10 Best Places to Live in Eastern Washington – 2022 Update

We picked the ten best places to live in Eastern Washington in 2022 so that you can enjoy life in the quieter (and more affordable) side of The Evergreen State.

The Eastern Washington region may be the best hidden gem of the whole Pacific Northwest. Its beautiful, rustic backdrop and excellent affordability make it a prime location to relocate to, especially for outdoor lovers looking for a good value.

Eastern Washington features an endless number of gorgeous state parks, such as Sun Lakes-Dry Falls, and many great suburban and rural communities across its vast rivers, mountains, and woodlands.

The Best Places to Live in Eastern Washington – Our Research Methodology

To determine the best cities to live in Eastern Washington, we first had to define the boundaries of what to consider as part of “Eastern Washington.”

The official definition includes the region that is east of the Cascade Mountain Range, which means that it starts off a bit in the mid-western portion of the state and extends to the Idaho border.

Then, our team rigorously evaluated all the data points, facts, and figures available on every town and city in the whole area. We extracted statistics from official sources, such as the US Census and FBI via trusted sites like Areavibes, Bestplaces, and Zillow.

We then rated each city based on important factors such as cost of living, availability of homes, safety, entertainment options, school systems, and overall desirability.

Finally, we tallied up the scores for each city and ranked them in order to get to our final results. So, let’s take a look at all the best places to live in Eastern Washington.

10 Best Places to Live in Eastern Washington in 2022

10. Spokane

places-to-live-in-eastern-washington-Spokane

Population: 212,000
Cost of Living Index: 14% Below Washington Average
Location: Check on Google Maps

Spokane starts off our list of the best places to live in Eastern Washington. It is the largest city on this list (and in all of Eastern Washington) and is best known for its cultural diversity and incredible natural sights.

The city offers tons of things to do around town, especially in its thriving historic downtown district that is filled with locally-owned restaurants and opportunities to enjoy live music. It is also where Riverfront Park is located, which is a 100-acre space developed for the 1974 World’s Fair and one of the prettiest urban parks in the nation.

Spokane is also nicknamed Hooptown USA and is the site of the biggest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world,

If you’re here to see nature, you’re also in the right place. The Spokane River runs right through the city and Mount Spokane State Park is just a 45 minute drive away.

9. Richland

Population: 53,000
Cost of Living Index: 11% Below Washington Average
Location: Check on Google Maps

Richland is another large city in Eastern Washington that offers a well-balanced and affordable lifestyle.

It is located about 2 hours southwest of Spokane and just a few miles from the Oregon border, but still sits on the eastern part of the state. 

Richland offers several fun points of interest around town, including the Uptown Shopping Center as well as the Richland Parkway, which hosts the local farmers market in the summer.

You can also experience the beautiful Howard Amon Park that sits right on the waterfront of the Columbia River in downtown Richland, along with the 7 mile long Richland Riverfront Trail that goes right through the park.

Additionally, the city is located right in the heart of Washington’s Wine Country and provides easy access to over 200 wineries in the area

We also ranked Richland as the 7th best places to live in Washington in 2022.  

8. Country Homes

Population: 5,700
Cost of Living Index: 8% Below Washington Average
Location: Check on Google Maps

Country Homes is a small suburb located just 20 minutes north of Spokane. It is also the home to Whitworth University, which helps provide the town with a youthful energy.

It was even ranked as the 2nd best place to live in the Spokane area by Niche.com.

Residents in Country Homes speak highly about its warm and friendly community along with its natural beauty, with tall pine trees that surround many of its neighborhoods.

7. Spokane Valley

best-places-to-live-in-eastern-washington-Spokane-Valley

Population: 93,000
Cost of Living Index: 13% Below Washington Average
Location: Check on Google Maps

Spokane Valley is the largest suburb of Spokane and is located just 10 minutes east of downtown Spokane. Here, you can find anything and everything, from great restaurants, wineries, and breweries, to excellent cultural points of interest, including the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum.

The city is also home to the Spokane Indians minor league baseball team. Local residents can go to Avista Stadium to watch them play during the summer.

6. Pullman

Population: 32,000
Cost of Living Index: 8% Below Washington Average
Location: Check on Google Maps

Pullman is a city that is located in the southeastern corner of the state that is about 1 hour and 20 minutes south of Spokane. The city describes itself as providing “small-town comforts and cosmopolitan amenities.”

It is also home to Washington State University and its 20,000+ students, which makes it one of the best places to live in Eastern Washington for those who enjoy a college town atmosphere.

It was even ranked as one of the best college towns to live in the West.

Pullman also features numerous parks, including Sunnyside Park and Lawson Gardens, as well as multiple museums that can be found on the university’s campus.

5. Colville

best-places-to-live-in-eastern-washington-Colville

Population: 4,700
Cost of Living Index: 16% Below Washington Average
Location: Check on Google Maps

Colville is a mountain town in the northeastern part of Washington that is about 1 hour away from the Canadian border. This community retains its small-town charm and close-knit feeling even today.

You can experience its quaint and historic downtown district that is filled with locally-owned shops, excellent dining options, and cozy cafes.

Or, you can relax in one of the quiet, tree-lined neighborhoods around Colville that are surrounded by the stunning landscapes of the Pacific Northwest.

Nature lovers can also take a trip to the Colville National Forest or the Columbia River that are both just 15 minutes from town.

4. East Wenatchee

best-places-to-live-in-eastern-washington-East-Wenatchee

Population: 13,600
Cost of Living Index: 10% Below Washington Average
Location: Check on Google Maps

East Wenatchee is a city located right on the Columbia River in the center of the state. It is actually closer to Seattle than Spokane, but is still officially considered part of Eastern Washington as we defined earlier in our methodology.

The city offers plenty of amenities and entertainment that it shares with the neighboring city of Wenatchee. For instance, there is the large Pybus Public Market as well as the Ohme Gardens and Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center.

Outdoor lovers can also enjoy the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail among the dramatic backdrop of the Columbia River and a stunning mountain range.

3. West Richland

Population: 13,400
Cost of Living Index: 12% Below Washington Average
Location: Check on Google Maps

West Richland is a small and friendly town that is part of the Tri-Cities area. It is a suburb to the larger city of Richland, which was number nine on this list of the best places to live in Eastern Washington.

This suburban community is ideal for those who want to live in a quiet and green area while still being close to a big city with many amenities.

Residents of West Richland can enjoy recreational time around the Yakima River as well as at the Columbia River that is just 10 minutes away in Richland.

It also offers numerous community events and festivals every year, including the Harvest Festival, Concerts at the Pavilion summer concert series, and the Hogs and Dogs showcase of motorcycles and classic cars.

2. Millwood

Population: 1,700
Cost of Living Index: 14% Below Washington Average
Location: Check on Google Maps

Millwood is a vibrant and small town located right between Spokane and Spokane Valley. It is the smallest town on this list of the best places to live in Eastern Washington, so it is perfect for those who want to live in a community where they can get to know everyone, but also be close to the action in Spokane.

Residents of Millwood can enjoy its quaint neighborhoods, Millwood Park, and access to the Spokane River.

Of course, downtown Spokane is just a 15 minute drive from this quiet town, so you can enjoy a night out, but retire for the night in a quiet location.

1. Liberty Lake

best-places-to-live-in-eastern-washington-Liberty-Lake

Population: 8,600
Cost of Living Index: 3% Below Washington Average
Location: Check on Google Maps

Liberty Lake takes the top spot as the best place to live in Eastern Washington. 

This idyllic, family-friendly city is located just down the river from Spokane, about 20 minutes east.

It also features the beautiful Liberty Lake that is just 2 miles from the center of town. The lake is an excellent place for fishing, boating, or just hiking around.

Meanwhile, the city itself offers a great sense of community that it continues to maintain through various festivals and events, including the Liberty Lake Farmers Market, Easter Egg Hunt, and 4th of July celebration at Pavilion Park with fireworks over the lake.

The Best Places to Live in Eastern Washington – Summary

Overall, the best cities in Eastern Washington in 2022 are:

  1. Liberty Lake
  2. Millwood
  3. West Richland
  4. East Wenatchee
  5. Colville
  6. Pullman
  7. Spokane Valley
  8. Country Homes
  9. Richland
  10. Spokane

They all offer a well-balanced community with plenty of things to do and an affordable lifestyle, especially compared to the rest of the state.

However, you may need to act quickly, as more folks have been learning about Eastern Washington and it may be poised to develop into the next hot market.