7.4 out of 10

Issaquah Highlands

47.5468427553648 -122.000584940705
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Internet Access
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parking
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • Nightlife
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • LGBT+
  • Country Lovers


4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5

"New neighborhood in the foothills of the Cascades"

The Issaquah Highlands neighborhood is the newest development in Issaquah. Located north of I-90, off exit 18, it’s mainly filled with numerous, recently-built apartments and condos, and a few large single-family homes. But because most of the buildings were constructed in the last 3-8 years, the prices are high. The price per square foot is pretty similar to Seattle neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill, but the buildings tend to be nicer. But overall, the neighborhood is not affordable for everyone. Two-income households are definitely required if you plan to get a place with multiple rooms or if you have kids.

It’s clear that time was spent on city planning in this neighborhood. The streets are designed to reduce congestion, and all the shops are clustered in one walkable area. There’s nothing too exciting here, but plenty to get by on. A couple of sandwich places, pizza, Asian, Mexican, and an upscale wine bar. Plus, fondue. Can’t forget the fondue. There’s also a big movie theater that draws in crowds from all over Issaquah, plus a home goods and sporting goods store. And your typical grocerty store and gas station. Everything is so new though, it’ll be interesting to see how these restaurants and stores change over the years.

The city planners also protected quite a few little parks in the neighborhood, perfect size to take your dog on a short walk. Of course, for longer walks, you’re only a few minutes drive from outstanding hiking. This is a big reason that people live in Issaquah. It’s simply amazing to be so close to the mountains.

The schools are also new, with appealing architecture. Definitely fancier than the schools I went to! There’s an elementary school right in the neighborhood, and a middle school just north. High schoolers attend Issaquah High School, south of I-90. It’s a pretty large high school, at about 2,000 students, grades 9-12. Despite being large, the ratio of teachers to students is still at a solid 25:1, and it’s well above state average in test scores. Overall, schools are ranked pretty highly around here. You really can’t go wrong.

One bonus of living here is that it’s really a family place that feels like home. Any tourists tend to head over to the downtown Issaquah area or Lake Sammamish, and the Highlands neighborhood is usually just filled with locals. It’s a very quiet and peaceful neighborhood, with very little nightlife—which is good or bad depending on what you like. You’ll probably want to head to Bellevue for a night out, though some of the local restaurants serve drinks if you just want something chill that you can walk home from.

There’s also a campus of Swedish Medical Center just off I-5 here, so you’re never too far from a doctor.

I should mention that there’s a reason that this part of town is called the Highlands. To get there, you head up a moderate hill, and the neighborhood sits higher up than other parts of Issaquah, literally in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. You’re just high enough in elevation that you’ll get a few more days each winter that have a light dusting of snow than Seattle, so be prepared for that and think about investing in some all-weather tires. But when it does snow, you’re treated to gorgeous views of the frosty hills all around.

Expect this part of town to keep growing year by year, because it’s really the only direction Issaquah can grow right now. To the South and East most of the land is protected for hiking, biking, and wildlife, and to the West is Lake Sammamish. So get used to seeing more condos and apartments pop up each year!
  • Walkable
  • Close to the mountains and activities
  • Great schools
  • High rent
  • Commute to Seattle
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • LGBT+
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish

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