Best Places to Live

Kirkland, WA

Population: 84,721
iStock Photo/volkan.basar

Why It’s Great for Techies:

If you want to reap the benefits of the Seattle tech scene while avoiding the crazy prices and hustle of the city, Kirkland is a great option. It only takes about half an hour to drive from Kirkland to Seattle, but you’ll trade in the tall buildings and traffic-packed streets for parks, trees and an average commute of just over 26 minutes. But don't think you have to work in Seattle: with a Google engineering center and plenty of other tech-based companies within city limits, Kirkland offers plenty of job options to techies.

What Sets It Apart:

Kirkland sits on beautiful Lake Washington. Its waterfront shopping area features everything from beaches to art galleries. A wide trail, nearly six miles long, tracks through the city to provide a way to walk or bike throughout town. In addition, a quarter of the city’s lakefront property is made up of parks, so there are plenty of public places to enjoy the great outdoors if you need a break from your computer.