Issaquah voted Best ’burb
February 21, 2014
When Sunset magazine went looking for the perfect place to launch a career, start a family or provide the most relaxing setting, it hit upon Issaquah as its top choice.
In the magazine’s recently penned 24 Best Places to Live and Work 2014 article, Issaquah won Best ’burb. The writers found the city defied suburban life stereotypes thanks to 1,700 acres of parkland, walkable neighborhoods, historic buildings and such urban amenities as indie coffee shops, wine bars and a Tony Award-winning theater in Village Theatre.
Even with a population of 32,633, Sunset magazine said locals told them Issaquah feels like a small town — or a vibrant city neighborhood. The writers were impressed the former coal-mining town 22 miles southeast of Seattle managed to hold onto its distinctive character while growing exponentially. Rather than succumbing to typical suburban sprawl, town leaders decided to go urban, green-lighting the construction of compact, sustainably built communities on the east side of town.
However, Sunset magazine did find a few warts under Issaquah’s veneer. It found not everyone saw development as a good thing, and some neighborhoods remaining car-dependent and there is a distinct lack of a light rail to Seattle for commuters.
In the end, the magazine’s writers scored Issaquah a 26 out of 100 for walkability and a 9 out of 10 for its schools.
The magazine found Issaquah to be a good model for how a suburb can grow without losing its sense of place.