Washington state has been growing in popularity, and not just in the biggest city of Seattle. While the weather is known to be fairly gray, things look pretty bright for the residents of these top cities. Unemployment rates and crime rates are kept impressively low in almost all of them, and no matter where you end up there will be plenty to do. Whether you’re looking to get lost in nature, dine in some of the nation’s best restaurants, or just kick back and relax with views of the Pacific Ocean or the mountains, choose one of these cities to call home.
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An impressively high graduation rate, and equally-impressive median income, are only a couple of the reasons Issaquah took the top spot. For being a smaller city, it also offers fantastic shopping and dining options for residents, and with low crime rates you’ll never feel unsafe enjoying picturesque downtown or the surrounding woods and water.
Another city that boasts a fantastic graduation rate, Kirkland is one of the best places to settle down near Lake Washington. This is also an arts hub that offers plenty of both outdoor activities and events like wine tastings. The median income is also, as are the home values, striking that perfect balance between upscale living and natural beauty.
As its name implies, Bellevue is a beautiful place to live. A great city has to offer more than just great views, of course, but it certainly helps keep the median home value high and continued growth from all around the country which is how it took the number three spot on our list. It has also redefined the notion of “suburb” as, though it is Seattle’s largest, it has cultivated its own personality, and assets, to be characterized instead as a “boomburb.”
The State Capitol ranks high on this list due to it’s low cost of living and cultural significance (Kurt Cobain of Nirvana fame, as well as other prominent musicians have called it home). Olympia offers both fantastic amenities, including world-class restaurants and shopping, and affordable cost of living. If you’re interested in arts and culture, and want a safe, thriving place in which to embrace them, Olympia is the city for you.
#5. Mercer Island
Some of the more beautiful homes in the state can be found on Mercer Island. A few of the reasons why include a top-notch school system with a 98% graduation rate, as well as low crime, and some of the most beautiful parks in the country right around the corner. It’s a great place to live, If you can afford it: Mercer Island is also known as one of the most expensive areas of the country.
If you want to find a home along the water, but don’t want to pay the enormous prices usually associated with ocean views, Bremerton is where you want to end up. Beautiful homes with beautiful views are surprisingly affordable in the largest city on the Kitnap Peninsula. The hiking, fishing, and other natural amenities that surround the city are incredible as well; you can become fully immersed in the Pacific Northwest.
Rounding out the list is Washington’s biggest city. In terms of business and innovation, there are few cities that are Seattle’s peer, and the amenities, including the world-famous Pike Place Market, are unbeatable. It’s one of the most exciting cities in the country, and if it weren’t for the higher crime rates, and higher cost of living than the other entries on this list, it would certainly rank much higher. For those of you that live nearby, don’t forget to check out our list of the top things to do in Seattle.