Newcomer’s Guide to the Community
Seattle Area Overview
Set between two visible mountain ranges and on the edge of Puget Sound, Seattle area’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities (we like our hiking, biking, fishing and climbing) alone would make it one of America’s coolest cities. Add to that the energy of high-tech, ground-breaking research and internationally acclaimed arts programs, and it is understandable that Seattle has become home to a diverse population of ethnicities, belief-systems, cultures and talent.
We Have Lots of Corporate Offices – Starbucks was born in Pike Place Market, our original farmer’s market that is home to the famous “flying fish.” Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Bill Boeing and Jeff Bezos also chose Seattle. World Vision, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and many other niche high-tech and research companies followed.
We Like Sports – Seahawks (NFL) (they won a Super Bowl), Sounders (MLS championship), Mariners (MLB – still hoping for a title) and the Seattle Storm (3 WNBA titles).
We Like the Arts – We have world class opera, symphony and ballet. Pacific Science Center hosted the Chinese Terra Cotta Warriors and MoPop features rock and roll legends like Jimi Hendix and Heart and profiles pop culture. Seattle Art Museum featured Georgia O’Keefe, Andrew Wyeth and Van Gogh. Want to see “Hamilton”? It’s coming. Check these venues: Seattle Repertory Theatre, McCaw Hall, the 5th Avenue Theater, and Paramount Theater.
Higher education is well-represented:
- University of Washington is a large, public flagship research university established in 1861. The UW is among the most reputable and competitive universities within the United States.
- Seattle University is a private, Jesuit university with over 7,500 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs. The University has been highly ranked by S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Businessweek.
- Seattle Pacific University is a private, Christian institution with 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Founded in 1891, SPU was the only private university in the Pacific Northwest to make the 2018 U.S. News and World Report’s Best National Universities rankings.
Seattle also has four college campuses that provide vocational training, associate degrees and bachelor degrees.
West Side Presbyterian Church is located in West Seattle, a spit of land surrounded on three sides by Puget Sound. Though close to downtown Seattle (10-15 minutes without traffic) and the airport (20 minutes from the church), West Seattle is very much its own separate community with a “home town” feel. It is supported by numerous restaurants, shops, a renovated multi-screen movie theater, four public library branches and its own live theater, ArtsWest. These are spread amongst our three business districts (the Admiral neighborhood, the Junction, and Morgan Junction) and the wonderful Alki Beach area.
We are home to a year round Sunday Farmer’s Market, a summer festival and the official start to Seafair with the landing of the Seafair Pirates, a very different landing than when Seattle’s original settlers stepped foot on West Seattle shores in 1851.
Travel into, out of, and around the community is via automobile, water taxi, a number of bus routes, and the Washington State Ferries. Bike lanes have been painted on almost all of our major streets as part of our city’s commitment to support bike commuters and reduce pollutants.
You never have to leave West Seattle to get an education. Kindergarten through a bachelor’s degree can all be handled here. Along with private schooling options, West Seattle is served by the Seattle School District with 13 elementary, 3 middle and 2 high schools in our neighborhood. We are also home to South Seattle College.
West Seattle has a number of great parks with access to Puget Sound: Lincoln Park, Lowman Beach, Don Armeni Boat Launch, and Jack Block Park. Schmitz Park offers walking trails in the midst of an old growth forest. At Alki Beach, you can get boat, kayak, and paddle board rentals. Bicycles are available everywhere in the city.
The West Seattle Golf Course features 18 holes of challenging golf. The course annually hosts the final round of the Seattle City Amateur golf championship as well as the West Seattle Amateur Tournament.
Snow skiing at The Summit at Snoqualmie Pass is 90 minutes away. Ice caves to explore and great hikes to take are within easy travel time.
Health & Fitness
2 YMCA locations, 24 Hour Fitness, West Seattle Health Club, Anytime Fitness and Coleman Pool at Lincoln Park (Seattle’s only outdoor, saltwater pool) provide ample opportunity to work on fitness.
West Seattle is largely a single-family dwelling community (we take pride that 3rd and 4th generation families live here!) and yet our community is beginning to change as the opportunity to work for large, progressive companies has attracted a significant influx of diverse, professional and affluent people. West Seattle’s proximity to downtown has become a desirable place for them to live, impacting housing costs:
- Chart of Median Prices in West Seattle and Burien in the last year (3+ bedrooms and 2,000+ sf)
- Statistics Oct 2017/YTD for West Side Presbyterians’s zip code (98116)
Links to Properties:
- Listed properties in West Seattle, $300K-$800K, 3+ beds, 2+ baths, lot size 5000+ sf
- Listed properties in Burien/Normandy Park, $300K-$800K, 3+ beds, 2+ baths, lot size 5000+ sf
Recent real estate related Seattle Times articles