This area once played a big role in moving cargo from Elliot Bay and Downtown across Lake Washington. Most of the residents were people who worked in these important jobs. Once the city’s population began to grow, nicer homes were built for more wealthy dwellers, though they probably didn’t enjoy the nearby power plant’s seven smokestacks.
It’s amazing to think that the first houseboats were more like “floating shanties” for migrant workers who helped to build the Lake Washington Ship Canal. Today, the residences are still small, but vary from modest to opulent.
For the past few decades, it’s been like one long episode of “Extreme Makeover: Neighborhood Edition” in Eastlake. Almost 60% of the residences there were built after 1980, most of them the kind of five-story apartment buildings with retail space on the ground level. It has probably the most eclectic, if not unusual, assortment of architecture in Seattle, with floating homes, urban condos, turn-of-the-century homes, modern townhomes and old brick apartment buildings. This makes the area very fun and lively, both for residents and those who want to visit.
Activities and Attractions
Obviously, there are lots of ways to get out and enjoy Lake Union here. There is a boat launch for kayaks and canoes, or you can join the Lake Union Crew squad. Many small parks dot the shore, including Fairview Park and Eastlake Bouledrome, which claims to have the best waterfront bocce ball in Seattle (though we can’t imagine there’s much competition for that title).
It’s always fun to grab a table on the deck at one of the restaurants along the lake (like Eastlake Bar and Grill or Serafina) so you can watch the boats and seaplanes. If you’ve got the time, you can go on your very own seaplane ride and get a great view of Seattle, and Eastlake of course!
Homes in Eastlake
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Which lake, you ask? I know, neighborhood namers really need to be more specific sometimes. Those ‘in the know’ are well aware that this cool neighborhood is right on the eastern side of Lake Union, which puts it at a prime location. Heck, you can even live in a houseboat if you want!