Bellevue is the fifth largest city in Washington State, with a population of 135,000 residents. Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland make up the core of the Eastside’s high-tech and retail hub. More than 140,000 jobs are located in Bellevue, which means that more people work within the city than reside in it. Bellevue’s downtown core provides office space for thousands of professionals as well as condominiums and apartments for people who want to live in an urban setting.
Issaquah was named in 2011 as one of the “Best Towns” in the U.S. by Outside Magazine is a community of 30,000+ residents and is conveniently located off the I-90 corridor east of Seattle. Award-winning neighborhoods, one of Washington State’s top school districts, thriving business districts and a growing arts, nightlife and recreation scene make Issaquah an attractive city to live in. The city is home to a Saturday farmers market, live theatre performances and a seasonal ArtWalk. In addition, the salmon hatchery and Cougar Mountain Zoological Park attract regional visitors. Every October, more than 150,000 people also travel to Issaquah for the annual Salmon Days festival.
Lakemont is a planned community located primarily within the City of Bellevue with easternmost areas in the City of Issaquah. The Lakemont Community Association governs the neighborhoods, parks & trails within this community and Lakemont’s homes benefit from community-owned greenbelts and a pedestrian trail system connects residents to neighborhood parks, the regional Cougar Mountain Park and neighborhood shopping center at Lakemont. The neighborhood is served by the Issaquah School District.
Newport Shores is located along the southeast shores of Lake Washington, west of I-405, in the city of Bellevue. The neighborhood is built around a series of man-made inlets, with homes oriented toward waterfront, boating and lake activities situated on approximately 172 acres with nearly 400 homes — over 100 which are lakefront, or man-made canal waterfront. The wide winding streets Newport Shores are perfect for biking, rollerblading and walking. The Lake Washington bike trail is easily accessible to the neighborhood, giving residents convenient bike access to Newcastle Beach Park and Mercer Slough Park.
The Bellevue neighborhood of Somerset, with its iconic perch overlooking not only Bellevue surrounds, Lake Washington and Seattle—but also Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains in the distance on a clear day—is a favorite vantage point to take in panoramic views of Bellevue and Seattle. Somerset’s more than 1,200 homes were predominantly constructed in the 1960’s and 70’s. Due to its proximity to Interstate 90 and Interstate 405, Somerset provides quick and easy access to employment, entertainment, and recreation. It also benefits from having nationally recognized schools from the triangulated Bellevue, Issaquah and Renton School Districts.
West Bellevue is at the heart of the city’s center. The name “Bellevue” is French for “beautiful view”. In 2014, Bellevue was ranked as the 2nd best place to live in the nation by USA Today. The addition of many new high-rise condominium and apartments over the past decade has changed the scene in downtown Bellevue making it a very hip, walkable, and vibrant part of the Eastside. Many highly-desirable, longstanding and well-maintained single-family neighborhoods snuggle in to the north and south of downtown. The Mercer Slough Park and Bellevue Downtown Park are public open space landmarks of West Bellevue. Check out this recent Seattle Times article about Beaux Arts Village in West Bellevue.
The Woodridge neighborhood, located in the City of Bellevue, is just south of downtown and east of Interstate 405. Characterized by quiet no-through streets and comfortable homes – many with views of Lake Washington, downtown Bellevue and Seattle, this community is truly just off the beaten path. Woodridge Elementary School, a part of Bellevue School District, is just at the top of the hill. Local parks include Bannerwood Ballfield Park, Kelsey Creek Park, Norwood Village Park, and Woodridge Water Tower Park.
The city of Duvall is a small community of just over 7,000 people nestled in the Snoqualmie Valley 25 miles northeast of Seattle and just east of Redmond. It is one of the fastest growing communities in the state due to its natural beauty, rural feel and close proximity to Microsoft—of which Duvall is on the company’s shuttle route. Duvall has a strong community feel that is celebrated through its many festivals and events. Take a quick Duvall Video Tour and discover both its history and its hidden gems. The Duvall Walking Map will guide you through the town or take a peek at the Parks Map to plan your next outing. Check out Duvall News to find out the latest happenings. Will it be a bike ride along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail or an evening play at the Cascade Community Theatre? Don’t forget to check out the Duvall Farmer’s Market or one of the many great restaurants for a healthy snack along the way. Duvall has something special in store for you. Riverview School District aptly serves the needs of Duvall’s younger residents.
Kirkland, a community of over 80,000 people, is fortunate to have a vibrant downtown area located on the waterfront of Lake Washington. Its proximity to I-405 and 520 provides easy access to Seattle, Bellevue and the Eastside. Kirkland has so much to offer residents and visitors: the arts, outdoor recreation, vibrant dining options, and unique local shops. The award-winning Lake Washington School District serves the residents of Kirkland with outstanding local schools. The charm of Kirkland, combined with readily available urban amenities, makes Kirkland an excellent city to reside in. In fact, 87% of residents polled rated Kirkland a good or excellent place to live. Kirkland was also named one of the Best Overall Neighborhoods by Seattle Magazine. Check out our Kirkland video.
The Lakeview neighborhood, located in the southwest section of Kirkland, is nestled next to Lake Washington, offering some of the most magical lake views on the Eastside. Residents will enjoy spending time outdoors. They can put their kayaks into the lake at Houghton Beach Park, fish at Marsh, jog or walk on the local trails and sidewalks that connect parks, or shoot hoops at Terrace Park. The walk to Downtown Kirkland is a beautiful stroll from Carillion Point toward the Marina. The Lakeview Neighborhood Association is an active group with a Meetup webpage, email communication and bi monthly meetings to engage neighbors and provide information.
Kirkland’s historic Market neighborhood is a friendly, walkable community nestled along the shoreline of Lake Washington and adjacent to downtown Kirkland. Its residents enjoy their proximity to the lake and the magnificent views beyond. Waverly Way offers both pedestrian and bicycle routes along the tree-lined street. West of Market offers a prestigious address and yet is so close to the hustle and bustle of the downtown core. The neighborhood’s five parks are within walking distance offering a variety of multi-use recreation opportunities for residents. From the open rolling grasses of Heritage Park to the waterfront beaches at Kiwanis and Waverly Beach Park, the hidden gem of a park at Lake Ave West or the wetland preserve at Juanita Bay Park there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Hunts Point and Yarrow Point are located on a small peninsulas surrounded by Lake Washington just north of the 520 floating bridge and just east of Evergreen Point, Medina. The points offer some of the most exclusive and valuable real estate in the region, along with Clyde Hill and Medina to the South. The major cities of Kirkland (to the North) and Bellevue (to the east) offer significant employment meccas in the region. With a population of only 500 people, Hunts Point is one of the smallest municipalities in Western Washington. Yarrow Point with about 400 homes on 231 acres has an estimated population of 1,000 residents. Evergreen Point is part of Medina, which has fewer than 3,000 residents in its city.
The city of Medina, located on the shores of Lake Washington, is a a residential community of 2,970 people, made famous by high-profile residents Bill and Melinda Gates of Microsoft fame and Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. It offers security and sanctuary, along with lakeside Pacific Northwest beauty. Clyde Hill is known for its park-like grounds, spectacular views and serene setting located just east of Medina and south of Yarrow Point and Hunts Point. About 3,000 people call Clyde Hill home. Check out these recent Seattle Times articles about Clyde Hill and Medina.
Centrally located between Seattle and Bellevue is the beautiful city of Mercer Island. Home to 22,000+ residents, Mercer Island is the most populated lake-bound island in the United States. While it is an island, it is directly connected to Seattle and Bellevue city centers via Interstate 90. Mercer Island’s location in Lake Washington tops the list of attractive attributes regarding the “Rock” and makes Mercer Island a premier Puget Sound community. The north end Town Center offers a dynamic urban village vibe with shops, restaurants, coffee cafes, and professional service providers amidst and upscale condo and apartment residences. The many Mercer Island neighborhoods are each different and unique, with an eclectic mix of new and mid-century homes in a park-like setting. Locals have access 30 parks and open spaces with more than 475 acres of lush greenery, 50+ miles of marked hiking trails, and numerous landings around the island offering water access and picnicking areas.
Mercer Island has a diverse group of neighborhoods spanning many generations of home building. Lush and green, the Island offers and abundance of parks and recreation opportunities on and off the water. Just a hop, skip and jump from the hustle and bustle of the city, Mercer Island has a true small town community feel where neighbors connect with neighbors. Here’s a sampling of some of the Island’s many neighborhoods (click to see photos and info):
Known for its abundant natural beauty, Redmond is a located east of Seattle on the SR 520 corridor and surrounded by lush evergreens and views of the Cascade Mountains. With 34 parks and 25+ miles of trails, and just a short ride away from the pass and great skiing, Redmond is a terrific place for outdoor enthusiasts to call home. Often Redmond is perceived as synonymous with the world-renowned company Microsoft headquartered there. The Redmond campus sits on 300+ acres with 14,000+ offices throughout its vast expanse of buildings. Check out this recent Seattle Times article about Redmond.
Just south of Bellevue, Renton, with its strong sense of community, offers affordable residential neighborhoods, innovative design, well-placed transit access points, and abundant parks. It’s newer developments, such as The Landing, along with traditional standbys, provide savvy restaurant, entertainment, and shopping options. Renton School District is thriving with many newly built and remodeled schools. The Renton community supports a vibrant array of public and private arts and entertainment, including three performing arts theatres. The Renton Ikea Performing Arts Center is a compelling venue to catch a performance by well-known regional groups and international artists. It is home to an accomplished technical college, within driving distance of several regional universities and community colleges, and home to the Valley Medical Center.
One of the newest and fastest growing communities on the Eastside, the City of Sammamish enjoys a tranquil setting surrounded by natural beauty. Home to 40,000 people, the residential community is located on the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish, with Redmond to the north and Issaquah to the south. Sammamish boasts many of the finest residential areas in the Puget Sound region set in an environment of green spaces, including wetlands and community parks. The area has excellent school systems (Issaquah and Lake Washington School Districts) and offers an abundance of organized youth activities. Check out this recent Seattle Times article about Lake Sammamish.
Woodinville residents come by their love of everything green naturally and are passionate about the city’s beautiful woodland landscape. Surrounded by the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, Woodinville is ideal for those who enjoy spending time outdoors. No matter what your passion is, you won’t have to go far to enjoy hot air ballooning, equestrian trails, backpacking, canoeing, fishing, rock climbing and wildlife watching adventures. Locally known for its Wine Country region, now expanded to include small boutique wineries, distilleries, and breweries scattered throughout the valley in addition to the original Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery—who’s amphitheater offers the much-loved summer concert series. Wine tours, chef-inspired paired wine dinners, fundraisers, and outdoor concerts are among the many Wine Country events hosted annually. Its also home to Molbaks Nursery, the largest and most comprehensive nursery in the Greater Puget Sound Region, draws garden enthusiasts throughout the state of Washington.
Ballard is one of the hippest and most coveted neighborhoods in Seattle. Its close proximity to the burgeoning tech industry in neighboring Fremont and reasonable access to the Eastside via 520 makes Ballard an extremely convenient place to call home. Located in the northwestern part of the city, Ballard houses a vibrant working waterfront and looks out upon Fisherman’s Terminal, the home base for the North Pacific Fishing Fleet. The terminal offers a collection of delicious dining options and is a great place to purchase the freshest seafood. The Ballard Locks enable boat traffic to move from freshwater Lake Union to the salt water of Puget Sound-a 26-foot grade change. Pass a sunny day watching the parade of sailboats, motorboats, tugs, barges and yachts come into the locks, and the water level is adjusted to allow their safe passage to the lake or sound. Shilshole Bay Marina offers moorage for 1,500 recreational boats, a waterfront promenade, and fabulous views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains beyond. Promenade users can stroll over to Golden Gardens Park, a popular beachfront park.
Almost entirely condominium and apartment residences, the bustling downtown Seattle neighborhood called Belltown is one of the most densely populated and walkable regions in Washington. Trendy restaurants, art galleries, boutique stores, nightclubs, and high-rise residential towers dot the landscape of the Belltown area. The neighborhood is bounded on the north by Denny Way, beyond which lies Seattle Center and the Queen Anne neighborhood. Pike Place Market and the rest of Downtown are situated to the south. The Belltown Cottage Park and P-Patch are host to the last remaining wood framed single-family cottages in downtown Seattle (circa 1916).
Broadmoor Golf Club is a private neighborhood and golf club in Seattle (founded in 1924) and located in a secure, gated setting, just south of the University of Washington and west of Lake Washington. The 230 acre Washington Park Arboretum rests adjacent to Broadmoor. The Broadmoor neighborhood is an iconic Seattle community with stately homes and pristine landscaped yards. Its homeowner’s association is strictly regulated by a very active board and owners. Broadmoor is part of the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle, located south of the 520 bridge (map). Madison Park could be considered an urban retreat, as it’s close to downtown Seattle and yet maintains the feeling of a lovely, slow-paced residential area. The Broadmoor neighborhood is served by the Seattle School District and a number of private academies. The neighboring communities of Montlake, Capitol Hill and Madrona-Leschi provide a variety of upscale and savory restaurant choices. Golf history at Broadmoor includes hosting the Seattle Open, the Western Amateur, and LPGA Tour.
Old Seattle charm, thriving urban center. Capitol Hill is a unique counter-culture area and music and art are prominent cornerstones of the community—with clubs, restaurants, the Internationally renowned Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), bookstores and galleries found throughout the neighborhood. During the academic year, Capitol Hill is filled with backpacking students who go to one of the nearby major institutions of higher learning—Seattle Central Community College, the nationally acclaimed Cornish College of the Arts, and nearby Seattle University. The popular Capitol Hill station of the Seattle Light Rail system offers convenient access to downtown Seattle and connected neighborhoods beyond. Check out these recent Seattle Times articles about Capitol Hill, First Hill and Seattle’s Central District.
Fremont is a popular neighborhood in Seattle north of the Fremont Cut and situated between the neighborhoods of Ballard and Wallingford. A large “Welcome” sign greets visitors to “The Center of the Universe” and the Fremont Arts Council sponsors several highly attended annual events. One of those events is the Summer Solstice Parade which has made Fremont famous for its nude Solstice Cyclists. The neighborhood is home to the Fremont Troll, an 18-foot-tall concrete sculpture of a troll crushing a Volkswagen Beetle in its left hand that “lives” under the the Aurora Bridge. Cunning signs throughout Fremont give advice such as: “set your watch back five minutes,” “set your watch forward five minutes,” and “throw your watch away.”
Green Lake is a highly desirable neighborhood in north central Seattle surrounding a popular small and easily accessible lake. Probably most known for its well-utilized 2.8-mile path around the perimeter for runners, bikers, skaters and walkers, it also has athletic fields for team sports and is home to the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department’s Green Lake Small Craft Center (GLSCC). While the park stays busy year-round, on any Seattle summer day, you’ll find residents flocking to visit Green Lake Park for paddle boating, picnics and swimming.
Laurelhurst is a coveted residential neighborhood in northeast Seattle near the University of Washington (UW) and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Waterfront homes enjoy frontage on Union Bay, a part of Lake Washington. The Laurelhurst Beach Club (private) and Laurelhurst Community Center (public) are popular community hubs while nearby University Village offers a hip shopping, dining and social venue for residents and UW students alike. To the north, Wedgwood (map), is a more modest local neighborhood that is undergoing much transition as homeowners rebuild or remodel its predominantly 1950’s homes to transform them into modern and more functional structures suitable for today’s needs.
The Madrona neighborhood, aptly named for the Madrona trees common to the area is located along the shores of Lake Washington east of Downtown Seattle. Primarily residential, with several parks including Madrona Beach Park, many of the homes in Madrona have views of the lake or limited views of University of Washington and downtown Seattle. There is a small commercial district and one of the more well-known businesses is GlassyBaby, whose sole product is hand-blown glass candle holders and drinking glasses. Visitors to GlassyBaby can watch the glass artists create create their wares in the shop. The Denny-Blaine neighborhood is just north of Madrona.
The Magnolia neighborhood is a natural peninsula located just west of Queen Anne and north of Downtown. Three bridges provide access to Magnolia and help it retain its small community atmosphere amidst a huge urban city. Being situated near the water provides Magnolia abundant natural beauty its homes, many with incredible views, are often among the most expensive and most desirable in Seattle. Far from the bustle of downtown and the busy pace of other Seattle neighborhoods, Magnolia is a place the offers you tranquility and scenic views. The Magnolia Voice daily news blog will keep you up-to-date on all things Magnolia while the Queen Anne & Magnolia News is a more traditional source of local news and information. Magnolia has its own Chamber of Commerce and Community Center. Check out this recent Seattle Times article about the Magnolia neighborhood.
North Seattle includes the Cedar Park, Jackson Park, Lake City, Maple Leaf, Meadowbrook, North Matthews Beach, Northgate, Olympic Hills, Pinehurst, and Victory Heights neighborhoods. To the northwest along Puget Sound the city of Shoreline (map) boasts and incredible 404 acres of parkland enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Its saltwater shoreline, botanical garden, interurban trail, athletic fields, courts and playgrounds draw people to this popular north Seattle community. Homeowners in the North Seattle region have benefited from a surge of sales activity and buyer demand for their modest, affordable homes conveniently located to Seattle’s metro employment centers.
Within walking distance of Downtown is the community of Queen Anne. Queen Anne is the highest named hill in Seattle and is known for its prominent Queen Anne architectural style that dominated the hill in its earliest days as a neighborhood. Queen Anne is divided into the 4 sub-neighborhoods North Queen Anne, East Queen Anne, West Queen Anne and Lower Queen Anne. While Queen Anne hill contains many of the steepest streets in Seattle, it’s not the highest point in the city. Local architect and cartographer, Thomas Horton, created the Map of the Pedestrian Public Stairs of Queen Anne Hill showing the location of 120 staircases which run up and down Queen Anne hill. The various architecture styles of the staircases, the city views they offer, and their ‘hidden in plain sight’ quality make them a fun urban trek.
Beacon Hill in South Seattle, with its distinctive views of the Olympics and Cascades, has tremendous appeal to people who work downtown and commercial developers alike. It is currently a hotbed of activity undergoing significant revitalization as an affordable community close to the Seattle core. To the east, Seward Park, named for the park located on Bailey Peninsula near the south end of Lake Washington, offers coveted waterfront views and access. Between them, Columbia City is an urban center with ample shopping and many cultural local restaurants. Beacon Hill is served by light rail direct to downtown Seattle. The average downtown commute to about 12 minutes, car-free. Given its convenient proximity to I-5 and Interstate 90, a relatively affordable housing market, and its sweeping mountain and Puget Sound views, Beacon Hill has a lot to offer.
South Seattle offers an affordable option for residents looking for close proximity to Downtown Seattle. It’s area restaurants offer a vast array of international cuisines and local ambiance. South Seattle, including the neighborhoods of Brighton, Columbia City, Dunlap, Genesee, Hillman City, Lakewood, Mount Baker, New Holly, North Rainier, Othello, Pritchard Beach, Rainier Valley, and Rainier Vista operates its own Go South Seattle website so residents are always in the know about local happenings and community information. For those seeking to advance their education, South Seattle College offers many career tracks and the Southeast Seattle Education Coalition provides guidance and direction.
The Wallingford neighborhood is located in north central Seattle about four miles north of the downtown core. The U-District and University of Washington neighbor it to the east. The Wallingford Center contains many shops and restaurants (including the original Dick’s Drive-In, founded 1954). Wallingford is often defined by the sloping ridge that runs north from the edge of Lake Union to 45th Street, with the ridge line approximately following Wallingford Avenue. Check out this recent Seattle Times article about the Wallingford neighborhood.
The Mercer Island School District serves approximately 4300 students at 4 elementary schools. 1 middle school, 1 high school and 1 alternative high school program. The district enjoys a wide-spread reputation for quality and excellence with achievement test scores at the elementary, middle, and high school levels consistently the highest in the state.
Mercer Island and Real Estate News Courtesy of Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.