Ravenna – Seattle Neighborhood Guide
Ravenna Boulevard meanders from Green Lake, past the University District, and on to the east toward Lake Washington. The charming neighborhood that takes its name from this street is the perfect place to call home.
Ravenna was once known for its wilderness—the creek that flowed into Green Lake and the forest of massive trees to be specific. City expansion would divert the water and turned the creek bed into what is now Ravenna Boulevard. The trees were gradually removed to make way for houses, but many still remain in the ravine at Ravenna/Cowen Park.
This is a remarkably quiet neighborhood, considering how close it is to the hubbub of the U-District and Greenlake. In fact, that’s a good way to describe the general vibe here: kind of, ‘We want to be in on the fun, but we don’t want it to keep us up at night.’ A small stretch of 65th Street near 20th Ave NE provides just enough activity to entertain the residents and draw in a few outsiders for a visit. Ravenna is also proud to call the University Village—aka “U-Village” shopping center part of its family; it’s one of the biggest attractions of the area, not to mention of the city in general!
Who Lives Here?
Ravenna Boulevard is sometimes referred to as ‘Professors Row,’ which is a small indication as to the types of people who reside here. With its proximity to the University of Washington, it makes sense that faculty and staff—and a fair amount of students—would settle here. Compared with Seattle as a whole, this neighborhood has more homes with children (22% compared to 18%), and 55% of residents own their homes; the rest are renters.
Activities and Attractions
The average person’s first stop when visiting Ravenna is at the U-Village. This outdoor mall is home to many stores that you would usually only see in the downtown area of a city—J. Crew, Anthropologie, Banana Republic, and H & M to name a few. It also has your more basic stops, like Gap, Barnes and Noble, and Eddie Bauer. This is a Young Mother’s paradise, with a play area, tons of cute shops geared toward children, and every child’s fantasyland, Trophy Cupcakes. In the summer, the Village closes off one of its parking lots for outdoor evening concerts, and in the winter there are umbrellas stationed handily at business entrances for you to use in between stores.
Ravenna Park is also a worthy destination. At first glance, it seems like just a grassy field with some play equipment, but there are actually almost 50 acres of wooded land and many trails that meander through the ravine and connect to Cowen Park near the University District. Use one of the outdoor grills and covered picnic areas for a family outing, or bring your Frisbee or hula-hoop to pass the time like the locals do!
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