6.0 out of 10

Rainier Beach

Ranked 57th best neighborhood in Seattle
47.5122560445552 -122.261610989429
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Clean & Green
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Internet Access
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
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Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • Trendy & Stylish

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Clean & Green 4/5
2yrs+

"The Kubota Gardens are the Number One Reason toi Visit"

There is a time for everything. Rainier’s Beach time is here. The area is still known for its crummy past but with such a long stretch of shoreline that helps to increase the value of waterfront property.

The area has one of the new light rail stations which connect the area to downtown so the neighborhood is booming for those commuters who don’t want to take an hour or more to get home at night. But the real draw of the area is the Kubota Gardens. Walking into this stunning public garden is like walking into another world and you forget that the area is still sadly known for past violence. The gardens take up about 20 acres and the landscaped grounds host waterfalls, a great planet variety, streams and ponds. The gardens are the best part of the area and are a must visit destination when in the area.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Renovated Area with Ample Parks"

Rainier Beach’s tough reputation used to be valid—no longer. Massive renovations had led to a thousand working-class residents having homes in the area , deteriorated properties began to go for affordable rates and businesses began to populate vacant properties, attracted by low rates. Rainier Beach has access to a few parks and, as the name might imply, a shoreline against Lake Washington. The parks are very inviting, especially when the weather is nice and bikers have their pick of trails that run all along the main roads. At the Hutchinson Park, you’ll find the right type of court for most popular sports, and with a Japanese-style garden with streams, ponds, and walkways called the Kubota Gardens. Lakeridge Park is slightly more on the wilderness side than other parks in the area, offering a forested trail that runs a mile around a so-called canyon. At Beer Sheva Park, there are tennis courts and an area to launch your boat into the lake, but also a children’s big toy and area to picnic in. A testament to the area’s affluence, the Rainier Yacht Club offers very pleasant facilities suitable for parties and receptions, and comes complete with a waterfront view into Lake Washington.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A Community That Is Finding Its Feet"

Located in the southeast corner of Seattle, this neighborhood continue emerge out of the ashes. Having encountered heavy crime until around 1997, business recruiting and rising housing values aided its comeback.

Rainier Beach stretches latitudinally from Beer Sheva Park to Lakeridge Park, it is longitudinally compressed between Renton Avenue South and Lake Washington.

The parks are the silver lining for this community. Starting in the north, Beer Sheva is named after Seattle's sister city in Israel. It was also previously modeled after Atlantic City in New Jersey. Picnic areas, a children's play area, tennis courts and a boat launch are some included amenities. Students can be found nearby at the Rainier Beach High School.

The Kubota Gardens are a splendid array of Japanese horticulture, with gorgeous walkways and landscaped streams and ponds. This 20 acre oasis is definitely worth the visit. Residing to the East is Hutchinson Playground where multiple sports facilities exist to entertain the kids when they tire of the Gardens.

If driving long distances for a hike with the family does not appeal, consider Lakeridge Park to the south. It features "Deadhorse Canyon", with a one mile forested trail.

The Rainier Yacht Club is a great find for parties, receptions or business functions. Some friends of ours rented this facility for their wedding reception two years ago. It has an attractive waterfront near Parkshore Marina.

Bicycle riders are welcomed and a familiar site in Rainier Beach, as the trail around Lake Washington utilizes Rainier Avenue and Seward Park Avenue.

The population is diverse, with white, black and Asian Pacific Islanders represented. Businesses are not plentiful yet, but some can be found on Rainier Avenue in the vicinity of the yacht club.

Several kinds of churches are sprinkled throughout the neighborhood, including St. Paul Parochial School.

Rainier Beach may not be attracting tourists and suburban families, but it is gradually becoming a place to invest. This is especially key when young adults are gaining passions for social justice and growing tired of the more affluent neighborhoods to the north.
Pros
  • Waterfront activities
  • Ethnically diverse
  • Beautiful vistas
Cons
  • Longer commute to downtown
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Up-and-coming residential area"

The Rainier Beach area of southeast Seattle is bounded by Renton Ave South and 51st Ave South to the west and the shore of Lake Washington to the east. The various communities in this mostly residential neighborhood include Columbia City, Brighton, Dunlap, Rainier View, and Mt. Baker. The main roads through the area are Rainier Avenue and Renton Avenue.

Though it has a location on the shore of Lake Washington, Rainier Beach is not one of the more desirable areas in the city. It has a reputation of being somewhat run-down, mostly because of a serious increase in crime over the decades following World War II. However, the last ten or twenty years have seen dramatic improvements in safety. Today, many of Seattle's first-time homebuyers look to the area for reasonably-priced properties. If you're looking for a home in the area, stick to the northern end of Rainier Beach, which tends to be safer.

The area is home to many different ethnicities and has a very diverse feel. Although not known as a shopping destination, there are many shopping areas catering to locals. Those living in Rainier Beach also enjoy easy access to the rest of the city through multiple bus lines and the Rainier Beach Station for the Link Light Rail. There are some nice green spaces in the area, including Kubota Gardens, a unique Japanese garden, as well as Lakeridge Park and the Fred Hutchinson Playground.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Shoreline neighborhood with some great pockets of safety and beauty"

Rainier Beach is a bit confusing. The neighborhood used to be really bad, with high crime and major structural issues, but what some consider Upper Rainier Beach could actually be a nice place to live. Home prices are very affordable and if the neighborhood was a little further north, you could pack on 100-200K to the price. The views are breathtaking of Lake Washington and there is some prime real estate in the Upper portion of the neighborhood.

The neighborhood consists of lots of retirees or older couples who have lived in the same home for decades. The area is small and because of this everyone seems to know everyone. The Upper portion is safe with little to no crime. Seward Park sits adjacent to Rainier Beach and offers some impressive views of the Cascades and Lake Washington. The area has some very impressive ridge built homes that overlook the water. People stick around in the neighborhood and you do not see a lot for sale. If you do, they go quickly. Some of the more modest homes inland do turn over frequently but the shoreline homes rarely move.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
3/5
2yrs+

"Overcoming the past"

Rainier Beach is located just southeast of Seattle along Lake Washington and is a largely residential area. Development of the town began when it was connected to Seattle by the Rainier Valley Electric Railway in 1896, and during the period of growth throughout and after the Second World War the area was urbanized.

The neighborhood fought to overcome some seriously high crime rates and has been somewhat successful, managing to attract many middle-class Seattle workers trying to avoid high rent.

To date, this is not the best of Seattle neighborhoods, and certainly not a place for single women to reside, but it is improving significantly.
Recommended for
  • Professionals

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