Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live, especially when you have a family—it can be quite overwhelming.
Here’s the kicker:
We’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to.
You’ve no doubt seen our Seattle City Guide, which includes a short section on a few of Seattle’s most popular neighborhoods.
This list, along with “Best Up and Coming Neighborhoods in Seattle,” “Best Neighborhoods in Seattle,” and our “Best Neighborhoods for Families in Seattle” lists are more in-depth neighborhood guides meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas, with links to popular destinations, as well as available houses for sale and apartments for rent (oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhops—movers in Seattle, WA and throughout the country).
If you’re moving to Seattle but don’t want to move into the city, this guide is for you. The Seattle suburbs are close enough to enjoy all that urban living offers—the culture, the food, the excitement, and energy—but removed enough to avoid the less desired aspects like traffic, parking hassles, and the more expensive housing prices. So, just for you, here are some of Seattle’s most popular suburban neighborhoods.
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Lining the shores of Lake Washington, Renton offers lots of opportunities and is a place where families and businesses thrive. With more than 2,000 software companies within a 30-mile radius, more than 2,800 acres of parks and playgrounds and a school district that boasts four Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, Renton continues to draw families and professionals from across the country.
The first pioneers that settled in Renton built a sawmill and mined ore in the 1850s, but conflicts erupted with Native Americans, causing the mill to burn down and forcing most of the settlers to leave. By 1910, a community was re-established with churches, schools and businesses. Boeing then moved to the area in 1941, putting Renton on the map. And the rest, they say, is history.
Not only does Renton have the state’s only IKEA, but it’s got an impressive collection of public art, and a vintage-style shopping center called The Landing. The Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park is a 57-acre park on Lake Washington that offers swimming, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, and picnic areas, not to mention two food stands: Ivar’s and Kidd Valley.
The Cedar River Park provides a giant playfield as well as access to the Cedar River hiking trail. Also located there is the Renton Community Center, where you can take part in all kinds of sports and activities from arts and crafts to dance classes, and the Carco Theatre, a venue for concerts and plays for all ages.
Downtown Renton has great places to eat, like the Melrose Grill, which has been around since 1901, and the more recent Liberty Café, serving some of the best coffee in the area. Also, you might enjoy The Met Wine Bar, A Terrible Beauty Irish Pub and Pop! Gourmet Popcorn.
The Renton School District is one of only 35 in the state to have received the “What Parents Want” Award. The District continuously garners strong support from the community and has seen school levies get approval year after year for more than two decades. Renton Technical College is the area’s exceptional community college.
Bothell is just minutes away from Seattle, close enough to easily access everything it has to offer but far enough removed for residents to enjoy a more laid-back way of life. Growing at a rapid rate, the city of Bothell straddles King and Snohomish counties and is just minutes away from Woodinville wine country and Bellevue shopping. It’s recently gotten a new city hall and a number of mixed-use apartment and retail projects.
Bothell was officially incorporated in 1909. After World War II, new neighborhoods were built as better roads were paved, dramatically expanding the population from around 1,000 to more than 30,000 residents as of 2006. Mostly a bedroom community for people working in Seattle until the 1990s, when biotechnology and software businesses began expanding to the area, and a campus of the University of Washington was built there. In 2010, the city began a $150 million program to redevelop its downtown.
Take a day hike to nearby Bridal Veil Falls, get a spa treatment, go shopping, eat at Russell’s Restaurant, or go on a craft beer or distillery tour. Bothell also boasts the Sammamish River Trail, an 11-mile paved path that winds along a meandering river. There’s plenty to explore in Bothell.
Lake Forest Park is a quiet residential bedroom community for residents who work in Seattle. A lot of the homes were built between the 1950s and 1970s, and are perched on a hill that overlooks Lake Washington. It’s located between Seattle and Kenmore.
Lake Forest Park began in the late 1800s when loggers began settling there to harvest the nearby forest. Ole Hanson, a real estate developer, recognized the potential in the area and bought up land and promoted the area for its scenic beauty in 1912. By 1950, the area had exploded with new residents, with long-time residents soon incorporating it as a city. Today, the land is still heavily lined with forest with roads along hills and ridges, much as it was in the early 20th century.
For the most part, there’s not much going on in Lake Forest Park, which is a good thing. The one commercial area is along Bothell Way. The Town Center mall has all of the area’s grocery stores, banks, and other shopping, along with the library. It also houses the very popular bookstore Third Place Books. Outdoor enthusiasts will like the close access to the Burke-Gilman Trail that runs along Lake Washington. If you are lucky enough to live on the east side of Bothell Way, the Burke-Gilman may pass right next to your house.
Just east of Seattle is Bellevue, with a booming commercial core and lots of home options. Amid the towering skyscrapers are tree-lined residential streets, lush parks, plus restaurant and shopping options. Bellevue has public transportation, making it easy to get to Seattle and nearby Redmond. It’s also got excellent schools and an abundance to do outside of work.
William Meydenbauer and Aaron Mercer moved to Seattle, specifically to the east side of Lake Washington in the late 1860s. By the mid-1900s, the area was known for its berry farms and scenic views, or “Bellevue”, meaning “beautiful view” in French. After the construction of the I-90 bridge, which allowed residents to live on the east side and easily commute to Seattle, city planners developed a trendy downtown area. Today, Bellevue is one of the premier suburbs in the Seattle area.
There’s so much to do in Bellevue. Downtown offers tons of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. There’s also areas like Crossroads to the east and Factoria to the south, with plenty to do and see without having to deal with traffic and parking. The Meydenbauer Center, the Bellevue Arts Museum and the KidsQuest Children’s Museum are all great stops for people of all ages.
Also, don’t miss the Mercer Slough Blueberry Farm, where you can pick all of the fresh berries you want for a ridiculously cheap price. Bellevue’s cleverly-designed park, Kelsey Creek Park, has two historic barns, classes and tours for kids and adults, and even farm animals grazing about it’s a great farm oasis in the middle of a bustling city. And, there are the standard hiking and walking trails and places for picnics. Then there’s Bellevue Downtown Park with its manicured expanse of lawn, waterfall feature.
Newcastle is a city in King County. It’s known for its 36-hole, 350-acre golf complex, which features two championship courses. It’s one of the best suburbs to live in in Seattle. Many families and young professionals live there and own their homes. There are a lot of coffee shops and parks, and the overall feeling of the area is laid-back and peaceful.
The town of Newcastle has been an important settlement and town since the late 19th century and played a major role in Seattle’s development. One of the region’s earliest coal mining areas, it was originally known as Newport Hills. Its railroad link to Seattle was the first in King County. When Newport became its own city in 1994, it changed its name to Newcastle.
Check out the community event calendar to see all of the exciting events going on in at Newcastle. There are plenty of outdoor activities such as Newcastle Beach or Coal Creek Park, both of which may *technically* be in Bellevue, but are still way worth a visit. The business district in Newcastle is centered along Coal Creek Parkway, where you can find plenty of chain restaurants. For a more local experience try Tapatio Mexican Grill, Yea’s Wok and Sweet Decadence Chocolates.
The city of Newcastle is served by two school districts, the Issaquah School District and the Renton School District. The three in-city schools are Newcastle Elementary, Hazelwood Elementary and Risdon Middle School.
Neighborhoods are about location and lifestyle, to be sure. But more importantly, they are about the people who live in them. These neighborhoods offer a variety of lifestyles to meet most anyone’s needs.
We hope this guide helps you make the right choice to fit your lifestyle. If you decide to move in or to Seatle don’t hesitate to reach out. We coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Seattle and we would love to help! Good luck!
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