The location of the Magnolia neighborhood in Seattle feels like a secluded island. Three bridges give you access to Magnolia, just west of Queen Anne, north of Downtown, and south of the Chittenden Locks in Ballard. This unique part of Seattle is on a natural peninsula, and the lack of major city thoroughfares through the neighborhood helps Magnolia retain in friendly quaint, atmosphere.
Along West McGraw Street is the main shopping area and the Magnolia trees that give this area its name. The naming was actually a mistake. Captain Vancouver recorded the Madrona trees that dot the bluffs near the water as being Magnolia trees when he was journeying on the Puget Sound. Being situated near the water means that there is abundant natural beauty in this area. Magnolia homes are famous for being among the most expensive, and many have incredible views. Owners of Magnolia homes love the park at the south end of the neighborhoods. Anyone can come here, though, and use the picnic tables and tennis courts.
The largest park in the city can be found in this area of Seattle. Owners of Magnolia homes often go to the 534-acre Discovery Park. Here, you can wander the almost 12 miles of walking trails through waterfront hills, and rugged beaches with views of the Olympics. Most of the shoreline of Discovery Park faces the southwest, so this is a great place to watch the sun set over Puget Sound. While it has only been here since 1973, Discovery Park is now an important part of the area. Fort Lawton is still within the boundaries of the park, and this is where some military families are housed.
Another landmark of this neighborhood is the Palisades restaurant. As you walk up the steps of this Magnolia restaurant, you will realize that you’re in for a real treat. There is an all you can eat pancake and tropical fruit buffet at the Palisades restaurant, but it is great for lunch and dinner as well. The Sunday brunch here is the most popular Magnolia restaurant in the area.
Far from the bustle of downtown and the busy pace of other Seattle neighborhoods, Magnolia is a place the offers you tranquility and scenic views. While only three bridges connect it, this area of Seattle is an inextricable part of Seattle life. From a fine Magnolia restaurant to the hours of fun at Discovery Park, Magnolia will show you a taste of the good life in the Pacific Northwest.
Old Seattle charm, thriving urban center
Historians say realtor and land speculator James A. Moore, who was credited with the platting of the Capitol Hill area, named it after a similarly named site in Denver. But others say the name stuck after a real estate firm offered space on the hill as part of a proposal to place the area’s capital in Seattle.
Whichever the case, by 1908 Capitol Hill and adjacent First Hill had become Seattle’s most fashionable districts. Wealthy bankers, shipping executives and other newly rich called it home.
Today the neighborhood is a thriving urban center, and Broadway — the neighborhood’s main drag — serves as its focal point. Broadway is best known for its assortment of radical shops and tattoo parlors.
The street has been featured in Hollywood’s “Singles,” where angst-ridden twentysomethings fall in — and out — of movie love, and rap artist Sir Mix-A-Lot immortalized its nightlife in his song about a “posse on Broadway.”
So it’s not entirely a surprise that Capitol Hill is where Seattleites send out-of-towners who seek an interesting place to visit.
During the 1960s, Broadway was informally known as “decorator’s row” because of the stores that thrived there at the time. In the 1970s, that gave way to “restaurant row.” And in the 1990s, the street was characterized by the emergence of more chains.
The Capitol Hill community is also a hub for religion. It is home to St. Mark’s Cathedral, the largest congregation for Episcopalians in the Pacific Northwest.
St. Joseph’s Church is also prominent in the historically Catholic neighborhood. In past decades, the area north of St. Joseph’s was one of the most heavily Catholic neighborhoods north of San Francisco and west of St. Paul, Minn.
Secular attractions such as shopping and entertainment remain big reasons non-residents of Capitol Hill wind up on the hill. And Broadway still offers a cornucopia of restaurants serving worldly fare at affordable prices.
The area is also considered the center of Seattle’s gay community, and it holds an annual Gay Pride week celebration.
During the academic year, Capitol Hill is filled with backpacking students who go to one of the nearby major institutions of higher learning — Seattle Central Community College and the nationally acclaimed Cornish College of the Arts. Seattle University is on First Hill, but many of its students, faculty and staff work and play on Capitol Hill.
The neighborhood is bounded by Fuhrman Avenue East on the north, Interstate 5 on the west, East Pike Street on the south and 24th Avenue East.
It is home to a number of attractions, including Volunteer Park, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, Seattle Central Community College, Cornish College for the Arts and the Richard Hugo House.
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer