Issaquah, Washington

Next Big Thing

Issaquah Salmon

Spawning coho in Issaquah Creek     Photo: Dan Bennett/Flickr

As Boeing's and Microsoft's fastest-growing bedroom community, the former lumber town (pop. 23,200) has experienced a surge in out-of-towners in the past few years. And for good reason: a 20-minute drive can put you in downtown Seattle or the oyster flats on Puget Sound. An hour away, there's skiing in the Cascades, kayaking and rafting on the Class IV Skykomish River, and access to a half-dozen steelhead streams. Even better, Issaquah hasn't been totally yuppified. The biggest party of the year is Salmon Days, a two-day festival in October celebrating the return of the spawning fish.

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