Sammamish, WA

The Sammamish Plateau was part of unincorporated King County for most of its recorded history. Situated on the shores and hilly terrain east of Lake Sammamish, the city features a landscape of trees, mountains, and lakes. Other than Lake Sammamish, Beaver Lake and Pine Lake are the two biggest lakes in Sammamish. The first Europeans arrived in the late 19th century and established a trio of resorts by the 1930s. The plateau remained a mostly rural area until suburban homes, shopping centers, and schools were built in the 1970s and 1980s. A vote in 1991 to join neighboring Issaquah failed, as did a vote on incorporation the following year. A renewed movement to become a city, born of frustration with development policies set by the county government, met with voter approval in 1998. Sammamish was officially incorporated on August 31, 1999.

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Great Neighborhoods

Aldarra, Trossachs, Beaver Lake, East Lake Sammamish, Gramercy Park. Penhurst, Sahalee, The Crossings, Timberline, Treemont

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Great Activities

At times, the Plateau feels like two worlds melded together by its geography. Some parts of the Plateau look like a scenic country drive dotted with large estates and farm-style homes on acreage with horses, and many residents report seeing deer, raccoons, bobcats, and even the occasional bear. Other areas have been developed into denser suburban neighborhoods with plenty of amenities, such as stores, businesses and parks. In fact, residents say it is the amenities that set the area apart and make it a unique place to live. This includes a new King County Library that opened in Sammamish in January, with a stunning view of the Seattle skyline from its vast windows. There is a skateboard park, climbing wall and basketball court just across the parking lot as part of the Sammamish Commons, a 30-acre site owned by the city that also includes wetlands and hiking trails. Pine Lake Park, with towering trees, a soccer field, swimming beach and play areas, is a popular destination for families and people who like to fish, kayak and canoe. In the summer, there are concerts and outdoor theater in the park. Homes dot the edge of the lake, with a recent flier advertising a house with 115 feet of waterfront for $1.9 million. Nearby Beaver Lake Park is quieter and features a park popular with dog owners. The park’s large totem poles remind visitors of the Native American heritage in the area, as do a number of places on the Plateau, such as Sahalee (Chinook for “high heavenly ground”) and Klahanie (“out of doors”).