HistoryAfter early settlers wrote off Alki beach as too harsh, they moved to the more civilization-friendly top of the hill. This became the business and commercial district of the town of West Seattle, while more residential areas cropped up in the surrounding area. Admiral attempted to annex these smaller neighborhoods without success. All of the communities worked together to get bridges and roads put in so that West Seattle would be more accessible by Seattle residents. In this they did succeed, especially if you count the ferry that crossed Puget Sound in a record eight minutes. There was much argument about whether West Seattle should be annexed into Seattle Proper, and it finally happened in 1907. Still, because of its geographic separation from the rest of the city, West Seattle has a distinct culture, and Admiral remains the center of it all.
VibeA quick perusal at the Admiral Neighborhood Association website give you a glimpse into what the vibe of the community is. They claim to be “comprised of residents, business people, and others who care about the environmental, economic, and social sustainability” of the neighborhood. And care, they do. Events like clean-up days, outdoor concerts, community forums, and art walks get everyone involved and feeling like part of something bigger.
Activities and AttractionsThe main streets here are Admiral Way and California Avenue, and the intersection of the two is a great place to start an exploration of the region. Whether you have small children in your life or not, you simply must stop at Max and Quinn’s Atomic Boys Shop-o-Rama, which is full of some of the funnest toys you’ll ever see; think robots, zombies, and pretty much anything retro. Keep the vintage feel going by catching a film at the Historic Admiral Theaters, where they show second-release films for only $6—beat that! Traveling south on California, you’ll come across other gems like Freshy’s Coffee and Tea, The Heartland Cafe (don’t miss the Benbow Room … it’s like you just stepped into the hull of a Pirate ship), and Prost! German pub. If you make it that far, the intersection of California and Alaska (aka “The Junction”) is another extremely popular area of West Seattle, and though not technically part of Admiral, still worth some major exploration time.
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