Every August, when the warm sun hangs high overhead and a cool breeze floats up from nearby Lake Washington, the world watches Kirkland, Washington. It could have something to do with the teams of cute and competitive children vying for the title of Champion in the Little League Junior Softball World Series. But the Series knew what it was doing when it chose the small city of 49,000 to be its permanent home. With gorgeous lake views, beautiful mountains in the distance, and acres of well-maintained public parks to enjoy, Kirkland was easily the right American city to host the country’s favorite past-time.
Over the years, Kirkland has been in high demand as a home for organizations, businesses, and residents alike. It was the headquarters of the Seahawks for the team’s first 32 seasons and was so beloved by Costco during the company’s tenure in town that its store brand, “Kirkland Signature,” bears its name. There are many reason why Kirkland inspires hometown pride, but none more than this: it is simply an incredible place to live.
On these summer days, the waterfront parks are full of sunbathers and amateur fishermen. Music floats on the breeze as paddle boarders make their way slowly around the shore. There are activities from sunup to sundown for those who want to be active, and coffee, ice cream, and even a gourmet meal are only a few steps from the water. Neighbors and strangers mix and mingle, all brought together by the unique downtown area, the strong sense of community, and the easy accessibility of the area.
Attendance at many of the community events is high because it’s so easy to get around in Kirkland. It’s not just the downtown that’s incredibly walkable; the local neighborhoods are some of the most appealing for heading out on foot. In fact, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Kirkland is one of the top 10 most walkable suburbs in the U.S. This is in part because the city has a history of progressive transportation initiatives. In 2006, Kirkland was the first city in Washington to adopt a Complete Street Ordinance, whereby pedestrian and bicycle facilities were addressed as part of all road construction and improvement planning projects.
Because of its easy local accessibility and proximity to Interstate 405, Kirkland is also a wonderful jumping-off point for adventures around the Greater Seattle Area. Seattle is only 12 miles away, or 20 minutes by car. While many Kirkland residents work in Seattle, it is also popular for its many attractions, including the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. Woodinville is only 8 miles north of Kirkland, or 13 minutes by car. Its 70 local wineries provide some of the region’s best wine and entertainment. And for the ultimate in urban sophistication, Bellevue is a short 7 miles south of Kirkland, or 12 minutes by car. With premier shopping, an incredible art museum, and a world-famous Botanical Garden, it is the perfect complement to smaller Kirkland.