Welcome to Kirkland, Washington, a lovely suburb east of Seattle that seamlessly blends urban amenities with the serene beauty of its waterfront and green spaces. With its rich history, geographical charm and diverse attractions, Kirkland offers a unique lifestyle that appeals to residents and visitors alike.

The city’s proximity to Lake Washington has a big influence on its culture, providing a gorgeous backdrop for lots of outdoor activities like hiking, biking and boating. Kirkland has a lively downtown area, complete with shops, restaurants and a performing arts centre, so there's always something to do.


Cost of living in Kirkland

The cost of living in Kirkland is significantly higher than the national and state averages. This vibrant city offers a unique blend of urban and suburban lifestyles but at a steeper price.

The housing market in Kirkland is particularly robust, reflecting the premium on single-family homes. If you are exploring new construction, be prepared for costs that surpass those in many other parts of the country. Rental prices are also high, positioning Kirkland as a more upscale housing market.

It's not just housing that's more expensive here. Everyday essentials such as groceries and healthcare also carry higher price tags. From your daily bread to medical visits, you can expect to spend more than you would in less affluent areas. Transport costs in Kirkland are not immune to this trend, with fares and general transport expenses being noticeably higher.


Getting around in Kirkland

Kirkland has plenty of transport options suited to all preferences, whether you’re an advocate of public transport, enjoy biking or prefer driving. 

Kirkland's public transport is easy to use, with services primarily provided by King County Metro and Sound Transit. These networks make it simple to get to different places across the Eastside and into Seattle. There are numerous bus routes in the area for convenient city travel. They feature frequent stops, particularly during peak hours, so you can get around the city in no time at all.

Additionally, the city’s strategic Park and Ride lots make daily commutes a breeze, providing well-connected nodes across the region. The Kenmore-Kirkland Community Van rideshare programme is a great example of community-driven solutions, offering pre-scheduled rides that enhance local connectivity.

Learn more about transportation options across the region in Getting Around in Seattle.

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Healthcare in Kirkland

Kirkland boasts several top-tier medical institutions that provide everything from routine check-ups to specialised services. Key healthcare facilities include Kirkland Primary Care and UW Medicine Primary Care, both offering services in family and internal medicine and specialised care in paediatric and women’s health. EvergreenHealth Medical Center, renowned for its high-quality and compassionate care, completes Kirkland’s robust healthcare framework.

Health insurance is vital in Kirkland, as it helps to manage healthcare costs. Most residents obtain coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, employer-sponsored plans, or Medicaid.

Discover more about medical services and facilities in the broader region by visiting Healthcare in Seattle. Also, make sure to check out our article on Understanding Health Insurance in the USA.

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Schools in Kirkland

There's a variety of education options in Kirkland. There are well-regarded schools in both public and private education, catering to different needs and preferences. Kirkland's public schools in the area fall under the Lake Washington School District, which includes several highly rated elementary, middle, and high schools. Alexander Graham Bell Elementary and Benjamin Franklin Elementary are noted for their vital academic programmes and community involvement.

There are also many great private schools in Kirkland, such as Cedar Crest Academy and Eastside Preparatory School, which offer specialised curricula for comprehensive student development. Holy Family Parish School is another notable institution that provides values-based education in a supportive environment.

There are some fantastic after-school activities offered at the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County. These programmes offer childcare and engage children in enriching classes and activities crucial for holistic development.

Check out our comprehensive guide on educational opportunities in the wider Seattle area in Education and Schools in Seattle.

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Weather in Kirkland

Kirkland has a temperate oceanic climate with four distinct seasons, making it an engaging environment year-round. The city’s weather is shaped by its unique geography along Lake Washington and its proximity to the Olympic Mountains.

The climate is marked by mild winters and warm summers. Rainfall is frequent from October to May, contributing to the lush greenery the region is known for. Kirkland sees fewer sunny days compared to the national average, creating a cosy, often overcast atmosphere that can be quite enchanting.

The best months for enjoying outdoor activities like hiking, biking and boating stretch from late spring through early fall, when rainfall is less intense and temperatures are most agreeable.

For more information about the climate across the region, visit Weather in Seattle.

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Working in Kirkland

Kirkland's robust job market across diverse sectors makes it a prime location for career advancement and new opportunities. The telecommunications, healthcare, education, hospitality, and technology industries dominate the city’s economic landscape.

The work culture in Kirkland is known for its inclusivity and support for professional growth, and employers in the area are committed to creating environments that foster teamwork and innovation. Kirkland’s proximity to Seattle and its excellent public transport network, including Metro Transit, make it a great place to live and work.

Find out more about job opportunities and business culture in the larger Seattle area on our Working in Seattle page.

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Accommodation in Kirkland

Kirkland offers a range of accommodation options to suit diverse tastes and budgets, from sleek studio apartments to spacious family homes. Explore popular online platforms like Zumper, Zillow, and Apartments.com to find your ideal accommodation in Kirkland. Engaging with local real estate agents or property management companies can be incredibly beneficial if you're looking for a more personalised service.

Kirkland has many different neighbourhoods, each with its own unique charm and lifestyle amenities. East of Market/Norkirk is a great option if you're looking for a mix of different home styles and a convenient location close to Downtown Kirkland's cultural spots and dining scenes. Juanita offers lush parklands and easy access to major roads, ideal for those looking for a balance between nature and connectivity.

Finn Hill is another great option. It has stunning panoramic views of Lake Washington and a variety of housing options to suit all household sizes. Kingsgate and Totem Lake provide ample shopping, dining and entertainment choices alongside comfortable residential areas for those who enjoy a lively neighbourhood bustling with activity.

South Rose Hill and Moss Bay are also options well worth considering. South Rose Hill is a close-knit community with excellent schools, while Moss Bay is a lovely place to live with its picturesque waterfront. Both are perfect for those who appreciate outdoor activities integrated into daily life.

For additional details on housing options throughout Seattle, take a look at Accommodation in Seattle.

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Lifestyle in Kirkland

Kirkland has an enriching lifestyle with its beautiful waterfront, vibrant arts scene and diverse recreational activities. The city’s parks, beaches and cultural venues are perfect for a day out. For shoppers and food lovers, Kirkland’s unique boutiques and eclectic dining options offer everything from artisanal products to gourmet meals.

Every year, the city comes alive with a whole host of events, from Kirkland Uncorked, which celebrates local wineries and breweries, to Kirkland Summerfest, which brings together live music, food and entertainment suitable for all. Also not to be missed is Kirkland Oktoberfest, a nod to German culture filled with traditional festivities and culinary delights.

Kirkland Performance Center presents many concerts ranging from theatre to dance. The Kirkland Arts Center hosts workshops and exhibitions, fostering a thriving community of creatives. The historical Peter Kirk Building, a city landmark, adds to the rich tapestry of Kirkland’s cultural scene.

Kirkland has a vibrant nightlife scene that caters to a diverse crowd, offering everything from cosy wine bars to lively sports grills. The central downtown area and the innovative Cross Kirkland Corridor buzz with activity, offering a wide range of dining and entertainment options that attract a youthful, dynamic crowd.

Kirkland’s geographic setting is perfect for those who love to be active and enjoy the great outdoors. There are plenty of opportunities for beach volleyball, water sports and other fun activities right on your doorstep.

Explore what Seattle has to offer in terms of lifestyle and culture by visiting Lifestyle in Seattle.

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