8.3 out of 10

Highland Park

Ranked 5th best neighborhood in Seattle
47.5240567652734 -122.342069215024
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Cost of Living
  • Parking
  • Pest Free
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Students

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
Oct 05, 2015

"Quiet, Affordable, & Leafy Family-Friendly Neighbhorhood Tucked Between Hipper Spots"

Highland Park flies under the radar as far as Seattle neighborhoods go. Why? Well, first, the neighborhood itself can only tout a few bars, restaurants, and coffee shops--not even one brewpub... yet! It wears a decidedly residential neighborhood makeup, with a small town feel to it. Generally speaking, the trees tower over the buildings rather than the reverse, and that's how residents like it.

Residents of Highland Park, as well as those from nearby neighborhoods, also benefit from the community atmosphere nurtured by the Highland Park Improvement Club (HPIC), founded in 1919. HPIC is a unique neighborhood institution which hosts neighborhood meetings, monthly theme parties when it turns into the "Corner Bar" serving local foods and beverages, movie nights, various fun fundraisers--wine tasting, arts & crafts, etc.--and even Seahawks game day potlucks.

While Highland Park is itself a pretty chill enclave, mostly protected from the noise and faster-pace of much of the rest of the city, it's within a short walk or drive to various more happening West Seattle neighborhoods (including the Junction, Westwood, etc.), as well as to fun, trendy Georgetown and up-and-coming South Park. Additionally, it's a short walk to White Center, which, while higher crime than most of Seattle and certainly grittier, has been making steady strides with recent additions to its diverse base of great restaurants and bars and has refreshing rawness and character to it that has been long washed away from many other Seattle nabes.

While Highland Park lacks pocket parks, it does have a couple notable larger parks within it, and much more within walking distance. Highland Park contains Westcrest Park, which boasts the largest dog park in the city, as well as walking trails through a greenbelt. Westcrest Park was just expanded by 20 acres in July 2015, which is a huge coup for the neighborhood, adding panoramic views of the mountains and the city from the park's upper area. Highland Park playfield also offers a nice outdoor area as does the expansive Riverview Park/Playfied, which is technically in the Riverview neighborhood a block north of Highland Park.

Highland Park is just a mile south of the South Seattle Community College, which in addition to providing more affordable education opportunities (including having a well-reputed wine program), hosts all sorts of events, and also has a gorgeous 5 acre public arboretum with one of the largest collections of dwarf conifers, as well as an Asian garden.
Pros
  • Community-oriented
  • Laid-back
  • Close to Boeing Field
  • Inexpensive housing
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"An Inexpensive Community With Light Boeing and SeaTac Commutes"

A blue collar community, with proximity to Boeing (http://bitly.com/fGtAJX) and other industries along Highway 99 and 509. It is bordered on the north by SW Holden St, Highland Park Way SW and West Marginal Way SW. On the east side, Highways 99 and 509 shore up most of the boundary, along with Olson Place SW and 1st Avenue South. The south side is bordered by SW Roxbury Street, followed by 16th Avenue SW on the west.

History

In 1870 pioneers tried their hands at a number of trades until logging caught their attention. Logging roads were key in connecting with the outside world, along with a streetcar that connected Highland Park with the rest of Seattle. The neighborhood, along with White Center (http://bitly.com/cApUIh), were a bit “out of the box” compared with other Seattle neighborhoods. Wartime (I & II) brought labor, focusing on the industry along the Duwamish River.

Demographics and Income

Highland Park is fairly diverse, with multiple ethnic groups making up roughly half the population. Whites are still the largest demographic, but that is quickly changing. The inexpensive labor at local industries is drawing more foreign-born workers, especially with the lure of short commutes. Annual incomes vary, with lower levels to the south. The area south of the park, near Highway 509 contains the population with the least in their wallet, only $29,000 per year. Comparably, one section on the western side of Highland Park contains families with incomes around $72,000.

Culture

The diversity creates a unique cultural experience, wrapped tightly with Seattle’s progressive mindset and laid back attitude.

Real Estate

Homes in Highland Park are affordable, having taken a hit during the recession. Values have dropped by $130,000 since 2007, the height of the market. View the current real estate data at Trulia (http://bitly.com/b9bImE). Single family homes are most prevalent, with 68% making up the market. Almost 65% of residents own their dwelling, much higher than the 48% Seattle average. This spike may be possible because of the smaller-sized nature of houses in Highland Park. The median home size is only 1,300 Sq. Ft.

Local Business Tour (Restaurants, Pubs, Coffee Houses, Shops and other Amenities)

Not a lot of choices here. The neighborhood edges up to White Center on the southwest, providing many amenities across the street. However, Highland Park does not possess too many of their own. One notable establishment in the northwest corner is Zippy's Giant Burgers (http://mysp.ac/cDlnGV) - Opened in May 2008, using 100% chuck that is ground on site each day.

No pubs or bars are generally found within Highland Park, but again, to the south in White Center, several can be found. One of the closest establishments is Mac's Triangle Pub (http://macstrianglepub.com) near Delridge Way and Roxbury Street.

Some other establishments include: Rootcraft, LLC (http://rootcraft.com) - Naturally inspired custom carpentry; Salvation Army (http://salvationarmy.org) - Advancement of the Christian religion through education and the relief of poverty; and Gamestop (http://gamestop.com) - Selling new and pre-owned games/gaming systems.

Schools

Highland Park Elementary (http://seattleschools.org/schools/hpel) - To create lifelong learners instilled with positive self-images. One other institution within Highland’s borders: Community Day School Association (http://communitydayschool.org) - Largest provider of after-hours child enrichment within Seattle Public Schools.

Recreation

The only park within the community is the gigantic Westcrest Park (http://bitly.com/bhjcDR), sprawling 81 acres with an off-leash dog area, playground, four miles of hiking trails, and picnic sites. It even features a platform to take in the Seattle skyline. The West Seattle Reservoir (http://bitly.com/hJxfP2) is also located here.

Medical and Wellness Facilities

Anyone with a medical emergency may have grounds for concern as no medical facilities are to be found within the neighborhood. There is, however, some hope for someone ailing from a toothache... ABC General Dentistry is on the south side, along Roxbury.

Spiritual Centers and Churches

Even if there is no assistance for physical ailments, spiritual guidance is plentiful. Here’s a few reasons why: Paradise of Praise Ministry (http://paradiseofpraise.org) - Designed to transform the soul, mind, body and spirit of mankind and Westwood Christian Assembly (http://wcaseattle.org) - Led by Pastor Tom Colby and associated with the Assembly of God (http://ag.org).

Transportation Access and Tips

Bus service runs along the perimeter, providing a couple of routes into the city and to Boeing (http://boeing.com). Traffic gets heavy on these arterials, especially when heading north to the city in the morning. The international airport, SeaTac (http://portseattle.org/seatac), is just a few miles south on Highway 509.

Summary

Close proximity to Boeing, downtown, and the airport are a plus in this neighborhood. The affordable housing and presence of a large dog and kid-friendly park also helps. Living among lower income families and having industry in your backyard, however, may not appeal to many. Despite this, Highland Park, is close to much of the West Seattle beauty and could be a smart choice in living for a young couple or family just getting started.
Pros
  • Ethnically diverse
  • Inexpensive housing
  • Close to Boeing Field
Cons
  • Limited amenities
  • Heavy traffic on arterial streets
  • Close to industrial sites
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
2yrs+

"A Middle-class Neighborhood with High Class Appeal"

Highland Park is considered a middle class neighborhood. The biggest draw to the area is Westcrest Park, which is especially great if you happen to be a dog owner as the park has a huge off-leash area. The area offers about four acres of green grass with paths and open spaces with a great view of the wonderfully spectacular Seattle skyline which you can enjoy as your dog takes a drink for the dog drinking fountain. There are plenty of trees in the park and the time spent there can be relaxing since no sporting facilities are on ground. There’s also a smaller park, more of a playground named after the area. Highland Park Playground has some great picnic tables a wading pool and a pretty cool children play area.

There is plenty of shopping in the area with a Starbucks, Tully’s, QFC, Safeway and a Barnes and Noble all chain stores are represented. It might be considered a middle class neighborhood but it’s also one of the cleanest neighborhoods I’ve visited lately.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • 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+

"Blue Collar Ethic with Suburban Appeal"

The people of Highland Park make up the character of this neighborhood. Wide demographics of ethnic diversity represent themselves here in a mostly working-class neighborhood which is easily accessible to their jobs in the Industrial District and at Boeing Field. Westcrest Park is the local recreation spot, and it’s an expansive and open area for all sorts of play. There are a few really nice playgrounds for the kids with a bunch of picnic tables to observe them playing or to have a snack. There are walking paths and a platform that offers a panoramic view of the city, some great open fields for field sports, and an off-leash dog run. And if that’s not a great place to go, especially when it’s warmer or at least not pouring, then I don’t know who you are or what you’re doing here.

The most important places to shop here might be Barnes and Noble (possibly for the café), QFC, and a Tully’s. To their credit, Highland Park definitely has awesome some little shops that usually take the form of mutations of chain stores, like a convenience store that has a great wine selection. Or instead of Starbucks, you can try Jojo’s Fine Espresso, where they serve some really awesome rice chai lattes and cupcakes you won’t be able to turn down. They’re locally owned and accessible!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids

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