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.
- 116 VOTES
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.
- 217 VOTES
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.
- 320 VOTES
Median income: $83,476
Median home price: $606,200
Pros: The Emerald City is one of the most prominent cultural centers in the U.S., as the birthplace of grunge music, a haven for the jazz scene of the early 20th century, and the home of Amazon. Located on the Puget Sound, it is one of the most beautiful and diverse cities in the Pacific Northwest and is known for its iconic Space Needle, built for the World's Fair in 1962.
Cons: The cost of living is outrageously high (38 percent higher than the state average and 59 percent higher than the national average), and the crime rate is likewise astronomical, more than double the national average and 69 percent higher than the rest of the state.
- 48 VOTES
Median income: $117,278
Median home price: $633,119
Pros: A technology-driven town with headquarters of both Microsoft and Nintendo, Redmond is one of the most desirable cities in Washington settle down. Graduation rates and test scores rank significantly higher than state and national averages. The average household income is twice the national average and the average home value is more than three times the national average.
Cons: All that desirability comes at significant expense, and the cost of living in Redmond is 45 percent higher than the rest of Washington and 67 percent greater than the national average.
- 57 VOTES
Median income: $114,336
Median home price: $582,100
Pros: The former home of the Seattle Seahawks, Kirkland has thrived, even without its popular NFL franchise. The downtown waterfrton is a major economic and cultural center, featuring restaurants, art galleries, public parks, and a collection of public art. Income, property values, and education all routinely score high marks compared to the rest of the state.
Cons: Of course, the price of a low crime rate, high property value, and quality schools can often be found in the high cost of living. Kirkland's cost of living rates 38 percent higher than the rest of Washington and 59 percent ahead of the rest of the nation.
- 613 VOTES
Median income: $113,877
Median home price: $756,800
Pros: Bellevue is a medium-sized city beset on all sides by gorgeous wilderness and numerous hiking trails. The median income is well above the national average, and technology companies provided a wealth of job opportunities. Local K-12 schools consistently rank among the highest quality in the state.
Cons: Cost of living is high, with housing and transportation expenses significantly higher than the national average.