The best places to live in Washington offer all the variety of life in one of the most beautiful states in the country. The best cities in Washington have plenty to offer potential residents, whether you like the woods or the mountains, the city or the suburbs. You can rank your favorite places by their singles scenes for millennials or by their suitability for families.
If the coolest big cities like Seattle and Tacoma don’t seem as livable — whether they’re too busy or too expensive or just not your style — you can check out the best small towns in Washington, such as Lakewood and Bellingham. The best Washington city to live in will depend on what appeals to you most. Whether you're looking for the cheapest cities to live in or the top cities for raising a family and settling down, Washington should offer a world of opportunities for potential residents.
The best Washington cities to live in are rich and diverse, and you are bound to find at least one that suits your lifestyle and preferences. So check out the list of Washington cities below and vote up the places where you would most want to live.
Median income: $56,615
Median home price: $265,700
Pros: Vancouver began a major revitalization project in the late 1990s in an attempt to spruce up its downtown area and bring in investments and visitors. Among the major parts of the project are The Luxe, Library Square, and Prestige Plaza.
Cons: While on a state level Vancouver's crime rate is actually lower than the Washington average, it still runs 26 percent higher than the natinoal average. Household income is also low for Washington, and property values are 19 percent lower than the rest of the state.171Would you like living here?
Median income: $57,064
Median home price: $265,148
Pros: The capital city of Washington, Olympia has proven to be a cultural touchstone in the heart of the state, as well as a dedicated protector of public lands. Its many parks include Priest Point, Burfoot, and Sunrise, and most prominent is perhaps the Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area.
Cons: Despite high property values and a better-than-average educational system, Olympia lags behind the state and national average in household income, and the unemployment rate is 15 percent higher than the U.S. average. Crime is also an issue, with a crime rate 34 percent higher than the rest of the state.102Would you like living here?
Median income: $45,676
Median home price: $170,900
Pros: A theater district to be proud of, a revitalized downtown, and a commitment to the arts that shows in its many museums, Spokane has attempted admirably to respond to the downturn in the manufacturing industry by pivoting to a more service- and tourism-oriented economy. It has been mostly successful, but not without some growing pains.
Cons: Crime has proven to be a serious problem in Spokane, with rates more than double the state average and almost triple the national average. Household income and property values also remain depressed, with both well below the state averages.95Would you like living here?
Median income: $55,996
Median home price: $239,100
Pros: The third-largest city in Washington, Tacoma is a popular destination for tourists with many well regarded museums, a vibrant theater scene, and an annual film festival. But investments in the downtown area and the local economy have also made Tacoma a desirable city to settle in for those looking for big-city amenities with a small-town feel.
Cons: Crime rates are 84 percent higher than the rest of Washington and more than double those of the U.S. Household income is also 15 percent lower than the state average.84Would you like living here?