Hundreds of years ago, you would have found hunting and fishing parties of the Duwamish Tribe “home-basing it” in this protected area on the shores of Lake Washington. These early tribes had cleared out trails from this idyllic lake location, radiating out to Elliot Bay and Lake Union.
Leschi’s name comes from Chief Leschi of the Nisqually nation. Although originally friendly to the American settlers, he along with other Indians became entangled in a bitter land dispute that culminated with the “Battle of Seattle” in 1856. The band of Indians used this trail from Leschi to the outskirts of the Seattle settlement, attacking and burning settler’s homes along the way. They were met with a US battleship docked in Elliott Bay that returned fire and caused the Indians to retreat.
Slowly over time white settlers and entrepreneurs began laying claim to the area of Leschi – building cabins, an “entertainment center” for hunting, boating, and nature excursions, a saw mill, and a boat launch for exploration of the lake’s eastside. Once a cable car line was established in the late 1880s, this area became fully developed.
Perched atop Lake Washington with fantastic views, a harbor and a sweet business district, Leschi has a very casual, laidback feeling. Close to downtown, the scenic drive out to Leschi puts you in a relaxed state of mind – far from the frenzy of the city.
Activities and Attractions
This area has two main attractions – an extensive park system and a bustling retail area. Leschi and Frink parks are interconnected and span down the hillside towards the lake. Offering terrific views, manicured greenspaces, playgrounds, extensive hiking trails and boat moorage – you can explore from land to lake. The business district gives you several dining options – Daniel’s Broiler, BluWater and Pert’s Deli offer water views and/or outdoor dining. Stop at Starbucks for a coffee or the Leschi Market for picnic fare and wander along the water or up into the neighborhood.
Homes in Leschi
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Off the beaten path, once you discover Leschi you’ll wonder why you’ve never heard of this lovely neighborhood before. Maybe because those “in the know” want to keep it as their little secret.