South Auburn – Auburn, WA

Part of both King and Pierce Counties in Washington, South Auburn lies to the east of the city of Seattle. Originally incorporated as the less attractively named "Slaughter," after Lt. William Slaughter, the city attracts residents looking for easy access to work or play in Seattle or Tacoma while living in a small-town neighborhood. South Auburn offers an outdoor lifestyle for bike and walking enthusiasts, as well as its own industrial complex and plenty of amenities. Enjoy a friendly community known for its willingness to embrace newcomers and where new businesses mingle with the old.

Schools in South Auburn

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Though the majority of Auburn's restaurants and nightlife can be found in the northern part of town, South Auburn still hides a few unexpected treats. Whether you're looking for international cuisine or home-grown dining, try one of the eateries scattered throughout the southern area of the city. Try Hop Jack's, a local chain often likened to the television series "Cheers," which serves simple and classic American dishes with a twist. Known for its Angus beef burgers and fish tacos, locals also recommend the prime rib and boneless chicken wings. On the weekend, enjoy a skillet breakfast with bacon, ham and sausage, a breakfast burrito or an omelet. Fans of Japanese cuisine enjoy Sushi Konami, open for lunch and dinner for fresh sushi. Design your own bento box, try the Konami specialties, including the oyster volcano and the sashimi carpaccio, or try a sushi or teriyaki combo entree served with miso soup. For Mexican dishes, head to the Rio Blanco Mexican Restaurant. Try a margarita in flavors ranging from blackberry to peach, or celebrate your birthday and get a free Mexican birthday cake. Choose from a comprehensive range of traditional Mexican entrees, including enchiladas, tacos, tostadas and burritos with side orders of guacamole, frijoles, chimichanga or pico de gallo. Locals head north for entertainment options in the evening, although the Royal Bear Pub & Eatery attracts plenty of attention. Located on West Valley Highway, this pub features pinball and coin-op games as well as a full menu and live music. Star Lake Inn and the Sports Page sports bar also provide nightlife.

History & Culture

Some of the earliest settlers in King County called Auburn home, transforming the fertile river valley into a farming community and industrial site more than 150 years ago. Originally home to several Native American tribes, the first white men arrived in the 1830s. An Indian ambush killed a military unit, including Lieutenant William Slaughter, in 1855, leading to the city's original name of Slaughter. The area became a center for hop farming until aphids destroyed the crops in 1890, after which it housed dairy and berry farms. Auburn transformed into its modern, urban form throughout the 20th century. Find out more about the area at the White River Valley Museum, which covers the area's history from the time of the Native Americans to the present day. Enjoy the annual BRAVO Performing Art Season hosted by the Parks, Arts and Recreation department, offering music, comedy, theater and kids programming.


The city of Auburn places great emphasis on convenient public transportation that provides connections to other parts of the region and destinations throughout Puget Sound. Metro Transit, Pierce Transit and Sound Transit all operate within South Auburn, providing local bus services on most major streets. Alternatively, take advantage of Dial-A-Ride Transit for variable routing within a defined service area or ACCESS Transportation for door-to-door shared rides for residents with disabilities. Metro Transit sponsors several van pools and van shares for commuters, while Sound Transit operates commuter rail and regional express buses into Seattle or Tacoma. Not a particularly walkable or bike-friendly neighborhood, most residents rely on public transportation, ride-share and taxi services such as Uber or personal vehicles. On-street parking is available throughout the neighborhood, and residents enjoy easy access to Highway 167 to the west and Highway 18 to the north.


Expect a cost of living in South Auburn around 13 percent higher than the Washington state average but approximately 20 percent lower than the city of Seattle. A one-way trip to Seattle downtown costs around $3, while the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment costs around $739 per month. A pint of beer will set you back about $8.50, and the price per gallon of gasoline comes in at just over 2.5 percent higher than the national average.


Shopping options in Auburn can be found mostly in the north of the city, but South Auburn does feature some specialty shops. Visit Sweet Rock'n Kids for an eclectic mix of toys, kids clothing and arts and crafts, much of it on a consignment basis. Head to the Muckleshoot Fireworks Mall for a row of booths offering fireworks to celebrate occasions such as July 4 or to Coastal Farm and Ranch for a selection of plants and vegetables and seasonal baby chickens. Grocery store options abound in South Auburn, from the Green Valley Meats & Mini Market to Haggen Northwest Fresh and QFC. The Auburn International Farmers' Market runs from June to September in the north part of the city, featuring more than 40 vendors offering local foods, handcrafted items and concessions stands. Enjoy free performances and guest chef demonstrations as you shop, as well as nutrition and health classes and activities for children.


Several free-to-enjoy parks nestle within the south half of Auburn, with plenty of amenities for all the family to enjoy. Visit Les Gove Park to make use of the sports facilities, including baseball, soccer and bocce, as well as the discovery and water playgrounds for the kids. Game Farm also features baseball, basketball, volleyball, tennis and soccer facilities as well as pickleball, alongside trails for hikers and dog walkers, barbecue pits, picnic shelters and access to the river. This park often hosts community events throughout the year, especially in the Len Chapman Ampitheater. Visit the Game Farm Wilderness for a camping adventure with plenty of trails to explore, or try the Roegner Park for picnics and barbecues while the kids play in the playground. The trail system includes hard and soft surfaces for walkers and equestrian users, and dog owners make use of the off-leash area. Commissioned artwork appears throughout the park's 21 acres.
Emerald Heights
2960 M St SE, Auburn, WA 98002
2 wks
$995 - 1,050 2 Bedroom Available Now
The Gardens Apartments
1420 17th St SE, Auburn, WA 98002
2 wks
$1,000 1-2 Bedroom Available Now