The 20 Best Places to Live in Washington State. Here is the definitive list of where to settle down in Washington state, sometimes known as the Evergreen State.
Washington, DC is undeniably one of the United States’ best-kept secrets. It has more advantages than many states do on its own account of its abundance of excellent natural beauty, eccentric communities, strong economy, rising property market, some of the highest earnings in the country, and a reputation for liberal, kind citizens.
However, there is a price to pay for all these perks: if you’re planning on making Washington, D.C., your new home might be several hundred thousand dollars more expensive than it would be anywhere in the country.
We have compiled a list of the top 20 cities in Washington for you to choose from.
20 Best Places to Live in Washington State
20. Gig Harbor
Gig Harbor is the perfect place for those who want to be close enough to Seattle to commute, but removed enough from the hustle and bustle to enjoy a quiet, relaxing lifestyle.
Gig Harbor, about an hour away from Seattle, is a more relaxed and economical alternative to the city.
You won’t find many places more attractive than this little coastal town, with its idyllic harborside setting and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, whether you’re looking for modern conveniences (many excellent waterside eateries) or a laid-back pace of life.
19. Everett (Best Places to Live in Washington State)
The charming city of Everett can be found only 25 miles north of Seattle.
The city, which ranks seventh in population in the state, has the best of both worlds: the friendliness, community, and safety of a small town and the conveniences of a major metropolis (the cultural scene is especially noteworthy, with the Historic Everett Theater and Schack Art Center both being huge draws).
Port Gardner Bay Winery, one of the greatest makers of local wine in the state, is located there (unless you’re teetotal, in which case you can skip to number 18).
Bothwell is a lovely neighborhood that is close to Seattle and has a lower cost of living than Seattle itself.
Bothwell, ranked as one of the most reasonably priced areas to live in Washington by Livability, provides easy access to the state’s major cities without any of the associated costs (and very little of the cost).
It’s an excellent spot to raise a family in the city without breaking the budget because it’s safe, peaceful, and has a fantastic school system and fabulous amenities.
17. Tacoma (Best Places to Live in Washington State)
Tacoma, a city less than 45 minutes from Seattle, is a more affordable, less crowded, and more laid-back option.
The gorgeous Owen Beach and the expansive 760-acre Point Defiance Park are perfect for while away a Sunday afternoon, and the city’s closeness to Mt. Rainier National Park provides inhabitants with enough opportunities to get up up and personal with nature.
Tacoma’s average cost of living is just 5% above the national average, making it far more inexpensive than some of our other entries while yet providing people with handy access to Seattle’s attractions.
The American city of Vancouver, not to be mistaken with its Canadian namesake, boasts a vibrant cultural scene (aided, no doubt, by its proximity to Portland, Oregon), affordable housing, a low crime rate, and a fantastic selection of leisure and recreational opportunities.
Not only is it the birthplace of the great folk singer Woodie Guthrie, but he also penned the official town folk song.
15. Seattle (Best Places to Live in Washington State)
Seattle, at number 15, is beautiful, unique, and full with the kinds of things you’d expect from a city with 650,000 citizens.
Seattle has an average home price of $537,800, and its high ratings in terms of desirability, quality of life, and the strength of the job market make it a popular destination for those who can afford it thanks to the city’s lively nightlife, abundance of outdoor activities, thriving cultural and arts scene, and superb shopping opportunities.
14. Mercer Island
Mercer Island is a suburb of Bellevue with a population of 24,768; its median home value is a whopping $1,034,600; the average cost of rent is $1,908; the city has almost no crime; 42% of its citizens have a bachelor’s degree, and another 37% have a master’s degree or above; and so on.
It is the 14th most desired area to live in Washington and boasts an A+ education system, according to Niche, and a massive average household income of $136,644.
13. Olympia (Best Places to Live in Washington State)
If the high expense of living in Seattle prevents you from making a move, you may want to consider Olympia, Washington.
Access to the city is combined with affordable housing (34% cheaper on average than Seattle), great amenities, a flourishing local arts scene, and some of the best outdoor activities in Washington, including the beautiful Capital Lake Trails, Marathon Park, and (though an hour’s drive away) the magnificent Mt. Rainier.
Suburb Kenmore is flourishing, making it a desirable place to live. Its schools are among the best in the state, and the town prides itself on being eco-friendly with a pedestrianized town square and a plethora of bike lanes.
Even though the median price of a single-family home in Kenmore is a hefty $474,500, the median income in the area is a healthy $96,277, so the cost is more than reasonable.
11. Maple Valley (Best Places to Live in Washington State)
Maple Valley, Washington, is one of the best places to live in the United States for people who enjoy spending time in nature.
Maple Valley, one of our most stunning entries, is surrounded on all sides by some of the most gorgeous parkland in the state (including the famous Lake Wilderness Park).
It is also one among the most reasonably priced, with the average cost of a single-family home coming in at just $290,100.
Woodinville has gone from a small town to a bustling commercial hub with a rapidly growing population.
Despite this, the town has managed to preserve its small-town appeal by providing its 11,400 citizens with a secure, tranquil environment in pristine settings.
Single-family homes in this area of wine country may cost upwards of $454,000, since space is at a premium and locals aren’t hesitant to ask for what they’re worth.
9. Bellevue (Best Places to Live in Washington State)
If you speak French, you know that Bellevue means “beautiful view,” which is a fitting moniker for this gorgeous city in King County.
Bellevue’s 135,000 residents have easy access to some of Washington State’s most beautiful landscape, because to the city’s location between Lake Sammamish and Lake Washington.
One of the most desirable places in Washington State, thanks to its beautiful location, booming commercial district, plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities, and outstanding educational system.
The 85,000 people who call Kirkland home have easy access to Lake Washington, one of the state’s top tourist attractions
. This area has more than enough attractions to keep even the most discerning locals happy, including a number of world-class beaches, amazing outdoor activities, and a profusion of art exhibits, shops, pubs, and restaurants.
The area also boasts a high median income (now around $92,127 per household) and a pedestrian-friendly downtown, in addition to being home to the nationally renowned Kirkland National Little League.
7. Snoqualmie (Best Places to Live in Washington State)
The median home price in Snoqualmie is $514,100, and residents enjoy excellent public and private schools (including highly regarded options like Chief Kanim Middle School, Snoqualmie Elementary School, Timber Ridge Elementary School, and Fall City Elementary School), a wide variety of civic and recreational opportunities, a low crime rate, and a high quality of life.
6. Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island, located in Kitsap County, is a picture-perfect slice of the Pacific Northwest; in fact, it was once ranked as CNN‘s second-best location to live in the United States.
Although this recognition was bestowed in 2005, the allure of this picturesque neighborhood has not dimmed in the least since then.
Its astronomically high cost of living means that only the wealthiest families can afford to live there, but the city’s excellent schools and low crime rate make it a very attractive option for those families.
Because of the community’s strict regulations on building, land is extremely expensive. A single-family home will cost you an average of $548,100.
5. Richland (Best Places to Live in Washington State)
Richland is drawing a lot of young professionals because of its reputation as a global center of technology and the high quality of life it offers.
However, it has more than enough to offer to make it an attractive proposition to families and seniors as well, such as a low cost of living (the median home price is only $200,800, a fraction of what it is in larger cities like Seattle), a wide variety of outdoor activities available nearby (such as fantastic hiking and biking opportunities on its vast trail network and excellent golfing and water sports on the Columbia and Yakima rivers), and a thriving cultural scene.
Issaquah is a great place to go trekking in Washington. Seattle’s tranquil little city (also known as “Trailhead City”) is surrounded by a vast system of mountains and lakes, providing people with enough opportunities to break in their hiking boots.
Issaquah has a thriving job market despite its outdoorsy, laid-back atmosphere, because to the presence of several major firms (including Costco).
3. Pullman (Best Places to Live in Washington State)
Pullman, in Whitman County, Southeastern Washington, is an attractive option for those who value proximity to urban amenities without sacrificing the charm of a small town or the financial stability of a rural area.
Because it is home to Washington State University, the city offers a lively nightlife and many other attractions to its student population.
Meanwhile, families appreciate the low crime rate, outstanding schools, and affordable housing in one of Washington state’s most picturesque regions (the median home price is about $222,900).
If you’re looking for beautiful scenery, look no farther than Sammamish, Washington. Sammamish provides residents with the kind of breathtaking scenery that is the stuff of legend, thanks to its location between a gorgeous mountain range and densely forested outcrops and glades filled with wildflowers.
It also offers them one of the highest median earnings in the state (a whopping $157,271), in addition to a first-rate educational system, a wealth of cultural and civic opportunities, convenient access to public transit, and a great quality of life.
Before you get too carried away, though, I should tell you that Sammamish’s eye-popping median property value of $679,900 isn’t inexpensive.
1. Redmond (Best Places to Live in Washington State)
The headquarters of two of the world’s most recognizable companies in the computer and video game industries are at the top of the list.
If you want to pursue a career in technology (or, oddly enough, a passion for craft beer), Redmond is where you want to be.
Besides being the “Bicycle Capital of the Northwest,” it has a typical home value of $462,200, a median income of $99,586, a low crime rate, and top-notch public schools.
Rainier National Park, Lake Washington, Mercer Island, and Washington State University are just a few of the state’s many world-famous attractions.
The Pacific Northwest is widely regarded as one of the best places to live in the United States, and there’s no denying that it’s a great spot for young professionals especially.
No matter if you’re planning to move there or just take a vacation, you’ll be able to appreciate the state’s stunning natural landscapes and quaint small towns.
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