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Newcastle’s name tips you off to its history, as it was named after England’s Newcastle upon Tyne, both towns famous for their origins as coal mining capitals. For a century, from 1863, when coal was first discovered, to 1963, when the last mine was shut down, Newcastle’s coal fueled the economic expansion of Seattle. Newcastle’s status as an independent entity is relatively recent; in 1994, after half of the town voted to annex themselves to Bellevue as Newcastle Hills, the remainder incorporated itself as Newcastle. Today, Newcastle is a convenient suburb for commuters working in Seattle or Bellevue, coupled with access to great hiking trails. In 1999, residents started Newcastle Trails, a nonprofit to ensure that hiking trails would be preserved, expanded, and incorporated into any new development. The trails wind through town to the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildlife Park, with plans to eventually connect them to Lake Washington.

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Living in Greater Seattle

The splendid natural geography of the Seattle suburbs, which are surrounded by lakes, mountains, and fog-covered evergreens, defines the scenic string of towns that form Greater Seattle. The cities across Lake Washington are collectively known as the Eastside and mainly located in King County, while the North Country encompasses the towns in Snohomish County. There’s a deep concentration of tech companies in the region and many of these cities serve as economic hubs in their own right, including Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, outposts of Amazon and Facebook in Bellevue, and a new Google campus in Kirkland. Each town has a distinct personality and there’s a perfect Seattle suburb for almost everyone, whether you prefer an apartment in an urban core, a lakefront estate, or a rural farmhouse. Locals love to embrace the outdoors, with plentiful hiking, biking, swimming, and boating opportunities wherever you go.