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Living in Issaquah Washington - EVERYTHING You Need to Know

Lake Sammamish from Issaquah Washington

What is Living in Issaquah Washington Like?

In the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, just east of Lake Sammamish, sits the beautiful city of Issaquah, Washington. The city is situated in the heart of the Puget Sound region, roughly 16 miles east of Seattle. Issaquah has a rich history, dating back to the early 1800s when Native American tribes first settled it and later became a center of the logging industry. Today the city has approximately 40,000 residents and is known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor recreational opportunities.

One of the top attractions in Issaquah is the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, which offers visitors a chance to learn about the life cycle of salmon and watch them swim upstream to spawn. The hatchery is located on Issaquah Creek and is a popular spot for tourists and locals. Another popular close by attraction is the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, which features miles of hiking and biking trails, stunning views of the surrounding mountains, and opportunities for wildlife viewing.

The cost of living in Issaquah is generally higher than many other cities in Washington due in part to its proximity to Seattle and the surrounding metropolitan area. Housing costs can be expensive, and other expenses like groceries, utilities, and transportation are also generally higher than in other cities in the region. Living in Issaquah, Washington, you'll find a variety of housing options, including single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and apartments. The diverse housing options help meet a variety of budgets and lifestyles of those living in Issaquah, Washington.

If you're looking for abundant outdoor recreation, cultural attractions, and a diverse, thriving economy, living in Issaquah, Washington, is for you! Read on to discover more about Issaquah, Washington neighborhoods, some tips, info, and pros and cons about living in Issaquah, and get answers to FAQs about residing in Issaquah, Washington, to see if living in Issaquah, Washington is the right decision for you! 

The Moving to Issaquah Washington Team

Let our team of trusted professionals help you buy or/and sell a home in Issaquah, Washington. To connect with a local expert/real estate professional in Issaquah, Washington, CLICK HERETo start receiving emails with homes that match your criteria anywhere in Washington, CLICK HERE and sign up for Listing Alert. With a little info on what, where, and how much, you'll get newly listed homes matching your criteria sent to your inbox as they hit the market. This can give you a big leg up in your home search.

The first step in the home-buying process is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Todd Davidson is an experienced mortgage broker and can help you get the best financing option for your home purchase. Not quite ready yet? Todd can help you put together a plan to get you there. Whether you're thinking a few months or a year or more if you want to buy a home, reach out to Todd and he can help. CLICK HERE to email Todd and set up a call to get the process started or just call him at 971-275-2465. 

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Todd Davidson

Mortgage Broker

What is the Cost of Living in Issaquah Washington?

If you're exploring a move to Issaquah, Washington, or any place, the cost of living would be a significant factor in your decision-making. I calculated the REAL cost of living in Issaquah, Washington, by factoring in today's costs for housing (rent and own), utilities, food, transportation, healthcare, and other necessities to live. To live in Issaquah, Washington, and rent, you would need to make $58,000 a year. To live in Issaquah, Washington, and buy a home, you would need to make $96,000 a year. Rental amount is based on current low end cost of studio or one bedroom, purchase is based on recent low end sales of a three bedroom and monthly payment with 20% down.

Cost of Living

Living in Issaquah Washington Tips/Info/Blog Posts

Helpful Tips for Moving to Oregon and Buying a Home







Top Neighborhoods in Issaquah Washington

One of the bigger challenges with moving to Bellevue, Washington, is picking the right neighborhood. The city is home to some incredible communities filled with top-rated schools, gorgeous green spaces, and plenty to see and do. Below are just a handful of the great Bellevue, Washington, neighborhoods you'll get to choose from:


Talus is a newer, master-planned community in Issaquah, Washington, with a mix of single-family homes, townhomes, and apartments. The neighborhood is situated on the edge of Cougar Mountain and offers residents access to many hiking trails and parks, including the 500-acre Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. There are also several restaurants and cafes in the area, including the popular Issaquah Cafe. The schools in this area include Issaquah High School, Pine Lake Middle School, and Issaquah Valley Elementary. If living in Issaquah, Washington, check with the Issaquah School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.

Issaquah Highlands Neighborhood

Issaquah Highlands

Issaquah Highlands is a mixed-use community with a range of housing options, including single-family homes, townhomes, and apartments. The neighborhood features several parks, including Central Park, which has a playground and picnic areas, and a community center with a pool and fitness center. There are also several restaurants and cafes in the area, including the popular sushi restaurant Sip Thai Bistro. The schools in this area include Issaquah High School, Pacific Cascade Middle School, and Grand Ridge Elementary. If living in Issaquah, Washington, check with the Issaquah School District to verify which schools your kids will attend.


Montreux is a gated community in Issaquah with a mix of single-family homes and townhomes. The neighborhood is situated on the edge of Cougar Mountain and offers residents access to several parks, including the nearby Squak Mountain State Park. There are also several restaurants and cafes in the area, including the popular Thai restaurant Jak's Grill. The schools in this area include Issaquah High School, Pine Lake Middle School, and Creekside Elementary.

South Lake Sammamish

South Lake Sammamish is a lakeside community in Issaquah with a mix of single-family homes and townhomes. The neighborhood features several parks, including Lake Sammamish State Park, which has a beach, boat launch, and picnic areas. There are also several restaurants and cafes in the area, including the popular seafood restaurant, The Crab Pot. The schools in this area include Issaquah High School, Pine Lake Middle School, and Sunny Hills Elementary.

Lake Sammamish

Old Town

Olde Town is the historic downtown area of Issaquah and features a mix of residential and commercial properties. The neighborhood is home to several parks, including Issaquah Community Center and Park, which has a playground and sports fields. There are also several restaurants and cafes in the area, including the Italian restaurant Sip Italian Kitchen. The schools in this area include Issaquah High School, Issaquah Middle School, and Clark Elementary.

If moving to Issaquah, Washington, and you'd like to buy a home in one of these fabulous neighborhoods, CLICK HERE to sign up for LISTING ALERT to be the first to know when a home matching your criteria gets listed for sale in Issaquah, Washington.

Public Schools in Issaquah Washington

Living in Issaquah, Washington, your kids will attend the Issaquah School District. The district serves the city of Issaquah as well as parts of neighboring cities, including Sammamish and Bellevue. With a population of around 21,000 students, the district is one of the largest in Washington. 

The schools in Issaquah are among some of the best in Washington. According to, for school year 2022-23 the Issaquah School District is ranked as the #6 school district in the entire state of Washington. The district has an overall grade of A+, with high marks for academics, teachers, and college readiness. The district's schools are also known for their strong extracurricular programs, including athletics, music, and theater.

Graduation rates in the Issaquah School District are consistently high, with over 94% of students graduating within four years. The district also strongly focuses on college readiness, with several programs and resources available to help students prepare for post-secondary education. Living in Issaquah, Washington, you can sleep well at night knowing your kids will get an excellent education!

Top Destinations & Attractions in Issaquah Washington

If you're moving to Issaquah, Washington, there's no shortage of things to do. Below is a list of some of the more popular destinations, attractions, and events you'll want to put on the to-do list if you live in Issaquah, Washington:

Lake Sammamish State Park: Lake Sammamish State Park is a popular destination for swimming, boating, and fishing. The park features a beach, picnic areas, and hiking trails.

Lake Sammamish

Issaquah Farmers Market: The Issaquah Farmers Market is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Held every Saturday from May to September, the market features fresh produce, baked goods, artisan crafts, and live music.

Issaquah Salmon Days Festival: The Issaquah Salmon Days Festival is one of the largest festivals in the Pacific Northwest and celebrates the return of the salmon to Issaquah Creek. The festival features a parade, live music, a carnival, and various food vendors.

Issaquah Alps: The Issaquah Alps are a series of mountain ranges and hills near Issaquah. The area features a range of hiking trails, including Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, which offers stunning views of Lake Sammamish and the surrounding mountains.

Village Theatre: The Village Theatre is a professional theater company located in Issaquah that produces a variety of musicals and plays throughout the year. It's known for its high-quality productions and talented performers.

Boehm's Chocolates: Boehm's Chocolates is a local chocolate factory and shop that offers handmade chocolates, truffles, and other treats. Visitors can tour the factory and see how the chocolates are made.

Gilman Village: Gilman Village is a historic shopping center in downtown Issaquah. The center features a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes housed in renovated 19th-century buildings.

Issaquah History Museums: The Issaquah History Museums are a series of museums that showcase the history and culture of Issaquah and the surrounding area. Visitors can learn about the area's logging and mining industries and Native American history.

Tibbetts Creek Manor: Tibbetts Creek Manor is a historic mansion in downtown Issaquah that offers event space for weddings and other special occasions. Beautifully landscaped gardens surround the mansion and provide stunning mountain views.

Cougar Mountain Zoo in Issaquah Washington

Cougar Mountain Zoo: The Cougar Mountain Zoo is home to various exotic animals, including tigers, lemurs, and macaws. Visitors can enjoy animal encounters, guided tours, and educational programs.

Pros and Cons of Living in Issaquah Washington

  1. Natural Beauty: Issaquah is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, including the Issaquah Alps, Lake Sammamish, and several parks and hiking trails. Residents can enjoy various outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to boating and fishing.

  2. Strong Economy: Issaquah has several major employers, including Costco Wholesale, Microsoft, and Siemens Medical Solutions. The city's strong economy provides residents with a range of job opportunities and a high standard of living.

  3. Excellent Schools: The Issaquah School District is consistently ranked among the top school districts in Washington. The district's schools are known for their high academic standards and strong extracurricular programs.

  4. Small-Town Charm: Despite its proximity to Seattle, Issaquah has a small-town feel with a close-knit community. Residents enjoy various community events and activities, from farmer's markets and festivals to concerts and theater performances.

  5. Convenient Location: Issaquah is just a short drive east of Seattle and Bellevue, making it easy to access the region's major employers, shopping centers, and entertainment venues. The city is also close to several major highways and public transportation options.

  6. Dog-Friendly Community: Issaquah is a dog-friendly community, with many parks and trails that welcome dogs on-leash or off-leash. There are also several dog-friendly businesses in the area, including restaurants and stores.

  7. Sustainable Living: Issaquah is committed to sustainability, and residents can take advantage of initiatives such as the city's recycling program, community gardens, and environmentally-friendly transportation options.

Living in Issaquah Washington Cons

  1. Cost of Living: The cost of living in Issaquah is higher than the state and national averages, particularly housing costs. 

  2. Traffic Congestion: Issaquah is located near several major highways, including I-90 and I-405, which can be heavily congested during peak traffic hours. So commuting can be a challenge during peak traffic times.

  3. Wildlife Encounters: Issaquah is located in an area with a lot of wildlife, including bears, cougars, and coyotes. While these animals are generally not a danger to humans, they can be a nuisance and residents may need to take extra precautions to keep them away from their homes and pets.

  4. Rainy Weather: Like much of the Pacific Northwest, Issaquah is known for its rainy weather. While this can appeal to some, others may find the constant rain and cloudy skies depressing or challenging to manage.

  5. Siren Testing: Issaquah is home to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, which regularly tests its earthquake warning system. These tests involve loud sirens that can be heard throughout the city, which may be unsettling for some residents.

  6. Limited Public Transportation: While Issaquah is well-connected to major highways, public transportation options are limited, making it challenging for those who need access to a car to get around the area or commute to work.

FAQs About Living in Issaquah Washington

What is Issaquah known for?

The annual Salmon Days festival, which celebrates the return of salmon to the area's streams and rivers. The festival has been a popular event in Issaquah for over 50 years, drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year with its live music, parade, salmon bake, and other activities. If living in Issaquah, Washington, you need to check it out.

What cities are nearby Issaquah, Washington?

There are a number of great cities within a 20 mile radius of Issaquah, Washington: Sammamish, Newcastle, Renton, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Maple Valley, Tukwila, Covington,  Redmond, North Bend, and Seattle, Washington,

What is the weather like in Issaquah?

If living in Issaquah, Washington, you can expect mild temperatures and climate, with relatively moderate temperatures and rainfall. In the winter, temperatures in Issaquah typically range from the high 30s to the low 40s for daytime highs and from the low 30s to mid-20s for the nighttime low. In the summer, temperatures are typically in the mid 70's with occasional hot streaks when temperatures can get in the 80s and 90s. Snowfall can occur occasionally, with an average annual snowfall of around 8 inches. Issaquah receives an average of 47 inches of rainfall per year. The wettest months are typically November through January, while the driest are July through September.


Does Issaquah Washington have good public schools?

Yes. ranks Issaquah School District, #6 in the state of Washington for school year 2022-23. With high graduation rates and an A+ rating, kids who live in Issaquah, Washington, will get a good education!

Who are some large employers in Issaquah Washington?

If living in Issaquah, Washington, some top employers are: Swedish Medical Center - Issaquah Campus, with over 1,400 employees, Costco Wholesale Corporation, with over 1,200 employees, Issaquah School District, with over 1,000 employees, City of Issaquah, with over 300 employees, and Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc., with over 250 employees.  With Seattle, Redmond and Bellevue just down the road, a majority of Issaquah residents work outside of Issaquah.

Is Issaquah Washington safe?

Issaquah, Washington is a safe city to live in due to its low crime rate, dedicated police department, and community-oriented culture. The city's crime rate is lower than the national average, with a 1 in 1,108 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime and a 1 in 43 chance of becoming a victim of property crime. Issaquah's police department employs highly trained officers who work to prevent and respond to criminal activity, while the community is known for its friendly and supportive atmosphere. Overall, these factors contribute to making Issaquah a safe and secure place to live.

I want to relocate to Issaquah.  How do I make it happen?

You've come to the right spot if you're looking to move to Issaquah Washington.  There’s a lot of information on this website to help including some helpful links below. If you want to ask questions, try our Facebook Group > Moving to Washington  where we have broad group of locals to answer any question you might have. If you’re looking to buy a home in the Issaquah area, getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be your first step. For Mortgage Info, reach out to me. I would love to tell you more about what living in Issaquah is like as well as help with your mortgage if you decide to purchase a home.

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