7.3 out of 10


47.809809610912 -122.345082191337
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Internet Access
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Cost of Living
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists


4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5

"A quiet waterfront suburb of Seattle"

Edmonds is a large town on Puget Sound about 17 miles North of Seattle. The focal point of the community is the ferry that takes you on a 30 minutes trip across the Sound to Kingston, on the Olympic Peninsula. Most of the shops and restaurants in Edmonds are gathered in a few blocks near the ferry dock, which makes for a very pleasant, walkable city center.

Who lives here:
Edmonds is most popular for families and retirees. Families love this area because of the highly ranked schools, the safety, the many churches, and Edmonds Community College. You won’t find as many singles or young professionals here, who tend to live closer to the city. Understandably, much of the housing in the area is single-family homes, complete with a garage and a yard, though there are some apartments and condos as well, especially near the town center. If you are looking for a place near the water, be warned that the train comes through many times a day and blasts its whistle extremely loudly!

There are plenty of tourists going through on their way to the peninsula. During holidays and weekends, the ferry traffic can be backed up way down the road. Once I had to wait in line for three hours on Thanksgiving! In the summers, it’s not uncommon to see people on leisurely bike rides through Edmonds and onto the ferry, on their way to bike around the Olympic Peninsula.

Jobs and commute:
Though there are some jobs in Edmonds, such as at the Swedish Medical Center, the Community College, or the shops downtown, most non-retired folks commute to Seattle for work. Some drive, but taking the bus is usually more convenient. There are two main bus options: take the E-line down Aurora/99, or park at the park and ride and catch a bus down I-5. The latter is generally quicker, as the E-line has quite a few stops on Aurora. A third option is the train, which goes straight to Pioneer Square in Seattle. It’s a relaxing ride with views of the water, and you don’t have to worry about traffic, but leave yourself enough time to transfer to a bus if you are headed elsewhere in Seattle.

The commute is probably the main downside to living in Edmonds. Even though the distance isn’t that far, from leaving your house to arriving at work, during rush hour it takes at least 45 minutes to get to downtown, 60 minutes if you have to transfer to get to Capitol Hill or another neighborhood. If the weather is bad or there’s construction or an event, it will be longer. I suppose that’s what to expect when living in a suburb, but it adds a significant amount of time to your workday.

Medical care:
Edmonds has an excellent selection of health care providers. There are quite a few specialists right off Aurora/99, near 112th Street, including a large Swedish Medical Center, a University of Washington Medical center, and lots of private practice offices. Notably, there are quite a few naturopathic doctors.

Shops, restaurants, activities:
I love perusing the downtown shops occasionally, or getting a meal at one of the restaurants. My #1 favorite spot is Girardi’s Italian Restaurant where you can get delicious small plates for *very* affordable prices, especially at lunch which is always ‘happy hour’ for food and drinks. Another good one is the Colonial Pantry, which is slightly south of downtown. With typical American diner fare, it’s the kind of place where you see the regulars every time, and the wait staff remembers your name. For coffee, I recommend Walnut Street Coffee. So delicious.

In the summer, there’s a farmer’s market, which has food and crafts every Saturday next to the train station. Also in summers is “Sea Jazz” on the waterfront on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons, where you bring your own chair and food and listen to live jazz for free. Just remember to tip the band! Last time I went, there was a band of high schoolers and I was impressed by how good they were.

Edmonds is also unique in that it has a 27-acre underwater park for scuba divers just north of the ferry dock in Puget Sound. It’s full of features and trails, and is well known in the scuba community as a fun destination. There are amenities on shore for prepping and rinsing off afterwards.

Wrap up:
Overall, Edmonds is a very safe, clean, quiet suburb of Seattle that’s great for families and retirees. There’s definitely not as much happening as in Seattle, and it’s not very diverse, but the downtown area with local shops and access to the ferry is a wonderful place to spend some time.
  • Ferry Terminal
  • Underwater scuba diving park
  • Very safe and quiet
  • Long commute for how close it is to Seattle
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Unranked Neighborhoods in Edmonds

Olympic View

"Wonderful place for building a family"
47.8260552656917 -122.357268007076
"Serene, pleasant, friendly, and all-around great place to be."
47.8058581129369 -122.384676078676

Seaview Park

"Quiet and great for exploring"
47.8263106519426 -122.344377003799

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