Whether you are looking for a suburban dwelling or an urban neighborhood, there are plenty of off-campus housing options. You will find information about nearby cities for housing and visiting purposes.


Bellevue, Bothell, Kenmore, Kirkland, Redmond, and Woodinville are suburban cities that are considered part of the “eastside” (so named because they are situated on the east side of Lake Washington). These cities are generally less than a 20-minute drive from campus and have transit services that connect to the UW Bothell campus (and other cities).

Bellevue is the largest city on the eastside and the fifth largest in Washington. It includes high-end retail shopping centers, a booming business/financial hub, as well as beautiful parks and scenery. Bellevue also has a convention center, a botanical garden, the Bellevue Arts Museum, and the Bellevue Youth Theatre. You may also go blueberry picking at any one of several farms.

Bothell has a walkable downtown, offers easy bike access to campus, and is a generally considered a bedroom community. Many changes and developments are currently underway, though, as witnessed by construction all over town! In the late 1800s, Bothell was a part of the “Squak Slough,” an important waterway that allowed the logging industry to float timber to Seattle. Today you can still see parts of Bothell’s pioneer past in historic buildings close to downtown. Bothell is home to two popular bicycle trails: the Burke-Gilman trail (which leads all the way to Seattle) and the Sammamish River trail. These trails meet just south of the UW Bothell campus.

Kenmore, which also sits on Lake Washington, is a great place for outdoor recreation. It has many parks including St. Edward State Park, previously a Catholic seminary and now a vibrant park with a playground, soccer and baseball fields, and lots of hiking areas. Kenmore also boasts the Northshore Performing Arts Center, a beautiful theater that serves as a local cultural center.

Kirkland has a walkable downtown, a vibrant business district next to Lake Washington, and quieter pockets like the Juanita neighborhood. Kirkland is a mix of families and young professionals with plenty of space for everyone. Sitting on Lake Washington’s shore, Kirkland’s downtown offers a vibrant restaurant, arts and shopping community and plenty of nightlife.

Redmond, home of Microsoft and Nintendo America, as well as diverse retail outlets, is an affluent suburb with a varied mix of families and singles. It has a historic downtown with many unique shops, restaurants, and small businesses. It is also one of the most bike-friendly cities in the area with miles of trails and bike paths that are easily accessible for riders of all levels.

Woodinville is known for its scenic beauty and local history. There are several parks and many opportunities for outdoor recreation, including canoeing, rock climbing, and fishing. Woodinville plays a prominent role in Washington’s wine industry and is home to over 75 vineyards, including Chateau Ste Michele, which also hosts a summer concert series. Enjoy a visit to the Woodinville Whiskey Company and the Novelty Hill & Januik Winery nearby!

CityPopulationTravel time by bikeTravel time by busTravel time by carWalkability score (out of 100)Diversity (% non-white)
Bellevue*117,4291h 30m45 min18 min5032.6%
Kenmore*20,87920 min27 min9 min4418.2%
Kirkland*48,45040 min45 min15 min6019.6%
Redmond50,02742 min58 min17 min4427.4%
Woodinville*11,10811 min20 min6 minn/a22.5%
Snapshot of each city comparing size, commute times, walkability scores, and diversity. Serviced by King County Transit, Sound Transit. *City includes routes with direct, no-transfer service to UW Bothell (may or may not be Express bus service).


Edmonds, Everett, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and Shoreline are the “northend” suburban cities of the Seattle-metro area. In addition to being accessible to campus via I-405, they also sit along the I-5 corridor, which provides easy access south into Seattle or further north. North of Shoreline is Snohomish County. For transit services, refer to Community Transit and Sound Transit; both transit agencies serve the local area with commuter buses to/from Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, and Bothell.

Edmonds is about 11 miles northwest of Bothell and is situated right on Puget Sound. Activities in the area include a summer farmers market, boating and fishing out of the Edmonds Marina, and scuba diving in the Edmonds Underwater Park. Edmonds has a quaint downtown with sidewalk cafes, shops, and art galleries and is close to larger commercial districts along Highway 99.

Everett is the county seat of and the largest city in Snohomish County. A large percentage of its residents are employed at Boeing. In Everett you will also find the West Coast’s largest marina, a navy homeport, the Port of Everett, and a historic downtown.

Lynnwood is a growing suburb with a mix of families and young professionals. Located at the junction of I-5 and I-405, Lynnwood offers convenient access to Seattle and other major destinations. It has one of the largest concentrations of retail businesses in the area, anchored by the Alderwood Mall and other retailers throughout the city.

Mountlake Terrace, a quiet and relatively small city, is roughly 14 miles north of downtown Seattle and around 7 miles from Bothell. It is home to families and singles alike and provides a variety of housing options. Only four square miles in size, recreational opportunities include parks, golf courses, sports fields and waterfront beach access.

Shoreline is a suburban city about 8 miles west of Bothell with the majority of its households being single-family residences. It is known for its unique neighborhoods (14 separate ones), abundant hiking trails, parks, gardens, an excellent school system, accessibility to the shores of Puget Sound, and a strong commitment to environmental sustainability.

CityPopulationTravel time by bikeTravel time by busTravel time by carWalkability Score (out of 100)Diversity (% non-white)
Edmonds41,2611 h 23 min1 h 50 min23 min4918%
Everett98,8201 h 44 min57 min21 min5226.8%
Lynnwood*37,3941 h 14 min34 min13 min6035.8%
Mountlake Terrace21,27345 min56 min14 min5431.5%
Shoreline53,00754 min1 h 9 min18 min5832.1%
Snapshot of each city comparing size, commute times, walkability scores, and diversity. Serviced by King County Transit, Sound Transit, Community Transit. *City includes routes with direct, no-transfer service to UW Bothell (may or may not be Express bus service).


As the largest city in Washington State, Seattle is a vibrant, urban environment with diverse neighborhoods that range from quiet to downright rowdy. Seattle is home to an exciting arts and music scene, with lots of restaurants, and serves as a popular tourist destination for visitors to the region. Seattle is also home to a number of industries: tech, biotech, aerospace, and maritime industries are just a few examples in Seattle’s local economy. Often cited as a literary and well-educated city, Seattle is considered a national leader for progressive trends in green industries and sustainable development. Surrounded by water, mountains, and forests, Seattle offers urban living with easy trips into the outdoors.

Seattle is often described as a city of neighborhoods, and local residents often take great pride in their corner of the city. Neighborhoods vary in size and each has a unique community with quiet parts as well as vibrant business districts with popular local establishments (Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, Ballard). Quieter neighborhoods include: Greenwood, Phinney Ridge, Wallingford, Ravenna/Green Lake, and Beacon Hill.

Some of the busier, more active neighborhoods include: Northgate, Belltown, Capitol Hill, Fremont, Ballard, University District, and lower Queen Anne. All of these neighborhoods offer dense living, business districts, dining, and nightlife with a neighborhood feel. The Green Lake area is also a popular neighborhood to live and/or visit with Green Lake being a great loop in the city for running, walking, rollerblading and more.

Elliott Bay Bookstore is a favorite literary hangout in Capitol Hill. Across the street at Cal Andersen Park, you’ll find a high-action bike polo court (this player needed a break).

Click on a Seattle neighborhood in the table to learn more about it.

NeighborhoodPopulationTravel time by carTravel time by busWalkability Score (out of 100)Diversity (% non-white)
Ballard32,02132 min1h 24 min9415.6%
Beacon Hill25,48732 min1h 30 min6282%
Capitol Hill40,07827 min1h 13 min9126.3%
Fremont12,00128 min1h 22 min8615.9%
Greenwood15,03226 min1h 15 min8224.1%
Northgate30,22222 min53 min8833.1%
Phinney Ridge8,96129 min1h 27 min7413.7%
Queen Anne23,70532 min1h 28 min8816%
Ravenna*/Green Lake19,48924 min1h 12 min7719.25%
U District*26,27928 min49min9236.2%
Wallingford15,83123 min1h 13 min8621.1%
Snapshot of each city comparing size, commute times, walkability scores, and diversity. Serviced by King County Transit, Sound Transit, Community Transit. *Neighborhood includes routes with direct, no-transfer service to UW Bothell (may or may not be Express bus service).

Sources: Google Maps, Apartment Ratings, Seattle Met magazine’s “Neighborhoods by the Numbers”, City Data