The state of Washington was recently named by US News and World Report as the second-best state to live in. 

We have ocean beaches, a rainforest, plenty of farmland, world-class islands to get away and recharge, and two rugged mountain ranges. 

Besides the hustle and bustle of Seattle, and the Puget Sound area, Washington offers great small towns to raise your family.

Washington Has Some Great Options for Small City Living

If living in a smaller city is something that you are considering there are several great options in Washington that made WalletHub's list of Best Small Cities in America

Scroll down to see all of Washington’s Top 20 small cities - including four east of the Cascade Mountains.

Washington’s top-rated small city comes in at #13. WalletHub grouped cities by percentile. The 99th percentile represents the top 1 percent of small cities in America.

Washington is Home to the Thirteenth Best Small City in the U.S.


Redmond, WA (Top rated in Washington)

Backyard in Redmond, WA
Redmond, WA credit Ellie O'Rourke via Facebook

Redmond, WA is currently (2024) the 13th-best city to live in America according to WalletHub's study. Lexington is in the 99th percentile and received a total score of 68.63. Here's a breakdown of Redmond’s score:

  • Total Score: 68.63
  • Affordability: 546
  • Economic Health: 3
  • Education & Health: 93
  • Quality of Life: 141
  • Safety: 382

Redmond is home to Microsoft’s world headquarters. It’s also home to Digi Pen University - the hardest in-state college to get into. Redmond’s DigiPen Institute of Technology only admitted 38% of its applicants in 2023 - more selective than getting accepted to Seattle’s University of Washington

DigiPen Institute of Technology
CREDIT: DigiPen Institute of Technology (via Facebook)

Living in Redmond gives you a suburban life - while only being 15 miles, across Lake Washington, from Seattle. 

Washington’s Other Highly Rated Small Cities

Sammamish, WA (2nd rated in WA)

Lake Sammamish
Sammamish WA credit AC Hotels by Marriott Seattle Bellevue Downtown via Facebook

Sammamish is rated as America’s 40th best small city.

Issaquah, WA (3rd rated in WA)

Issaquah, WA
Issaquah WA credit Aurelio Mndz via Facebook

Issaquah is rated the 59th best small city in America.

Kirkland, WA (4th rated in WA)

Kirkland, WA
Kirkland WA credit Jenny Moore via Facebook

Kirkland comes in as the 92nd-best small city.

Bothell, WA (5th rated in WA)

UW Bothell campus
Bothell WA credit UW Bothell via Facebook

Bothel is the 96th-rated small city in the 2024 WalletHub study.

Mercer Island, WA (6th rated in WA)

Mercer Island, WA
Mercer Island WA credit Elizabeth Buckley via Facebook

Mercer Island is rated the 107th best small city in America.

Bellingham, WA (7th rated in WA)

Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA credit Dan Prescott via Facebook

Rated 190th best small city in America.

Olympia, WA (8th rated in WA)

Olympia, WA
Olympia WA credit Eileen Lorenz via Facebook

194th in America

Edmonds, WA (9th rated in WA)

Edmonds, WA
CREDIT: Edmonds Downtown Alliance

237th best small city in America

Richland, WA (10th rated in WA)

Richland, WA
Richland WA credit Richland Park and Recreation via Facebook

265th best small city in America

Washington’s Next Ten Best Small Cities

Lacey, WA

Wenatchee, WA

Bremerton, WA

Lake Stevens, WA

Walla Walla, WA

SeaTac, WA

Shoreline, WA

Lynnwood, WA

Auburn, WA

Kennewick, WA

Find Out Where Your Washington City Ranked by Clicking on WalletHub’s Study

BEAUTIFUL: These Are the Best Scenic Drives in Washington

It's time to hit the road—Stacker compiled a list of the best scenic drives in Washington using data from Tripadvisor as of March 2024.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

National Parks of Washington State

Washington State is home to 15 National Parks managed by the National Park Service. You might be surprised to know what some of these parks are!

Note: As one park site is sacred to the Nez Perce and discourages visitors, we have excluded it from the list below. Please respect all historic sites you may visit.

Gallery Credit: Jaime Skelton


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