Issaquah is a city of 30,000 conveniently situated just 15 miles east of Seattle, which can be easily reached on a 30-minute ride on Sound Transit’s 554 bus. Issaquah is also accessible from those in Bellevue, which sits between it and Seattle, and in Redmond, which lies 10 miles to the north.
Many live and visit here to take advantage of its proximity to some of the most picturesque sights in the region. That has a lot to do with why Issaquah has grown tremendously over the past couple of decades. Its current population of 39,000 dwarfs its 2000 population of 11,000. Newcomers have settled in some of its larger houses away from the hustle and bustle of historic downtown.
Near Issaquah are Tiger Mountain, Squak Mountain State Park and Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. Each of these areas offers amazing hiking trails that pass natural attractions such as waterfalls and cliffs. The fascinating Cougar Mountain Zoo is located on the north slope of the mountain by that name.
Lake Sammamish State Park
Just to the north of Issaquah is Lake Sammamish State Park, which offers visitors a pleasant blend of enjoying a forested area and a gorgeous lake. It’s also home to one of the largest freshwater beaches in the Puget Sound region.
One of the points of pride for those from Issaquah is its Salmon Days, which celebrate salmon returning to its lakes and streams every October with three days of revelry. These include a Grand Parade, hundreds of artists sharing their wares, and four stages providing live entertainment.
Some of the best attractions in Issaquah are its Issaquah Depot Museum and Gilman Town Hall Museum. The former displays exhibits related to the community’s history, travel, and communication and are housed in its train depot, which opened in 1889. The latter allows visitors to learn more about Issaquah’s past through a variety of artifacts, photographs, and other interesting displays.
Village Theatre is one of the premier theatres in the Seattle metropolitan area, having opened here in 1979, ironically with the play, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” In the years since, popular shows, including “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Jesus Christ Superstar,” have been performed here.