KIRKLAND, WA — When it comes to the best lakeside cities in the U.S., Washington dominates the nation.
In a ranking compiled by WalletHub, three of the top 10 best lake beach cities in the whole country are in Washington. Kirkland came in on top in Washington, followed by Mercer Island and Redmond. No other state had as many cities in the top 10.
Those three Lake Washington cities ranked high due to factors like the local economy, safety, quality of life, and education. Mercer Island, for example, was ranked No. 1 among lakeside cities for education and health.
One factor WalletHub didn't consider: bird poop.
Kirkland's Juanita Beach was closed last week for high levels of E. coli, which King County health officials thought was due to all the birds gathered along the shore. Kirkland isn't the only city with this problem. Seattle's Magnuson Park beach and Renton's Gene Coulon beach were also closed recently for high E. coli levels, and both those beaches have plenty of birds. The only beach King County monitors for water quality in Redmond is Idylwood Beach along Lake Sammamish.
The study also ranked the best seaside cities. In Washington, Edmonds came in No. 29, Shoreline No. 79, and Burien No. 92. Strangely, Seattle, which touches both the lake and the sea, didn't make the list at all. Lakewood in Pierce County was also ranked, coming in No. 36 on the lake cities list — although Lakewood also has both fresh and saltwater shorelines.