Best Places to Live

Sammamish , WA

Population: 50,163

Courtesy of Abhinaba Basu under a CC 2.0 license.

Want to take a trip to a Pacific Northwest gem that's off the beaten path? Consider visiting Sammamish, a safe, family-friendly suburb of Seattle that’s also close to fun cities like Redmond and Bellevue.

Sammamish is bordered to the west by Lake Sammamish, a favorite spot for water recreation and part of Lake Sammamish State Park, which is situated in nearby Issaquah and home to two lakefront beaches as well as plenty of opportunities for activities like hiking, biking and camping.

The 83-acre Beaver Lake Park is another place to enjoy the great outdoors in Sammamish, along with Beaver Lake Preserve – a 76-acre hiking destination located just northwest of the park that shares its name – and Pike Lake Park, a must-visit swimming spot during the summer months.

If you’re visiting during the Halloween season (and you like being scared), you’ll probably want to check out the Nightmare at Beaver Creek. It’s the Seattle area’s largest indoor/outdoor haunted house, and locals say it’s a fun – and frightening – attraction that’s worth the $12-$20 price of admission. Planning to visit Sammamish in the summertime? Catch a free concert in a local park on Thursday evenings, or attend the Sammamish Days event, an annual celebration in August that features live entertainment, food, kids’ activities and more.

When you’re ready to grab a bite, try Katie’s on the Lake, a white-tablecloth restaurant serving up seafood and classic American dishes along with signature cocktails and an impressive wine selection. You’ll also want to visit the Pine Lake Ale House, home to more than 20 beers on tap and a full menu of American favorites, and Big Block Brewery’s Sammamish taproom that has an ever-changing rotation of brews. For breakfast or brunch, pop into Sammamish Cafe & Spirits, and make sure you bring your appetite – locals say the portion sizes are larger than life.