Reader’s Digest Names Bothell The Second Kindest City In America

By RSIR Staff |

While some may say that kindness is a thing of the past, it’s a trait that’s alive and well in many cities across our nation, including Bothell, Washington, which was recently named runner up on the Reader’s Digest (RD) list of “Nicest Places in America.” Though a recent poll had 75 percent of Americans calling incivility a “national crisis,” RD editors say they found a staggering 300 communities of considerable kindness. Discover why Bothell stood out among the rest and what makes it a truly wonderful place to live…for a day or a lifetime.

Bothell caught the eye of RD primarily because of one story, “an unlikely relationship,” which they say has “sparked a movement that is spreading kindness over town.” The tale is of local business owner, Beca Nistrian (of Beca’s Brew) and local Will Tinkham, a developmentally challenged local man. Will began spending an hour or two chatting with Beca over a free cup of coffee, which evolved into a part-time paid position in which Will greeted guests and made them feel welcome. When Beca learned of Will’s upcoming birthday last year, she arranged for a community celebration complete with guests, treats, and a Happy Birthday banner.

The story of Beca and Will grabbed headlines across the state and has since given way to countless kind acts in this small Seattle suburb. A collection of stories about Bothell featured in the article include a man who converted an RV into a mobile shower facility for the homeless, a family that received a houseful of items after their home burned down, and a woman who donated 50 Christmas stockings to the community in celebration of her fiftieth birthday.

What is special about Bothell is that despite its rapid growth, it retains a small-town feel. The RD article quotes a local who said, “this community shows so much support during your time of need — as it should! If you are ever in need of something, in crisis, or something as benign as paper plates for a picnic, the community has you covered. The giving spirit is really infused in Bothell!”

In celebration of the community, RSIR reached out to a few of our local brokers for their take.

“Bothell offers families an incredible quality of life. McMenamins transformed the Anderson School into a fabulous mixed-use project with a theater and restaurants, there is a brand new City Hall and Fire Department, and the University of Washington has a satellite campus in Bothell as well,” says RSIR broker Cindy Paur. “There are a number of new apartments and condominiums, banks, convenience stores and restaurants—with more to come in the next few years! The widened boulevard streets and sidewalks lend themselves to easy movement through town center and it’s always fun to head down to The Park at Bothell Landing, which connects to Burke-Gilman Trail.”

For longtime Bothell resident and local broker Lisa Woolverton, Bothell is all about location. “It offers a suburban lifestyle with easy access to Seattle, Bellevue, and all points, north or east,” Woolverton says. “Locally, Bothell’s downtown revitalization has brought amazing new restaurants and businesses while keeping its small town feel. With easy parking and walkability scores, the downtown core attracts large crowds all year round. City parks and the Burke-Gilman Trail make physical fitness and outdoor activities easy and close to home for children and adults. Not to mention that it’s located in the award-winning Northshore School District. Bothell has been a well-kept secret for decades, but lately the word has been spreading: Bothell is a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Bothell Landing is a quaint waterside park with bridge access to the renowned Burke-Gilman Trail.

Broker Robyn Brammer, who recently aligned with RSIR, says one simply cannot say enough good things about Bothell. “They have done an amazing job of combining the safe, family-oriented community for kids and families with a downtown, urban feel with hip restaurants and venues. You simply cannot get a better, walk-able, more awesome town.” She says she’s glad that despite Bothell’s growth, the city certainly retains its old roots, with longtime businesses such as Hillcrest Bakery and The Ranch serving as favorite local spots.

Brammer, who worked as a paraeducator for a decade, also touched on the amazing schools. “Northshore is the best of all worlds with safety, technology and space, providing so much for each child with one-on-one attention. They have phenomenal programs and a cutting-edge approach — I was so impressed!”

Thinking of making a move to one of the kindest places in the nation?

Offered at $820,000   |   Listed by Alex Thomas

“This wonderful Bothell home is a gardener’s dream and centrally located within walking distance to the growing downtown area where you’ll find quaint shops and intimate dining choices,” says Alex Thomas, listing broker with RSIR. “It’s also just a five minute bike ride from the University of Washington Bothell campus, Cascadia College and the Lake Washington Institute of Technology. For those who want to stay fit, the Burke-Gilman Trail is nearby and ready for biking of jogging from Bothell to Seattle. This three-level home has great supplemental income potential with a separate mother-in-law unit. And it’s just minutes from I-5 and I-405 for an easy Eastside or downtown Seattle commute.”

Property details >>

Offered at $579,900   |   Listed by Aaron Gazes & Jeff McDonald

Opportunity awaits in this spacious 3 bedroom, 2 bath home. An industrial style kitchen includes newly installed and stained wood countertops, a distinctive walk-in pantry, breakfast bar, and an island with a natural gas cooktop. A fully finished basement boasts access to the large backyard. Stellar schools and easy access to downtown Bothell and Kenmore, SR-522, Kenmore Air, the Burke-Gilman Trail, shops, local breweries and restaurants. Embrace an open canvas to make your own—this lot will not disappoint!

Property details >>

As the great Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “you cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” Discover more of the Nicest Places in America here.