West Seattle is aptly named—it represents all of the city located west of the Duwamish River. (map) It’s the birth place of Seattle, being the first place settlers established themselves. West Seattle is comprised of over a dozen neighborhoods, including Alki Point, Junction, Fauntleroy, Admiral, High Point, Beach Drive, Delridge, Fairmount Park, Highland Park, Lincoln Park, Puget Ridge, Sunset, Arbor Heights, Arroyo Heights, Seola Beach and Westwood. West Seattle also includes the Alki beachfront, Lincoln Park, Schmitz Preserve Park, and four-mile trail running the length of Longfellow Creek. The gorgeous views from West Seattle of the Seattle skyline, Puget Sound, along with the Cascade and Olympic mountains, have contributed to residents’ love for the area and make this a favorite Puget Sound destination.
Probably best known of all the neighborhoods is Alki Point, thanks to its immensely popular beach. Alki Beach is a large strip of sandy beach chock full of driftwood, seashells, and fire pits. Low tides offer extraordinary opportunities to explore tide pools of Puget Sound marine life. In addition, a nice, flat bike and pedestrian trail runs the length of the beach—people who use this trail are treated to the most amazing views of the Seattle skyline, Puget Sound, and Olympic mountains. Every year, as part of Seafair, the Denny Party landing on Alki is reenacted.
The Junction is considered the heart of downtown West Seattle. This is the site of the year-round West Seattle Farmers Market, which has been running since 1999. The Junction is where West Seattleites connect—there are shops, restaurants, coffee places, local services and best of all, Free Parking! The Junction derives its name from two streetcar lines which crossed at the junction of California and Alaska streets starting in 1907. Today, 275 area businesses call the Junction home and buses have replaced the streetcars. The Junction’s “walk all ways” pedestrian crossing system, which was established in 1952, has become a West Seattle icon— it’s “where people from all walks of life can walk all ways, together as neighbors.”
West Seattle’s transportation options include 2 different ferry runs. In the Fauntleroy neighborhood, Washington State Ferries travel to Vashon Island and on to Southworth, located on the Kitsap Peninsula. At Seacrest Park, residents can board the King County Water Taxi. In about 10 minutes, the Water Taxi delivers riders to Pier 50 on the downtown Seattle waterfront. The Water Taxi is a good option for commuting to down town. Bicycles are allowed onto the taxi free of charge, and several bus routes stop at Seacrest Park, including two free Metro DART shuttles.
The award-winning West Seattle Blog is the place to go to find out the latest happenings in West Seattle. A pioneer in the hyper-local blog movement, resident-creators Tracy Record and Patrick Sand have decades-long experience in news reporting and advertising. Their love for everything West Seattle, along with copious amounts of news tips from other residents, has made West Seattle Blog interesting to follow. A recent KUOW story featured West Seattle life in nice detail.