The Best Places In Washington To Live

Help shape these rankings by voting on this list of The Best Places In Washington To Live
Voting Rules
Vote up the cities in Washington you would most want to live in

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.

  • 1
    15 VOTES

    Population: 174,836

    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.

    15 votes
  • 2
    15 VOTES

    Population: 215,964

    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.

    15 votes
  • 3
    18 VOTES

    Population: 704,358

    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.

    18 votes
  • 4
    12 VOTES

    Population: 141,415

    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. 

    12 votes
  • 5
    14 VOTES

    Population: 87,577

    Median income: $47,652

    Median home price: $352,700

    Pros: Located on the Puget Sound, Bellingham is one of those great sports cities even sports fans sometimes overlook, featuring plentiful skiing and snowboarding in the winter and kayaking and cycling in the summer. The city is also home to the Bellingham Bells (baseball), the Slam (basketball), the Blazers (hockey), and the Bulldogs (football).

    Cons: High crime rates (43 percent above the state average) and low household income (29 percent below the state average) combine to make Bellingham a hard sell as a place for a family looking to settle down. While property values remain high, the average home ownership rate is 29 percent lower than the national average.

    14 votes
  • 6
    6 VOTES


    Population: 51,229

    Median income: $167,441

    Median home price: $753,471

    Pros: Home to beautiful Lake Sammamish and surrounded by greenery on all sides, Sammamish is one of the prettiest cities in Washington. Quiet and secluded, it nevertheless is located near enough to Seattle to offer all of the big-city highlights with few of the drawbacks. Crime is 80 percent below the state average and household income is nearly 2.5 times the rest of Washington.

    Cons: That beauty and safety comes at a price, with the cost of living 57 percent higher in Sammamish than the rest of the state. Likewise, housing prices are a whopping 132 percent above the Washington average, though home ownership rates are also sky high (34 percent above the U.S. average).

    6 votes