The Eastside Defined

Since I’m going to be focusing in on the Eastside, I figure that this is a good time to hash out exactly what this area is. First, we should get this whole name thing hashed out. Some lovingly spell it as one word, “Eastside,” (pronounced ēst-sīd) while others prefer the more elaborate dual-word spelling, “East Side” (pronounced ēst-sīd ). It’s all a bit controversial, but the more common usage is the single word, and I’m backing this statement up with the following reasons:

1.  Wikipedia says so; and
2. There are a ton of Eastside business who use the one word spelling in their name, and they will be horrified if they’ve named their businesses wrong. 

In any case, I’ll bet that no one will call you on it either way, but because of #1 and #2 above, I’m going to defer to the single word spelling in my scribblings.

Moving on, the Eastside encompasses the King County communities east of Seattle and the 520 bridge, including Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Woodinville, Sammamish, Issaquah, and Mercer Island. Of course, there are some smaller communities included in this region as well, but I’ve listed the big ones that come to the minds of those familiar with the Eastside.


The distance from any of these communities into downtown Seattle is quite reasonable, although, as we residents know, it can vary tremendously due to weather, accidents, roadwork, or where you are actually going. Some average driving distances and drive times (ok, these seem a little optimistic to me, but blame the WSDOT) are included below, and you can find more from the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Seattle – Redmond:  14.7 mi, 15 min
Seattle – Bellevue: 10.1 mi, 12 min
Seattle – Issaquah: 15.7 mi, 16 min
Redmond – Bellevue: 7.2 mi, 8 min

The Eastside is a popular area to live, work, and play, as it is home to some big name companies including Microsoft, Nintendo, T-Mobile, and Infospace. (To save you time, I’ve set the links directly to the ”jobs” pages at these companies.) It has a number of cultural and social hubs, and the neighborhoods are diverse. For example, you can find neighborhoods that offer a more convenient in-city type of feel, like those in Bellevue and Kirkland, or you can find neighborhoods that offer a more open, smaller, hometown feel, like Redmond and Woodinville.  One thing is for sure, each area offers its own distinct feel and opportunities, but bottom line is that in general, the Eastside is known for outstanding quality of life, suburban-style living, larger yards, great school districts, and more Costco’s.

Stay tuned for continuing coverage on the Eastside!

  • Hair Farmer Joe

    Excellent Katrina – I look forward to reading more of your writings on the Eastside.

    Have you ever seen Eastside Business newspaper?

  • Katrina Munsell

    Thanks very much, I appreciate the comment! The Eastside Business paper is a great resource!