Capitol Hill, Community info, Neighborhoods, Seattle

Featured Community: Capitol Hill

Old Seattle charm, thriving urban center. Historians say realtor and land speculator James A. Moore, who was credited with the platting of the Capitol Hill, named it after a similarly named site in Denver. But others say the name stuck after a real estate firm offered space on the hill as part of a proposal to place the area’s capital in Seattle. Whichever the case, by 1908 Capitol Hill and adjacent First Hill had become Seattle’s most fashionable districts. Wealthy bankers, shipping executives and other newly rich called it home. Today the neighborhood is a thriving urban center, and Broadway — the neighborhood’s main drag — serves as its focal point. Broadway is best known for its assortment of radical shops and tattoo parlors. The street has been featured in Hollywood’s “Singles,” where angst-ridden twentysomethings fall in — and out — of movie love, and rap artist Sir Mix-A-Lot immortalized its nightlife in his song about a “posse on Broadway.”Barrio_Seattle Weekly

Capitol Hill is a unique counter-culture area. Music and art are prominent cornerstones of the community, with clubs, theatres, restaurants, bookstores and galleries found all throughout the neighborhood.  Internationally renowned Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) schedules showing at the Harvard Exit and Egyptian Theatre on Capitol Hill. Public art displays are also found throughout the neighborhood– a couple of community favorites include the bronze dance steps set into the sidewalk and the Jimi Hendrix statue. Martial arts star Bruce Lee, and his son Brandon Lee, are buried in the Lake View Cemetery north of Volunteer Park, which is a draw to their fans. Starbucks uses this hip, vibrant neighborhood as one of their test markets for new products and café décor.

By Joe Mabel (Photo by Joe Mabel) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Joe Mabel, via Wikimedia Commons
The home styles within the Capitol Hill neighborhood are about as diverse as the residents, although there has been a trend in tearing down old homes to make way for condos. This trend has been quite unfortunate, due to how rich Capitol Hill is with architecturally significant buildings and homes.  You’ll find mansions with Victorian and Craftsman accents. There are Fredrick Anhalt designed apartments, with Tudor influences and central courtyards. The Seattle Box style home can also be found throughout the neighborhood. The two blocks on 14th Avenue E, toward the south entrance of Volunteer Park, is dubbed Millionaire’s Rowthis little area contains fairly intact groupings of early 20th Century Seattle homes, many with lovely vistas.  The well-preserved Harvard-Belmont Landmark District is located on the west slope of Capital Hill, and is also mainly residential in nature. The early 1900 homes in built Harvard-Belmont Landmark District housed Seattle’s leading financiers, industrialists, merchants, and businessmen. Back in 1980, Harvard-Belmont residents initiated and received the designation as a preservation district.

Volunteer Park_park and town hall docDuring 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 and the nationally acclaimed Cornish College of the Arts. Seattle University is on First Hill, but many of its students, faculty and staff work and play on Capitol Hill. The neighborhood (map) is bounded by Fuhrman Avenue East on the north, Interstate 5 on the west, East Pike Street on the south and 24th Avenue East. Seattle School District serves the needs of its younger residents.

The Capitol Hill section of the Seattle Light Rail system is slated to open during 2016. The underground station will be located between Broadway and East John Street, beneath Nagle Place. It’s projected that once in service, this station will see 14,000 boarding each day. It’s conveniently will be located to serve Seattle Central Community College students, Group Health Medical Center employees and patients, along with other Capitol Hill area employers.



Bellevue, Community info, Eastside, Neighborhoods, Woodridge

Featured Community: Woodridge Neighborhood (located in Bellevue, WA)

The Woodridge neighborhood located in the City of Bellevue is a primarily residential area located just south of downtown and east of Interstate 405. It includes some multifamily, office and light industrial development along Richards Road. Woodridge is characterized by quiet streets and comfortable homes – many with views of Lake Washington, downtown Bellevue and Seattle. Much of the community’s daily life revolves around Woodridge Elementary School, at the top of the hill.Best friends

Norwood Village, built on Woodridge Hill by World War II veterans in the late 1940s, adds historical and architectural significance to the community. Local architects designed the Norwood housing to take advantage of outstanding views. By varying home design and creatively placing homes on lots to maximize views, developers managed to avoid the uniform look of tract housing – and the project was praised in 1952 editions of home and garden magazines. Local parks include Bannerwood Ballfield Park, Kelsey Creek Park, Norwood Village Park, and  Woodridge Water Tower Park.

Bellevue’s schools are consistently rated among the best in the country. Student enrollment is approximately 19,000 students, divided among 28 schools. The school district employs approximately 2,000 people, which includes 1,100 teachers. Out of those teachers, 380 are National Board Certified – more than another other district in Washington State– and over 75% hold a Master’s Degree. The school district’s curriculum is connected across all grades, is anchored to Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses at high school level, and the college prep track is the default curriculum.

Bellevue is the Eastside’s high-tech and retail hub; its business roster includes Microsoft, PACCAR, Expdedia and Puget Sound Energy.  More than 140,000 jobs are located in Bellevue, which means that more people work within the city than reside in it. In 2008, Fortune Small Business Magazine rated Bellevue as the #1 city to live and start a business in. Its skyline is graced with gleaming high-rises. Bellevue’s downtown core provides office space for thousands of professionals as well as condominiums and apartments for people who want to live in an urban setting.

While downtown is bustling with retail, restaurants and business, the city of Bellevue also retains a small-town ambiance. Thriving neighborhoods with healthy green belts, a vast network of green spaces, along with many recreational facilities available within the city, highlights the beautiful attributes of the Pacific Northwest. In fact, every year since 1992, The National Arbor Day Foundation has named Bellevue a “Tree City.” Bellevue covers 31+ square miles between Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. The city is also short drive from the Cascade Mountains.

Community info, Eastside, Issaquah, Neighborhoods

Featured Community: Issaquah

Issaquah Homebook_Page_1
Click to see Issaquah neighborhood profile

Issaquah, named in 2011 as one of the “Best Towns” in the U.S. by Outside Magazine, is a terrific place to live and conduct business. It is a community of 30,000+ residents, and is conveniently located off the I-90 corridor, just 16 miles east of Seattle. Issaquah is a city dedicated to local traditions, hometown values, and award-winning neighborhoods. With one of Washington State’s top school districts, a series of thriving business districts and a growing arts, nightlife and recreation scene…Issaquah has it all!

Also known as the “Trailhead City,” Issaquah is in a prime location to explore the best of the great northwest because the city is centered within the “Issaquah Alps” (Cougar, Squak and Tiger Mountains). The lure of the clean mountain air and beautiful scenery attracts countless outdoor enthusiasts, hikers and even paragliders to Issaquah. Check out the city’s map portal for an overview of its parks and facilities.

The city is home to a Saturday farmers market, live theatre performances and a seasonal ArtWalk. In addition, the salmon hatchery and Cougar Mountain Zoological Park attract regional visitors. Every October, more than 150,000 people also travel to Issaquah for the annual Salmon Days festival.lake-sammamish-istock_000043626338_double

Issaquah Highlands is an award winning community where all new homes meet Built Green™ standards and are certified ENERGY STAR® or equivalent. The tree-lined streets and trails connect community parks with 1,400 acres of permanently preserved open space. Talus features four hundred contiguous acres of protected open space that form one of the final links in the Mountains to Sound Greenway.  Talus also contains a planned business center with 500,000 square feet of commercial office space, and 50,000 square feet of retail and common facilities. Timber Ridge at Talus, a state-of- the-art life care services community has spectacular views and first class service.

Because of its proximity to Bellevue and Seattle, Issaquah is a prime business location.  The city currently contains a mix of high tech firms, retail headquarters and small businesses. Microsoft Corporation and Siemens Medical Systems have offices located in Issaquah. Costco’s international headquarters is within the city, located at Pickering Place—a wonderful center that blends the charm of a historic dairy farm with professional space, retail, restaurants and entertainment. In addition, state-of-the-art medical treatment facilities are located in the city, including Swedish Medical Center Issaquah.

Community info, Madison Park, Neighborhoods, Seattle

Featured Community: Madison Park

Madison Park-Arboretum-iStock_000060858992_MediumThe Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle, located south of the 520 bridge (map), is a neighborhood of stunning homes and condos, many with gorgeous views of the lake and Mount Rainer. Madison Park could be considered an urban center retreat, as it’s close to downtown Seattle and yet maintains the feeling of a lovely, slow-paced residential area. Madison Park is part of the Seattle School District.

The upscale commercial district is both a draw to the neighborhood and greatly treasured by those who live nearby. Residents often express that everything they need is conveniently located within the Madison Park neighborhood, so they don’t need to leave the peace and tranquility of the community! Many of it’s coveted local restaurants draw people from all over the region.

By Another Believer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( via Wikimedia Commons
By Another Believer via Wikimedia Commons
The park, from which the neighborhood derives its name, is a well-maintained green space that leads to a sandy beach on the shores of Lake Washington. The 230 acre Washington Park Arboretum is also a neighborhood draw. In fact, the Arboretum is considered one of the finest public gardens nation-wide; it features a botanical garden with plants native to the PNW and a formal Japanese garden.

Seattle’s Central District is an extremely diverse area broken into distinct micro-neighborhoods. The borders of the Central District (often called the CD by locals) include the I-5 corridor on the west side, the Beacon Hill neighborhood to the south, Lake Washington to the east and the north side is defined by Portage Bay and the Arboretum. There are a total of 24 micro-neighborhoods within Central Seattle, spread over a pentagon shaped area. Below are overviews of five of the CD’s micro-neighborhoods, from different sections of the 5 edges of Central Seattle.



Community info, Eastside, Mercer Island, Neighborhoods

Mercer Island Private Clubs and Recreation Facilities

In addition to the many public parks and recreation amenities, Mercer Island is home to several well-known private clubs and recreation facilities. Here is a quick run down on four popular venues.

Mercer Island Beach Club | 8326 Avalon Drive, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | 206-232-3125
The Mercer Island Beach Club is located along the water at the SE tip of the Island. Known for its beautiful waterfront facilities with spectacular Mt Rainier and lake views, MIBC members enjoy swimming, aquatic sports, tennis, fitness, and social activities.
AQUATICS: 8-lane competition pool; diving board; seasonally covered activity pool; and lazy river.
TENNIS: Six hard-surface tennis courts and one regulation-size pickleball court; full-time tennis pro; lessons, tourneys, and social matches; seating area to watch and dine.
FITNESS: 2,200sf fitness facility; state-of-the-art cardio and free weight equipment; locker rooms for men, women, boys, and girls, plus lounge; group fitness classes and personal trainers.
WATERFRONT: Sandy beach for kids of all ages; lifeguarded swim dock with water slide; six moorage docks with 74 boat slips; kayak and day sailor racks.
GROUNDS: 7.5-acre property with expansive lawns; two levels of view decks with picnic tables; six communal grills with sink and prep area, plus nearby fire pit; children’s outdoor play structure.
CLUBHOUSE: party room with expansive outdoor deck; large prep kitchen and bar window; Wave Café and seating area, serving light meals and snacks.

Mercer Island Country Club | 8700 SE 71st Street, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | 206-232-5600
The Mercer Island Country Club is located at the south end of the Island. Probably most known for its tennis facilities and tournaments, MICC also boasts swim, fitness and social activities.
TENNIS: 7 indoor courts and 8 outdoor courts; 7 pros; extensive tennis programs; USTA and women’s cup teams; MICC annual tournament; men’s night competitive program; women’s flights and monthly mixed-doubles nights. Classes for juniors with members competing in USTA and the Junior Eastside Tennis League.
AQUATICS: 8-lane, 25-yard pool with a spring diving board is covered about half the year to allow year-round use; swimming, diving and water polo teams; swim lessons, stroke clinics, lifeguarding classes and in-the-water social events.
FITNESS: Weight room and fitness studio feature state-of-the-art machines including LeMond spin bikes and TRX equipment. Six personal trainers and 13 instructors offer a wide range of classes for preschoolers through seniors.
SOCIAL: MICC’s offerings also include lounge areas, a child-care center, pro shop, outdoor BBQ and play equipment.

Stroum Jewish Community Center | 3801 East Mercer Way, Mercer Island WA 98040 | 206-232-7115
The Stroum Jewish Community Center on the east side of Mercer Island offers a variety of programs and activities for everyone from newborns to seniors. The J on Mercer Island is home to an Early Childhood School, a newly remodeled state-of-the-art auditorium, an upgraded Fitness Center, an indoor pool, and more. Membership to the SJCC is open to everyone regardless of race, religion, or national origin. We welcome everyone – you don’t have to be Jewish to join.
FITNESS: State-of-the-art HOIST strength equipment and Octane cardio machines in a 2,000 square-foot fitness center; highly qualified personal trainers; sports leagues; indoor running track; racquetball courts; drop in gym; more than 40 fitness classes for SJCC members.
AQUATICS: 25-yard indoor swimming pool with a 2 1/2-foot-deep preschool instructional area, adult lap lanes, and a certified lifeguard on duty at all times.
CULTURAL ARTS:  Newly renovated auditorium makes the J an even better artistic home for our community. In addition to the popular Seattle Jewish Film Festival, they offer a wider variety of arts programs, including concerts, theater performances, and lectures, so the greater Seattle community can come together to explore, enjoy, and engage in art.

Mercerwood Shore Club | 4150 E Mercer Way, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | 206-232-1622
Mercerwood Shore Club is a relaxed, easy to access club located on the eastern shores of the Island in a spectacular waterfront setting. Since 1953, the club has been bringing families together to enjoy an endless variety of programs and activities for all ages.
AQUATICS: 25-meter pool with diving board for year-round use (enclosed in a heated bubble during the winter months); full variety of swimming programs for all ages; accomplished summer sports programs and coaching; Mercerwood Swim Team and Water Polo teams; competitive swimming, diving and water polo teams for kids ages 5 and up.
WATERFRONT: MSC enjoys over 500 feet of Lake Washington waterfront with a large grass picnic area, built in BBQs, fire pits, sandy beach, playground, swimming area, and boat launch with 36 moorage slips, offering moorage from April through October. There is also a private boat ramp adjacent to the dock and storage is available for paddle boards, kayaks, day sailers, and other personal watercraft.
TENNIS: Play tennis with a beautiful view of Lake Washington on the club’s four well-maintained outdoor tennis courts; courtside viewing and social area.
CLUBHOUSE: A new 6000 sq. ft. year-round club house features lounge areas, multi-purpose room, weight room, cardio studio, hot tub and wading pool for toddlers.

Community info, Eastside, Neighborhoods

Navigating your way through the neighborhoods of the Eastside



Navigating your way through the cities that make up the Eastside? Our guide to Eastside neighborhoods puts great resources at your fingertips. Click on each city to check out local amenities, restaurants, and schools for each neighborhood. Here’s a Google map overview to find your way around.

Medina and Clyde Hill
Hunts Point and Yarrow Point
Mercer Island

Community info, Magnolia, Neighborhoods, Seattle

Featured Community: Magnolia

Magnolia_Bridge-By M.O. Stevens via Wikimedia Commons
By M.O. Stevens, Wikimedia Commons

The location of the Magnolia neighborhood (map) in Seattle feels like a secluded island. Three bridges give you access to Magnolia, just west of Queen Anne, north of Downtown, and south of the Chittenden Locks in Ballard. This unique part of Seattle is on a natural peninsula, and the lack of major city thoroughfares through the neighborhood helps Magnolia retain in friendly quaint, atmosphere. Magnolia is part of the Seattle School District.

Along West McGraw Street is the main shopping area and the Magnolia trees that give this area its name. The naming was actually a mistake. Captain Vancouver recorded the Madrona trees that dot the bluffs near the water as being Magnolia trees when he was journeying on the Puget Sound. Being situated near the water means that there is abundant natural beauty in this area. Magnolia homes are famous for being among the most expensive, and many have incredible views. Owners of Magnolia homes love the park at the south end of the neighborhoods. Anyone can come here, though, and use the picnic tables and tennis courts.

120605-A-DT641-002The largest park in the city can be found in this area of Seattle. Owners of Magnolia homes often go to the 534-acre Discovery Park. Here, you
can wander the almost 12 miles of walking trails through waterfront hills, and rugged beaches with views of the Olympic Mountains. Most of the shoreline of Discovery Park faces the southwest, so this is a great place to watch the sun set over Puget Sound. While it has only been here since 1973, Discovery Park is now an important part of the area. Fort Lawton is still within the boundaries of the park, and this is where some military families are housed.

Another landmark of this neighborhood is the Palisade restaurant. As you walk up the steps of this Magnolia restaurant, you will realize that you’re in for a real treat. There is an all you can eat pancake and tropical fruit buffet, but it is great for lunch and dinner as well. The Sunday brunch here is the most popular Magnolia restaurant in the area. In addition the Palisade, there are many tasty local restaurants in the Magnolia area to chose from.

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. Lighthouse at sunset, Seattle, WashingtonWhile only three bridges connect it, this area of Seattle is an inextricable part of Seattle life. From a fine Magnolia restaurant to the hours of fun at Discovery Park, Magnolia will show you a taste of the good life in the Pacific Northwest.

The Magnolia Voice daily news blog will keep up-to-date on all things Magnolia. Magnolia has its own Chamber of Commerce located at 3214 West McGraw Street Suite #301B Seattle, Washington 98199. Queen Anne & Magnolia News is another terrific resource for local news and information. The Magnolia Community Center is located at 2550 34th Ave W, 98199. Currently they are open 1 pm to 9 pm Monday, Tuesday and Friday; 10 am to 9 pm Wednesday and Thursday; 10 am to 5 pm Saturday, closed Sunday. Magnolia Playfield stretches for several city blocks and includes or is adjacent to Magnolia Community Center, Blaine Elementary School and Mounger Pool. The playfields are well used for football, softball and soccer.

Community info, Neighborhoods, Woodinville

Featured Community: Woodinville

The city of Woodinville is located in northeastern King County and southeast Snohomish County. It is most known for its Wine Country region that has now expanded to include local distilleries and breweries. From the notable Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery to small boutique wineries scattered around the valley and “Warehouse” District located in north Woodinville, Woodinville offers visitors to taste celebrated, awarded wines, some of which are only available directly at the wineries. Wine tours, chef-inspired paired wine dinners, fundraisers, and local outdoor concerts are among the many Wine Country events hosted annually.It’s up there

Woodinville is a charming mix of residential areas located in 7 distinct geographical neighborhoods, light industrial areas, Tourist District, and retail-centric Town Center.  Woodinville is a convenient home-base, with its easy access to highways and transportation, for anyone seeking to explore the Puget Sound region. Located East of Seattle and North of Kirkland, the Woodinville community enjoys the advantages and convenience of being near several major metropolitan centers while maintaining the livability of all that is great about small town life. Both the Northshore School District and Lake Washington School District serve the residents of Woodinville in award winning style.

Residents of Woodinville come by their love of everything green naturally, and are passionate about the city’s environment and its beautiful woodland landscape. Surrounded by the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and the rugged beauty of the Olympics and Mount Rainier, Woodinville is committed to preserving its natural beauty. The climate is ideal for those who enjoy spending time in the great outdoors. Woodinville enjoys vast amounts of open space, city parks, multi-purpose fields, playgrounds, walking, biking, hiking and running trails, a skateboard park, tennis and basketball courts open all year long. The surrounding area offers lakes, rolling hills and mountains for the outdoor enthusiast. No matter what your passion is, you won’t have to go far to enjoy hot air ballooning, equestrian trails, backpacking, canoeing, fishing, rock climbing and wildlife watching adventures.

Molbaks Nursery, the largest and most comprehensive nursery in the Greater Puget Sound Region, draws garden enthusiasts throughout the state of Washington. Two of the most highly rated restaurants in the Northwest – The Herbfarm and The Barking Frog—are conveniently located in Woodinville. Over 100 wineries are located in, or near, Woodinville, including Chateau St. Michelle.  The popular summer concert series at St. Michelle’s amphitheater brings internationally renowned music acts to Woodinville.

An active calendar of small-town festivals, celebrations, and events occur throughout the year in Woodinville. Residents enjoy the Summer Concert Series at DeYoung Park and Cottage Lake Park. The Harvest Happening and The Great Pumpkin Hunt is a seasonal festival in late October. The Woodinville Lights Festival is a month-long celebration in December.  In the spring, the family-friendly annual Basset Bash parade and All Fools’ Day celebration is enjoyed by young and old. The population of Woodinville, per the 2010 Census, is approximately 11,000 residents.

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Featured Community: Ballard

Ballard has become one of the hippest and most coveted neighborhoods in Seattle…especially for first-time homeowners. The close proximity to the burgeoning tech industry in neighboring Fremont makes Ballard an extremely convenient place to call home and construction is booming to accommodate the growth this Seattle neighborhood is experiencing.

Ballard is located in the northwestern part of Seattle, Washington. To the north it is bounded by Crown Hill, (N.W. 85th Street); to the east by Greenwood, Phinney Ridge and Fremont (along 8th Avenue N.W.); to the south by the Lake Washington Ship Canal; and to the west by Puget Sound’s Shilshole Bay. The neighborhood’s landmarks include the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (known locally as the “Ballard Locks”), the Nordic Heritage Museum, the Shilshole Bay Marina, and Golden Gardens Park. The neighborhood’s main thoroughfares running north-south are Seaview, 32nd, 24th, Leary, 15th, and 8th Avenues N.W.; East-west traffic is carried by N.W. Leary Way and N.W. 85th, 80th, 65th, and Market Streets (east- and westbound). The Ballard Bridge carries 15th Avenue over Salmon Bay to the Interbay neighborhood, and the Salmon Bay Bridge carries the BNSF Railway tracks across the bay, west of the Ballard Locks.

Ballard enjoys a healthy microbrew industry, and contains several industrial brew pubs. The district is home to local tasting rooms, trendy restaurants and new multi-use buildings that include both residential and retail. In Ballard, the sidewalks are bustling with people walking their pets, strolling down the street window shopping and groups of people meeting up for a meal. Ballard Avenue, a nationally registered historic district, hales back to the area’s blue collar roots. Visitors are treated to plaques lining the avenue that tell this district’s story. Ballard Avenue now contains shops, restaurants, boutiques and features an active nightlife. The year-round Ballard Farmers Market also calls this avenue home. Ballard’s Market Street, on the other hand, is the neighborhood’s modern business district. It also contains shops and restaurants (many with sidewalk cafes), the Majestic Bay movie theater and urban green spaces. The monthly Second Saturday ArtWalks is an event showcasing the wares of local artists being sold at galleries, studios and shops that line Market Street.

Ballard houses a vibrant working waterfront. Fisherman’s Terminal is home base for the North Pacific Fishing Fleet. The terminal also offers a collection of delicious dining options and is a great place to purchase the freshest seafood. The Ballard locks, officially named the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, were built in 1916. The Ballard locks enable boat traffic to move from freshwater Lake Union to the salt water of Puget Sound— this is a 26-foot grade change. A popular tourist destination, the Ballard locks contain a salmon fish ladder that is fun to visit when the fish are moving from the Puget Sound back to freshwater. Shilshole Bay Marina offers moorage space for 1,500 recreational boats, plus a boat ramp and sailing schools. The marina includes a waterfront promenade, which features fabulous views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains beyond. Promenade users can stroll over to Golden Gardens, a popular beachfront park.

The neighborhood’s Nordic Heritage Museum is internationally acclaimed, and features both historic and fine art exhibits. In addition, musical performances, children’s activities and other cultural events are held at the museum. Ballard’s Sons of Norway Leif Erikson Lodge is still going strong after 100+ years old— Sons and Daughters of Norway lodges work to promote the history, culture, and language of Norway. Ballard’s Scandinavian culture is also celebrated annually on May 17th, when the neighborhood celebrates Syttende Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day). Syttende Mai includes a parade, possibly the largest one outside Norway, and is highly anticipated every year.

Ballard-Locks-iStock_000020098186_FullThe Hiram M. Chittenden Locks located in Ballard provide a link for boats between the saltwater of the Puget Sound and the fresh water of the Ship Canal connecting to Lake Union and Lake Washington. The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, often called the Ballard Locks, link salty Puget Sound with the fresh waters of Salmon Bay, Lake Union, Portage Bay and Lake Washington. Both tourists and locals enjoy watching the parade of sailboats, motorboats, tugs, barges and yachts passing through. Pass a sunny day watching boats of all shapes and sizes come into the locks, and the water level is adjusted to allow their safe passage to the lake or sound.

Stop by the fish ladder, built to allow salmon to pass between fresh and salt water. Glass panels make it possible to view the fish as they navigate their way through the ladder, adjusting to different levels of salt each step of the way. Occasionally, a clever sea lion will hang out, waiting for his next meal. For the historically-minded among you, the locks’ official name is, “Hiram M. Chittenden Locks,” and was built in 1911 so that coal and timber could be easily transported by boat.

Seattle‘s “Hidden Treasure” – The beauty of Greenwood is in its contrasts. It’s a kind of old-fangled neighborhood with a trendy edge, a place where coffee shops mix with espresso bars, where young families live among senior citizens. In Greenwood, it is still possible to buy a little bungalow on a quiet street without breaking the bank, or open a small business with little more than a dream and watch it thrive in the shadow of chains and superstores. This is a community that comes together for block parties and tree plantings, for holiday caroling and Seafair parades, a neighborhood that is redefining itself as a destination for arts and antique hounds who patronize the growing number of shops, galleries and cafes along the main drags.

The local Chamber of Commerce is not far off in dubbing Greenwood “Seattle’s hidden treasure.” It sits just north of Phinney Ridge and the Woodland Park Zoo, and though it has its own flavor and identity, Greenwood’s commercial district overlaps Phinney’s and the two communities do much of their neighborhood planning together. The intersection of North 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue is the heart of the neighborhood, the place where banners are strung to highlight special events, such as the Greenwood/Phinney Art Walk in May, or the Greenwood Classic Car & Rod Show in June. Many of the brick storefronts look as they did in the 1920s.  They are occupied by an eclectic mix of merchants, selling everything from antiques and collectibles to comic books and clothes. The upper floors frequently are leased out as apartments.

Most everything is within walking distance, and there is easy access to Metro.  There is a city library near the center of town, a post office, even a mini city hall.  “Hey, how many neighborhoods have their own city hall?” asks community organizer Patty Fong. “It makes you feel like you’re somebody.” Greenwood’s proximity to downtown Seattle (about 15 minutes by car), to Green Lake (a short bicycle ride), to supermarkets (it has two) and a variety of restaurants (Japanese, Italian, Thai, Mexican, Indian, Greek and Chinese) contributes to its growing popularity.

Greenwood Elementary School, long a fixture in the community, lies a few blocks west of the commercial district, at the corner of Northwest 80th and Third Avenue Northwest (Part of the Seattle School District). It is a stately brick building, graced by broad oak trees and ivy that dates to 1905 and still attracts grateful students from bygone days. The school, which has about 300 students, continues to enjoy widespread support from the community, with local seniors coming daily to read to kindergarten students and parents teaming up with teachers to help in the classroom.

An interesting mix of architecture can be found here — from brick ramblers and old Tudors to 1950s-style split-levels and small frame bungalows. They have pretty gardens and window boxes brimming with colors of the season: purple and pink petunias, cherry red geraniums, royal blue lobelia and bright yellow pansies. Portions of this article from SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER.

Community info, Schools

Back to school? Check out the latest school reports here!

We’ve compiled school district info and ratings for schools throughout the greater Seattle-Eastside region in one place to make your research easier. Click here for links to each school district. You can also use this site to see which schools serve which neighborhoods…and which neighborhoods are part of which school districts. We’ve made all of the connections for you to make analysis a breeze.