Kirkland is a lakefront community on the northeast side of Lake Washington. A suburb of Seattle, Kirkland is actually one of the ten largest cities in Washington State and serves to be a suburb of both Redmond and Bellevue in addition to Seattle. Kirkland stands out from many of the other bedroom communities lining Lake Washington because of its downtown that actually runs along the waterfront. Kirkland is perched on the shore of Lake Washington, east of the water and of Seattle, south of Woodinville, west of Redmond and north of Bellevue.

Kirkland was formed as a steel mill town, with the aspiration to be the “Pittsburgh of the West,” however, the mills never really materialized due to various reasons, including a bid by the city of Tacoma to shut Kirkland out and be the preeminent port town in the Pacific Northwest.

Kirkland’s next big industry was, fittingly for the waterfront town, shipbuilding. Kirkland’s marina in downtown served as a dock for the ferries that crossed from the eastside to Madison Park in the first half of the 20th century, however, the need for the ferries was negated with the building of the floating bridge across Lake Washington. Wholesale retailer Costco is perhaps the most famous business to spring from Kirkland’s confines. While it has moved its headquarters to nearby Issaquah, the original locale lives on in the name of their Kirkland Signature brand of goods.

Today’s Kirkland is not a hotbed of industry, as most residents work outside the city. The downtown does have a significant amount of commerce, much of which is in the form of boutique stores and art galleries, as well as restaurants. Many of the local eating establishments take advantage of and pride in the proximity to Washington’s wineries, serving locally produced beverages and matching the meals to the products.