Ballard is one of the hippest and most coveted neighborhoods in Seattle. Its close proximity to the burgeoning tech industry in neighboring Fremont and reasonable access to the Eastside via 520 makes Ballard an extremely convenient place to call home. Located in the northwestern part of the city, Ballard houses a vibrant working waterfront and looks out upon Fisherman’s Terminal, the home base for the North Pacific Fishing Fleet. The terminal offers a collection of delicious dining options and is a great place to purchase the freshest seafood. The Ballard Locks enable boat traffic to move from freshwater Lake Union to the salt water of Puget Sound-a 26-foot grade change. Pass a sunny day watching the parade of sailboats, motorboats, tugs, barges and yachts come into the locks, and the water level is adjusted to allow their safe passage to the lake or sound. Shilshole Bay Marina offers moorage for 1,500 recreational boats, a waterfront promenade, and fabulous views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains beyond. Promenade users can stroll over to Golden Gardens Park, a popular beachfront park.
Almost entirely condominium and apartment residences, the bustling downtown Seattle neighborhood called Belltown is one of the most densely populated and walkable regions in Washington. Trendy restaurants, art galleries, boutique stores, nightclubs, and high-rise residential towers dot the landscape of the Belltown area. The neighborhood is bounded on the north by Denny Way, beyond which lies Seattle Center and the Queen Anne neighborhood. Pike Place Market and the rest of Downtown are situated to the south. The Belltown Cottage Park and P-Patch are host to the last remaining wood framed single-family cottages in downtown Seattle (circa 1916).
Broadmoor Golf Club is a private neighborhood and golf club in Seattle (founded in 1924) and located in a secure, gated setting, just south of the University of Washington and west of Lake Washington. The 230 acre Washington Park Arboretum rests adjacent to Broadmoor. The Broadmoor neighborhood is an iconic Seattle community with stately homes and pristine landscaped yards. Its homeowner’s association is strictly regulated by a very active board and owners. Broadmoor is part of the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle, located south of the 520 bridge (map). Madison Park could be considered an urban retreat, as it’s close to downtown Seattle and yet maintains the feeling of a lovely, slow-paced residential area. The Broadmoor neighborhood is served by the Seattle School District and a number of private academies. The neighboring communities of Montlake, Capitol Hill and Madrona-Leschi provide a variety of upscale and savory restaurant choices. Golf history at Broadmoor includes hosting the Seattle Open, the Western Amateur, and LPGA Tour.
Old Seattle charm, thriving urban center. Capitol Hill is a unique counter-culture area and music and art are prominent cornerstones of the community—with clubs, restaurants, the Internationally renowned Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), bookstores and galleries found throughout the neighborhood. During the academic year, Capitol Hill is filled with backpacking students who go to one of the nearby major institutions of higher learning—Seattle Central Community College, the nationally acclaimed Cornish College of the Arts, and nearby Seattle University. The popular Capitol Hill station of the Seattle Light Rail system offers convenient access to downtown Seattle and connected neighborhoods beyond. Check out these recent Seattle Times articles about Capitol Hill, First Hill and Seattle’s Central District.
Fremont is a popular neighborhood in Seattle north of the Fremont Cut and situated between the neighborhoods of Ballard and Wallingford. A large “Welcome” sign greets visitors to “The Center of the Universe” and the Fremont Arts Council sponsors several highly attended annual events. One of those events is the Summer Solstice Parade which has made Fremont famous for its nude Solstice Cyclists. The neighborhood is home to the Fremont Troll, an 18-foot-tall concrete sculpture of a troll crushing a Volkswagen Beetle in its left hand that “lives” under the the Aurora Bridge. Cunning signs throughout Fremont give advice such as: “set your watch back five minutes,” “set your watch forward five minutes,” and “throw your watch away.”
Green Lake is a highly desirable neighborhood in north central Seattle surrounding a popular small and easily accessible lake. Probably most known for its well-utilized 2.8-mile path around the perimeter for runners, bikers, skaters and walkers, it also has athletic fields for team sports and is home to the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department’s Green Lake Small Craft Center (GLSCC). While the park stays busy year-round, on any Seattle summer day, you’ll find residents flocking to visit Green Lake Park for paddle boating, picnics and swimming.
Laurelhurst is a coveted residential neighborhood in northeast Seattle near the University of Washington (UW) and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Waterfront homes enjoy frontage on Union Bay, a part of Lake Washington. The Laurelhurst Beach Club (private) and Laurelhurst Community Center (public) are popular community hubs while nearby University Village offers a hip shopping, dining and social venue for residents and UW students alike. To the north, Wedgwood (map), is a more modest local neighborhood that is undergoing much transition as homeowners rebuild or remodel its predominantly 1950’s homes to transform them into modern and more functional structures suitable for today’s needs.
The Madison Park neighborhood could be considered an urban retreat, as it’s close to downtown Seattle and yet maintains the feeling of a lovely, slow-paced residential area. It is located just south of the 520 bridge and features stunning homes and condos with gorgeous views of the mountains and lake. Part of Seattle’s Central District, Madison Park has an upscale commercial district that is both a draw to the neighborhood and greatly treasured by those who live nearby. Many of it’s coveted local restaurants draw people from all over the region. Residents often express that everything they need is nearby so they don’t need to leave the peace and tranquility of the community! In addition to its stately homes and many condominiums, the prestigious neighborhood of Broadmoor, with its infamous golf course, is located here.
The Madrona neighborhood, aptly named for the Madrona trees common to the area is located along the shores of Lake Washington east of Downtown Seattle. Primarily residential, with several parks including Madrona Beach Park, many of the homes in Madrona have views of the lake or limited views of University of Washington and downtown Seattle. There is a small commercial district and one of the more well-known businesses is GlassyBaby, whose sole product is hand-blown glass candle holders and drinking glasses. Visitors to GlassyBaby can watch the glass artists create create their wares in the shop. The Denny-Blaine neighborhood is just north of Madrona.
The Magnolia neighborhood is a natural peninsula located just west of Queen Anne and north of Downtown. Three bridges provide access to Magnolia and help it retain its small community atmosphere amidst a huge urban city. Being situated near the water provides Magnolia abundant natural beauty its homes, many with incredible views, are often among the most expensive and most desirable in Seattle. Far from the bustle of downtown and the busy pace of other Seattle neighborhoods, Magnolia is a place the offers you tranquility and scenic views. The Magnolia Voice daily news blog will keep you up-to-date on all things Magnolia while the Queen Anne & Magnolia News is a more traditional source of local news and information. Magnolia has its own Chamber of Commerce and Community Center. Check out this recent Seattle Times article about the Magnolia neighborhood.
North Seattle includes the Cedar Park, Jackson Park, Lake City, Maple Leaf, Meadowbrook, North Matthews Beach, Northgate, Olympic Hills, Pinehurst, and Victory Heights neighborhoods. To the northwest along Puget Sound the city of Shoreline (map) boasts and incredible 404 acres of parkland enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Its saltwater shoreline, botanical garden, interurban trail, athletic fields, courts and playgrounds draw people to this popular north Seattle community. Homeowners in the North Seattle region have benefited from a surge of sales activity and buyer demand for their modest, affordable homes conveniently located to Seattle’s metro employment centers.
Within walking distance of Downtown is the community of Queen Anne. Queen Anne is the highest named hill in Seattle and is known for its prominent Queen Anne architectural style that dominated the hill in its earliest days as a neighborhood. Queen Anne is divided into the 4 sub-neighborhoods North Queen Anne, East Queen Anne, West Queen Anne and Lower Queen Anne. While Queen Anne hill contains many of the steepest streets in Seattle, it’s not the highest point in the city. Local architect and cartographer, Thomas Horton, created the Map of the Pedestrian Public Stairs of Queen Anne Hill showing the location of 120 staircases which run up and down Queen Anne hill. The various architecture styles of the staircases, the city views they offer, and their ‘hidden in plain sight’ quality make them a fun urban trek.
Beacon Hill in South Seattle, with its distinctive views of the Olympics and Cascades, has tremendous appeal to people who work downtown and commercial developers alike. It is currently a hotbed of activity undergoing significant revitalization as an affordable community close to the Seattle core. To the east, Seward Park, named for the park located on Bailey Peninsula near the south end of Lake Washington, offers coveted waterfront views and access. Between them, Columbia City is an urban center with ample shopping and many cultural local restaurants. Beacon Hill is served by light rail direct to downtown Seattle. The average downtown commute to about 12 minutes, car-free. Given its convenient proximity to I-5 and Interstate 90, a relatively affordable housing market, and its sweeping mountain and Puget Sound views, Beacon Hill has a lot to offer.
South Seattle offers an affordable option for residents looking for close proximity to Downtown Seattle. It’s area restaurants offer a vast array of international cuisines and local ambiance. South Seattle, including the neighborhoods of Brighton, Columbia City, Dunlap, Genesee, Hillman City, Lakewood, Mount Baker, New Holly, North Rainier, Othello, Pritchard Beach, Rainier Valley, and Rainier Vista operates its own Go South Seattle website so residents are always in the know about local happenings and community information. For those seeking to advance their education, South Seattle College offers many career tracks and the Southeast Seattle Education Coalition provides guidance and direction.
The Wallingford neighborhood is located in north central Seattle about four miles north of the downtown core. The U-District and University of Washington neighbor it to the east. The Wallingford Center contains many shops and restaurants (including the original Dick’s Drive-In, founded 1954). Wallingford is often defined by the sloping ridge that runs north from the edge of Lake Union to 45th Street, with the ridge line approximately following Wallingford Avenue. Check out this recent Seattle Times article about the Wallingford neighborhood.
Lake Washington is the signature freshwater lake situated between Seattle and the Eastside. It is the second largest natural lake in the state of Washington and is connected to Puget Sound via Lake Union and the Lake Washington ship canal. Sound and ocean going boat traffic from Lake Washington travels through the Montlake cut, Lake Union, the Fremont cut, and then the Hiram M. Chittenden “Ballard” Locks in its journey to the open water. Lake Washington is about 214 feet deep and 33.8 square miles.
Seattle Public Schools is the largest K-12 school system in Washington state, serving nearly 55,000 students in 99 schools. They have a staff of about 9,000, which includes about 3,100 teachers.
Seattle and Eastside area maps and King County overview.
Quick Seattle map links including Seattle Google Map, City of Seattle Neighborhood Map, City of Seattle: My Neighborhood Map Portal, and maps of each Seattle community.