Mount Rainier looms above the cities south of Seattle – communities close to employment centers and within easy reach of outdoor recreation.
Auburn is situated midway between Seattle and Tacoma in the shadow of Mount Rainier. For many years an agricultural community, Auburn is now a transportation center and a manufacturing and distribution point in South King County. Auburn is about more than business, though. Parks, trails, open space, four golf courses, a performing arts center, fun community events, and much more attract a growing number of residents to this city.
Located only minutes from SeaTac Airport and less than 1/2-hour from either Seattle or Tacoma, Burien offers small-town character and charm close to the big-city atmosphere. Attractions include several waterfront parks along Puget Sound, as well as seven neighborhood parks, a community center, and an award-winning Town Square.
The community of Covington is located at the intersection of Highway 18 and State Route 516. From this vantage, the urban attractions of Seattle, Bellevue and Tacoma, as well as recreational opportunities like skiing, hiking and camping are all just a short drive away. New young families and long-time residents enjoy Covington’s safe neighborhoods, good schools and quality businesses in the city’s growing downtown.
Des Moines has occupied the shores of Puget Sound for more than 100 years. A large marina with a long fishing pier, historical buildings, residential retirement communities and many shopping, entertainment and recreational choices form the character of this peaceful community.
Enumclaw, located in southeast King County, is the center of business and shopping for the surrounding agricultural community and also serves as a gateway to Mount Rainier National Park, 50 miles to the southeast. Enumclaw has retained a quiet, small-town character.
The city of Federal Way is on a plateau between Puget Sound and the Green River Valley, approximately 25 miles south of Seattle and eight miles north of Tacoma. It is the world headquarters of several businesses including Weyerhaeuser. Dash Point State Park, as well as local parks and recreational facilities provide ample activities for residents and visitors. Wild Waves Theme Park, Washington’s only Water and Amusement Park is located in Federal Way.
While Kent’s early history centered around farming, today two-thirds of the local jobs are in manufacturing, distribution, and transportation – business sectors that take advantage of the city’s location midway between Seattle and Tacoma. Kent Station and the historic downtown City Center attract people with vibrant events and activities. Both established and new neighborhoods offer a variety of housing options for residents.
Maple Valley is a fast-growing area located halfway between Tacoma and Seattle that has garnered rave reviews on a number of annual “Best Cities” lists. Most recently, Niche rated it the third “Best Suburb to Buy a House in Washington”. Even though new homes are springing up, the area maintains a rural atmosphere with farms and plenty of space. The city has access to three lakes, a golf course, and miles of trails for hiking, biking, and walking.
This second-largest city in Pierce County features many outdoor parks, public art and antique district. It is also home to the Washington State Fair. Sound Transit’s Sounder train provides easy weekday commutes to Seattle, Tacoma and Lakewood.
A suburban city on Lake Washington’s southern shore, Renton is a key Puget Sound employment center for industries such as The Boeing Co. Commercial Airplanes and Paccar Parts. Housing options attractive to all income levels are available here. The community’s annual events are exceptional, many centered at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park.
This city, surrounding the Seattle Tacoma International Airport, is a combination of business, hospitality and residential areas. SeaTac hosts a Theatre in the Park and Summer Concerts Series, as well as the International Festival held the second week in September at Angle Lake.
Tacoma is the third-largest city in Washington. Its revitalized and renovated downtown core attracts many residents and visitors for shopping, dining and a vibrant performing arts scene. Local attractions too numerous to list include Point Defiance Park and Zoo, Chambers Bay Golf Course (home of the 2015 US Open), The Museum of Glass, and LeMay America’s Car Museum.
Tukwila is home to the Museum of Flight, Westfield Southcenter (the largest shopping mall in the northwest) and Starfire Sports Center (headquarters of the Seattle Sounders FC soccer team). Residents enjoy annual events like the Backyard Wildlife Festival and the Heritage & Cultural Festival, as well as the City’s biking and walking trails, pool, golf course, and community center.