SaraX

  • Local Expert 698 points
  • Reviews 31
  • Questions 0
  • Answer 1
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Reviews

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 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
Just now

"Lots of parks"

If Madison Beach Park is too busy on the summer weekends, we will head over to other parks in Madrona to find one that is quieter. There are quite a few, and we sometimes will go to 2 in one day.

Madrona Beach Park also can get busy sometimes. It is a very popular place for swimming, and has some sand, and sometimes a floating swimming dock. Right next to the beach is a theater. It is called Spectrum Dance Theater. They have dance classes for all ages. We havent tried them, but they have a good reputation.

In the north, also on the lake is the Denny Blaine Park. This is right on the water, and you can swim here. It is quieter than Madison Beach or Madrona Beach. But there is no sandy beach, so you have to have water shoes because the rocks hurt your feet. However there is no restroom, which is problematic.

Lakeview Park is in the neighborhood and has some walking paths and a viewpoint. You can see across Lake Washington to Bellevue. There is a grassy area but I wish there were more picnic tables. However I appreciate the large grassy area for kids to play.

Noras Woods is a very small forest. There are walking paths to enjoy the beautiful trees. But it is not stroller friendly.

Madrona Playground is the last park I will mention. However, there are still more. It is a neighborhood with many parks. Madrona Playground has a large play area. It also has a basketball court, a baseball field, a soccer field, and a tennis court with lights. It is good for the youth to have a place to play, especially in the summer. It keeps them busy and out of trouble. Our daughter is too young for most of this except the play equipment right now.

Other than the parks, there is just housing here in Madrona. The houses are very nice, it looks like a good neighborhood. We feel very safe here. Many people with the houses on the lake have docks and boats.
Pros
  • Beautiful mountain and water panorama
  • Great parks
  • Quiet environment
  • Nice waterfront path for running/walking/biking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
Just now

"Chinese Heritage"

The International District is special to our family because it has many places that celebrate Chinese heritage. There are good restaurants, museum, parks, and festivals. Also we always see many other Chinese people here.

Some restaurants I recommend are the following. Pings Dumpling House (pork dumplings), very traditional and delicious. Hue Ky Mi Gia, in a strip mall on Jackson. It has both Chinese and Vietnamese food, and delicious noodles and garlic chicken wings. The Ton Kian Barbeque Noodle House also is very good. We went there many times for the roasted duck.

The International District has one area that is called China Town. This is on King Street between 5th and 8th, where the most Chinese businesses are. However, there are Chinese businesses and restaurants all over the International District also.

King Street has a large Chinese gate at the west end. It is a very beautiful arch, we took our daughter to show her. We also went to Hing Hay Park which has some pavilions designed in Taiwan. They are colorful and bright. However our favorite is the International Childrens Park. There is a dragon sculpture and a Merry Go Round in the park that are good for children to climb on. We like to bring lunch here in the summer.

We also like the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. The museum displays information about many different Asian immigrants to Seattle. We also went on one of the China Town tours. It was very interesting, and also sad, because the Chinese were not treated well in Seattle for a long time.

Also there is the annual Dragon Festival in July. There is music, a dragon dance, food trucks, and a night market. It is very good family activity. This year it is July 16-17.
Pros
  • Chinese heritage
  • Unique dining options
  • Ethnically diverse
Cons
  • Minor safety concerns at night
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 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"Many Students living here"

There are many college students living here in Licton Springs. We have taken some classes out of interest at the North Seattle College. I found them to be satisfactory. Any community member can purchase classes there, you do not need to be in a degree program. This is good if you want to learn a new skill like personal finances and accounting. Or a hobby such as pottery. If you do want a degree, they have 2 year programs here. An interesting fact is they have a Swiss watch making program.

The housing in the neighborhood is small apartments and some single family homes. I dont think we would want to live here. There are too many students and not enough good restaurants or amenities nearby to make up for the cost of being close to the city. But I do like the HT Oaktree Market. It is a small supermarket with groceries from many countries, especially from Asian countries. The selection is not as good as stores on highway 99, but they do carry some Chinese items that are hard to find. The quality is also better than 99 Ranch. But they do have a bubble tea stand which is nice. Our daughter loves the tapioca bubbles.
Pros
  • Close to North Seattle College
Cons
  • High traffic volumes on arterial streets
  • Still developing
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"One of the best Puget Sound Parks"

This neighborhood is a residential area. It has some nice houses and apartments. The ones by the water are much bigger as usual. We considered living here but it was too far to Seattle.

We come to this neighborhood because we love the Richmond Beach Saltwater Park.

In the park there are some walking trails, and an exercise station with stairs and equipment. Plus a childrens playground close to the parking lot. If you take the trails down you will cross a bridge over the railroad tracks and arrive at the beach. We love the beautiful statue near the beach. It is 2 Native Americans holding a paddle, because the Native Americans would use canoes in the Puget Sound for transportation and for fishing. There are also some picnic tables in a beautiful structure.

But the best part is to play on the beach with our daughter. Some people have built a fort out of driftwood. Our daughter loves to go in the fort and to put more wood on it. It is a very large beach, with some sand and some rocks. You can walk a long time along the beach. If you bring water shoes you can wade in the water. The whole park has a beautiful view of the Puget Sound. Across the Puget Sound you can see the Olympic Mountains. Right now they have snow and are extra beautiful.

Sometimes we will get takeout from the Flying Dragon to take to the park. It is very close to the park on Richmond Beach Road. The food is pretty good, with large portions. It is not as authentic as other places, but still has good flavor.
Pros
  • Beautiful park
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"Asian grocery stores and Lake Ballinger"

Mountlake Terrace is mostly just houses. However we live nearby in Shoreline and there are some things we come here for.

The Wonton Noodle House on highway 99 is very good and authentic Cantonese. We like to come here for dinner sometimes. It is run by a very nice family and the wontons are good taste and quality.

There are many Asian grocery stores on highway 99. I have been to 99 Ranch Market, which is large but sometimes the quality is low. It is ok for shelf items, which have good prices and you can buy a large quantity. They do have Chinese food at the deli also, but it is not very good. I do not recommend the produce. Nearby Waroeng Jajanan is Indonesian specialty instead. They also have a deli with good food. Sometimes we will get food to go here on the way to the park. Boo Han grocery store next door has the most Korean ingredients. It is a large, nice store. We got some hot pots there. The produce is also good.

In the summer we like to go to Lake Ballinger a lot. It is one of our favorite parks that is close to home. It is a very clean park with lots of grass to sit on. Also there are picnic tables and barbeques. On the hot days we take our daughter swimming here. If its not so hot we just play in the grass and have a picnic and watch ducks. There are often many parents with young children here.
Pros
  • Asian grocery stores
  • Good restaurants
  • Lake Ballinger
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Good schools and nice parks"

We looked at many Shoreline and North Seattle neighborhoods before we decided to choose one. We finally chose Briarcrest to buy our home. We like it a lot and are happy with our choice.

One reason we like it is that homes are a good value but it is still close to Seattle. It does not take too long to commute to downtown. One day the light rail will be open and that will make the commute much quicker.

Also we love that it is close to many parks. There are 5 parks in our neighborhoodHamlin Park, Grace Cole Nature Park, Northcrest Park, Paramount Park, and Ridgecrest Park. Most of them are small but Hamlin Park is large. It has many peaceful walking trails and some sports fields. There are also some play structures for smaller children. Unfortunately there is no public park access to Lake Washington nearby. But if you go west there are great parks on Puget Sound. Also there is the Burke Gilman Trail that is nearby. It is a paved path you can walk or ride your bike for many miles north or south. Sometimes we will ride our bikes on the trail to the Magnuson Park. It has a view of Lake Washington for much of the trip, very beautiful.

The schools nearby are also ranked highly. We are not far from Shorecrest High School. US News ranks it 14th in the state. Also we like it because it is very diverse, and they have Advance Placement courses. It will be a long time until our daughter is in high school but its good to be nearby in case we stay here. Our daughter will go to Kellogg Middle School. There is less information available about this school available. However it has a good reputation in the neighborhood. Soon we will be enrolling our daughter in Briarcrest Elementary. But there are also other options. Shoreline Christian School is nearby. This is a private school and it seems very religious. Ridgecrest Elementary is another nearby public school.
Pros
  • Good schools
  • Many parks
  • Close to Burke Gilman trail
Cons
  • Need more public transportation
  • No public waterfront access
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
Just now

"Destination Mall"

There is not too much in Lynnwood besides the Alderwood mall. However there is one nice placethe Meadowdale Beach Park. It is a 1 mile walk through the forest down a small hill. When you get to the bottom there is a short walking tunnel under the train tracks to get to the beach to Puget Sound. However the tunnel is currently a stream. We did not bring our rain boots so we could not walk through the tunnel to the beach last time we went. But the walk in the forest was good too.

We like the Alderwood Mall because it has a good variety of many stores. There are not just the stores inside the mall but also many stores nearby. However our favorite store is the American Girl Doll Store. Our daughter got an American Girl Doll last year and it is her favorite toy. But it is disappointing that they do not carry any Asian American dolls. At the store in Lynnwood, you can buy things for your doll, and also have a tea party with your child and their doll. The doll even gets a special seat so she can sit at the table. My daughter is always asking if we can go back to this store.

Dont go shopping at the Alderwood Mall just before Christmas. The thousands and thousands of parking spots will be full and the mall is too busy. More busy than a normal mall at holiday time. I think it is because it is the biggest mall for many miles around. People come from all over.

But it is true what the other reviewer said. There is no real downtown area in Lynnwood. There is only the mall and some more shops on very busy, wide streets. There is no area to walk around outside that is a community place. I dont think we would want to live here because of that. But it is a nice city, very clean and friendly.
Pros
  • Lots of shopping
  • Nice big park
Cons
  • No community atmosphere
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"A Park, a college, a golf club"

Highland Terrace has three parts. The Shoreline Community College, the Boeing Park, and the Seattle Golf Club.

The shoreline Community College is a good school. They have mostly young adults, but also some older adults. There are many exchange students. I have taken one continuing education class here out of interest. I enjoyed the class.

The Boeing Park is a large forested area. It has some sports fields, including soccer, baseball, and tennis. If you walk past the sports fields, there are some trails to explore. Even though you are in the city of Shoreline, the trails are rough and not well marked. You must come prepared for a long walk. Keep track of your turns as well. Some of the trails are not passable for a small child, or for anyone who does not want to get muddy. But the trails are also beautiful. There are many trees, and you can follow the stream trail to the hidden lake. It is nice to be surrounded by nature so close to the city.

The Seattle Golf Club is a private club. We have never been there, but it is by invitation only. It seems to be only for the very very wealthy people. It is next to the Highlands neighborhood. This is a gated neighborhood full on the waterfront full of mansions. The houses cost millions of dollars.

There are also a few other housing areas in the Highland Terrace neighborhood, with more normal sized homes. However they are still expensive. This is because it is close to the parks, and also to the Aurora Square with many stores. But the houses close to Aurora or on the east side of Aurora are not so expensive.
Pros
  • Large neighborhood park
  • Shoreline Community College
Cons
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
Just now

"Gated Community"

The Highlands is a part of Shoreline that everyone in Shoreline knows about. It is a gated community for the wealthiest local people. It is close to Puget Sound, and full of mansions that cost millions of dollars.

From my understanding, they have a common area with a pool, croquet, tennis and other things. I do like the idea of having a strong community. It is nice to known many neighbors and feel safe. I wish this community unity was similar in other neighborhoods. Seattle can be closed sometimes. However we have made some good friends in our neighborhood too.

We have visited when we were considering their preschool for our daughter, which is also open to people who do not live in the Highlands. For a 5 day class, the cost was over $6,000 per school year. Though it is not the highest in Seattle, it is still very high, and the program is competitive because of the location. Also the classes are only from 9am-noon. But we decided we did not want our daughter to spend so much time with a community that cares so much about money. Im sure the teachers are good. But it was not the right fit for us.
Pros
  • Sense of Community
  • Shared community amenities
Cons
  • Exclusive
5/5
Just now

"Seattle suburbs are good for families"

We are very happy with Seattle as our home. Coming from China, it’s a big change. But little by little it is starting to feel like home.

Our daughter is growing up here, so it will always be home to her. And I’m glad it will be her home. Seattle is a good place to raise a family. Though we do miss our family, at least being on the west coast it’s not as far as other places.

I think for families the best is not in the downtown area. There are more good homes for families in the suburbs. Also some of the Seattle neighborhoods outside of the city center are good choices too.

There are lots of activities for children, like parks, festivals, and museums. The neighborhoods seem to be safe. The health care also is high quality. We have the Children’s Hospital in Seattle, which is very good. Also the Swedish Medical centers, and the University of Washington health care are high quality.

Based on our research, the schools are good, but we will know more next year when our daughter enters elementary school. The highest ranked high schools are in Bellevue, however.

Though we live in Shoreline, it still seems part of Seattle. You cannot see clearly where Seattle ends and Shoreline begins. It all blends together. We are very happy with our decision to live here.
Pros
  • Family activities
  • Outdoor activities
  • Beautiful city
Cons
  • Traffic
  • High cost of living
5/5
Just now

"Good swimming beach"

We have been to this neighborhood to go to the Madison Park Beach. I like this beach because it has a very safe children’s swim area in Lake Washington that is shallow. It also has a lifeguard in the summer. There is a nice grassy hill area above the beach to have a picnic. There is also a swimming dock, but our daughter is too young to swim that far. The older kids and adults seem to enjoy it though.

However it can get very crowded on the weekends in the summer. So we come during the week when possible. There is also a large playground with a ‘zip-line,’ different types of climbing ropes and many unusual features. This is good for children to develop their ‘motor skills.’

We like to pack a lunch for the day, and stop at Red Apple Market to get refreshments. It makes a very nice day. We are looking forward to returning this summer.

Besides the park, there is only a small group of restaurants, and the rest of the neighborhood is housing. The Arboretum, another one of our favorite parks, is nearby as well. It appears to be a very popular neighborhood. The homes are large and well-kept.
Pros
  • Swimming beach
  • Quiet environment
Cons
  • Expensive housing
5/5 rating details
  • Schools 5/5
Just now

"Best high schools in the state"

Bellevue has the best high schools in the state. This is according to the US NEWS rankings. The top school in the state is the International School on 128th st in Bellevue. Second is the International Community School in Kirkland (north of Bellevue). Third is Bellevue High School, and then Newport High School, which is also in Bellevue. 6th is Interlake High School, also in Bellevue. They all have a college readiness index much higher than other schools in the state. This is very important to us, so that our daughter is very prepared for when she attends University.

It is interesting that Bellevue High School, Newport, and Interlake are all public schools. Usually the top schools are private schools that have more money. But in Bellevue, both the public and private schools are top. Probably it is because Bellevue is a wealthy city, and in Washington schools are funded with the property tax.

Our family considered living here for the good schools. But the culture for us is preferable in Shoreline, and also the commute to South Lake Union. Perhaps we may consider moving here in the future for our daughter to attend high school.
Pros
  • Excellent high schools
Cons
  • Cost of living
  • Traffic and tolls
4/5
Just now

"The beautiful Arboretum"

Montlake is where the Washington Park Arboretum is. This is a very large park with many features. We enjoy coming here as a family.

We enjoy learning about all the plants. We learned that the park is managed by the University of Washington and the City of Seattle. They do a very good job keeping the park in good condition. They have materials to help you to identify the plants that are grown there. There are hundreds of plant species, and some have labels right next to the plant. There are also many paths that go throughout the park. Some have special features like a pond or a covered bench.

I recommend going to the “fragrance garden.” Here is where they planted many plants with beautiful smells. I also recommend going to the small beach at the north part of the park. You can find the trail that is a boardwalk to “Marsh Island.” It is fun to look for turtles but you should each hold the hand of your children on both sides because there are no fences to prevent them from falling in! It is a little dangerous for toddlers. I don’t think we will go back until our daughter is older.

Sometimes the Arboretum has classes for the public citizens. Some specialized classes are only for adults. However there are also family classes. They are good for preschooler age. They teach about things such as the seasons, trees, what is in the dirt, and so on.

If you have a garden, there are two plant sales where you can buy starters or full grown plants. One is in the spring, and one is in the fall. They have a very big selection and the money goes to the park. So it is a good cause to support.

Also sometimes there are special events at the arboretum, mainly weddings. It can be hard to find parking during the events. It is also hard to find parking when there is a University of Washington football game. It is because people park in this neighborhood and walk across the bridge to the football game.
Pros
  • Beautiful parks and historic landmarks
4/5 rating details
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
Just now

"Nature in the City"

Magnolia is full of nature, even though it is in the city. The Discovery Park is the biggest Seattle Park. It has many walking trails. Our favorite place is the beach. There is a lighthouse, rocks to climb on, and of course the beach to walk on. Also there are picnic tables next to the lighthouse.

North of Magnolia is Ballard but in between is the Ballard Locks. It’s part of the water corridor from the lake to the Puget Sound. We learned that this is called the Salmon Bay Wildlife Corridor. There is a lot of protected land here. Seattle Parks and Recreation has a nature exploration map for this area. It gives directions to many interesting places, like the Kiwanis Ravine. This is a protected Heron bird nest area. We found the hidden walking bridge and watched for 10 minutes. We did see some herons! They are interesting birds.

Other than that, we like the Magnolia Playground. It is in the downtown area. There is also the “Wish Upon” Children’s Consignment. We visit sometimes to see what they have.
Pros
  • Good parks
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
Just now

"Many festivals and events throughout the year"

This is a very nice neighborhood. The houses are good looking, and it has a friendly environment. The downtown area is full of shops, and restaurants, and the neighborhood hosts many family events. It seems to be a neighborhood that people are proud to live in, and they live here for a long time.

We have gone to one festival at Gasworks Park in Wallingford. It was the SeaFair festival, as well as the Independence Day Celebration. There was music, food trucks, and fireworks late at night. But I don’t know if we will attend again, because the lines for the food trucks were very long, almost an hour for some, which is too long to wait for deep fat fried food with a hungry child.

However we did enjoy the Wallingford family parade and festival in July, one week later. There was a fun parade and several merchants along the main street, 45th Avenue. My daughter liked the marching band in the funny hats. We also learned that any children can be in the parade, which we will do when she is older. The parking is hard to find during the parade however.

We did hear about the “wurst” festival, which is a family event in October with many types of sausage, German style music, children’s activities, and a bake sale. I think we’ll try this one this year.
Pros
  • Family activities
  • Festivals
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
Just now

"Family activities—gym, restaurants, stores"

We take our daughter to The Little Gym in Ravenna. It is a great place for children. She does the gymnastics class. When she was smaller we did the parent-child classes. It is good for children’s motor skills and coordination. She has made new friends in class and is learning a lot. They also have parties and classes for other ages of children. The only problem is that it is expensive. But the high-quality teachers and gym equipment is worth the cost.

Sometimes we will stop at Chiang’s Gourmet Restaurant afterwards for dim sum. They also make homemade noodles. You must ask for the “Chinese Menu” to see many of the authentic dishes. For some reason they do not include them on the “American Menu.”

Because the neighborhood is so close to Green Lake, sometimes we will visit Green Lake before class. It is only about 5 minutes drive away. Also I like the “Ten Thousand Village” fair trade store nearby. It has many beautiful household items from around the world. They also have colorful children’s items and interesting children’s books. Better than things offered in the department store. The toys are unique and handmade.
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
Just now

"A fun day at the market"

Pike Place Market has many fun things to see and do. However you have to be careful of where you go because it is not all kid-friendly. But we enjoy going to the vendors. They have many creative children’s toys like a cloth play tent, wooden toys, and also things for the home. My daughter loves the hand made "beanie babies" in animal shapes. I like the fresh flower bouquets for sale. Very good value and beautiful too.

Also there is the big “piggy bank” where we put in a quarter for good luck. Near the pig there are sometimes musicians playing different kinds of music. They are street performers, called buskers.

We enjoy very much the food. We like to try the different types each time. Some of the restaurants are difficult to find, however, hiding in alleys and down the stairs.

The other shops that are good for children are the Market Magic Shop, and the Lamplight Books, which has many children’s books.

After we see the market, we like to walk down the stairs to the big wheel. Then we walk next to the water to the sculpture park. It can take a long time with a child so you should bring a stroller and some snacks. But all the activities together make a long, fun day.
Pros
  • Plenty of shopping options
  • Waterfront
Cons
  • Limited parking
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
Just now

"Sightseeing and attractions"

We’ve been here several times and have enjoyed our visits. There are many tourists here, to see the unusual attractions.

The tourists come to see things like the Fremont Troll. It is a very large troll made of sand under the bridge. We visited it once but it smelled of urine so we did not allow our daughter to climb on it like the other children. There is also a statue of Vladimir Lenin in Fremont. I do not understand why people would want such a statue in their neighborhood. But I suppose it is to make it a unique, unusual place, which it is.

There is also the Fremont Market. We thought it was a farmer’s market but it is not. It is a “flea” market, and antiques market. There is some food, but not like other farmer’s market. I probably would not return.

We did the chocolate tour at Theo’s chocolate factory without our daughter, and it was delicious. I wouldn’t recommend it for young children but it is appropriate for teenagers and older. You can try many chocolates and see the process of creating chocolate bars.

We also attended the Fremont Solstice Parade in June, which celebrates the longest day of the year. We were surprised at the nudity at the beginning of the parade. We heard that all the bicyclists would have their bodies painted. They did not. But the rest of the parade was more family-friendly with beautiful costumes and dancing.

I can also recommend walking along the waterfront on the cement trail, which is nice in the summer to cool down. See if you can find the bush shaped like a dinosaur.
Pros
  • Unique culture

"Great Zoo"

We went to Phinney Ridge neighborhood to go to the Woodland Park Zoo twice. It is fun to see the animals, especially the tiger, orangutan, gorilla, and penguins. We are planning to do the “zoo sprouts” class. This teaches you and your young children about different animals.

There was just a baby gorilla born at the zoo. We hope to see it soon. It looks very cute and adorable in the photographs.

We heard that they will soon be opening a night exhibit, which will be very interesting to see the nighttime animals.

We also have been one time to the “wildlights.” This is where they cover the pathways with lights and create animal shapes with the lights. It is beautiful in the winter. We also did the indoor “snowball fight” with fake snowballs. Since Seattle doesn’t usually get snow, they have to make fake snow.

Other than the zoo, we also went to the Woodland Park. It was nice, but Green Lake Park is nicer.

One other feature are the walking bridges over aurora. I have seen people taking photograph portraits here, which is a good idea.
Pros
  • Big zoo
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
Just now

"Big park with fun things to do"

Mercer Island is a place we visit 2 or 3 times per year. Though it is not far from Seattle the traffic can be very slow. This is because you can only get to the island on I-90. There can be lots of construction.

When we went there, we enjoyed Luther Burbank Park. We went there for Greenway Days. This is a time to learn about conservation, protecting nature, and also about fishing. Our daughter got to try using a fishing pole. Also as a family we were able to try kayaking. It was a good experience because we do not have fishing or kayaking equipment. And this way she still was able to learn and experience it. Also she begins to care about the environment more.

The park has a large jungle gym, which is very popular. There is also an amphitheater. We went to Shakespeare in the Park there and enjoyed the high quality performance. There is also swimming in Lake Washington. When we went they had a lifeguard. For boats they have a dock as well but it is only for small boats I think. If you are there in the summer there are also blackberries you can eat. But you have to be careful and watch out for dead grass or other dead weeds nearby. This means that they sprayed a chemical to kill the plants nearby and you don’t want to eat blackberries there.

The park has a Community and Events Center too, with an art gallery. We looked inside for only a few minutes but in the summer people want to enjoy the sunny park, not go inside.

Mercer Island for us is a place to only visit occasionally, not to live. It seems most people own their homes here because there are mostly houses and few apartments. It is a fancy looking neighborhood, very nice and clean.
Pros
  • Great parks
  • Good for families
Cons
  • Depends on I-90 for access
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
Just now

"Good park with stroller-friendly path"

When our daughter was too young to walk, we would take her here often. This is because it is a nice park with a wide path good for strollers. Very smooth. They made the path wide to fit many people and flat so anyone can use it. Now we also try the trails in the middle of the park. There are some main trails and some small ones. We are trying to explore all the small trails.

Seward Park is the best place to watch the Blue Angels. The Blue Angels are American military planes that do an air show in midsummer. You should arrive early and bring many snacks and drinks, plus an umbrella to block the sun. Then sit on the north or north-east shore for the show. Avoid driving just before and after because traffic is very bad.

There is a very good playground here at the park. It has many unique and fun features. It is also a good place for swimming. However, last year there was a sewage spill nearby that caused the bacteria to grow. The swimming was closed for a short time. It reopened shortly after, but check for any closures before swimming. Normally the water is fine. The beaches are nice as well.
Pros
  • Great parks
  • Waterfront activities
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Beach Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
Just now

"City walk and good bookstore"

Green Lake is a busy place for a walk, but nice for a park in a city. It’s a long walk with a child, unless they have a bike or scooter or stroller. My daughter (4) likes to take her scooter. The path at Green Lake helps her learn to steer.

When she is older we will try a paddleboat in the summer. I see people rent them near the concession stand. You can paddle to the small “duck island.” There are lots of ducks also near the shore but you should not feed them.

We went to the Pathway of Lights in Mid December last year. It was very nice. The whole pathway around the Green Lake was lit with lights. We brought our own candles to add to the pathway. Then we stopped at the stations to participate in activities. There was a singing choir to listen to. Also other musicians, and artwork. It was also a fundraiser for the food bank. Of course we stopped for hot chocolate because it was very cold and rainy on a December night.

The Seattle Youth Soccer Association teams practice here, and also south in Woodland Park. Woodland Park has many trails for exploring too.

Also in Green Lake is Mockingbird Books. They have a storytime, good after a walk around Green Lake. They also have a very good selection of children’s books. Their saying is “books give children wings.” What’s nice is the employees know all about the books and what books are best for what ages. We will visit many times.
Pros
  • Good walking path for children
  • Great book store
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
5/5
Just now

"Many children’s entertainment options"

Lower Queen Anne has many good family activities. We love going to the Children’s Museum. It is located in the “armory.” It is truly built for children with toys and exhibits that are designed well. In the winter they also have the model train set before Christmas on the ground level.

The Pacific Science Center is also located here, and we go regularly with our membership. Once a year they have Arctic Explorers day which is our favorite day. You can learn all about the Arctic and meet scientists and explorers. The dinosaur exhibit is also fun. And we always go to the butterfly house. It is nice in the winter because it is a tropical environment.

Also here is the Children’s Theater. The plays are designed for children in the audience, but the actors are usually adults. My daughter has already announced that she wants to go to drama school because she loves these plays so much. I suggest getting a subscription, which makes the prices very affordable.
Pros
  • Children's activities
  • Many entertainment options
5/5 rating details
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
Just now

"Wonderful beach park"

Carkeek park in Broadview is one of our favorite parks. It’s very quiet, and there are not too many tourists. We often come here for picnics in the summer. Once we also used one of the barbeques, with charcoal.

There is a nice playground, but check to make sure it is clean first. It is shaped like a salmon and also has a slide and swings. We also like to stand on the bridge and watch the train go underneath. And there are lots of walking trails that are acceptable for all ages, and also for wheelchairs or strollers.

The most fun is the ocean. You should wear water shoes, so the rocks don’t hurt your feet, and you can wade in the water. The Olympic Mountains can be seen across Puget Sound on clear days.

One time there were some musicians playing here before sunset. Very nice.

Also, there is the environmental learning center, which sometimes has events. You can volunteer here to keep the park clean, which is a good lesson for children. There are some picnic shelters you can rent, we are thinking to do this for a birthday party.

The only bad part is the parking is sometimes full on the weekend afternoons in the summer.

Sometimes we eat at Yang’s Noodles on the way, which I recommend. Some of the dishes are very good, others not so good. But once you find the ones you like it is a good place. It is on Aurora and 145th.
Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Great parks
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
Just now

"A shopping mall and housing"

Northgate is one of the biggest, most north neighborhoods in Seattle city limits. It includes the Haller Lake neighborhood, which I take note of in another review.

We live not far from Northgate, which is a convenient place for shopping. It is mostly a mall, with clothing stores, Macy's, JcPenney, Target, Ross, TJ Max, and others. They have three special children’s stores here: Gymboree, The Children’s Place and Crazy 8. Plus the children’s sections in the large stores. Our favorite is Crazy 8. They have unique clothing and good sales.

The mall is the main reason why we are sometimes in the Northgate neighborhood. There is also a movie theater with an IMAX screen we have visited.

We also have been to Kym’s Kiddy Corner in Northgate, which is a children’s consignement store. It's not at the mall, it's on Pinehurst Way nearby. Since children grow so quickly, you can sell the slightly used clothes they outgrew here. They have a good selection of toys, clothes, and other things. But you should clean anything you buy here before you use it, just in case.

The rest of the neighborhood is mainly housing, so no reason to visit. I have heard it’s very affordable, but I wouldn’t want to live here. It is not as clean and safe as Shoreline.
Pros
  • Inexpensive housing
  • Large mall
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
Just now

"Good for a short visit"

Haller Lake is not far from our home in Shoreline. The lake itself is mostly all private access, with one public park on the west side.

I have been here several times with my family, though we usually prefer the larger Lake Ballinger to the North. However, Lake Haller is acceptable for a quick visit to see the sun and the water. When we drive in the area, my daughter always wants to stop here to look for frogs. Though I’m sure there are frogs, we have not found any yet. However there are lily pads and marsh, and birds.

When we do come here, we always make a stop at the Bridge Coffee House. It is part of the North Seattle Alliance Church. It is a very family friendly place, and the coffee is excellent. They also enjoy having children present, which is not true at every coffee shop.
Pros
  • nice small lake
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
Just now

"Free summer music for all"

We’ve only explored Columbia City twice so far, for Columbia City Beatwalk. We enjoyed it both times.

Columbia City Beatwalk is a free, small music festival the second Sunday of the month all summer. The music is hosted all over the neighborhood, in many stores, not just in the bars, which makes the setting more appropriate for families. You can walk from place to place enjoying the music. We plan to attend at least once this summer. I also recommend taking time to have a meal at one of the many restaurants. However I would not recommend driving to Columbia City from North Seattle until rush hour is completed.
Pros
  • Free music
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
Just now

"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 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Amazon Headquarters"

South Lake Union is where my workplace Amazon is located. We enjoy the neighborhood for work. The streets are very clean and the buildings are new and nice. There is lots of construction, and many new apartment buildings.

The Amazon campus is also growing, with more than a dozen buildings. Amazon has been here since 2010. But it became more permanent in 2012, when 11 buildings were purchased from Vulcan Real Estate. This created the large headquarters, which are still growing more.

I commute from Shoreline, and take the E-line, a fast express bus. However, there is no stop directly on campus, the closest stop is at Denny Way and Aurora. This is a 10 minutes walk from work. I wish there was a closer stop, because the commute takes over one hour. But it is not bad, and the bus is clean and new. I have also taken the new tram to Westlake Center, though it was slow in the traffic.

There are no family activities in South Lake Union, it is a place for work, and for young single people. There is the Museum of History and Industry, but it is mainly for adults.

To conclude, it is a good place for work to be located. I would not want to live here though, it is not family friendly.
Pros
  • Close to Amazon
Cons
  • No family activities
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles

"Aquarium, big wheel, shopping"

Downtown is not the most family friendly neighborhood in Seattle, but there are still some nice activities.

The waterfront is the best place downtown for families, though I am hopeful that the renovations will be complete soon, because they detract from our enjoyment. Despite the construction, you can still enjoy the Seattle Aquarium. During the winter on several Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays, they host free toddler time with fun activities for young children up to age 5. Waterfront park is right next door, as well. It is simply a small area of public access on the pier, but is quite pleasant in the summer.

Also on the waterfront, we once rode the big wheel, just south of the aquarium. It was an exciting one-time activity, but we will not be regular patrons. Further south still, you can explore Ye Olde Curiosity shop, though you must keep a close watch on toddlers as there are many tiny items that can end up in their mouths.

We occasionally enjoy a visit to the Pike Place Market, where we watch the fish being thrown and buy a bouquet of flowers. But a word of caution: many of the stalls sell child-friendly toys and items, so it can be a challenge to shop here as your child may want many items!
Pros
  • Aquarium
Cons
  • Construction
5/5 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 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Full of family activities"

Ballard is great neighborhood for families. There are many childcare facilities and good schools. The neighborhood is also very safe and friendly.

I like to take my family to Golden Gardens Park in the summer for a picnic, but it does get too crowded on weekends. We’ve also gone to the Ballard locks to watch the boats go in and out, and see the salmon swim by. And every holiday season, we bundle up and go to watch the Christmas ships with a thermos of hot cocoa.

Lastly, I’d recommend the Ballard pool if you have children, during family hours on Sunday. There are lots of kids, and my daughter loves making new friends here.
Pros
  • Family activities
Cons
  • High traffic volumes on arterial streets
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids

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