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14 Cities Near Seattle, WA to Live in 2021

By: Davina Ward
June 28, 2021

Seattle is a phenomenal city. Its picturesque skyline, scenic views, and bustling culture draw in tons of visitors and new residents alike every year. Not to mention, your four-legged, furry friend is sure to be welcomed in Seattle’s notoriously dog-friendly city.

That said, every city has its flaws. While people flock to Seattle, others may be dissatisfied with the city’s high cost of living, traffic, and other economic and cultural issues plaguing the city. If you count yourself among that number, you’ve got options.

The following list of cities near Seattle is organized by proximity to the city, each offering a unique set of features that may draw you away from Seattle’s center. Let’s dive in!

White Center

  • Miles Away from Downtown Seattle: 7.9
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Car: 20 minutes
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bus/Train: 40 minutes via the 120 bus
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bike: 50 minutes via 21st Ave SW
  • One-bedroom Average Rent: $1,192
  • Population: 13,495
  • Median Household Income: $58,704
  • Walk Score: 71
  • Transit Score: 42
  • Bike Score: 64

Moving to White Center puts you in one of the closest cities near Seattle’s downtown center. It’s a cityscape defined by its dense streets and unique conglomerate of nearby cities, including Burien, Seattle, and Kings County.

There are two distinct White Center neighborhoods, North White Center and South White Center. If you prefer to be right in the middle of the action, then North White Center’s bustling commercial center is where you belong. On the other hand, if you prefer quiet residential neighborhoods, South White Center is the place to be.

Before finalizing your move to White Center, be aware that Seattle is considering annexing the locale, which has some support from White Center residents. Additionally, White Center’s crime rate is a bit higher than the national average.

Bellevue

  • Miles Away from Downtown Seattle: 9.9
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Car: 20 minutes
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bus/Train: 32 minutes via the 550 bus line
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bike: 1 hour and 8 minutes via the I-90 Trail
  • One-bedroom Average Rent: $2,384
  • Two-bedroom Average Rent: $3,054
  • Population: 148,164
  • Median Household Income: $120,456
  • Walk Score: 40
  • Transit Score: 38
  • Bike Score: 44

Bellevue is for those that are looking for distinctly suburban living near Seattle. The tree-lined streets, massive parks, and picturesque epitome of residential neighborhoods make this city the perfect destination for young families or young professionals looking to put down roots.

There are many unique Bellevue neighborhoods, but two stand out as a great place to start your apartment hunt. Downtown Bellevue is the heart of the city with tons of recreation options and proximity to lots of shops, while Northwest Bellevue is a walkable suburban paradise with the pristine lawns of your dreams.

Kirkland

  • Miles Away from Downtown Seattle: 11.1
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Car: 30 minutes
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bus/Train: 1 hour and 13 minutes via the 255 bus with a transfer to the Link rail line.
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bike: 1 hour and 12 minutes via the 520 trail
  • One-bedroom Average Rent: $2,100
  • Two-bedroom Average Rent: $2,856
  • Population: 93,010
  • Median Household Income: $117,190
  • Walk Score: 40
  • Transit Score: N/A
  • Bike Score: 58

Kirkland boasts excellent transportation options, tons of local outdoor parks, and lovely neighborhoods. It’s the perfect place for a young professional to find an apartment or home when looking to move to a Seattle suburb.

Rose Hill is one of Kirkland’s more affordable neighborhoods. It’s near Forbes Lake and provides easy access to the trails near Sammamish Valley. However, if you have a larger budget and a bit of time to move, check out the Highlands neighborhood — it’s close to Downtown, and it’s got full houses for rent.

Shoreline

  • Miles Away from Downtown Seattle: 11.8
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Car: 30 minutes
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bus/Train: 1 hour and 42 minutes via the 303 bus with a transfer to the E Line Bus
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bike: 1 hour and 10 minutes via the Interurban Trail
  • One-bedroom Average Rent: $1,656
  • Two-bedroom Average Rent: $2,234
  • Population: 57,027
  • Median Household Income: $86,827
  • Walk Score: 56
  • Transit Score: 48
  • Bike Score: 57

Renting in Shoreline is a dream for an outdoor lover looking for a safe town to call home, as its crime rates are below the national average. The small population has been growing in recent years, with newer residents flocking to Shoreline’s mountain views, beach access, and lovely parks.

You’ll need an open mind, patience, and time to rent in Shoreline, as there aren’t many apartments or rentals in the area. If you do find a rental, it will likely be in a newer-build apartment community with tons of amenities that would undoubtedly cost double in Seattle’s center.

Renton

  • Miles Away from Downtown Seattle: 12.4
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Car: 20 minutes
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bus/Train: 1 hour and 18 minutes via the 111 bus line with multiple transfers
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bike: 1 hour and 22 minutes via Rainier Ave S
  • One-bedroom Average Rent: $1,730
  • Two-bedroom Average Rent: $2,164
  • Population: 101,751
  • Median Household Income: $77,739
  • Walk Score: 56
  • Transit Score: 38
  • Bike Score: 39

Renton is a city with a diverse population, a rich rock-and-roll history, and a growing number of residents. The city’s rent prices are relatively affordable, but its increasing popularity may change that in the near future.

That said, if you get into the Renton rental market early, downtown Renton offers a ton of recreation options, a recently revitalized vibe, and unique neighborhoods. To start your apartment search, check out Earlington. It’s a safe, affordable neighborhood with a short commute to downtown Seattle.

Lake Forest Park

  • Miles Away from Downtown Seattle: 12.7
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Car: 40 minutes
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bus/Train: 57 minutes via the 372 bus line with a transfer to the Link rail line
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bike: 1 hour and 26 minutes via the Burke-Gilman Trail
  • Median Rent Price: $1,617
  • Population: 13,504
  • Median Household Income: $126,750
  • Walk Score: 17
  • Transit Score: N/A
  • Bike Score: 38

Lake Forest Park is a small city just north of Seattle whose name is a key identifier. Besides being a mouthful, Lake Forest Park describes the city’s proximity to Lake Washington and the forested area within city limits. In short, it’s an excellent place for those who’ve always wanted to live out their Twilight dreams.

Start your Lake Forest Park apartment search in the Sheridan Beach neighborhood if you’re looking to live in an apartment complex or community with many amenities. You’ll also have access to the city’s major bus lines and tons of restaurants.

Mountlake Terrace

  • Miles Away from Downtown Seattle: 13.8
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Car: 30 minutes
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bus/Train: 56 minutes via the 512 bus line
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bike: 1 hour and 41 minutes via the Interurban Trail
  • One-bedroom Average Rent: $1,751
  • Two-bedroom Average Rent: $1,976
  • Population: 21,338
  • Median Household Income: $72,955
  • Walk Score: 50
  • Transit Score: N/A
  • Bike Score: 43

Mountlake Terrace is a city that lives up to its name with gorgeous views of the Cascade and Olympic mountains and access to the scenic Lake Ballinger. You won’t be bored in this city, as it’s home to plenty of parks and is home to an annual summer festival.

The average rental rates in Mountlake aren’t exorbitantly high, but they aren’t cheap either. You’ll find tons of rental units in apartment communities and condos strewn about Mountlake Terrace. Start your Mountlake Terrace apartment search in Cedar Terrace for your pick of the many units in the neighborhood.

Kenmore

  • Miles Away from Downtown Seattle: 14
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Car: 40 minutes
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bus/Train: 43 minutes via the 522 bus line
  • Median Rent Price: $783
  • Population: 23,097
  • Median Household Income: $109,810
  • Walk Score: 28
  • Transit Score: 32
  • Bike Score: 35

If you’re looking to rent in Kenmore, you’re in luck. Kenmore boasts a ton of excellent rental options, from studios to townhomes, many of which have fantastic amenities, such as wood-burning fireplaces and swimming pools in Kenmore’s apartment communities.

Kenmore has many distinct features, namely, its tumultuous history with bootlegging, industrial manufacturing, and farming as some of the town’s faces throughout history. However, in recent years, Kenmore has become a fun community undergoing significant revitalization efforts and experiencing new development.

Today, Kenmore boasts many neighborhoods ranging from the affordable to the affluent, although every neighborhood offers great parks, entertainment options, and proximity to Seattle. Check out Kenmore South for affordable housing in homes that have the character of Kenmore’s rich history.

Edmonds

  • Miles Away from Downtown Seattle: 17
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Car: 35 minutes
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bus/Train: 1 hour and 32 minutes via the 196 bus line with a transfer to the 512 bus.
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bike: 1 hour and 46 minutes via Fremont Ave N
  • One-bedroom Average Rent: $1,540
  • Two-bedroom Average Rent: $1,834
  • Population: 42,605
  • Median Household Income: $89,229
  • Walk Score: 86
  • Transit Score: 35
  • Bike Score: 45

Why Edmonds? As a start, it has a ferry port, a lovely farmers market, a bevy of delectable food options, and many small businesses. In short, Edmonds is the type of small-town living depicted in movies.

If you’re moving to Edmonds, be prepared for high rent rates, as the city’s amenities, location, and vibe make its high cost of living a bit more realistic. If you want the most bang for your buck, check out Chase Lake. It’s not the cheapest, but it also doesn’t have two highways running through it like the Aurora Marketplace neighborhood.

Kent

  • Miles Away from Downtown Seattle: 20.2
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Car: 30 minutes
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bus/Train: 1 hour and 9 minutes via the 150 bus
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bike: 1 hour and 52 minutes via the Interurban Trail and the Green River Trail
  • One-bedroom Average Rent: $1,591
  • Two-bedroom Average Rent: $1,885
  • Population: 132,319
  • Median Household Income: $72,062
  • Walk Score: 63
  • Transit Score: 41
  • Bike Score: 80

Kent is a highly-coveted Seattle neighborhood gaining a reputation as an up-and-coming neighborhood in its own right. Although people know Kent as an out-of-the-way rural Seattle suburb, it’s currently experiencing a revitalization and urbanization that makes it an excellent place to call home.

Kent has a great selection of homes and apartments on the rental market and decent vacancy rates, meaning you’ll definitely find something available. If you’re looking for an affordable Kent neighborhood, start with East Hill. It’s got a lot of rental options and a diverse mix of residents.

Downtown Kent is also a great option, but mainly for those who prefer to be nearest to business and entertainment opportunities. It’s a bit more expensive than East Hill, but if you prefer your streets to be busy, then Downtown is the place for you.

Cities Near Seattle with Higher Commute Times

While we aren’t exactly facing a remote work revolution, remote work is indeed is on the rise across the nation.

There is a substantial population of people who aren’t tethered to a specific location simply because their work is there. If you’re among that class of individuals, you have the freedom to choose a home in a place that meets your needs and doesn’t break the bank.

The following cities may not be ideal for those who will have to commute to work every day, but for remote workers or for those who rarely have to visit the office, these cities are the perfect place to call home.

Redmond

  • Miles Away from Downtown Seattle: 15.1
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Car: 35 minutes
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bus/Train: 1 hour and 4 minutes via the B line bus with a transfer to the 545 bus line
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bike: 1 hour and 49 minutes via the 520 Bike Trail
  • One-bedroom Average Rent: $2,080
  • Two-bedroom Average Rent: $2,919
  • Population: 71,929
  • Median Household Income: $132,188
  • Walk Score: 31
  • Transit Score: 39
  • Bike Score: 51

Redmond boasts a diverse selection of residents, spanning from young professionals to established generational families. It also has some of Washington’s most expensive housing options, with the average rent of a one-bedroom apartment surpassing the $2,000 mark.

Life in Redmond is picturesque. Redmond’s many parks, live music, and booming economic hotbed that is the city itself make Redmond a veritable goldmine for those looking to make the move to Washington.

If you’re looking to rent in Redmond, be prepared for the heinous traffic, exorbitant rent rates, and growing population.

Lynnwood

  • Miles Away from Downtown Seattle: 17.2
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Car: 45 minutes
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bus/Train: 49 minutes via the 512 bus line
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bike: 1 hour and 44 minutes via the Interurban Trail
  • One-bedroom Average Rent: $1,558
  • Two-bedroom Average Rent: $1,988
  • Population: 39,141
  • Median Household Income: $63,743
  • Walk Score: 53
  • Transit Score: N/A
  • Bike Score: 50

Renting in Lynnwood is a fun mix of the commercial and the residential. The city is known for its shopping areas and strip malls, but it’s got a lot more to it than meets the eye. It’s a small town at heart, with a few homegrown hangouts and entertainment options. Lynwood is also one of the best neighborhoods in Seattle.

That said, it does not lack in terms of urban living options, with many apartment communities boasting luxurious amenities. If you prefer to get your kicks in the great outdoors, head to one of the city’s greenbelt trails, forested areas, lakes, or golf courses.

Federal Way

  • Miles Away from Downtown Seattle: 23.4
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Car: 35 minutes
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bus/Train: 1 hour and 26 minutes via the A-Line with a transfer to the Link rail line
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bike: 2 hours and 39 minutes via the Interurban Trail
  • Median Rent Price: $1,514
  • Population: 96,289
  • Median Household Income: $67,347
  • Walk Score: 56
  • Transit Score: 39
  • Bike Score: 38

Federal Way boasts the idyllic position between Mount Rainier and the Puget Sound. It’s a gorgeous locale that’s not too far from Seattle’s center but just far enough for you to make your own home away from the city.

The best part about living in Federal Way? It’s a renter’s dream destination as 43% of the city’s residents are renters. That means you’ll have your pick of the many rental units available in the area, spanning from basic studios to luxury apartments.

Just be sure to watch the prices in Federal Way. Although it’s relatively affordable, if you want to live a life of luxury, you’ll have to expect much higher rates.

Auburn

  • Miles Away from Downtown Seattle: 26.9
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Car: 35 minutes
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bus/Train: 1 hour and 30 minutes via the 566 bus line with a transfer to the 101 bus
  • Commute Time to Seattle via Bike: 2 hours and 19 minutes via the Interurban Trail
  • One-bedroom Average Rent: $1,709
  • Two-bedroom Average Rent: $1,952
  • Population: 81,464
  • Median Household Income: $72,822
  • Walk Score: 80
  • Transit Score: 45
  • Bike Score: 76

Auburn features an eclectic mix of cultures and vibes. There’s always something to do in the city with casinos, suburban living, rural peaks, and a bustling downtown center. In short, it’s a fun place to live, but because there are so many different elements at play, you’ll have your work ahead of you finding an apartment in a neighborhood that works best for you.

If you’re having a hard time getting started, check out Downtown Auburn at the start of your apartment search. It’s where you’ll find tons of entertainment options, good eats, and a decent business center. Bonus: Downtown isn’t nearly as expensive as West Hill.

Finding the Best City for You

Searching for your dream apartment can feel limiting, especially if you want to stay near a specific location.

However, it’s possible to expand your horizons and find a Washington apartment near Seattle that meets your every need, including a short commute time.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your search, take our quiz to find your dream apartment in Washington.

If Seattle is the best place for you, learn more about:

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AUTHOR
Davina Ward is a contributing author at Apartment List and freelance writer specializing in real estate and digital marketing. She received her B. Read More
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