13 Best Places to Live in Washington State in 2022.


If you’re looking for peace and tranquillity, culture and music, or stunning natural beauty, Washington State is the place for you. We’ve put together a list of not just one but ten fantastic places to call home in this beautiful US state. From Spokane to Seattle and from Tacoma to Pullman, there is something for everyone. Check it out below!

1. Olympia

Olympia is the capital of Washington State and it’s a lively place. There’s a great music scene here, with plenty of concert venues, bars and clubs. It’s also home to the Evergreen State College which hosts some fantastic music festivals — lookout for Evergreen Fest in July or the Olympia Film Festival in February. The college also has an organ recital series where you can hear classical music played by top-notch organists. Downtown is pedestrianized and there are several great restaurants as well as a brewery that hosts live music every Friday night (the Atlas Brew Works). The city has a lively arts scene and it’s good for the outdoorsy too — it’s the perfect place to enjoy a nice sunset while you kayak on Budd Inlet.

There are many interesting cultural things to do here including visiting one of the city’s many great museums, like The Washington State History Museum, The Center For Wooden Boats, The Northwest Art Museum, or the Train Museum. There are also theatres showing both live performances and movies, including an art-house cinema. If you like your music loud then check out Nectar Lounge or Capitol City Brewing Company.

2. Issaquah

For a small town, Issaquah is surprisingly big and it’s got some pretty interesting people. The downtown area is lively with plenty of rooftop bars, like the Harvard or Red Square. There are also good restaurants like The Egg & Us & the Wild Ginger, both of which show great live music — come in and check out the rock bands! If you’re not a drinker then visit Kona Ice, one of Seattle’s finest ice cream joints (it even has one in London too!).

The nearby mountains are great for hiking and camping in the summer months. There are plenty of trails for both beginners and experts, with varying degrees of difficulty. Nearby to Issaquah is the town of Preston which is good for shopping and there’s even an outlet mall where you can find some great bargains.

3. Edmonds

Edmonds is a vibrant, maritime city that’s just a short ferry ride away from the big city of Seattle. It’s also a little bit out of the way, so you might find yourself driving through rain and mist as well as snow. It’s a great place for nature lovers though, with many parks and trails to explore. For those who don’t want to make the journey by car, there’s also a public ferry that runs between Edmonds and Seattle on most days.

The city has lots of interesting things going on too — it has an annual music festival in August that attracts thousands of people. There are plenty of great shops around town too — one place that you have to visit is Edmonds Glassworks where you can see glassworks and stained glass works made by local artists. It’s also a great place to enjoy the beautiful beaches in the area.

4. Woodinville

Woodinville is a small town with big characters. The population is around 18,000 but there’s still plenty of space and forests to explore. For those who like shopping, there are plenty of malls and shops to visit — the Cherry Street Shopping Centre has a good selection of boutiques and eateries as well as Tivoli Village which has an indoor shopping centre with restaurants, stores, and a theatre. There’s also the RedApple Premium Outlets in nearby Lynnwood which is perfect for those who enjoy shoe shopping or like designer labels.

There are also plenty of things to do outdoors in the area — Lake Washington is great for sailing, kayaking and fishing. The area is also good for mountain bikers and hikers; there are many trails in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness that are easily accessible from Woodinville. The town is about an hour’s drive from Seattle International Airport so it’s a great place to stay if you’re flying in to see the sights in the city or go on a day trip to one of Snohomish County’s fantastic vineyards.

5. Renton

For anyone who is looking for a quieter life, Renton is the place to be. There are fewer shops and restaurants here than in Seattle so if you want a bit of peace and quiet then this could be the place for you. It’s also good for those who enjoy skiing and snowboarding. The mountains are nearby and there are many places to go sledging here, especially in the winter months when there’s plenty of snowfall.

The town is also close to Mount Rainier National Park and other places of interest but there’s a large amount of space here to enjoy it all. There are many hiking trails in the area too so if you like being outdoors you won’t be disappointed. The store-front dining in Renton is also great, so if you’re an eater you’ll have no problem finding somewhere to try out.

6. Black Diamond

Black Diamond is a small town that has something for everyone — there are plenty of shops and restaurants to keep the family happy, while the nature lovers can enjoy being close to the beautiful Cascade Mountains and Mount Rainier National Park. There’s plenty of wilderness to access here with hiking trails, skiing and snowboarding. There’s also the Black Diamond Trail which is a great place to cycle.

If you’re a fan of the arts then you’ll love Black Diamond because there’s a lovely theatre here and it also has one of the area’s most respected art galleries. It even has its own contemporary art museum that helps artists earn their living by exhibiting their works. The arts scene in this area is quite impressive; there are even regular theatre tours that take place throughout the year, while local social groups hold regular events throughout the year too.

7. Sammamish

Sammamish is a small town that’s between Bellevue and Seattle. It’s a great place for those who like shopping because there are more malls which have great boutiques for those who like to browse and enjoy the atmosphere. There are also plenty of other shops in the area including little antique stores packed full of old treasures that you might find hard to resist buying. The prices in Sammamish are also really good; it keeps its small-town charm while providing you with all of your shopping needs.

There are also a few festivals held in the town each year. The most popular is the Sammamish River Festival which happens annually during the summer months. If you’re into water sports then you’ll love this festival because there’s plenty of it going on here, including kayaking and paddleboarding. It’s also a good place if you’re into wine — you can check out local vineyards in the area and try out some great local wines.

8. Bothell

Bothell is a great family town where everyone gets on well with each other. It’s also a great place to find some calm. For example, there are great trails in the area that are good for walking and hiking. The paths link to Seattle so you can take one of these trails and reach the city in an hour or so — but don’t worry that there’s nothing to do while you’re there because Bothell has lots of shops and restaurants to visit as well as a vibrant arts community.

If you love art then you might enjoy a visit to the Hanging Gardens of Bellevue, which is just an hour’s drive away. There’s also plenty of shopping to do here — The Shops at Bothell Town Centre is an indoor shopping centre with a 14 screen movie theatre as well as Macy’s and Nordstrom.

9. Redmond

Redmond has a great music scene, with regular events arranged throughout the year. For example, there are concerts held in Downtown Park every summer that feature local bands and artists playing their favourite songs for their fans up on stage; it’s a great night out and one not to be missed if you’re in the area during this time. It’s also a great place to visit if you enjoy rock climbing. The Redmond Rock Club is where you can find a venue that hosts all different kinds of bands, not just local but international as well. There are two pools in the Redmond area, one at Redmond Pool and another just outside, called Puyallup Pool. It’s a nice day out if you want to relax and swim — the water is warm enough for casual swimming. There are also hiking trails nearby so if you like being out in nature then this could be the location for you.

Other places to visit in Redmond include the Redmond Town Center, which is a shopping centre perfectly located in between Downtown Seattle and Bellevue. If you’re into art then this is the place to go because Microsoft has its own Art Gallery here which showcases local artists. The Best Western Inn on Main is also worth visiting for the bar because it has some of the best views of downtown Seattle from here. There are many restaurants located in the area — try out the downtown eateries like Paseo Cafe to see why this area is so popular with families and locals.

10. Renton

Renton is a great place for those who like commercial fishing because it has a fantastic Pike Place Market that has local fish stalls selling their fresh crabs, steaks, salmon, halibut and more. The market is one of the oldest in the state and it still attracts many people from all over the world every year. This area is also a great place to live; there are many great schools here too so your family will be able to attend whichever school they prefer. If you want to get away from it all then Renton is a great place to do so. It’s a quiet town where you can experience nature in the area and still be close enough to major cities like Seattle and Bellevue for when you want to make a short trip there.

If you want to try your hand at fishing then take some time out and visit the Puyallup River. There are plenty of trails in the area for walking or hiking which will suit everyone in your family as there are easy routes available — just ask anyone working on the banks of the river and they’ll be more than happy to give you some pointers. The Puyallup River also offers plenty of photo opportunities so you’ll be able to take your camera along with you and frame some great shots. You — and those in your family — will love the area because it has lots to offer. There’s a great park here that’s full of wildflowers and scenic walks, a farmer’s market, ice fishing on the river and hunting for native wildlife. It even has its own golf course that is open on weekends during the summer months; if you’re looking to let off some steam then this is the place for you.

11. Kirkland

Kirkland is the perfect place for anyone who wants a quality of life that’s hard to find in many other cities. It’s a great place to raise a family and there are plenty of things to do here that will keep both adults and children happy. For example, you can visit the parks in the area, explore the local trails — there’s even a dog park so you can take your best friend with you on your walks if you want — or visit some of the shops in the area. You’ll be able to find bargains in Kirkland, just like you would in the big cities.

The kids will love visiting the Kirkland Arts Center because there’s a stage attached to it. There are regular programs that go on here — some of which are free and others that require a small donation so if you’re looking for something for your kids to do then this is definitely one of the best options. There’s also an outdoor amphitheatre where you can see live performances; every piece of music put on here will leave your family feeling relaxed and refreshed after the performance has finished. If you like history then Kirkland also offers several sites to visit, including a mosque that’s been in the area for over 80 years. This is where you’ll be able to see an Arabic exhibition and learn about the significance of the Muslim community in Kirkland. If you’re looking for something fun for everyone to do and you don’t mind spending a little money then a trip to the nearby Museum of Flight is well worth it. There are many different exhibits here to explore so if you want your kids to learn something new and interesting then this museum is as good as any.

12. Bellevue

If you’re expecting a quiet life outside of the hustle and bustle of the big city then Bellevue could be the location for you — there are plenty of things to do here that will keep everyone in your family occupied. You’ll find it has all the facilities that you would expect from a large city too; there are great schools in the area and plenty of jobs available too. There are also lots of great attractions around, including Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue Square Mall — which has stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom — and Mercer Slough Nature Park.

The park is an excellent place to spend a day with the kids if you want to come away from the hustle and bustle of Bellevue for a while. There are plenty of different trails here, some of which are suitable for small children whilst others are more challenging so you — and your family — will be spoilt for choice. There’s every kind of terrain here, including ditches and marshes, so if you’re planning on hiking then this is where you want to be. The Mercer Slough Nature Park also has an arboretum that is filled with wildlife, trees and plants that are native to the area; it’s a great place to explore. If you want to be intellectually stimulated and learn more about the area then Bellevue University is worth visiting. There’s a great selection of courses and programs here too so if you’re looking for something suitable for your family then this could be a great option for you.

Bellevue also has excellent transportation links so going out of town or heading into the city to see a concert — you can use the light rail from here — will be easy and convenient. Bellevue also has some great schools in the area, including Lake Washington High School which is the best high school in the state — so you won’t have a problem if you’re looking for somewhere local for your kids to attend school. The urban living here is ideal for families; there are lots of small restaurants and takeaway stores that offer great food so if you want to prepare a family meal at home then you’ll be able to. The city has a quiet and friendly atmosphere and it’s a great place to escape from it all without having to board an aeroplane or drive into the country. If you want to make Bellevue your new home then this is the right location for you.

13. University Place

University Place is a great choice if you’re a family looking for somewhere to relocate to. Families love University Place because it’s got plenty of things to do and there are lots of excellent local schools in the area too. If you want to introduce your children to a more academic life then they’ll be able to do so at University Place High School — the best school in Tacoma — where they’ll benefit from smaller classes and better teaching staff than most other schools. There’s also a great performing arts centre here where students can be inspired by local artists. You’ll find plenty of places to eat in the area too; you’ll find a diverse selection of restaurants that always offer great food. There are also several museums near University Place, so if you’re interested in learning more about the area and its history then you should visit one.

There are plenty of things to do here for visitors, especially if your kids are visiting from out of town. You’ll be able to see them practice baseball or soccer at the city parks, visit the museums or simply just enjoy a nice meal at some of the restaurants nearby. There are many different businesses that offer activities for families — for example, you can do a treasure hunt with your children and take them to different locations to have a go at different challenges. You might also want to visit the Downtown Tacoma Farmer’s Market, which is run every Saturday and offers a great selection of fresh produce. If you’re interested in learning more about the area and its history then the Museum of Glass is an excellent place to start. There are lots of excellent exhibits here so if your kids are fascinated by animals then they’ll love visiting this museum because it has a beautiful butterfly garden and a lot of interesting fish.

I hope you find it useful and thanks for reading.

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I am Vishnu Aravindhan (lucky name Vichu), and I'm here to share my thoughts. Keep following if you're interested.


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