If you love the idea of living in a city that allows you to enjoy both the small-town charm and the big-city amenities, then Kirkland, Washington, is the place for you.
Named the nation’s second-fastest-growing small city, Kirkland is located in King County and rests on the shores of Lake Washington. The picturesque city is home to about 93,000 people. It offers a lot more than just stunning natural sights, as there are excellent employment opportunities and good amenities in this city.
Let’s talk about eight things you must know before moving to Kirkland, WA!
1. Kirkland’s unemployment rate is less than the national average.
At 2.4%, Kirkland’s unemployment rate is less than the national average of 3.6%.
The city has a thriving local economy and plenty of good job prospects despite having a population of less than 100,000. The work market in this region has increased by 2.6% from the previous year, and further job growth of 38.4% is predicted over the following decade.
Although the five key industries in this region are telecommunications, healthcare, education, hospitality, and technology, the city is home to over 24 big companies across a wide range of industries. There’s a high chance that you’ll get a good job here.
CLEAR Wireless, Greenpoint Technologies, EvergreenHealth, and Mobius Industries are some of the top employers in the city.
2. The city is close to Seattle.
Kirkland is quite close to Seattle, a much bigger city with all mega-city amenities.
The city is famous for its coffee culture and abundance of museums and art galleries. So, if you’re looking for a change of environment and want to experience the energy of a major metropolis, Seattle is just a 25-minute drive away.
3. There are 41 public schools in Kirkland
If you prioritize education and want the best schools for your kids, you do not need to worry because Kirkland has you in mind. As in other Washington cities, residents of Kirkland place a premium on education.
There are 41 public schools in the city. They include 29 elementary schools, 8 middle schools, and 4 high schools. In addition to the standard public schools, they have the option of attending “choice schools,” which emphasize individuality and autonomy. Also, Kirkland’s public and private schools are among the best in the country, making it an attractive location for families with children of all ages.
Kirkland is conveniently located near 5 prestigious colleges and institutions in Washington, making it an attractive option for students planning on continuing their education. They include Seattle’s University, the Olympische Universität, the University of the Northwest, and the Institution of Higher Learning.
4. It rains a lot in Kirkland
With an average of 153 sunny days each year, Kirkland has an annual rainfall of 41 inches, higher than the national average of 38 inches. From October through May, this northwest city receives the most rainfall. The city’s regular rain is responsible for the high humidity and the mild year-round temperatures, which make even the coldest months bearable.
Be sure to come along with your umbrella and raincoat if you decide to move here.
5. The cost of living is 55% higher than the national average
Kirkland is rather an expensive place to live, with a cost of living that is 55% higher than the national average. One of the major elements of this high cost of living is the attractiveness of Kirkland.
Transport fares in this city are 23% higher than the national average, while the cost of groceries is 25% higher than the national average; a loaf of bread costs $4.85, a gallon of milk is sold for $3.04, and a carton of eggs is $2.81. Medical care is also 30% higher than the national average.
In addition, Kirkland’s median home price is $1,111,586, which is way higher than the national median home price.
If you’re moving from a cheaper city, this might pose a challenge to you. But if you can afford to live here, rest assured that it’ll be worth it.
6. You do not need to worry about traffic in Kirkland
Since fewer people live in Kirkland and there is more space for highway infrastructure, commuters in the city have more options when choosing routes to take to and from work. So, traffic is barely an issue.
However, on weekdays, commuters from Kirkland and other neighboring cities may encounter heavy traffic heading into Seattle. Although there’s an alternative route if you want to avoid the traffic, this route is, however, 6 miles longer.
If you live and work within Kirkland, you do not need to worry about traffic.
7. Have a great time out at Marina Park
Kirkland’s downtown is surrounded by the stunningly gorgeous Lake Washington. An important place to appreciate this beautiful sight is Marina’s Park, which spans 3.5 acres in the heart of downtown.
It is one of the most visited places in the city due to its sandy beach, boat launch, public art, gorgeous open-air pavilion, and summer concerts set against the backdrop of Lake Washington and the city’s skyline.
The July 4th Celebration and Kirkland Uncorked are just two of the many exciting events that take place in Marina Park.
There’s also the Plaza of Champions, located in Marina Park. This plaza is dedicated to celebrating the many organizations and individuals who have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the community.
8. Excellent public transportation system
Kirkland has an excellent public transportation system. Most of its residents have cars, but a lot of them frequently use the city’s public transportation system.
There are primarily three modes of public transportation used by residents and tourists: the Subway System, Sound Transit, and Metro Transit.
The Metro Transit is the city’s bus line that frequently travels through several areas of Kirkland and to and from Seattle, making it one of the most popular modes of public transportation. There’s also a network of trails and lanes for bikes, leaving you with numerous transportation options.
To Sum it All Up
Kirkland is a wonderful city to call home due to its many advantages, such as its ample work prospects, smooth traffic, excellent schools, and convenient transportation options. However, Kirkland has a high cost of living, so you should be prepared for it.