This article was written by my friend and colleague,Â Annette Grupido, with whom I work in West Seattle. My witty comments are in italics. Just like this. Enjoy.
1. The water!Â Less than a mile away is the peaceful and gorgeous Beach Drive. Just far enough from the bustle of Alki, yet close enough for a great run /walk with numerous scenic viewpoints and parks along the way. There is even a lovely Italian restaurant,Â La Rustica, for those nights you'd like to take a leisurely stroll to a memorableÂ dinner.
If you liked the volleyball scene in Top Gun, you'll LOVE Alki Beach in the Summer!
2. The Alaska Junction offers a plethora of restaurants and pubs.Â A huge variety of foods are represented here. Mexican, Sushi, Steaks, Thai, pub fare and more! Not to mention our thriving nightlife. MonthlyÂ art walksÂ feature local artists, there is live theatre atÂ Artswest, as well as a handful of Karaoke and live music venues.
My favorite isÂ Lee's Asian Restaurant, home of the 7-flavor beef, which is worth the drive regardless of anything else you see over here...
3. The choices for your morning caffeine fix are nearly endless.Â If you're on the run, Angelina's has a drive thru. If you need some time online,Â HotwireÂ has free wi-fi to pair with your latte. Or, if you just want a cozy, lovely place to be, Â C & P CoffeeÂ has unbeatable ambiance!
C&P was the first place I went on my first visit to West Seattle. It's awesome, and will definitely be getting its own post...some day....
4. The Junction also boasts some excellent boutique shopping.Â Excellent values are to be found at Cherry Consignment andÂ Funky Jane's. Or if high end specialty clothes are your thing, Carmilia's and Sweetie are sure to please. We even have specialty shoe stores, like Edie's and Clementine, that feature the hippest new styles.
I recently picked up a fantastic vintage umbrella... Â No, not really, This is Seattle. Only tourists carry umbrellas.
5. If antiques make your heart sing, take a walk through our spacious Antique Mall.Â The mall offers three floors of shopping delights, from antiques to chotchkeys. You should also check outÂ Wild Rose's AntiquesÂ just up the street. A relaxing Sunday could be spent just wandering through these treasure troves!
See umbrella comment above...that probably should have been posted here. I don't know...does an umbrella count as an accessory or a decoration? Can it be both? Could I possibly be any less interested, either way?
6.Â There are plenty of basic services available in the Junction:
You can even pay your City of Seattle bills here. Our retailers include two major grocery stores (QFC and Safeway), plus GNC, True Value, Bartells Drugs, Petco and Next to Nature for your pets, the greatÂ Husky DeliÂ andÂ Bin 41Â for wine just to name a few. And last, but certainly not least, ourÂ Sunday Farmers MarketÂ is not to be missed!
The new QFC is wicked nice, and their deli is kick-ass.
7. The Alaska Junction has several fitness options.Â We haveÂ Bikram YogaÂ , the family-minded YMCA, Fitness Together for one-on-one training, and the 24-hour gym,Snapfitness. My personal favorite is the colossalÂ All Star FitnessÂ just down the hill to the East, near the West Seattle Bridge.
I go toÂ Anytime Fitness, up near the Admiral Junction. I love the All Star Fitness, but it doesn't work well with my travelling. And besides, the relative difference in equipment quality versus price is zzz...zzz...zzzz... Whoa! What happened?! I bored myself to sleep...
8. West Seattle has some amazing parks.Â Lincoln Park is our most grand, set right on the Sound with a salt water public pool, miles of trails and numerous playing fields. There are also many smaller parks dotted throughout our neighborhoods that really strike me. In my neighborhood of Seaview, the newly built Ercolini Park is always alive with children playing. It is a popular gathering place for families in this area. And then, of course, there is Alki Beach, which provides a beautiful slice of Souther California, right here in our own back yard.
If you're into listening to kids screaming (or cougars) the interior parks are great. I prefer to stay down by the water...where the rich people are.
9. Â It is a quick commute to downtown Seattle for an urban adventure.Â It is great to live in such a quiet, convenient community, yet have all of the excitement and activity of the city available within easy reach. The West Seattle Bridge, Highway 99 and Interstate 5 keep West Seattle conveniently connected. Â The Alaska Junction is also amajor bus stop, making it simple and affordable to reach the rest of the city. Â We also have a Â foot ferry near Alki Beach that runs April-October for car free trips to downtown.
It's no joke. As the conscientious, green-living modern real estate agent that I am, I take the bus. I can walk up to the Junction and hop on a bus that goes all the way through downtown, Fremont and almost all the way to Ballard. For $2. It's amazing. and you'd never get away with having that many prostitutes in your CAR!
10. The people.Â Even with all of the breathtaking views, beautiful homes, and exceptional restaurants, it is theÂ peopleÂ that really make West Seattle great. Everywhere you go, there are friendly, outgoing people who are just truly happy to be a part of and share their community. Â It is a common site to see our neighbors out for evenings strolls with their dogs and or kids throughout our neighborhoods. Â I've been living here in West Seattle for several years, and I have many great friends here. There is a real sense of community here, and I absolutely love it!
I've been living full-time here in West Seattle for just over two months. I have to say, there are some really nice people here! I've met SO many...several of whom are actually within a few years of my age! Sorry Bellingham, but you made me feel old. Â After living in Eastlake, Queen Anne, Ballard and Green Lake, I had always planned to live in West Seattle once I'd done my time in Bellingham. I have to say...I love it!