Kirkland

This little city specializes in lakeside living. Check out pretty harbors, waterfront promenades, and parks that hug the shores of Lake Washington.

It takes a certain kind of chutzpah to turn up to a place and stick your name to it, but that’s exactly what Peter Kirk did with Kirkland. The city had its genesis with the self-assured British entrepreneur back in the 1880s and the little settlement soon grew a reputation for being one of the Northwest’s finest boatbuilding towns. Today, maritime life remains an important part of Kirkland’s character. Spend some time exploring Kirkland’s local stretch of Lake Washington shoreline and you’ll want to leave a part of yourself here, too.

One thing is for certain: Kirklanders love their lake. The city never takes its eyes off the shining stretch of waterfront. From harborside restaurants to birdwatchers’ wetlands, Lake Washington is worshipped. Marina Park is one such shrine. This leafy quayside precinct is one of the city’s highlights, especially on a sunny summer’s day. Join the crowds of devotees that come here to chill out and enjoy the water. Whether you’re having a family outing, a trip for two or a little bit of solo time, Lake Washington has got you covered. Roll out the picnic rug on the crescent of green grass that hugs the shoreline or wobble across the waters on a stand-up paddleboard.

If you haven’t got your sea legs, don’t fret. Kirkland has plenty of cycling trails to keep landlubbers occupied. Try out the Lake Washington Loop or experience a white-knuckle ride at Big Finn Hill Park. Kirkland is the kind of place that rewards those who like to roam. Explore the city’s beaches, wetlands, marinas and waterfront dining precincts and get front-row seats to beautiful views. Stroll around the public artworks that speckle the streets downtown or check out some of the city’s many art galleries and boutiques.

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