Homes for Sale Kirkland WA
City of Kirkland & Kirkland Real Estate
Kirkland is a scenic lakefront city which celebrates its aquatic lifestyle with gracious waterfront homes and parks. Separated from Seattle by Lake Washington, Kirkland offers a peaceful alternative to the bustle of the city. Costco shoppers will recognize the name Kirkland as their signature product line, even though they have now moved their headquarters to neighboring Issaquah.
Over the past few years, Kirkland has grown substantially by adding several unincorporated areas and today the estimated full-time residents are about 85,000. Heavily invested in the tech world, Kirkland’s growth continues to evolve and as more companies move into the community, the diversity of the city evolves and changes, bringing new opportunities along with it. While Seattle continues to attract young professionals and energetic change-makers, Kirkland’s relaxed style tends to draw more couples and families to its suburban setting and close-knit sense of community.
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The first English settlers arrived in the area around Lake Washington in the late 1860s and began to build homesteads. Gradually more people came to live as the lumber industry began to heat up. Rather than taking its name from the iconic Costco brand, Kirkland was actually named after a British-born businessman who moved to the area to expand his family’s steel production company.
Kirk quickly realized that the location was perfect to provide a freshwater port for lumber coming from the mills which needed to be transported to the sea. Over the years, Kirkland has used its strategic position to supply goods and services for local industries, such as lumber, wool and shipbuilding. It also provided one of the jumping off points for the Alaska Gold Rush, providing prospectors with much needed supplies and clothing before they headed north.
Things to Do
First and foremost, Kirkland is an outdoor paradise. With its waterfront location, it’s natural that most residents enjoy some kind of aquatic lifestyle. With the relative calm of the water along the shoreline, one can observe residents out kayaking or paddle boarding. In addition to the city parks and recreation centers, each neighborhood maintains their own amenities as well, adding to the quality of life one finds in Kirkland.
Yet don’t let the slower-paced environment fool you, Kirkland offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the local art and cultures, music, nightlife and other activities. From fine dining to specialty boutiques or micro-breweries, Kirkland residents don’t need to leave their town to enjoy an afternoon of shopping or evening on the town. Celebrating local products, goods and services are on display throughout the community and residents value the idea of buying local to support their friends and neighbors. Considered a wellness destination, there are also a wide selection of spas and health centers which cater to self-improvement programs and weight loss to well-being regimens.
Arts and Culture
Kirkland has a thriving art scene with a plethora of art galleries, exhibits, classes, festivals and performing art venues throughout the city. In keeping with its outdoor lifestyle, Kirkland has an extensive collection of public art sculptures. Nationally recognized artists have provided installations of unique pieces placed throughout the city’s parks, sidewalks and along the waterfront.
The Pacific Northwest is known for pushing the boundaries and innovative ideas. The local performing arts embrace this vision with whimsical creations of theater, music, comedy and improv. Park Lane in downtown Kirkland is an outdoor feast of sculptures offered for sale to the public and displayed on a rotating basis. On the second Friday of each month, the city hosts the Downtown Kirkland Art Walk, providing a festive environment to enjoy local artists, foods, music and displays.
For any kind of outdoor enthusiast, Kirkland offers a stunning array of options for enjoying the natural beauty of the area. The park system in Kirkland is one of the most extensive and unique public park systems in the country. In fact, parks and public beaches use 25% of the shorefront located within the city’s boundaries. Public and private docks offer boaters easy access to Lake Washington and no other lakefront city offers more moorage than Kirkland. Boat rentals are available as well as tours which take you out onto the water for a quick excursion or special event.
There are multiple public beaches in Kirkland including popular Marina Park and Juanita Beach Park. Marina Park is one of the largest of the area and includes picnic tables, a boat launch, fishing spots and an amphitheater. Juanita Beach Park is another favorite gathering place. Widely known for its variety of native birds, the park draws bird watchers from all over the state. The Eastside Audubon Society holds bird watching tours each month on the first Sunday and third Tuesday where locals and visitors can enjoy the stunning local bird life.
With the easy access to Lake Washington, many residents own or rent kayaks as well as the recently popular paddle boarding. Water skiing is also a favorite pastime of the area and summer months see the lake filled with water craft of all kinds.
Despite the notoriety of the Costco brand, Kirkland is known for its support of local small businesses. Along the quaint streets its waterfront downtown, you’ll find unique shops filled with unusual goods from local vendors. From high-end furniture, décor and antiques to handmade clothing and accessories, shoppers will find something special along Kirkland’s Main Street. While Kirkland recently welcomed its own Whole Foods location, residents still tend to eschew big chain shopping and grocery options for local shops providing local produce and specialty food items. From tasting rooms filled with cheese and small-batch delicacies to its farmer’s market and foodie festivals, Kirkland embraces its small-town atmosphere by buying local.
Dining and Entertainment
Kirkland is far from a sleepy waterfront village, it has a vibrant dining and entertainment lifestyle as well. Live music venues are dotted around the city and each summer, music lovers can enjoy the concert series in Marina Park, which take place every Thursday evening. The heart of the city revolves around the downtown area with restaurants offering fresh farm-to-table dishes and micro-brews on tap.
Each year, Kirkland Uncorked takes place in Marina Park for wine lovers. This festival celebrates the exceptional wineries of Washington State and benefits the Homeward Pet Adoption Charity. The even includes a 21 and older tasting garden and a street fair which is appropriate for guest of all ages.
While not traditionally considered “entertainment,” Kirkland has a large variety of spas and wellness centers. The relaxed nature of Kirkland has caused it to become a destination for those seeking rejuvenation and facilities offer traditional massage, facial and meditation services as well as more unique metaphysical treatments. There are also a large number of yoga studios and fitness centers/gym which provide services to the community.
Kirkland public schools are a part of the larger Lake Washington School District, located in neighboring Redmond. The Lake Washington School District provides a robust outcome-based approach to teaching. They are student centered and strive to include the local community leaders in the opportunities presented to students. The District is one of the few leading the way by offering reform mathematics curriculum including Connected Mathematics.
Kirkland is served by a number of public elementary, middle and high schools as well as one of the Lake Washington School District Choice Schools, The International Community School. The International Community School was established in 1997 when the community, parents and educators came together to establish a school focused on international awareness. The first community-initiated school, students are emerged in a rigorous academic program which helps students view their education through a global lens. Students in grades 6-12 are eligible and admission is based on a lottery system.
Parents also have a number of private schools to choose from, including Eastside Prep. This college prep school offers a challenging curriculum which emphasizes critical thinking, responsible action, compassionate leadership and wise innovation.
Secondary education includes the Seattle-based University of Washington. Kirkland is also home to Northwest University and Lake Washington Technical College providing local options for continuing education.
Kirkland is considered one of the more livable cities in the Puget Sound region. With its picturesque location along Lake Washington, it provides residents a peaceful place to call home. With easy access to Seattle, many Kirkland residents do commute for work to its larger urban neighbor.
Kirkland is a growing and prosperous community which is becoming more and more diverse as it attracts new residents to the area. This has led to more innovation and creative thought invigorating the high-tech industry of the area. Tech giant, Google calls Kirkland home and has doubled the size of its campus in its 10-year history in Kirkland. The Cross Kirkland Corridor is a 5.75 mile segment of the Eastside Rail Corridor which runs between the two Google campuses and passes 1700 businesses along its route, offering employees an easy alternative to private transportation.
Kirkland’s tech-centric heritage dates back to the 1980s when McCaw Cellular founded its corporate headquarters locally. Since then, new tech companies have descended on Kirkland, attracted to the less-congested neighbor of Seattle. In 2016, Kirkland formed the Innovation Triangle in partnership with Bellevue and Richmond which is focused on bringing new technology and innovative businesses to the region. Software, biotech and pharmaceutical companies are invited to learn more about doing business within the cities.
For many years, Costco was one of Kirkland’s largest employers until its move to nearby Issaquah. Its signature brand, Kirkland, has become a household name across the country and many residents make the short commute each day to work at the new headquarters. Locally, Kirkland also feeds the city’s shops, restaurants and services putting an emphasis on community support which includes a local workforce whenever possible.
Kirkland is the first city in Washington to include bicycle and pedestrian needs as part of their transportation schemes. With the adoption of the Complete Streets ordinance in 2006, city planners were charged with including foot traffic and biking as part of their improvement programs and plans. In 2009, Kirkland passed the Active Transportation Plan which provided for pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian facilities and paths.
Kirkland is also served by the King County Metro system and the Sound Transit Express bus system and public transportation is an important method for moving through the area. Residents traveling out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will find a short 20 minute drive across the Lake Washington Floating Bridge along WA-520 or along I-405 and along I-90.
Along with its neighbors, Kirkland has placed an emphasis on public transportation and providing residents with environmentally friendly ways to move around the city and the region at large.
Kirkland, Washington Real Estate
Housing options in Kirkland range from cozy condos and row homes to expansive waterfront properties. As the area has developed and grown, new residents have brought with them a wide variety of architectural styles. Today, home buyers can choose from Garrison Revival-style homes to sprawling ranch-style homes. Waterfront properties often borrow from their East Coast cousins and feature Cape Cod inspired houses with large decks and windows. Affordable townhouses and single family home neighborhoods are abundant as well.
Featured Neighborhoods in Kirkland, Washington
Central Houghton – Houghton is the oldest community in Kirkland. Originally founded in the early 1870s after the area became known for its lumber industry, Houghton has retained much of its historical charm and ambiance. One of the more affluent areas of Kirkland, this neighborhood is located on the eastern shores of Lake Washington.
Everest – Everest is another older, established Kirkland community. The neighborhood consists of mostly single family homes and includes its own private Everest Park. Everest Park offers expansive green space with tennis courts, baseball diamonds, walking and biking trails, playground and picnic gazebo.
Juanita – Juanita was an unincorporated community which joined Kirkland in 2011. The neighborhood is located along the northeast edge of Lake Washington and is home to the popular Juanita Beach Park. Homes range from modest ranch homes to larger, modern houses surrounded by lush, mature landscaping.