From world-class wine to great job opportunities, this Pacific Northwest gem has it all.
When it comes to prominent cities located in Washington, Seattle likely comes to mind first. While it may be the birthplace of the grunge music scene and inspiration for classic flicks like “Sleepless in Seattle,â€ its smaller and more serene neighbor to the Northeast is beginning to draw some serious attention. Kirkland (population 84,721) is a vibrant waterfront destination with plenty to offer those looking for the perfect place to call home in the Pacific Northwest.
Thinking of moving to Kirkland? Here are a few of the many reasons you won’t regret it.
1. A Strong Economy
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kirkland’s unemployment rate has steadily decreased since the beginning of 2018. Tech giants like Google, IBM, and Microsoft have well-established branch offices in the area. Along with businesses that call Kirkland home – like Wave Broadband and Tableau Software – they bolster the local economy with a multitude of STEM job opportunities. Whether looking to start an entrepreneurial venture or find work in retail, banking, or healthcare; this city guarantees newcomers plenty of solid work prospects and springboard for financial stability.
2. The Waterfront
Located on the shores of Lake Washington, Kirkland does not waste one inch of its access to stunning scenery and beautiful beaches. The city has an extensive park system that makes up 25 percent of the beachfront property, giving residents access to beautiful expanses where they can swim, play volleyball, picnic or simply relax and enjoy the view of the Seattle skyline.
3. Outdoor Recreation
Most city dwellers have to travel some distance to enjoy activities away from the hustle and bustle. In Kirkland, access to outdoor recreation is right in your backyard.
Thanks to the city’s park system, Bridle Trails State Park gives locals access to acres of forested wilderness with 25-miles of horse-friendly trail that also welcomes hikers. The marinas offer water lovers a place to moor their boats, and the waterfront parks are popular launching points for those seeking a place to kayak or paddleboard. Fans of cycling enjoy the city’s vast system of bicycling lanes, access to the much-loved Lake Washington Loop, and the Cross Kirkland Corridor’s 5.75-mile trail.
4. Quality Education
Depending on where families live in the Kirkland area, children attend schools in either the Lake Washington School District or the Northshore School District. According to an annual report ranking school districts across the country, both are among the top ten best school districts in Washington State for 2018. The report uses data gathered from the U.S. Department of Education, test scores, college data and individual ratings to determine rank.
Lake Washington came in at number three with Northshore trailing slightly behind it at seven. The districts also offer programs for advanced learners as well as those seeking special education, enhancing the public school learning experience and ensuring every student has their unique needs met.
5. Proximity to Seattle
With less than a 30-minute drive to Seattle, residents of Kirkland get to enjoy easy access to all of the exciting activities and events the big city has to offer. From shopping at Pike Place Market to checking out the Space Needle in Seattle Center to catching live theater or music at one of the many great venues – you’ll never suffer from the fear of missing out.
6. The Wineries
Good news for wine lovers: Kirkland offers easy access to nearby Woodinville Wine Country. Home to 118 wineries and tasting rooms including the historic Chateau St. Michelle (Washington State’s oldest winery) and Columbia Winery, there are an array of experiences waiting for those who love to enjoy the best Merlots and Chardonnays. Visitors can explore wine bars and restaurants and eateries, and if they want to change things up a bit, there are 14 microbreweries, distilleries and cideries in the area as well.
For those who prefer to stay in Kirkland, there are exceptional wineries right in town and annual festivals like Uncorked celebrate one the areas favorite drinks with flair.
7. Great Shopping & Restaurants
You don’t have to live in the big city to have access to exceptional dining and shopping options, and Kirkland is proof of that. Whether you crave high-end boutique shops with classic apparel or prefer vintage stores with style, the local shops in Kirkland have it all. The downtown district offers an elevated retail experience and the dining options are just as diverse. From sushi to pizza, residents can find any fare they are craving at area restaurants. Some, like CafÃ© Juanita, even show off the skills of nationally-acclaimed chefs. When you are done with dinner, there’s always a wine bar nearby for the perfect end-of-day experience.