Pullman, WA waterfront

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 75
Demographics 32
Economy 50
Education 74
Health 72
Housing 52
Infrastructure 53

#54. Pullman, WA

Situated in southeast Washington, not far from the border with Idaho, Pullman offers a high quality of life and an affordable cost of living for its 34,000 residents. The city benefits from the fresh energy of students at Washington State University (Go Cougs!), one of the oldest land-grant institutions in the West. Surrounded by rolling hills and fields of wheat and legumes, Pullman offers lots of room to spread out and explore the great outdoors.

Top Colleges/Universities: Washington State University

Top Industries & Employers: Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Washington State University are two top employers here. Agriculture and high-tech are prominent in Pullman, too.

Weekend Plans: Cheer on the Cougs at Martin Stadium or playing a round of golf at Palouse Ridge Golf Club.

Favorite Place to Feast: Cougar Country Drive-In, an iconic, diner-style restaurant that makes its special fry sauce.

Beloved Beverage: A mug of beer as part of the “Mug Club” at The Coug, a quintessential and historic college bar with drawings and signatures all over the walls. To join the club (which offers discounted beers but is mostly a mark of pride), bar-goers must apply and keep their fingers crossed that they’re one of roughly 25 people selected to join each semester. 

Outdoorsy Activity: Ride bikes along the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail, a scenic 7-mile paved trail that traverses through the region’s rolling wheat fields.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Pullman loves pets so much there’s even a coffee shop/ bar called Pups & Cups Cafe. Friendly dogs are welcome to hang out here as their humans sip coffee, tea, wine and craft beer – and there’s even a 1,000-square-foot, off-leash play area.

Remote Work Perk: Since this is a college town (and, just across the state line, you’ll also find the University of Idaho!), there are tons of places to study and get work done, no matter the vibe you’re seeking. Check out Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasters or Roost Coffee & Market.  

One More Thing … Every year, Pullman hosts the national Lentil Festival in celebration of this hearty legume. The festival features live music, cooking demos, beer, food and tons of lentil-themed events and activities. The Palouse Region, including Pullman, grows a quarter of our country’s lentils! 

– Sarah Kuta

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