Local Stories

Best Places to Live: Puyallup, WA

March 25, 2015

Situated in a fertile valley between Seattle and Mount Rainier, Puyallup has gained a reputation as one of Washington’s more exciting areas to live in—a beautiful city that doubles as a cultural hotspot and a charming icon of agriculture that’s home to Washington’s state fair, a bustling downtown scene, outdoor recreation and more. Check out some of our favorite features of this idyllic area below.

Several parks and trails provide exceptional access to one of Puyallup’s greatest assets: its scenic landscape. If you’re the outdoor type, you’ll want to check out the following:

Wildwood Park
Take in the splendor of over 50 acres of natural forest, plus additional park space, with plenty of room for trails, a reservoir, a playground, picnic shelters and more.

Bradley Lake Park
This is the place to break out your fishing pole, with a 12-acre lake stocked with rainbow trout and naturally supportive of largemouth bass, brown bullhead catfish, yellow perch and black crappie. In addition, enjoy walking trails, ballfields, an inclusive playground and a picnic area.

Pioneer Park
A jewel of the downtown area, Pioneer Park pays homage to Puyallup’s proud history, with a veteran’s memorial and a statue dedicated to pioneering citizen Ezra Meeker. Dotted with mature trees and tranquil grassy areas, the park is directly adjacent to Puyallup Public Library and also serves as the site for the Puyallup Farmers’ Market.

Puyallup Riverwalk Trail
Get in a rigorous workout or spend time leisurely strolling along the roughly five-mile Puyallup Riverwalk Trail. The city plans to connect the trail to the Pierce County Foothills Trail, eventually linking Puyallup to a regional trail system winding all the way to Mount Rainier National Park.

Looming at over 14,000 feet and providing a majestic backdrop to the city on clear days, Mount Rainier is a hallmark of life in the Puyallup area. Less than a two-hour drive away, the park has gifted generations of nearby residents with some of the nation’s best camping, hiking, climbing and wildlife viewing.

In addition to sublime views and enviable recreation options, Puyallup is well known as a destination spot with a versatile selection of shopping, dining and city activities. Local highlights include:

South Hill Mall
Sleek, modern and outfitted with over 100 stores—plus several restaurants, a six-theater cinema and a fun Wiggleworks for parents in need of a latte break kids—South Hill Mall is a sterling regional anchor point for shopping, dining and entertainment.

First-class dining
Puyallup knows a thing or two about the art of eating out. Its historic downtown area is renowned as a dining hub, with everything from Northwest craft beers to pie stops to several restaurants that offer local variations on everything from sushi and pasta to the all-American gastro pub (one of which earned a spot on Guy Fieri’s Diner’s, Drive-ins and Dives).

You’ll also enjoy an expanded selection of local eateries, chain favorites and options for locally grown produce throughout the rest of the city.

Downtown Puyallup
In addition to its reputation for stellar cuisine, downtown Puyallup is hard to beat on several other fronts. Here you’ll find shopping (including a thriving antique district), farmers’ markets, year-round events and more. Popular attractions offer something for all ages, like the Puyallup Art & Wine Walk, Boo-Allup in Puyallup and the Lighted Santa Parade.

Washington State Fair
For over 100 years, Puyallup has been host to the Washington State Fair (formerly Puyallup Fair), which now boasts the kind of annual attendance that rivals the nation’s top state fairs—with over 1.3 million visitors recorded for the event’s centennial celebration in 2000. With 17 days of festivities, fair activities include everything from concerts to livestock shows, art exhibits, rides and more.

Fun facts:

Though the name was changed to the Washington State Fair, the event’s official tagline is still “Do the Puyallup.”

The same outfit that organizes the Washington State Fair also puts together the popular Puyallup Spring Fair.

Residents in Puyallup enjoy convenient public transportation to stops in surrounding King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Travel by bus, train or light rail to downtown Seattle, Sea-Tac Airport and other hubs of business and culture.

For more information on public transit in Puyallup, check out the Sound Transit website.

Ready to pack up and move to Puyallup? Check out new home communities here » 

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