Reasons locals love living in Issaquah

Have you ever daydreamed about living amidst the captivating landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, complete with its majestic mountains, verdant forests, and serene lakes? Issaquah, Wash., might just be the slice of paradise you've been imagining. The suburb consistently ranks among the top places for young professionals in Washington state. Let's dive into an honest look at what it means to call Issaquah home.

Attractive setting

With its backdrop of mountains and lush greenery, Issaquah feels like a living postcard. Whether you're sipping your morning coffee or taking an evening stroll, the town offers a visual treat at every turn. Issaquah is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, including mountains, lakes, and forests. The city offers residents a variety of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, such as hiking, biking, and fishing.

Arts and culture

From vibrant art galleries to local theater productions, the cultural pulse of Issaquah is undeniable. The town resonates with the echoes of artists, musicians, and performers who breathe life into its streets. For instance, Issaquah’s Village Theatre produces various musicals and plays alongside a theater school offering classes for children and adults. In addition to its galleries and venues, Issaquah hosts several cultural events throughout the year, such as the Issaquah Salmon Days Festival, the Issaquah ArtWalk, and the Issaquah Summer Concert Series.

Nearby recreation

Nature enthusiasts rejoice! Whether you're a hiker, biker, or someone who loves a picnic by the lake, Issaquah's proximity to recreational spots ensures you're never too far from your next adventure.

Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park comprises 120 acres and over 20 miles of trails suitable for different skill levels. The park is a popular destination for mountain bikers, hikers, runners, and dog walkers. Pedestrians also enjoy the Sammamish River Trail, which runs 10 miles along the Sammamish River. Walkers, joggers, bikers, and rollerbladers enjoy stunning views of the river and surrounding areas.

For a unique experience, visit the Issaquah State Salmon Hatchery during late August and September. The hatchery on Issaquah Creek is open to the public and offers a chance to learn firsthand about the salmon life cycle.


Nestled in the scenic Puget Sound region, Issaquah enjoys a warm-summer Mediterranean climate. In other words, the town embraces gentle seasons with minimal temperature fluctuations throughout the year. In Issaquah, warm, moderately humid summers offset chilly, wet winters. From May through September, residents enjoy mellow weather with fewer than 10 rainy days monthly. The suburb contains different microclimates, such as the Issaquah lowlands (hotter than the lakeside area) and the mountainous Issaquah highlands. Newcomers should bring raincoats to weather the 50+ inches of annual rainfall.

Convenient location

Issaquah is just a short drive from Seattle, making it easy to access the city's amenities and attractions. The city is also well-served by public transportation, making it viable to get around without a car. Residents enjoy relatively short commutes to local schools, restaurants, shopping centers, outdoor recreation, and major job centers (Issaquah is home to several major businesses and organizations, including Microsoft, Costco, and Boeing).


In Issaquah, every restaurant is a world in itself, offering a blend of flavors, emotions, and memories. Whether celebrating a milestone or simply seeking solace in the comfort of good food, Issaquah's culinary landscape promises a delightful journey for every palate. The adventure continues, with more tales of flavors waiting to unfold.

Locals visit Amarone Ristorante and Bar or Montalcino Ristorante Italiano for traditional Italian cuisine in an upscale setting. The former is in the Issaquah Highlands, whereas Montalcino is in Olde Town.

Asian cuisine is well represented in Issaquah. Umi Cafe serves Asian fusion dishes in a tranquil garden; Krawbar specializes in Asian-inspired seafood, including raw oysters; and Danji Korean Cuisine excels at Korean favorites like noodles Udon and Bibimbap.

The Pacific Northwest embraces farm-to-table operations, and you can find that aesthetic in town at The Well and Table. The restaurant sources food from local farms, greens from local gardens, bread from local ovens, wines from local vineyards, ales from local breweries, and spirits from local distilleries.

Issaquah has many more quality restaurants, ensuring locals always have something new to try. For example, The Black Duck Cask and Bottle promises an unforgettable gastronomic journey. Whether you're seeking the comfort of familiar flavors or eager to explore something new, this eatery has something for every palate. The ambiance, echoing with warmth and laughter, ensures that each meal is more than just food – it's an experience.

Locals also enjoy Masa Mexican Kitchen & Cantina and Flat Iron Grill. Both are located on NW Gilman Blvd., making them excellent options for dinner after a day shopping at Gilman Village or Issaquah Commons.

Excellent school system

Issaquah takes pride in its schools, ensuring every child can unlock their potential in a challenging and supportive environment. Issaquah is served by the Issaquah School District, one of the top-rated school districts in Washington state. The district offers students a rigorous academic program and a variety of extracurricular activities. From elementary schools to high schools, Issaquah's educational institutions stand as a testament to the town's commitment to fostering growth, learning, and success.

Luxury real estate

Life in Issaquah offers a unique blend of natural beauty, community spirit, vibrant cultural experiences — and excellent real estate. As of October 2023, Roy Towse has access to over 100 high-end properties throughout Issaquah. The median list price for single-family homes is $1.55 million. For that price, you can expect over 2,000 square feet, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and modern amenities (area real estate peaks in the mid-seven figures).

About Roy Towse

Hailing from Sammamish, Washington, Roy Towse is an authority on Pacific Northwest real estate, bringing two decades of unparalleled expertise in the Eastside's property landscape. If you're looking to buy or sell a home or have any questions about the Issaquah real estate market, contact Roy Towse today.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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