from like a grand parade, live music, food and a beer garden. 

Redmond Town Center offers lots of restaurant and shopping options; all available on foot.

Stop by the Saturday Market for farm fresh produce, music and activities. 

Redmond definitely tops the list for one of the best places to live in Washington State. 

Sammamish
King County

Sammamish Best Places to Live in Washington State
  • Population: 40,000 as of 2018
  • 15mi SE of Seattle
  • Median Household Income: $168,758 (source: city-data.com)
  • NWMLS Average Housing Price Oct 2019: $965,000

Divided by Lake Sammamish to the West and the Snoqualmie Valley to the east, the Sammamish plateau is desirable place to start a new life. 

Aside from the picturesque lake, you get tons of hiking options, golf festivals and more. Hike around the lake on the Sammamish river trail or attend a show like Very Merry Sammamish or Shakespeare in the Park. 

Sammamish brings a feeling of safety and tight-knit community. Crime rate is low (80% safer than other U.S. cities per neighborhoodscout.com), and the school districts are top notch

If you can afford the high housing price, it’s a great place to raise a family. 

Issaquah
King County

issaquah Best Places to Live in Washington State
  • Population: 40,000 as of 2018
  • 15mi SE of Seattle
  • Median Household Income: $108,209 (source: city-data.com)
  • NWMLS Average Housing Price Oct 2019: $670,000

Surrounded by parks and gorgeous scenery, Issaquah is just North of the Sammamish plateau. 

More affordable than it’s elevated neighbor, Interstate 90 divides this Seattle suburb. It’s hardly small however as this town has a growing population and the retail giant Costco Wholesale is headquartered here. 

Issaquah is a nature-lovers city; there is no shortage of lakes, trails and mountainous landscape.

There’s plenty to do in town as well; check out Salmon Days, the Cougar Mountain Zoo and the Village Theatre. 

Issaquah also has some of the best schools in the nation!

Bainbridge Island
Kitsap County

Bainbridge Best Places to Live in Washington State
  • Population: 25,000 as of 2018
  • 35 minute Ferry Ride From Seattle
  • Median Household Income:$116,845 (source: city-data.com)
  • NWMLS Average Housing Price Oct 2019: $710,927

Located in the Puget Sound basin, east of the Kitsap peninsula, Bainbridge Island, is one of the most precious places on our list of best places to live in Washington State. 

Bainbridge is accessible via a 35 minute ferry ride from Seattle. Living here is worth the commute; Bainbridge has 32 miles of hiking and biking trails and over 53 miles of shoreline. The Island Trust, city and park districts do a fantastic job of keeping the island green and natural. 

The main city of Winslow has plenty of restaurants and shopping available. It also contains a waterfront park; a great place for lounging and attending festivals and other city activities. 

Snoqualmie
King County

Snoqualmie Best Places to Live in Washington State
  • Population: 13,500
  • 28mi East of Seattle
  • Median Household Income:$143,622 (source: city-data.com)
  • NWMLS Average Housing Price Oct 2019: $767,500

Located next to the awe-inspiring Snoqualmie Falls, Snoqualmie itself is a charming city with epic views of the cascades. Take your family to the falls or for a weekend trip into the mountains without an extended driving time. 

This tight-knit community is very well kept and is always clean and inviting. 

A smaller but growing population makes this a great spot to start anew.

Kirkland
King County

Best Places to Live in Washington State Kirkland
  • Population: 85,000
  • 11mi NE of Seattle
  • Median Household Income: (source: city-data.com) $114,336
  • NWMLS Average Housing Price Oct 2019: $720,000

Perfect for a city-goer that also loves the grandeur of the Northwest, Kirkland is an ever expanding mini-metropolis. There are countless unique, bars restaurants, shops and a beautiful waterfront right on Lake Washington (Juanita Beach Park). 

The Totem Lake area of Kirkland is also exploding, recently adding a bunch of new high rise apartments and many more shops. Like most cities in Western Washington, Kirkland is very pedestrian and bicycle friendly. 

Bellevue
King County

  • Population: 148,000
  • 10mi East of Seattle
  • Median Household Income: (source: city-data.com) $113,877
  • NWMLS Average Housing Price Oct 2019: $881,000

In our opinion Bellevue earns the award for classiest city in WA and has more than earned its place as one of the best places to live in Washington State. 

Bellevue literally means beautiful view in French. You have the olympic mountains & Lake Washington to the West, and the Cascades & Lake Sammamish to the East; homogenize that with Bellevue’s crisp skyline and you have one gorgeous city!

Bellevue offers high class shopping including Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Gucci as well Bellevue Square Mall with Lincoln square Cinema. Some of the best restaurants in the area can also be found here. John Howie Steak, and Ding Tai Fung are definitely worth checking out. 

The night scene is also very active. Check out some of the many options like the Portal Virtual Reality Arcade & Lounge or the Cosmos Lounge. 

Woodinville
King County

Best Places to Live in Washington State Woodinville
USA, Washington, Woodinville. Chateau Ste. Michelle is the state’s largest winery.
  • Population: 12,000
  • 23mi NE of Seattle
  • Median Household Income: (source: city-data.com) $116,186
  • NWMLS Average Housing Price Oct 2019: $775,000

A smaller population than most of the cities on this list, Woodinville is a suburb that is also undergoing transformation. Though it still has a small town feel, Woodinville is growing and very desirable for those willing to live a little further North of Seattle. 

Woodenville has over 110 Wineries (including Chateau Ste Michelle) for you oenophiles out there. Go wine tasting with your closest friends, indulge in a delicious meal and enjoy the placid countryside on the South side of town. 

If wine isn’t your thing, head over to Woodinville Whiskey and try their rye; it’s one of our favorites! 

Mercer Island
King County 

Mercer Island Best Places to Live in Washington State
  • Population: 26,000
  • 6mi East of Seattle
  • Median Household Income: (source: city-data.com) $146,624
  • NWMLS Average Housing Price Oct 2019: $1,557,500

When it comes to the best places to live in Washington State, Mercer Island might just be the most desirable; that is if you have the budget to live there. Conveniently located centrally to Seattle and Bellevue, you can’t get a much better location. 

Mercer Island has absolutely stunning views of Lake Washington, serene hiking trails, parks, fishing and more. 

Pair this with the BEST school district in the state, it’s no wonder this ranks as one of the best places to live in the country. 

As you can see by the price tag, you get what you pay for. Incomes and average housing prices are much higher here. 

Seattle
King County

Best Places to Live in Washington State seattle
  • Population: $745,000
  • Median Household Income: (source: city-data.com) $86,822
  • NWMLS Average Housing Price Oct 2019: $688,500

Last but not least, we have the acclaimed emerald city. The largest city in Washington, Seattle brings all the beauty, growth, business, trade and culture together into one chaotic paragon. 

Grab the fresh catch of the day over at Pike Place Market, stumble into an underground club and discover a new music scene, sail Lake Union, grab a cup of java, or take rover to the park. There is more in Seattle to experience than most places have to offer. 

Like most of the cities on this list, Seattle is growing and getting more expensive every year; that’s not stopping newcomers from migrating here and experiencing what this great city has to offer. 


Thanks for reading our post on the top 10 best places to live in Washington state. If you find yourself needing to buy or sell a home in the cities listed above? Contact us. Team Sno-King is here to help you on your real estate endeavors. 

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