Seattle is home to some great neighborhoods. There's quirky Fremont, trendy Belltown, bustling Downtown... the list goes on. But neighborhoods are about more than hip coffee shops and fashionable art galleries. They're about the people who live in them. And not everyone wants hip. Not everyone wants fashionable. For families, it's things like affordability, schools, safety, and accessibility that count. So, which areas of the Emerald City are best for people with kids in tow? Find out as we rank the 10 best places to live in Seattle for families.
10. Lower Queen Anne
The neighborhood of Queen Anne is broken up into two distinct areas: the upper side and the lower side. While Upper Queen Anne regularly ranks as one of very the best places for families in Seattle, the lower extension shouldn't be overlooked. Blessed with a great range of affordable housing options, excellent shopping opportunities, and easy access to family-friendly attractions like Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center, and Kerry Park, it's a winning destination for young families looking for a safe, walkable neighborhood that comes with many of the same attractions as Upper Queen Anne, but at a slightly more palatable price.
If you dream of settling down to a relaxed life by the water, the quiet neighborhood of Leschi might be just what you're looking for. Located on the western shore of Lake Washington, it's serene, peaceful, and blessed with enough outdoor recreation opportunities to keep even the most active family happy. It's also close enough to the city center to make commuting a breeze. If you want to combine the convenience of the urban with the advantages of the suburban, you'll find few better places to do it.
If there's one thing most families prioritize above all else, it's safety. If that applies to you, you might want to consider Wallingford. Despite its proximity to the downtown, it boasts a small-town charm that's guaranteed to make you feel at home. Neighbors watch out for each other, and there's always some kind of community event going on to get involved in. Despite its peaceful, relaxed lifestyle, there's no shortage of opportunities for family fun at the nearby Woodland Park and the Woodland Zoo. Stores are plentiful, and there are more than enough cafes and restaurants to keep you in coffee and cake for life.
Affluent, green, and home to an excellent range of parks, boutiques, and cafes, pretty Montlake makes a top choice for families. Low crime, excellent schools, and excellent commuting links to the rest of the city confirm its status as one of Seattle's best neighborhoods. It's by no means the cheapest place in Seattle to buy a home, but the attractions far outweigh the costs.
6. West Seattle
Named by Extra Space Storage as one of Seattle's most family-friendly neighborhoods, West Seattle ticks all the boxes. Its median home price of $505,822 is relatively affordable by Seattle standards; its crime rate is exceptionally low; it's got some great schools on its doorstep (including the very highly rated West Seattle High School, Madison Middle School, and Fairmount Park Elementary School); its waterfront location guarantees plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities, and its community is tight-knit and welcoming. Last but by no means least, its schedule of events (including a farmer's market, art walks, and music festivals) ooze family-friendly appeal.
If you're happy to add a few minutes to your commuting time in return for a relaxed pace of life, the pretty suburb of Sammamish might be your ideal match. Set in a breathtaking landscape of hills, lakes, and mountains, it's perfect for families who like to spend their downtime out and about in nature. Topping off its family-friendly appeal is a superbly low crime rate, good public transportation links into Seattle, a clutch of top-rated schools, and enough amenities to meet even the most exacting needs.
4. Upper Queen Anne
You've already met Lower Queen Anne; now prepare to meet its saintly sister, Upper Queen Anne. With a convenient location just a little north of the city centre, it's an excellent option for young families looking to combine the convenience and opportunities of the downtown with the relaxed lifestyle of suburbia. Home prices are fairly reasonable (the median is $635,135, but there's plenty of cheaper options if you look hard enough). The public schools are excellent, as is the range of parks, museums, restaurants, and shops. Safe, well-appointed, and blessed with exceptional amenities, it's understandable why it's such a hot destination for families.
Laurelhurst is by no means the cheapest neighborhood in Seattle (expect to pay around $1,053,600 if you intend to buy a home and $1,281 if you prefer to rent), but if you can swallow the cost, you're in for a treat. Unlike certain other neighborhoods that lose their sense of community as soon as the price tags start growing, Laurelhurst has managed to retain a close-knit, welcoming spirit that's perfect for families. The crime rate is next to nonexistent, while the number of family-friendly recreational opportunities is boundless. If all that wasn't enough, the schools serving the neighborhood are some of the best in the Seattle area.
As pods.com notes, the budget-friendly neighborhood of Greenwood has long been considered one of the best places in Seattle for families looking to buy their first home. Walkable, safe, and blessed with plenty of highly rated schools and kid-friendly attractions, it's an excellent option for families who want to stay close to downtown while still benefiting from the safety and affordability of one of Seattle's most kid-friendly areas.
Named by getbellhops.com as one of the best neighborhoods for families in Seattle, the residential neighborhood of Magnolia is set on a divine location on a peninsula overlooking Puget Sound. Home to some very friendly family attractions (including the Discovery Park with its acres of trails and beaches; the West Point Lighthouse; and the intriguing Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center) along with an excellent farmer's market, a great range of shops, cafes, salons, boutiques, and bakeries, a community pool, and a library, it offers enough to keep all ages and tastes happy. Served by some extremely well-respected schools and a good selection of housing options, it's a fantastic place to raise a family.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson