Are you pondering a move to the Seattle, Washington area, but are hoping for easy access to the untamed wilderness? Many WA state residents choose cities around Seattle not just for proximity to the city’s thriving business and social opportunities, but for the ability to enjoy the out-of-doors on demand.
Washington state still has some of the most beautiful outdoor areas in the nation, with miles of trails and acres of national parks. Whether you prefer to fish, hunt, birdwatch, or mountain-hike, these are the best cities near Seattle for outdoor lovers.
The Best Cities Near Seattle for Outdoor Lovers
Do you want to live close to Seattle, but aren’t quite sure about being in the midst of the Emerald City itself? Fortunately for those who seek a closer connection with nature, there are plenty of cities near Seattle for outdoor lovers.
Top picks include larger towns with a fairly quick commute in and out of Seattle, as well as those with thriving economies and plenty of jobs in competitive tech fields. For those seeking a more hometown feel and more wildness next door, there are choices with only five figure populations.
The one thing most of these cities have in common is excellent schools, mid to high median home values, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, whether you prefer the woods, the mountains, or the waterways.
#1. Bellevue: Trails for Miles
Technically part of the greater Seattle Metropolitan Area, Bellevue is often called “the City in a Park” thanks to its many outdoor areas. Residents have access to more than 2500 acres of parkland and 80 miles of trails, as well as the beaches of Lake Washington. It’s a big city experience with plenty of outdoor leisure opportunities.
From a practical standpoint, Bellevue is an ideal location for those who work in tech, home to nearly 150 major companies in the industry. While the cost of housing is somewhat higher than the rest of the Seattle area, Bellevue mortgage rates are currently low and home values are expected to continue to climb for the foreseeable future, making it an ideal place to invest in a new home.
Need to Know:
Bellevue is home to nearly 150,00 people, and the median home price is over $1,446,106. The Bellevue School District is ranked 2nd in WA state. The city is served by King County Metro and Sound Transit buses, and by car it’s a 20-40 minute commute to Seattle.
#2. Issaquah: Welcome to the “Alps”
The highlands around Issaquah are known unofficially as the Issaquah Alps, and are a coveted destination for hikers and climbers. Nearby Poo Poo Point on the west side of Tiger Mountain is a favorite for paragliders. Cougar Mountain, Rattlesnake Ridge, Squak Mountain and Grand Ridge beckon beginner and intermediate trail enthusiasts, and many of the trails are kid and dog friendly.
The foothills of the Cascades offer opportunities for horse riding, and a 40 minute trip will get skiers and snowboarders to Snoqualmie to test the powder. The 510-acre Lake Sammamish State Park is a haven for water-lovers, offering swimming, boating, paddleboarding and kayaking opportunities.
Need to Know:
Issaquah is home to just under 40,000 people, and the median home price is just over $1,131,497. The Issaquah School District is ranked 7th in WA state. The city is served by King County Metro and Sound Transit buses, and by car it’s a 30-55 minute commute to Seattle.
#3. Kenmore: A Water-Lover’s Paradise
The northern tip of Lake Washington borders Kenmore, an urban destination that is only blocks away from an outdoor experience. Saint Edward State Park, Bigg Finn Hill Park, and O.O. Denney Park all deliver hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and lake access for family fun. The Burke-Gilman Trail runs by Log Boom Park, bordering the shores of Lake Washington.
Kenmore features nearly eight miles of shoreline stretching along the banks of the Sammamish River, Swamp Creek and Lake Washington. Kenmore Air provides those with a craving for flightseeing the ability to island-hop the San Juans for a birds-eye view of their natural beauty. It’s a great time to buy a home in the greater Seattle area, and Kenmore could be just the right location.
Need to Know:
Kenmore is home to not quite 25,000 people, and the median home price is $1,001,234. The Northshore School District is ranked 14th in WA state. The city is served by King County Metro and Sound Transit buses, and by car it’s a 35-70 minute commute to Seattle.
#4. Monroe: The Camper’s Delight
Easy access to Steven’s Pass and the Cascades is only the beginning of what Monroe has to offer Washingtonians. With miles of hiking trails, there’s plenty of room to train for a marathon or triathlon, while nearby Skykomish river provides space for plenty of water-related activities including fishing, kayaking, wakeboarding, and white water rafting.
Golfers will enjoy the many links scattered across the area, and birders flock to view the annual swift migration. Nearby Snohomish features multiple equestrian trails, and many of Monroe’s parks, beaches, and trails are dog friendly. This is an ideal city for outdoor lovers of all types!
Need to Know:
Monroe is home to not quite 50,000 people, and the median home price fluctuates around $692,218. The Monroe School District is ranked 10th in WA state. The city is served by Community Transit (CT), and by car, it’s a 50-90 minute commute to Seattle.
#5. Puyallup: Wilderness Adjacent
If you’re serious about outdoors activities, Puyallup might be the destination for you. Hunters, fishing enthusiasts, bikers, hikers, campers, and birders alike enjoy the sporting opportunities and nature-filled opportunities afforded by this town in the shadow of Mount Rainier. This is a prime location to build your dream home!
Puyallup is only an hour’s drive from both Mount Rainier National Park’s Carbon River entrance, and skier and snowboarder favorite Crystal Mountain. Just 20 minutes will get you to Lake Bradley, Wapato Lake, or Lake Tapps for boating and wakeboarding, or to the banks of Puyallup, White, or Carbon River for kayaking and fishing.
Need to Know:
Puyallup is home to slightly more than 40,000 people, and the median home price just tips over $554,228. The Puyallup School District is ranked 60th in WA state. The city is served by King County Metro and Sound Transit buses as well as by Pierce Transit, and by car, it’s a 60-100 minute commute to Seattle.
Why Choose Sammamish Mortgage?
At Sammamish Mortgage, our goal is to help you find your perfect home in the ideal environment. If you’re an outdoor lover, we can help you obtain financing and start living your dream in one of the greater Seattle area’s gorgeous outlying towns.
Sammamish Mortgage has been in business since 1992, and has assisted many home buyers in the Pacific Northwest. If you are looking for mortgage financing in Washington State, we can help. Sammamish Mortgage offers mortgage programs in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
Contact us if you have any mortgage-related questions or concerns. If you are ready to move forward, you can view rates, obtain a customized instant rate quote, or apply instantly directly from our website.