Moving to Kirkland

Are you contemplating a charming new horizon in the Pacific Northwest? Hold on to your espresso cups and let us help inch you closer towards your exciting move to Kirkland, WA! As the jewel on the shores of Lake Washington, Kirkland offers an extraordinary fusion of urban buzz and natural splendor, much like a perfect blend of your favorite morning brew. This introduction to our comprehensive Kirkland relocation guide serves as your trusty roadmap, doling out everything you need with a side of whimsy. Hang tight as we dive into the art, culture, amenities, and more that makes Kirkland an ideal place to land!

Moving to Kirkland, WA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Kirkland

1. Welcome to Google Land!

If you're a tech enthusiast or a Google fan, you're going to fit right in! Google has a massive presence in Kirkland, and working for them is not only a badge of honor but also an excellent way to network and fast-track your career aspirations. If you're not into tech, don't worry. The tech boom here is doing wonders for the local economy and lifestyle opportunities!

2. Don't Underestimate the Umbrella Etiquette

A word to the wise - true Kirklandites don't really use umbrellas! Despite the reputation, the rain in Kirkland (and the surrounding Pacific Northwest) is often more of a mist or a drizzle than a downpour, and it's not uncommon for locals to just put on their rain jackets and go about their day. Master the umbrella etiquette or risk being labeled a tourist!

3. Get Ready to be Active

As a resident of Kirkland, you will enjoy access to a varied natural landscape, offering countless outdoor recreational activities. If you enjoy a good morning jog, brace yourself to experience some of the most scenic trails in the Washington state parks. Love water activities? Lake Washington's Marina Park is all yours! In Kirkland, you will never run out of things to do.

4. Hug a Tree, Save the Bees!

Now, this one's quite unique! Kirkland residents take environmental sustainability very seriously. The city has been named a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to urban forestry, and has also been recognized as a Bee City USA for its efforts to protect pollinators. From recycling programs to community gardens, living here means embracing a greener lifestyle.

5. Delicious Wines are at Your Doorstep

Yes, you guessed it! Being so close to Woodinville Wine Country, Kirkland is a haven for wine lovers. You can venture out into the wine countryside, visiting local wineries for tastings, joining wine clubs, or attend local wine events. Not a wine fan? Fear not, the local breweries are equally impressive, making it a great place for beer enthusiasts too!

6. Get Ready to Party like a Finn

Kirkland has deep-rooted Finnish heritage and the cultural influence is still visible in the city, particularly during their annual Finnish Christmas Bazaar. If you move to Kirkland, you will have an opportunity to participate in various Finnish events, learn about Finnish traditions, and even pick up a few Finnish phrases. How fun is that, right?

In conclusion, Kirkland is a delightful blend of both modern lifestyle and rustic charm. Google land for tech lovers, a wine country for connoisseurs, an active city for outdoor enthusiasts, and a gateway into Finnish culture, there's no wonder why so many are choosing to call it home. Plus, where else can you participate so actively in saving trees and bees? So, brace yourself for some exciting times as you plan your move to the charming city of Kirkland!

What to know before moving to Kirkland, WA image
See the 10 Best Movers Nearest You
(Unbiased) Ranking of the top movers in every city.

Pros and Cons of Living in Kirkland

Pros of Living in Kirkland

High Quality of Life

Kirkland is known for its high quality of life, which includes safety, cleanliness, and overall happiness. With a low crime rate and highly rated schools, many families choose to live here for a peaceful, suburban environment.

Outdoor Activities

Kirkland is bordered by Lake Washington and offers numerous outdoor activities including boating, fishing, and hiking. There are plenty of parks and green spaces to enjoy, which makes it perfect for nature lovers.

Close Proximity to Seattle

Living in Kirkland means you're only a short drive away from the vibrant city of Seattle. This provides residents with access to all the amenities of a major city while living in a quieter and less congested community.

Community Events

Kirkland has a strong sense of community, demonstrated by its numerous community events. The city hosts regular farmers markets, art walks, music festivals, and seasonal events that bring the community together.

Strong Economic Outlook

Kirkland has a thriving economy, with a good mix of local and corporate businesses and a low unemployment rate. Many technology companies, including Google and Microsoft, have offices in the area, providing ample job opportunities.

Cons of Living in Kirkland

High Cost of Living

Kirkland is known to have a high cost of living, including housing, which can be a disadvantage for some individuals or families. It's important to be prepared for this aspect if you're considering a move to Kirkland.

Traffic and Commute Times

Kirkland is part of the bustling Seattle metropolitan area, which can mean heavy traffic and longer commute times. If working in Seattle, you may need to factor in extra time for travel, especially during rush hour.

Lack of Nightlife

If you're a night owl who loves a vibrant nightlife, Kirkland may feel a bit quiet. The city does have restaurants and bars, but it does not have the same vibrant nightlife scene that you would find in a larger city like Seattle.


Kirkland has the typical Pacific Northwest weather, which means plenty of rain and overcast skies. While many residents appreciate the cooler, moister climate, it may not be for everyone.

Population Growth

With its high quality of life and desirable location, Kirkland has seen rapid population growth in recent years. This has led to increased housing demand and density, which may not be to everybody's liking.

Modern day picture of Kirkland, WA highlighting pros and cons of living in Kirkland, WA

Is Kirkland a Good Place to Live?

Kirkland, WA is a great place to live because of its unique combination of urban sophistication and suburban comfort with a fantastic school system, bountiful outdoor activities, and a thriving arts scene. The city's proximity to tech hubs like Seattle and Bellevue offers excellent job opportunities while its beautiful waterfront, great restaurants, and a myriad of festivals year-round make for a vibrant lifestyle. Plus, if you adore the charm of four distinct seasons, Kirkland has stunning fall foliage, blossoms in spring, pleasant summers, and mild winters.

What Is Kirkland Famous For?

Kirkland's Signature Brand

Believe it or not, the name used by Costco for their in-house brand, "Kirkland Signature", traces its roots back to the City of Kirkland! Originally, Costco's corporate headquarters were located in Kirkland, Washington, hence the name. Today, you can find Kirkland Signature brand products in Costcos worldwide, a fun connection back to this Pacific Northwest city.

Outdoor Recreation

Kirkland offers an abundance of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. The city is known for its stunning waterfront parks, including the popular Juanita Beach Park, as well as extensive hiking and biking trails. This makes it a paradise for those keen on enjoying the great outdoors!

Picnic Point

Earning the nickname "The City of Waterfront Parks", Kirkland has more waterfront parks than any other city around Lake Washington. One of the most breathtaking is Picnic Point, a picturesque location perfect for a family outing with its unobstructed views of the lake. This jewel of Kirkland is sure to impress both locals and tourists alike.

Kirkland's Art Scene

Well-established in the arts, the city of Kirkland offers a rich and varied cultural scene. It's home to a multitude of galleries, theaters, and the famous Kirkland Arts Center. This vibrant arts community helps cultivate Kirkland's charm and uniqueness, attracting artists and art enthusiasts from around the globe.

Capital building of Kirkland, WA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, residents of Kirkland, WA, are subject to a property tax rate of about 1.03%. This is higher than the national average property tax rate, which stands at roughly 0.93%.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in Kirkland, WA, is currently 10.1%, which includes the Washington state sales tax of 6.5%. This is quite high compared to the national median sales tax rate of about 7.12%.

Income Tax

Washington state does not implement a state income tax, and this includes Kirkland. As such, residents only need to pay federal income taxes. This contrasts with the national average, where residents typically pay both state and federal income taxes.

Housing Market

The Kirkland, WA housing market is notably more expensive compared to several other US regions. Median home values stand around $1 million, substanitally higher than the national median. Similar trends are prevalent in the rental market with rents averaging $2,248 per month, outpacing the national average by a significant margin. Despite its high prices, Kirkland's strong economy, excellent school system, and outdoor recreational opportunities continue to drive demand. Potential buyers and renters should consider this steep cost of living but also the high quality of life offered in Kirkland.

Cost of Living

Kirkland, WA, is a beautiful waterfront city known for its high quality of life. However, this comes with fairly high living costs, approximately 67% higher than the national average. Housing is the main contributor, being around 209% higher. Compared to other Washington cities, Kirkland is more costly; for instance, it's about 18% higher than Seattle, one of the state's main cities. However, it's important to note that Kirkland's higher cost is offset by the residents' typically higher median income.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Kirkland, Washington, experiences a mediterranean climate characterized by warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Temperatures typically range from 36degF to 80degF throughout the year, seldom going below 25degF or above 90degF. Rainfall is most common from November to April, with a yearly average precipitation of approximately 35 inches. Kirkland experiences less rainfall during the summer months, contributing to its relatively dry and pleasant summers. Despite its generally mild climate, Kirkland can still be subject to natural hazards. The city is located within the Pacific Northwest seismic zone and is therefore at risk for earthquakes. Additionally, its proximity to water bodies including Lake Washington and several creeks makes it prone to flooding following heavy rainfalls or rapid snowmelts. Kirkland's emergency management is well-equipped to manage these events, aiming to minimize impacts on the city and its residents.

Typical weather in Kirkland, WA

Economy & Job Market

• Technology

• Health Care

• Retail

• Manufacturing

• Professional Services

Everyone knows Kirkland, WA for its signature Costco brand, but don't let that be your only touchstone. Kirkland, once a quiet waterfront town, has sculpted itself into a veritable powerhouse on the economic scene, historically relying on manufacturing and retail, and now moving steadily towards technology and health care. The city is home to Google's Kirkland campus and other tech giants like GoDaddy, making it a buzzing hub for tech enthusiasts. Kirkland's healthcare sector also thrives, showered with praise for its top-tier medical services which also translate to significant job opportunities. Plus, don't forget about lucrative jobs in the manufacturing and professional services sectors.

If you're a prospective Kirklander eager to dive into the job market, you're in for a treat. The city boasts a low unemployment rate, and the job market increased by 2.5% from 2019 to 2020, a figure that's rising! Technology and healthcare are really making waves in Kirkland with plenty of job openings to boot. So, whether you're a tech wizard or a medicine maven, you're about to step into an economy that's not just booming, but also welcoming and diverse. Yet, don't dismiss the potential of retail, manufacturing and professional services. Unleash your potential in Kirkland, your next job is just around the corner!

Traffic and Transportation

Beat the clock, leave the car at home, and journey around Kirkland, WA! With an average commute time of just 22 minutes, getting around is more of a pleasure cruise than a morning slog. Zip to work on a bus as Kirkland boasts a well-oiled public transportation system catering to daily commuters. King County Metro makes sure your commute is both convenient and eco-friendly. Looking to fly high? You're covered too! Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is only a hop, skip and a jump away, and Kenmore Air Harbor Seaplane Base is ready to make your seafaring dreams come true. Whether you travel by land or air, Kirkland, WA, has your transportation needs sorted. Now that's what we call a 'wheelie' good ride!

What is the traffic like in Kirkland, WA?

Best Neighborhoods in Kirkland

1. Downtown Kirkland

If you crave a taste of urban living, consider Downtown Kirkland. As the heart of the city, Downtown Kirkland bustles with life from day to evening. You can shop till you drop in charming boutiques, enjoy the mouthwatering array of restaurants, and explore the thriving art scene. The stunning waterfront is a town jewel - a perfect backdrop for picnics, strolls, and breathtaking sunsets. Diverse events like Kirkland Uncorked, art, and music festivals keep this lively neighborhood buzzing with action.

2. Juanita

Juanita is often referred to as a "hidden gem" in Kirkland. Originally a summer retreat for Seattle residents, now it is a beloved permanent residence for many. The neighborhood centers around picturesque Juanita Bay which boasts a beach, a quaint pier, and a nature reserve. A vibrant farmers market, eclectic eateries, and popular bakeries compliment Juanita's tranquil ambiance. The neighborhood also withholds a fascinating history - don't miss a chance to learn about its evolution at the nearby Heritage Hall.

3. Houghton

Houghton is a perfect blend of residential ambiance and commercial convenience. Overlooking Lake Washington, the neighborhood enjoys scenic vistas and easy access to outdoor recreational activities, like sailing and kayaking. The Google campus injects a lively, innovative spirit, attracting a diverse mix of tech professionals and families. Metropolitian Market, high-end dining establishments, and convenient access to Downtown Kirkland make for a comfortable, fulfilling living.

4. Highlands

Located atop a hill overlooking Lake Washington, the Kirkland Highlands offers stunning views and a serene living environment. Consisting mostly of single-family homes, this neighborhood mainly attracts families seeking quiet, suburban living. The Highlands also feature the popular Peter Kirk Elementary School, which is an attraction for many parents. The Highline's easy access to nature trails and playgrounds gives residents ample opportunities for outdoor adventures.

5. Bridle Trails

Lovers of nature and horse-riding will fall head over boots for Bridle Trails. This unique neighborhood gets its name from the abundance of equestrian trails and horse properties scattered throughout. The neighborhood's piece de resistance - Bridle Trails State Park, offers a taste of the wilderness amidst the city. With its lush forest cover, and rustic equestrian trails, the park is ideal for hiking, horse-riding, and picnics. Bridle Trails boasts large plots offering privacy and a peaceful environment, all the while just being a hop, skip, and a gallop away from shopping hubs, and top schools.

And there you have it - a taste of what some of the top neighborhoods in Kirkland have to offer. Each neighborhood offers its unique charm, vibe, and amenities, from the down-to-earth Downtown Kirkland to the tranquil Bridle Trails. Regardless of where you choose to settle in Kirkland, you will find an amicable community, convenient services, splendid nature, and boundless opportunities for fun and relaxation. Yes, Kirkland is more than a city; it's a lifestyle!

Best neighborhoods in Kirkland, WA image

Things to Do

Welcome to Kirkland, Washington! Tucked away in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, this small city nestled on the shores of Lake Washington is a gem that's full of surprises. Those relocating here are bound to fall in love with Kirkland, thanks to its unbeatable mix of urban amenities, outdoor delights, and local charm. To get you right into the spirit of this delightful city, here's a list of seven top things to do once you've moved to Kirkland. Among these, you'll discover a couple of hidden secrets known only to the locals!

1. Exploring the Scenic Waterfront

EMBEDDED in Kirkland's appeal is its stunning waterfront, which offers breathtaking views of Lake Washington. Wander along the marina, visit the many parks lining the shore, or simply sit and soak in the picturesque vista. From Juanita Beach Park to Marina Park, you won't run out of scenic spots to enjoy.

2. Touring the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery

Indulge your palette at Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington State's oldest winery. This is a wine lover's paradise offering a diverse range of handcrafted wines and a beautiful estate to explore. You can even book a guided tour and learn about the winery's storied history.

3. Visiting the Kirkland Performance Center

Check out the local arts scene at the Kirkland Performance Center. This intimate venue hosts a variety of acts, from community theater and classical concerts to dazzling dance performances. Satisfaction of your artistic cravings is just a ticket away!

4. Kayaking on Lake Washington

More so for the adventurous, kayaking on Lake Washington provides an extraordinary perspective of Kirkland. Whether you're a veteran paddler or a total newbie, this is a terrific way to enjoy the city's spectacular natural backdrop. And if you're lucky, you might even spot some resident wildlife, such as eagles or seals.

5. Cycling on the Cross-Kirkland Corridor

For those who prefer to stay on dry land, the Cross-Kirkland Corridor is an excellent cycling route. This 10-mile trail weaving through the heart of the city extends to include a variety of landscapes from lush forest to bustling urban spots.

6. Volunteering at the McAuliffe Park

Now, this one's a little off the beaten path. The McAuliffe Park is not just a park, but also a way of life. With community gardens, chicken coops, and a mini-farm, it's a place where people come together to live and learn about sustainable living. Volunteering here is a great way to meet locals, learn about urban farming, and give back to the community.

7. Experiencing the Kirkland Oktoberfest

Every September, locals gear up for the Kirkland Oktoberfest, an authentic Munich-style celebration with German beers, bratwurst, and live music. It's a bonanza of fun and frolic, and the perfect introduction to the city's community spirit.

In a nutshell, Kirkland is an enchanting blend of city perks and natural treasures. From wine tasting at a historic winery, basking in the majestic lakeside views, immersing yourself in local arts, taking up outdoor adventures, or even embracing the essence of communal living, there's always something that'll pique your interest. So, don't waste time unpacking. Jump right in and enjoy all that the city has to offer. Welcome home to Kirkland!

Things to do in Kirkland, WA?

Find Movers for Your Kirkland Relocation

As your journey to Kirkland, WA comes to a close, ensure you entrust your move to reliable hands. Rely on Great Guys Moving; we streamline the process by connecting you with the finest movers in the industry. Leveraging our expansive network of reputable, affordable moving companies, we enable you to rapidly secure multiple quotes. All movers associated with Great Guys Moving are always licensed and insured, guaranteeing utmost peace of mind. Make your transition to Kirkland seamless--request your free moving quote through Great Guys Moving today.

See The Best Movers For Moving To Washington From...

Find out how much your move costs!