Despite its close proximity to busier neighborhoods like Capitol Hill and the Central District, Madrona is an oasis of quiet and comfort. Its business district is small but classy, and the homes here are absolutely stunning.
Named after the native trees that covered the hillside, Madrona was the perfect place to settle for early Seattleites. One of the first attractions was Madrona Park, a lakeside swimming, boating, walking and picnicking dreamland. According to historylink.org, some people chose to camp in the park for the entire summer! Lots were quickly bought on the surrounding hillside, and eventually Lake Washington Boulevard was constructed so drivers could also enjoy the view of the lake.
It is a diverse neighborhood, but there wasn’t always harmony between residents. During the Civil Rights area, racial tension was high and some violence even erupted. Thankfully, by the 1970s these issues were resolved, and once again Madrona is well known for its ethnic diversity and acceptance of everyone.
Who Lives Here?
- Urban Power Families - High-income couples with children.
- Six-figure salaried couples with children who live an upscale life in a metro center. Highly educated professionals working in finance, medical, and high-tech fields.
- Power Singles - High-income urban singles.
- Highly educated professionals, many with advanced degrees. They draw a handsome salary and have reasonable living expenses while living a hip, upscale life in an urban center.
- High $$ DINKs - Urban high-income couples with no children.
- Middle-age Dual Income No Kids couples living in the city and making very comfortable combined household incomes. Most own their own homes and are highly educated professionals, many with advanced degrees.
|Median Household Income||$72,161||$45,736|
|Homes With Kids||26%||18%|
|Commute Time||23 min||27 min|
Madrona is the place to be if you want to live in a beautiful, quiet neighborhood yet still be within a stone’s throw of downtown. OK, maybe not a literal stone’s throw, but the residents do enjoy one of the lowest average commute times in the city, at 22 minutes. Wholesome family events are easy to find; movie nights, cultural parades, outdoor concerts, knitting groups, and wine tasting to name a few. This is a true community, with everyone working together to make it the best place to be. It’s no wonder they claim to be “Seattle’s best kept secret!”
Activities and Attractions
There truly are some beautiful parks in Madrona. Windy, tree-lined roads make their way from the top of the hill down to Lake Washington, and hidden trails and staircases make the route easy for pedestrians. Madrona Park itself has a swimming area, picnic shelters, lots of grass and trees, and a reclaimed wetland area. The trail that follows Lake Washington Blvd is very popular for runners and bikers.
The business district takes up about four blocks on 34th Avenue and Union Street. It may be small, but the establishments here seem to have been hand-picked to fit in with the neighborhood. Upscale shopping options include Hitchcock jewelry, Driftwood Consignment, Buggy children’s clothing, and Glassybaby’s famous hand-blown glass votives. For food, try the Hi Spot Café for brunch, Café Soleil for traditional Ethiopian cuisine, and either Bottlehouse or June for dinner.
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