8.4 out of 10

Alki

Ranked 6th best neighborhood in Seattle
47.5612134999892 -122.398262501221
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Eating Out
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Shopping Options
  • Safe & Sound
Not great for
  • Parking
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
Jan 23, 2016

"Waterfront running"

Ok I’m gonna let you in on one of my running secrets. So start early on a weekend morning and take the water taxi across to Alki. (it only runs on weekends in the summer). Then run south along the path. Make sure to stay LEFT at the path when it breaks off to go to Jack Block and Joe Block Park. Run until you get to the end of Joe Block park and turn back around. Now keep running along the path, around the corner, and along the north shore. Keep going all the way until you reach the statue of liberty. Boom. You just did 4 miles. With a water view almost the whole way. Now you can grab a coffee or breakfast at Alki Cafe. OR, turn around and run back to the water taxi to add another couple of miles.

This is more fun with a friend so you can have breakfast together, but it’s good on your own too. The thing is you have to start early though, otherwise the paths are crawling with tourists and it’s super frustrating.
Pros
  • Beach-front recreation
Cons
  • Too many tourists
  • Heavy traffic during Summer months
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
Jan 22, 2016

"Good for a summer day"

Alki’s a pretty decent place for a hot Saturday. Yes, it does actually get hot-ish in Seattle. Getting there can be a pain if you don’t have a car though. What I do is take the water taxi then walk the path until you get to the good beach and all the restaurants. But watch out for tourists on those annoying giant bicycles. Even though I like going here once in a while for a break, I wouldn’t live here, because it’s too isolated.

To eat out, I like going to Sunfish for fresh seafood. It’s a nice view too. Phoenicia is probably my second choice here, when I feel like pizza. It has a good wine selection. I’ve been to Cactus too but the only thing I’d get there is the margaritas. How do they call that Mexican food?
Pros
  • Beach-front recreation
  • Unique dining choices
Cons
  • Limited public transit
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
Dec 15, 2015

"Sandy beaches, peace and quiet, and oodles of tourists"

Alki is a destination for Seattleites who want to live close to the water and get out of the bustle of downtown. But, you have to be able to handle hordes of tourists and the lack of direct public transportation.

This neighborhood wraps around the coastline of West Seattle, which is a wide peninsula jutting out across a bit of Puget Sound to the south/west of downtown Seattle. It’s separated from downtown by the West Seattle Bridge that crosses over the delta of the Duwamish river, and the human-made Harbor Island, where the Seattle Port is based.

*The good*

Sandy beaches!
the long, sandy Alki beach is pretty special for being so close to downtown seattle. The City did well when they protected the 2.5 miles between the two points of land in West Seattle for public access. This is the sandy part. Then, continuing around the more easterly point, there’s another park, Seacrest Park, which faces Seattle across the water. Though not as sandy, this smaller beach is a launch point for paddleboarders, sea kayakers, and scuba divers, which you’ll see plenty of. Watch for the small red and white flag attached to a floating buoy, which indicates that divers are currently under the water in that area, and could come up at any moment.

The walking path
There is a wide, paved walking and biking path that runs through the aforementioned parks, all the way to downtown Seattle. It’s fun to bike it in the summer, and some people use it to commute to downtown. On summer weekends, watch out for giggling tourist families on 4-person bike buggies that are rented out at Seacrest Park.

The restaurants
Since there are so many tourists, there are lots of places dishing up food for them. And I suppose they’ll allow the odd local in as well. Walking along Alki Ave, you’ll find dozens of options, like Alki Spud Fish & Chips, which I’d recommend. Salty’s, which faces Seattle next to Seacrest Park, is a classic place for a fancy dinner. During late spring you’ll see lots of high schoolers having dinner here in their formal attire before prom. For something further from the tourists, head to California Ave, which is in the middle of the West Seattle peninsula, running north/south.

Decent rent
Though I wouldn’t say rent is ‘good’ near Alki Beach, the prices are similar to other Seattle neighborhoods, even if you get a place pretty close to the water, which is cool. Why is it not more expensive for housing close to the water? Read on.

*The not-so-good*

Public transit to Seattle
Though there is the water taxi ($4.75 for adults), which leaves from the Seacrest Ferry dock, buses to downtown Seattle can be a pain, unless you’re right on one of the routes. So living in West Seattle near Alki can mean you may feel a little isolated from downtown. For some, that’s exactly what they want. Families love it. But for others, like young single professionals, it’s tough to be away from where most others live, and is a bit of a slog to get to work.

Tourists
We already mentioned the tourists, but it's worth repeating: there are a lot of them. It’s good for business for the shops and restaurants, but for those who live there, you’ll want to try to get a weekday off to enjoy the sand and sun, because weekends are packed. Plus, there are the volleyball competitions that occasionally take over the entire beach.

Parking
All the tourists (and visiting locals) means that street parking gets very crowded on the weekends, so if you’re within 5 blocks of the beach, try to find housing that includes parking.
Pros
  • Walking and Biking path
  • Beach-front recreation
  • Beautiful mountain and water panorama
Cons
  • Limited public transit
  • Difficult parking during Summer months
  • Heavy traffic during Summer months
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
2yrs+

"A Beach Front Community With Plenty Of Options"

One of the most pleasant surprises in Seattle is the neighborhood of Alki. It's located west of North Admiral (http://bitly.com/9DJqH9) and Genesee (http://bitly.com/bEkdRh), except for a sliver that runs along the coast around the northern point of West Seattle. Alki is an exceptional beach community, complete with California-like activity along the waterfront. Many businesses, featuring open air lounging, are located along the strip from Alki Point (http://bitly.com/atWFmn), running northeast along Alki Avenue.

History

On November 13, 1851 the Denny Party (http://bitly.com/a8jklG) landed and built a small settlement. However, just months later, the location was abandoned for a more "ideal" spot on Elliott Bay. Only reachable by boat for years, development escalated in the latter half of the twentieth century towards the rise of the "resort-like" beach town that it is today.

Demographics and Income

Even though 50% of the population in Alki is composed of married couples, only 17.7% of homes have children residing in them. This is probably due to two factors: Couples with children who are grown and moved out of the house, and couples who have not yet had children or are not planning on having them. Almost exclusively White, Alki only has small percentages of Hispanic, Asian and other races. The average age is 41, with a composition of 15.8% male / 13.7% female. The median household income is significantly higher than Seattle's average, especially among families living around Cormorant Cove and to the south. The next highest income area is Alki Point, followed by the houses to the east.

Culture

Beach, beach, beach - the buzzword of this community. With the surrounding natural beauty, historic landmarks, and wide-selection of eating establishments, it's no wonder that tourists (local and international) find solace here. For obvious reasons, much of Alki culture is centered on the coast. Even when the winter climate settles in, activity is no less dynamic in Alki. Locals continue to flock to the cafes and restaurants that faithfully line the beach.

Real Estate

Median home prices have plummeted here, as they have around much of Seattle. The average value has decreased by over $150,000 since 2007. Over 50% of residents own their home, with the average house size being 1,570 square feet. Alki, realistically, would be an exception for West Seattle when it comes to housing prices, due to the high demand to settle here. The residential areas are primarily south and west of Schmitz Park. Many apartments and bungalows can be found along Alki Avenue, attracting younger demographics for the beach front living experience.

Restaurants, Pubs and Coffee Houses

Most of the businesses along Alki, which are primarily eating and drinking venues, can be found between Alki Point and 56th Avenue. Hot days bring a swell of tourists, especially on weekends, to the area to bask on the beach and enjoy open air dining. Some places to check out include Pegasus Pizza (http://pegasusonalki.com) - Pizza and sandwich restaurant based on the wild Greek Mythology horse, Phoenecia (http://phoeniciaseattle.com) - Award winning restaurant featuring small plates and artisanal pizza, Sunfish (http://bitly.com/aLQU0J) - Fish and chips, and Duke's Chowder House (http://bitly.com/cjStmH), Alki Bakery & Cafe (http://alkibakery.com), Pioneer Coffee (http://pioneercoffeeco.com), and The Celtic Swell (http://celticswell.com) - Irish pub and restaurant.

Schools and Recreation Facilities

Recreational areas in the Alki neighborhood are Me-Kwa-Mooks Park (http://bitly.com/c9e0Aa), Bar-S Playground (http://bitly.com/duFS7c), Commorant Cove (http://bitly.com/cYFZup), Alki Playground (http://bitly.com/9tpLAk) and Whale Tail Park (http://bitly.com/dyYZpw), and the viewpoint (of downtown Seattle) off of Harbor Avenue. A replica of the Statue of Liberty can be found at Alki Point. The lighthouse, which is still active today, adds to the aura of the coastal community.
Also, a monument, commemorating the discover of Seattle in 1851, proudly stands here.

An amazing experience to behold is to drive east, preferably riding a bike, from Alki Point. Take in the activity buzzing around the shops and waterfront, all the while being captured in this natural goldmine of beauty. Upon rounding Alki Avenue at the northernmost point, brace for the postcard view of downtown Seattle. A parking area at the most picturesque viewing point allows tourists to gaze to their heart's content.

Spiritual Centers and Churches

The allure of the beach, restaurants, coffee houses, and other venues that make this neighborhood a sought-after location, has not made Alki forget it's spiritual side. Three spiritual centers located here are: Alki United Church of Christ (http://alkiucc.org), Good News Ministries of Seattle (http://gnmos.com) and Kiwanis Club-West Seattle (http://kiwaniswestseattle.org).

Access

With all its glory, Alki can seem like the Utopia of Seattle. This is true on some levels, but realizing that any beautiful settlement has its share of challenges. One challenge in Alki, especially on the west side, is the commute to downtown. There is much ground to cover before reaching the West Seattle Bridge (http://bitly.com/bYearn). On weekends and during high tourist season, things can back up, especially on Alki Avenue. The bridge, for obvious reasons, remains the commuter's biggest nightmare at high traffic times. Heading south to avoid the bridge brings no less headache, having to navigate long arterial streets to access major highways like 99 and 509.

Summary

Despite the locational challenge of Alki for commuters, it is still a superb place to live and play. Many Seattleites make a day of their Alki visit, enjoying a quality stay-cation. Alki Beach can have colder temperatures with a brisk northerly wind. However, don't let this put a damper on your travel plans to enjoy a tropical-like destination in the Emerald City.
Pros
  • Unique dining choices
  • Beach-front recreation
  • Beautiful mountain and water panorama
Cons
  • Difficult parking during Summer months
  • Heavy traffic during Summer months
  • More expensive housing
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Sun Worshippers Apply Here"

The Alki area is a neighborhood centered around a two-and-a-half mile stretch of sandy, yielding coastline in stark contrast to some of Washington’s other pebbly beaches that are crowded with logs and evidence of wildlife. The beach itself serves as the Mecca for sun-worshipping Seattlites and visitors when the rain stops and the clouds break. All manner of beach sports and recreations get participation here, along the paved walkway just above and on the beach proper.

Housing in this area has its perks and its downfalls: this is no place for a rush-rush lifestyle (especially during the summer months, when low speed limits are exaggerated by congested roadways and daring pedestrians) and the demand for parking easily beats the space. Blocks away from the beach area, expect to see families pulling up in front of your house, extracting coolers and folding chairs, and trekking seaside. The views are spectacular, and if you’re looking, you may be able to pick between small beach homes, the larger houses, and the relatively new beach side condos.

And what would a beach side community be without a good place to eat? Try Sunfish for your seafood cravings—fish and chips are the absolute staple. And then when it’s after dusk and you want to drink until you forget how sunburned you are, you have your choice of a raucous Celtic Swell (if you don’t mind having to yell over the music) or the biker-bar looking Alki Tavern. Anywhere else isn’t worth your time in Alki.

The beach scene definitely has its own uniform, as well. So if you’re not privy to the look, take a peek inside the Coastal Surf Boutique, a seasonal clothing store. They’re the go-to retail location for snow, skate, and maybe the best swimwear and beachwear shop in Seattle, let alone Alki. Build your look and show it off!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
2yrs+

"A California Beach in the Pacific Northwest"

Alki is a very popular destination for Seattleites and tourist alike – especially when the weather is sunny and warm. Its beach stretched about 2 ½ miles running from Alki Point, which is the home of Alki’s very own lighthouse, to Elliott Bay’s Duwamish Head. Alki is a popular destination for sun worshipers and those wising to stretch their legs. On a summer evening you can find more than one group huddled around a bonfire in one of the many fire pits on its surprisingly sandy coast.

Alki is also the proud home of a miniature version of the Statue of Liberty, which has become a popular landmark. Like many outdoor hotspots Alki’s paved path is often the home of roller bladders, joggers and dog walkers out for a stroll. The park offers a boat launch for smaller hand carried crafts and a rental facility where kayaks and other water bound vessels can be discovered.

The real estate market in the area is mixed with beautiful homes, small bungalows and condo and apartment buildings all mixed in together. The area offers some of the best views, especially on a clear day of the Olympic Mountains and downtown Seattle.

Alki also host a variety of restaurants where visitors and residence alike can dine. The award-wining Salty’s is a popular dining location, though it can be expensive. If you’re looking for a more affordable dining out adventure Alki Café Beach Bistro is also a good choice.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
2yrs+

"Seattle's Public Beach"

The Alki beach in the summertime often teems with kids and families. There is so much to do in the area: beach volleyball, scuba diving, picnics, miles of biking and walking trails, rollerblading, dining, shopping, sunbathing, but don't play in the water. It's cold.

The shops and restaurants along the Alki beachfront offer a fun place to wile away an afternoon, and the area is remarkably clean and well patrolled for a public beach. Traffic along Alki Ave is slow-going with speed limits set at 25 miles per hour for the entire stretch. Pedestrians make sure that you obey the traffic laws, too, since the area is very pedestrian-friendly and they'll pop out in front of your car with no notice. Parking is a bit of a nightmare, and residents just off of Alki Ave are constantly sharing their on-street parking with visitors to the area.

Alki is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon in solitude or with your family. There is plenty to do and people-watching in the area is always entertaining. The only negative is the addition of the condo buildings that now line Alki Ave on the way to the beach, giving the area a bit of the Miami retirement villiage feel. There are still some adorable little beach houses, though, that will hopefully never go away.
4/5
2yrs+

"Great For Escaping the City"

Alki is a beautiful beach community on the west end of West Seattle. This neighborhood is popular among those who want to get away from city life but still remain close to the city of Seattle. Alki can be reached from downtown Seattle via the West Seattle Bridge or by water taxi.

A great place to “people watch” or relax, Alki Beach is popular among locals and tourists alike. Besides Alki Beach, Alki is home to many parks, including Hamilton Viewpoint Park above the beach on California Avenue, and Schmitz Park, the only old-growth forest in the city of Seattle.

The Alki marina and waterfront is a beautiful setting for a sunset stroll. A biking and jogging trail runs several miles along the waterfront. Jutting into Puget Sound, Alki offers picturesque views of the Olympic Mountains and the downtown Seattle skyline, as well as some of the most delicious seafood in the city. For the best seafood in the city, visit Salty's on Alki Beach, known both for its food and for the expansive view.

Alki is not only scenic, but also historic. Alki was the earliest settlement in the Seattle area; the Denny party landed here in 1851. The Denny Monument at Alki Point commemorates this event. The historic Alki Point Lighthouse, built in 1913, is open on summer weekends. There is even a miniature Statue of Liberty, built in 1952.

Today, you'll find an eclectic mix of bungalow homes, apartments, and waterfront shopping and dining. The beach is also host to the annual Seattle Music Fest, a music festival featuring Northwest artists held every August.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5
2yrs+

"The best seafood in Seattle"

Alki Beach is a beautiful part of Seattle located on the western peninsula. The neighborhood offers stunning views of Elliott Bay and the entire Seattle skyline. At the very tip of Alki Point you are able to witness Qwest Stadium and Safeco Field, and if you look to the north, you are able to gaze at the Space Needle, Key Arena, and Queen Anne Hill.

There is just one main drag through Alki Beach named Alki Drive. On sunny weekends, Alki Drive is flooded with cars, motorcycles, and bicyclists. While driving down Alki Drive, plan on seeing a whole lot of condos. Some of the newer condos are very nice and have replaced most of the historic homes that had been in the area for decades. Some residents were disheartened at the disappearance of history but there is quite a demand for housing in Seattle, especially Alki Beach. Most of the condos do, however, offer great views of the city, Elliott Bay, and the skyline at night.

For the best seafood and steakhouse in the greater Seattle area, come to Salty’s on Alki Beach located at 1936 Harbor Avenue. Once you are on the West Seattle Bridge, take the Harbor Avenue Exit (do not take the Harbor Island exit). Turn right onto Harbor Avenue and follow it for one mile. Salty’s is on the right side of the street, on the waterfront. There is plenty of free parking in their parking lot or on the street. They offer award-winning cuisine, wine bar, and live music. The view from Salty’s is priceless.

Alki Beach Park offers 2.5 miles of sandy beach, with a great seawall for walking and people watching. The park runs from Duwamish Head to Alki Point. Next to Green Lake, Alki Beach Park is known as the place to see and be seen participating in something athletic. The water is cold, but on an exceptionally hot August afternoon, this place can’t be beat.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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Best Streets in Alki

"Alki Ave rivals any waterfront street"
47.5857485123541 -122.398699118327
"Adorable street, seconds from the beach"
47.5934805291252 -122.38405415253

Unranked Streets in Alki

"Residential street near park and good food"
47.593099998681 -122.388599556477
"Pretty nice street, but lots of traffic"
47.564907229617 -122.401891676829
47.5754105190286 -122.407779031861
"Beautiful residential street with lots of trees and close proximity to park"
47.578525502031 -122.404710006151

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