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Issaquah is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 40,051 at the 2020 census, an increase from 30,434 at the 2010 census. Located in a valley and bisected by Interstate 90, the city is bordered by the Sammamish Plateau to the north and the “Issaquah Alps” to the south. It is home to the headquarters of the multinational retail company Costco. Issaquah is included in the Seattle metropolitan area.

“Issaquah” is an anglicized word for a local Native American name, meaning either “the sound of birds”, “snake”, or “little stream”. “Squak Valley”, an older name for the area, also derives from this same Native American name.

In September 1885, the then-unincorporated area was the scene of an attack on Chinese laborers who had come to pick hops from local fields. Three of the laborers died from gunshot wounds, and none of the attackers were convicted of any wrongdoing.

The city was officially incorporated on April 29, 1892. Initially a small mining town, the city has changed noticeably both in its appearance and economic focus. Issaquah was originally developed to service the mining industry (on the two nearby mountains that now lend their names to the Cougar/Squak Corridor Park), and began as the town of “Gilman”. As the mining deposits neared depletion in the late 1890s, other companies started to realize Issaquah’s potential to support a lucrative lumber business. These companies exported timber from Issaquah and other small, local towns to Seattle and larger, rapidly growing communities throughout western Washington. These early boom industries, however, faded into a period of relative quiet by the time of the Great Depression. The town remained fairly placid through the succeeding decades, with Boeing providing the majority of employment in the area. Microsoft and other technological industries moved into Redmond and other cities in the area, and later established operations in Issaquah itself. Both Boeing and Microsoft have significantly affected Issaquah’s history, cultural development, and diverse population through their active community participation and attraction of outside residents. In June 1996, Costco moved its global headquarters to Issaquah from nearby Kirkland.

Warehouse retailer Costco has been headquartered in Issaquah since 1996. Other major Issaquah employers include Microsoft, Siemens Medical Solutions’ Ultrasound Group, Overtime Technologies, Boehm’s Candies, and Darigold. Apparel wholesaler SanMar is also headquartered in the city.

Highways and roads

Issaquah is bisected by Interstate 90, which runs from Seattle to Boston, and Washington State Route 900, which connects the city to neighboring Renton. There is a chronic traffic congestion problem on Front Street, which traverses the historic downtown. Proposals have been made to create a bypass, but opponents have argued that this will only result in more sprawl in the area beyond downtown and thus bring in more traffic and pollution. In 2008, the Issaquah City Council voted to cancel the 15-year-running SE Bypass project. In addition, King County has no funding in its seven-year capital plan to improve Issaquah-Hobart Road, the southern terminus of the proposed bypass.

Public transportation

Bus service in Issaquah is provided by King County Metro as well as regional Sound Transit routes to Seattle and Bellevue. There are two primary park-and-rides in the city, at Issaquah Transit Center and Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride, which have a total of 1,999 parking spaces.

Since August 1995, the city and King County Metro provided a free circulator bus (route 200) between business districts and community centers in Issaquah as a form of traffic congestion relief.

As part of the expansion of Sound Transit services, a Link light rail line to Issaquah from Bellevue is proposed to begin service by 2041.

Issaquah Alps

The Issaquah Alps are the highlands neighboring the city. They offer hiking trails and opportunities for outdoor activity across the three mountains surrounding Issaquah: Tiger Mountain, Cougar Mountain, and Squak Mountain.

Issaquah Valley Trolley

The Issaquah Valley Trolley is a project of the Issaquah Historical Society with the aim of starting a regular heritage trolley service on the remaining section of railroad track in downtown Issaquah. A trial operation took place in 2001–02, giving public rides in a trolley car borrowed from Yakima Valley Trolleys. By 2010, the Issaquah Historical Society had acquired three trolleys of its own, but the planned service had not yet begun operation, as two of the cars were narrow gauge, making them incompatible with the standard gauge rails left in Issaquah, and all three were not in operating condition. A federal transportation grant was obtained, providing funds for track evaluation and repairs, and in 2012 one of the two narrow gauge cars was sent to the Gomaco Trolley Company to be refurbished and regauged to standard gauge. The overhauled trolley car, ex-Lisbon 519, returned to Issaquah in August 2012, and regular public rides began in October 2012. Operation is expected to be seasonal and on weekends only.

Some proponents of the Trolley Project hope to see trolley service extended to a northern re-extension of removed track to the southern tip of Lake Sammamish or beyond to downtown Redmond by reinstalling the track along the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish that the county removed several years ago. The opening of the East Lake Sammamish Trail in March 2006 along that proposed line ended the possibility of Issaquah-Redmond service.

Village Theatre

The Village Theatre has presented live stage plays on its main stage in downtown Issaquah since 1979. It is an Equity theater.

Salmon Days Festival

Issaquah Salmon Days is a two-day award-winning festival held in Issaquah on the first full weekend of October every year. It is initiated by a parade, celebrates the return of the salmon to their birth waters, and praises Issaquah’s history, culture, and ethnic diversity. This free festival encompasses several arts and crafts conventions, attracting many Northwest artists; these artisans feature wood, glass, jewelry, paintings, pottery and metal artworks for sale in booths spread all across the downtown and historic area. There are four stages for entertainment such as live music. Sporting events include 5 km/10 km runs (and a 3 km run for children), a fencing invitational, bike rides, and a golf tournament. Memorial Field, adjacent to the city hall, hosts a “Field of Fun” providing free entertainment for children of all ages, thanks to the many festival sponsors. Visitors are encouraged to visit the newly restored Salmon Hatchery to view the returning salmon in close detail. In 2005, the register revealed over 400,000 people attended the Salmon Days Festival.

Cougar Mountain Zoo

The Cougar Mountain Zoo is located on the north slope of Cougar Mountain, just to the west of Issaquah. This 8-acre (32,000 m2) zoo offers a glimpse at many endangered species from across the globe, including many endangered birds from around the world and small lemurs from Madagascar. The highlight of the zoo for many observers is the cougar, named Nashi. Nashi is provided enrichment on a near-daily basis, which consists of a stimulant to keep him active mentally and physically. The zoo currently specializes in eight “worlds” of animals: cougars, lemurs, cranes, reindeer, macaws, wallabies, ratites, camelids.

On June 16, 2007, another world was added to the list, when the zoo welcomed its newest members, two male tiger cubs. Named Taj and Almos, they are the only Bengal tigers in Washington state. The Zoo is open for general admission Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (excluding the month of December). Each December the Zoo also offers a special Reindeer Festival, during which people may come view, and feed Santa’s Reindeer, and visit the “big guy” in person.

Issaquah Salmon Hatchery

The Issaquah Salmon Hatchery was built in 1936 under the federal Works Project Administration. It is located on the Issaquah Creek within the city limits of Issaquah. The hatchery is owned and operated by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. It annually raises about 4 million Chinook (King) and Coho (Silver) salmon which then migrate from the Issaquah Creek to Puget sound and on to the North Pacific. Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (FISH) is a non-profit organization that trains volunteer guides who lead free educational tours of the hatchery and advocates retaining and improving the historic hatchery. Local elementary schools often raise small numbers of salmon eggs that are spawned in the hatchery and release them into the creeks as part of their science curriculum on the salmon life cycle. The Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is located in the cultural and geographical heart of Issaquah and is the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s most visited hatchery, with an estimated 350,000 visitors a year.

Gilman Village

Gilman Village is a specialty shopping center created from rescued buildings dating back to the origins of the Issaquah community. Gilman Village was founded in 1972, when developers Marvin and Ruth Mohl started saving old, unwanted farming and mining buildings, as well as pioneer homes, from around Issaquah. They moved, renovated and combined them into an attractive retail area in a park-like setting. Their goal was to create a haven for independent shops and restaurants. In saving the buildings, the intent was to honor the character and ambiance of the old community rather than to create a museum. Still, the buildings that house the shops and restaurants of Gilman Village represent a significant portion of Issaquah’s history.

The 40-plus shops and restaurants that make up Gilman Village became one of Puget Sound’s best known and most distinctive shopping destinations. In its initial decades, Gilman Village was a destination while Issaquah was still a somewhat rural area. Over time, Gilman Village began to compete with other local shopping centers for tenants serving the Issaquah population.

Designers of Gilman Village have included the Baylis Architects, Richard Haag Associates and landscape architect Stephen G. Ray. Their combined efforts have won official recognition by the King County Board of Realtors in 1976 and the Issaquah Design Commission in 1977 for quality of design and landscaping. In 1985, The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce presented the Eastside Quality of Life Award to Gilman Village for “the pleasures it gives through its rich discoveries of space and forms”.


Paragliders and hang gliders launch from Tiger Mountain in Issaquah.

Public education for 21,358 students within the city and surrounding area is provided by the Issaquah School District, which operates 28 schools in and around Issaquah.

Swedish Medical Center opened a full-service hospital and healthcare facility in the Issaquah Highlands with a capacity of 175 inpatient beds and a 24-hour emergency room in 2012.

Content courtesy of Wikipedia.org

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Tipsy Cow Burger Bar - Issaquah 4.0 star rating 33 reviews
720 NW Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, WA 98027

Amarone Ristorante and Bar 5.0 star rating 9 reviews
1084 NE Park Dr
Issaquah, WA 98029

(425) 369-1181

Montalcino Ristorante Italiano 4.5 star rating 545 reviews
15 NW Alder Pl
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 270-3677

Umi Cafe 4.5 star rating 397 reviews
80 SE Bush St
Spa Chi
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 777-1958

Danji Korean Cuisine 4.5 star rating 74 reviews
936 NE Park Dr
Issaquah, WA 98029

The Black Duck Cask and Bottle 4.0 star rating 781 reviews
317 NW Gilman Blvd
Ste 31-B
Gilman Village
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 395-7138

Krawbar 4.0 star rating 251 reviews
80 Front St N
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 677-7387

Max's World Cafe 4.5 star rating 370 reviews
212 Front St N
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 391-8002

The Black Duck Cask and Bottle 4.0 star rating 781 reviews
317 NW Gilman Blvd
Ste 31-B
Gilman Village
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 395-7138

Saints & Scholars Irish Pub 5.0 star rating 27 reviews
7726 Center Blvd SE
Ste 110
Snoqualmie, WA 98065

(425) 292-9525

H & H Tavern 3.5 star rating 29 reviews
91 Front St N
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 392-3031

Levitate Gastropub 3.5 star rating 433 reviews
185 Front St N
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 677-8497

Malarky's Sports Grill 3.5 star rating 96 reviews
1025 NW Gilman Ave
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 392-6356

Big Block Brewing - Sammamish 4.5 star rating 73 reviews
3310 Eastlake Sammamish Pky SE
Sammamish, WA 98075

(425) 270-3757

Krawbar 4.0 star rating 251 reviews
80 Front St N
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 677-7387

The Well and Table 4.0 star rating 83 reviews
317 NW Gilman Blvd
Ste 43
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 657-0833

PCC Community Markets - Issaquah 4.0 star rating 198 reviews
1810 12th Ave NW
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 369-1222

Safeway 2.5 star rating 59 reviews
735 NW Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 392-0410

QFC 3.5 star rating 43 reviews
1540 NW Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 392-4475

Metropolitan Market 4.0 star rating 85 reviews
301 228th Ave SE
Sammamish, WA 98074

(425) 295-0456

Fred Meyer 2.5 star rating 114 reviews
6100 E Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE
Issaquah, WA 98029

(425) 416-1100

Champion Grocery 4.5 star rating 71 reviews
1175 NW Gilman Blvd
Ste 2
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 369-3173

Krishna Supermarket 4.0 star rating 5 reviews
660 NW Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, WA 98027

(509) 218-9446

Town & Country Market - Lakemont 4.0 star rating 75 reviews
4989 Lakemont Blvd SE
Bellevue, WA 98006

(425) 653-2261

Issaquah Coffee Company 4.0 star rating 455 reviews
317 NW Gilman Blvd
Ste 46
Gilman Village
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 677-7118

55 Sunset Coffee & Spirits 4.5 star rating 30 reviews
55 W Sunset Way
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 600-4080

Caffe Ladro 3.5 star rating 137 reviews
1200 10th Ave NE
Issaquah, WA 98029

(425) 391-9300

Koffee Sutra 4.0 star rating 60 reviews
102 Front St S
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 392-8646

Cypress Coffee 4.5 star rating 147 reviews
3080 148th Ave SE
Ste 113
Bellevue, WA 98007

(425) 429-6167

Aroma Coffee 5.0 star rating 48 reviews
33429 SE Redmond-Fall City Rd
Fall City, WA 98024

(425) 441-8111

Bean Queens 4.5 star rating 26 reviews
145 NW Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 427-0063

Mojoe Cafe 5.0 star rating 1 reviews
1301 4th Ave NW
Issaquah, WA 98027

425 Fitness - Issaquah 3.0 star rating 78 reviews
1025 NW Gilman Blvd
Ste E-8
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 369-8585

Anytime Fitness 4.5 star rating 30 reviews
4524 Klahanie Dr SE
Issaquah, WA 98029

(425) 395-7248

24 Hour Fitness - Issaquah Black Nugget 3.0 star rating 170 reviews
5712 East Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE
Ste 200
Issaquah, WA 98029

(425) 507-0439

Transform Fitness 5.0 star rating 21 reviews
1290 NW Mall St
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 677-8183

Columbia Athletic Clubs - Pine Lake 3.0 star rating 24 reviews
2930 228th Ave SE
Pine Lake
Sammamish, WA 98075

(425) 313-0123

Iron Eagle Strength & Conditioning 5.0 star rating 3 reviews
1790 1/2 Newport Way NW
Issaquah, WA 98027

(206) 569-8499

Orangetheory Fitness Issaquah 4.0 star rating 23 reviews
1676 9th Avenue NE
Suite 100
Issaquah, WA 98029

(425) 616-3565

Hustle House 4.0 star rating 5 reviews
4532 Klahanie Dr SE
Sammamish, WA 98029

(425) 469-6516

Mud Bay 5.0 star rating 23 reviews
1590 NW Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 295-7199

All The Best Pet Care 4.5 star rating 20 reviews
690 NW Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 369-8383

PetSmart 2.5 star rating 85 reviews
1505 11th Ave Nw
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 557-6651

Petco 2.5 star rating 46 reviews
975 NW Gilman Blvd
Ste E
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 392-9664

The Grange 4.0 star rating 59 reviews
145 NE Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, WA 98027

(425) 392-6469

Pet Pros 4.5 star rating 8 reviews
4574 Klahanie Dr SE
Issaquah, WA 98029

(425) 369-1115

Ally Pet Medical Center 5.0 star rating 34 reviews
3024 Issaquah-Pine Lake Rd SE
Sammamish, WA 98075

(425) 395-7515

The Wizard of Paws Pet Salon 3.5 star rating 22 reviews
4518 Klahanie Dr SE
Issaquah, WA 98029

(425) 392-0349