7.8 out of 10

Laurelhurst / Sand Point

Ranked 19th best neighborhood in Seattle
47.6598273747886 -122.289251959133
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Clean & Green
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Schools
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • Pest Free
  • Cost of Living
  • Nightlife
  • Childcare
  • Internet Access
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • Trendy & Stylish

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
Mar 04, 2016

"Nice shady neighborhood, big houses"

The few times I’ve ran pretty far north on the Burke Gilman Trail, I’ve gone through this area. The trail here goes through a lot of green area, and I generally turn around after a break at Magnuson Park, which is a huge park on the lake. Starting from Lower Queen Anne, that makes for a 20-mile run, 10 miles each way. So it’s a pretty big training day.

Not sure what else to say about this part of Seattle except that it’s obvious that a lot of well-off people live here, judging on the houses and cars. The houses are huge, and the landscaping is nice. And there are some good views of Lake Washington and the Cascades along the way. I wouldn’t mind living here down the road if I had a family, but I wouldn’t want to live here while I’m young, it’s too much like a suburb. For now I’m just happy to have a shady place to run in the summer when it gets hot.
Pros
  • Great Parks
  • Quiet environment
  • Bicycle-friendly
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
Feb 17, 2016

"Fun in the Park"

There are three reasons I go to this neighborhood, and they are all in Magnuson Park:

1. On summer weekends, I’ll occasionally take my dog to the off-leash area at Magnuson Park. It’s a big, sandy area where he can run around. Then we’ll go for a walk on one of the trails. There are a lot to choose from. Just make sure to keep your pet on a leash or they’ll be chasing ducks the whole time!

2. I also have a tradition of going to the outdoor movies here, every Thursday in July and August. Pack in your bottle of wine, snacks, lawn chairs and lots of blankets. Then snuggle up and chow down while they play a classic on an enormous blow up screen. The only hard part is deciding who has to refrain from the wine so they can drive home. I suggest alternating.

3. Lastly, the Mountaineers Club is located in Magnuson Park, in the north area. I joined the mountaineers and enjoy taking their skills classes to improve my outdoor competency. I’m aiming towards a Mount Rainier summit next year. They have many types of outdoor classes though, not just mountaineering, although I must admit the classes will put a dent in your wallet.
Pros
  • Great Parks
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Feb 06, 2016

"Good schools and nature activities for children"

My family and I considered living here because of the very good reputation of the schools in the area. We learned that Roosevelt High School is the #1 high school in Seattle. It is also #8 in the state.

We also found the neighborhood appealing due to the medical facilities. There is the Children’s Hospital, which is one of the best. There is also the University of Washington Medical Center, which has a very positive reputation and many specialties.

However, we discovered that there are not many homes for sale. The homes are also too large and overpriced. The other option is small condominiums, which we do not prefer. We may think about moving here when our daughter is older, so she may attend Roosevelt High School.

Currently, we come to this neighborhood to go to Magnuson Park in the summer. It is a good park for children. There is a large “Junior League of Seattle” playground, with slides and climbing walls. There is also a safe wading pool, and older children swim in Lake Washington.

The best part is the Children’s Garden. There are features that children can touch and play and build with, instead of just looking. They have “Nature Adventure for Tots” for parents and young children. We have attended 3 times. One detriment to living in a city is a lack of time outdoors and we hope to resolve this by enrolling our daughter in the Magnuson Park nature camps when she is older.
Pros
  • Great Parks
  • Quiet environment
Cons
  • Expensive housing
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
Jan 06, 2016

"Affluent Lake Washington neighborhood full of single-family homes"

Laurelhurst, Windermere and Sandpoint neighborhoods are three upscale, single-family home neighborhoods on Lake Washington.

Laurelhurst, the most southerly community, makes up the little peninsula and surrounding neighborhood just east of the University of Washington. Follow the shore north, and you’ll hit Windermere next, followed by Sandpoint, which is really just Magnuson Park. All three neighborhoods are bounded by Lake Washington and Sandpoint Way NE.

Most land here is zoned strictly for single-family homes, except for a small strip of low-rise zoning near Sandpoint Way, which is the main thoroughfare through this part of town. One other exception is the highly acclaimed Seattle Children’s Hospital, in Laurelhurst. It never hurts to be down the road from one of the country’s best children’s hospitals.

The other main non-residential feature is Magnuson Park. Seattle really did well with setting aside prime land to serve as public parks, and Magnuson is a great one. It has a few distinct features. There’s the beach, where you can launch a boat or a kite board, or walk along the shore. There’s the marsh, with trails winding through the trees (a prime meditation spot). If you have a dog, they’ll love the off-leash park. And then there’s the sports fields. In the summer, there are outdoor movies screened here, with food trucks lined up in the back. Several thousand people usually attend, if last summer’s “The Princess Bride” showing that I went to is any indication.

At the northern edge of the park is the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) center, where a good amount of scientists and support teams are employed. Next door you’ll find the Seattle Mountaineers Club headquarters. They have a huge lodge, with event space and a bookstore.

If you live elsewhere in Seattle and wanted to bike to Magnuson Park, you could take the Burke-Gilman trail from Lake Union all the way here. It’s paved, and protected from roads. A classic summer day trip. If you’re especially keen, you could even bike all the way to Bothell at the top of Lake Washington, and beyond.

But like I said, most of the neighborhood is dominated by single-family homes. Each usually has a small lawn and garage, and they are all priced very high. Housing near Sandpoint Way tends to be more affordable, while the closer you go to the lakefront, the higher the price tags get. Larger houses easily run in the millions, particularly those with a good view. So there’s only a certain type of family that can afford to live here.

To go with the deep-pocketed families, there are schools to match. For young kids, there’s Villa Academy, (aka “The Villa”) a private, Catholic, uniforms-only p-8 school with waterfront property. For high school students, some families write significant checks to the Waldorf School, north of Magnuson Park. This is the third campus of the Seattle Waldorf Schools, and it just opened in 2014. They also have a nearby elementary school. Many students enter the Waldorf system in preschool, and continue through their entire education through 12th grade.

For those more interested in public school, there’s Laurelhurst Elementary and Sandpoint Elementary. Windermere is split in the middle and send kids to both schools. All middle schoolers will attend Eckstein Middle, in the Ravenna neighborhood a mile or two northwest. The highly-ranked Roosevelt High School is where high schoolers will attend. In fact, all public schools around here are ranked pretty highly. You can’t really go wrong.
Pros
  • Bicycle-friendly
  • Great Parks
  • Quiet environment
Cons
  • Lack of diversity
  • Expensive housing
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
2yrs+

"A Great Place for Community"

The Laurelhurst area is even more upscale and has a much higher priced housing market; it’s also rumored to be the home of many stars and one cartoonist. There’s a great Beach Club names after the area and a park that has an amazing water view and it perfect for a day of reading in the sun.

For families with small children Laurelhurst Elementary School as well as a private grade school called Villa Academy. The area also boasts a Midwife school. The Community center is one of the biggest draws in the area with activities and programs going on all the time which makes this neighborhood much more a community that knows each other than most Seattle neighborhoods.

Living in the Laurelhurst area of Seattle isn’t for everyone because of the housing prices, but it’s a great area to visit if you just want to check out the scenery and dream.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Upscale Lakeside Community"

Based mostly adjacent to Lake Washington, Laurelhurst even has some properties that are waterfront adjacent with charming docks and manicured shorelines. The community center, beach club, and park all serve as gathering places for the community. The residents of the community are significantly more affluent than the rest of the area, as supported by the fact that the median home price in the area totals more than twice the regional median price.

The local commerce is somewhat pricey to go with the affluent residents, but usually come with quality for the money and not just high prices. Jak’s Grill, one of the local Laurelhurst restaurants, doesn’t have a specialty; they do everything. Known for a great brunch selection that’s steak heavy but not without its diversity, a morning at Jak’s is sure to get you ready to start your day with a nap. Jak’s definitely puts the ‘power’ in power lunch, and it’s a great place to take business guests (though probably a little pricey to do every week). Jak’s was definitely made for an evening meal, though, and they have made a name for themselves with dry-aged beef, a beautiful steak butter, and potato pancakes to kill for. After all that beef, you might be in the mood for a workout sometime in the next week, and Hot Yoga of Laurelhurst is the place to do that. Alternating Bikram with Power Vinyasa, the yoga instructors are pretty good on average—but be prepared that they go along with the Bikram custom of practicing on carpet, not a hard floor.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Coastal Neighborhoods with Smarts and Serenity"

This review incorporates three neighborhoods-in-one (Laurelhurst, Windermere and Sand Point). The stretch from Magnuson Park (http://bitly.com/b742rg) to the tip of the Laurelhurst Peninsula is diverse, peaceful and exotic. These communities are highly educated, wealthy, and boast a proud heritage.

Bill gates (http://bitly.com/g0YoGU) spent most of his life in Laurelhurst (until 1994). Melanie Griffith (http://bitly.com/gQRyJx) also lived here. One of the most renown children's hospitals (http://seattlechildrens.org) is located here, drawing professionals and patients from around the world. Our daughter had dental surgery (http://bitly.com/gUTEnZ) at Children's, so we're excited to have had a first-hand experience of this institution.

Residents find solitude and connection at the Beachclub (http://lbcsailing.com), located southeast of the community center (http://1.usa.gov/gcwfi3). The Laurelhurst Playfield (http://1.usa.gov/g7ynrw) is at the top of a steep hill that features a large play area, tennis courts and baseball fields. It has one of the most visually appealing community centers I've seen. It is obvious this community believes in itself. Bicycle friendly roads traverse the community. With the University of Washington (http://washington.edu) nearby, access is easy to many venues and sporting events. The University Village Shopping Center (http://uvillage.com) is just a few blocks to the West. One of our favorite eating spots is The Sand Point Grill (http://sandpointgrillseattle.com). A very quaint dining experience with a personal touch.

Windermere (http://windermere.com) borders to the north, encompassing beautiful housing on serene streets. A coastal park (http://bitly.com/eK6S67) bearing its name clutches the coast near Kenilworth Place and Ambleside Road. You also can't escape without spotting a Seattle Windermere Real Estate office.

Moving further north to Sand Point reveals a goldmine of peaceful living and breathtaking views of Lake Washington (http://bitly.com/dXcYNZ) and the Cascades (http://bitly.com/gh4ctz). Some friends of ours live in adjoining View Ridge (http://bitly.com/i3g1fR), and had us over for grilled Salmon. Standing on their deck gave us the sense of being on a vacation at a mountain lake.

Just down the hill from View Ridge and other areas of Sand Point is Magnuson Park. This is one of Seattle's largest and brings a load of options including an off-leash dog park, beach front, playing fields, gigantic playground, sailing, and indoor facilities. Years ago this housed military personnel as an active naval base. A friend of mine lived in the barracks in the 70's. The park is host to many events throughout the year. The Cascade Bicycle Club (http://cascade.org), which spearheads cycling as a lifestyle, has an office here. On the first day of the year, you can find loads of runners burning off the holiday calories and ending the event (http://bitly.com/hWpq4K) with a dip in frigid Lake Washington. My neighbor sought to recruit me to this race, but I eventually turned down his offer. I have no regrets.

Just north of the park is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) facility (http://wrh.noaa.gov/sew) which stretches along the coast. A Sand Point sailing center (http://sailsandpoint.org) is located in this area which provides multiple lessons and activities for all ages.

For bicycle enthusiasts, the Burke Gilman Trail (http://bitly.com/b9XkAC) sweeps by these neighborhoods, providing a main artery of transport for the green-at-heart. I use this trail often, giving me almost unhindered access from Cedar Park (http://bitly.com/e7eEJ7) to the University District (http://bitly.com/abtiNK) and on into Fremont (http://bitly.com/abPBcR) and Ballard (http://bitly.com/feMcz2).

Not everyone is destined to live in this area, with high housing costs and an academic mindset connected to campus and high profile careers. However, regular visits to the parks and restaurants can be the next best experience.
Pros:
Pros
  • Bicycle-friendly
  • Quiet environment
  • Great Parks
Cons
  • Expensive housing
  • Difficult Interstate Access
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
hudsonite
hudsonite A heads' up on accessing Laurelhurst from the University. Right now, 45th Street is closed on the hill near the campus, making travel to Sand Point Way cumbersome from the West. There is a detour, but it is through residential streets and is very frustrating. It's better to come Pacific to 25th or to drive on 65th East and turn on 25th to access Sand Point Way.
2yrs+
Add a comment...
5/5
2yrs+

"A well-kept community with great schools"

The neighborhood of Laurelhurst is located just north east of the University District along the edge of Lake Washington. The majority of homes in this neighborhood are as beautiful as the views. There is quick access to Interstate 5, which will get you into Downtown within minutes.

Laurelhurst is a very upscale neighborhood with strong roots. It's not uncommon for people to continue living in this same neighborhood that they grew up in. You may even find several generations all living in the same area. Laurelhurst is known for its well-kept lawns, views, schools, and beautiful and peaceful streets. There is a strong pride of ownership in this neighborhood. The residents are largely professional, and you may have doctors and lawyers living right next to each other.

On the shores of this peninsula jutting out into Lake Washington you'll find the local private waterfront park, referred to by residents simply as "the Beach Club." This is a popular place among locals.

The Laurelhurst Elementary School is just one of the fine schools this neighborhood boasts about. It is located on 4530 46th Ave N.E.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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Unranked Streets in Laurelhurst / Sand Point

47.6587317329172 -122.276683792453
"Nice walking street"
47.6572736767947 -122.271809638469
"Such Amazing Views"
47.656255812177 -122.272187122968
"An Area Where the Naval Station Used to Be"
47.6855679588931 -122.258247749105

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