About Burien

Burien is a young city built from homesteads around Lake Burien and a summer waterfront community on the Puget Sound. With six miles of shoreline and expansive mountain views, residents take pride in their neighborhoods, actively preserve the environment, and support protection of public spaces.

Burien is a diverse community. Individuals who identify as Latino/Hispanic make up Burien’s largest ethnic group at nearly a quarter of the total population. Another 10 percent identify as Asian, and according to the Highline School District, more than 50 different languages are spoken in the homes of Burien area students.

Calling Burien home

Housing ranges from starter homes to high-end homes, condominiums and apartments of all sizes, including senior living. Walk Score lists Burien as the third most walkable city in Washington state. And NerdWallet recently listed Burien as one the top places to raise a family. The community offers a high quality of life where residents can access more than acres of public parks and trails, including playgrounds, mature forest, and a beach recently restored to its natural state.

Hub location offers easy connections

Residents and businesses love the convenience of Burien’s hub location and great connections. You can drive north to Seattle in about 12 minutes, east to Sea-Tac Airport in five minutes, and south to Tacoma or east to Bellevue in 30 minutes. The Burien Transit Center offers public transit connections to across the region, including the Rapid Ride F bus line. The central location combined with transit options means jobs and entertainment are convenient and easy to access. The Burien Community Shuttle (route 631) runs between the Burien Transit Center through the Gregory Heights and Seahurst neighborhoods to Highline Medical Center.

Learn more about transit options in Burien.

Downtown Burien offers unique shopping and eating experiences

The Puget Sound Regional Council designated Burien as one of the 25 Regional Growth Centers that will experience focused urban growth in the decades ahead. Burien is responding by continuing to rebuild and reinvent itself.

Downtown Burien’s major arterial boasts wide sidewalks, benches, landscaping and old-fashioned lampposts. In Burien’s recently completed Town Square, a joint King County Regional Library and Burien City Hall and 500 new residential units ring a new central park, featuring environmentally friendly landscaping and a splash park. Town Square is home to many community events, including a weekly farmers market, throughout the year.

Burien’s downtown serves a large segment of the South King County population. Burien is noted for boutique retail and a large number of restaurants. Diners can enjoy food from every continent (except Antarctica!). Olde Burien, the historic town center, is bustling with new boutiques, businesses and restaurants serving thousands of residents of the greater Highline area.

Burien has been the birthplace of several iconic Puget Sound businesses. And more businesses are opening second or third locations in Burien, as hundreds of new residents move to the city each year.

Our community supports a thriving maker culture—from chocolates to “Aussie” pies. Products made in Burien are being enjoyed throughout the Seattle region, and the world.

Learn more about Burien’s vision.

Health care hub

Burien is also known for its thriving health care community. Burien has a large number of health care providers, including hospitals, health centers, clinics, private practice doctors, dentists, and various wellness and alternative care specialists. The city also enjoys several health clubs, yoga and martial arts studios, swimming pools, and other recreational facilities that help residents stay healthy and fit.

CHI Franciscan and Kaiser Permanente recently opened new facilities in Burien, and there are plans to enhance Highline Medical Center. Puget Sound Skills Center opened in 2017 a state-of-the-art health sciences building to support the education of the the next generation of health care professionals.

Learn more about health care in Burien.

Arts and culture thrive in Burien

Burien’s inviting downtown features one of the oldest and best-attended Independence Day parades in the region. Both residents and visitors enjoy a Farmers Market, monthly art walks, professional local theater, and seasonal festivals generating year-round activity and excitement.

The community is also embracing new approaches and technology in education, health care, development, and recreation. The City of Burien Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department remodeled its Community Center in 2009 for children, teenagers, and adults to enjoy, as well as growing its cultural arts programs. The Moshier Art Center draws artists from throughout the region, and offers affordable classes in ceramics. The Burien community supports several privately funded arts groups, including an orchestra, dance groups, art galleries, and the 800-seat Highline Performing Arts Center.

Learn more about arts and culture in Burien.

About Burien 5

Educational opportunities in Burien

The Highline School District, based in Burien, enjoys strong public support and has rebuilt several new schools over the past decade. Educators are proud of the Microsoft certification class, a marine technology lab and the Puget Sound Skills Center, which includes a new Health Sciences building. Nearby Highline Community College offers a wide variety of educational and technical programs.

Learn more about schools and libraries in Burien.

About Burien 6

Burien government

The City of Burien has a Council-Manager form of government. The seven members of the City Council are elected to serve four-year terms. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor are elected by the Council for a two-year term. The City provides a range of services to its residents with departments including the City Manager’s office, City Clerk, City Attorney, Community Development, Finance, Administration Services, Public Works, and Economic Development. The City contracts with the King County Sheriff’s Office for police services and fire services are provided by Fire District 2 and North Highline Fire District. Water, sewer, and power are provided by outside public and private entities.

Learn more about how Burien is governed.