I just realized I had a resource that may help you. While the whole NW is generally a friendly, quirky place, Sammamish was recently labled The Friendliest Town in America, by Forbes Magazine. Take a look at my link below and consider if this would be good for you.
Welcome to the Northwest. I have one currently in middle school and 2 that are past that. We've lived on the eastside of Seattle, in Sammamish the past 23 years. Schools, recreational opportunities, sports, music, drama, martial arts, beaches & parks are all great and readily available.
If there are specific things you hope to find for your kids, let us know and we can make more suggestions.
In my experience, most people start by picking a radius from their work location - usually 20 to 45 minutes. A good place to start your research is http://www.buyandsellseattlerealestate.com because there is a search function and readily available maps. Once you set up a preliminary search, you can click on a tab called "Market Insider". This tab has school reports, demographic reports, and other valuable information.
At my web site, http://www.karenmcknight.com , you can find a lot of great information under my "About the Area" button.
If you like, I can snail mail you a book about the Seattle area and it's various towns and sites to see.
Good luck in your research,
Run a search for Seattle Schools and you'll find a descriptions of them all. Here is a link to third party site: http://www.greatschools.org/washington/seattle/
The mix of schools and amenities make it nearly impossible for us to recommend one over the other because each person's priorities are so different.
The link below is to my own website and you'll see that relocation and rentals are a part of my business plan. Please contact me through that website if you'd like personalized service and you are in fact relocating within the Seattle city limits.
Good luck to you in any case,
Isaac Real Estate Team
Champions Real Estate Services
TriStar Finance #MLO-107799
Office: 425-483-6849 Cell: 206-841-9976
Winner of Seattle Magazines 5 Star
Real Estate Agent Best in Client Satisfaction Award
Mortgage Loan Originator Best in Client Satisfaction