Once it was finally cleared of its trees and was made accessible to the rest of the city by trolley, Mount Baker quickly became an upscale neighborhood. A community club was formed and the wealthy landowners who built their houses in the area were granted membership. With its views of Lake Washington, the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges, and Mount Baker in the distance (hence the name), people were eager to move in.
Though it is still one of the fancier residential neighborhoods, Mount Baker has lost much of its elite attitude. People flock here during the summer to watch the SeaFair hydroplane races and to visit nearby Columbia City and Seward Park.
The atmosphere around here is pretty quiet, especially on the Lake Washington side; you’d never guess you were in the middle of a huge city. Farther west, along Rainier Avenue, things are a bit busier, with block after block of businesses. With the recent addition of the light rail station, people can more easily commute in and out of downtown.
Activities and Attractions
It would be hard to find a more scenic place to run or bike than along Lake Washington Boulevard, and many people come here to do just that (In fact, on Bicycle Sundays they close the boulevard to car traffic, so it’s available only to bikers and walkers). The road and trail connect several parks along the waterfront, and swimming, boating, or kayaking opportunities abound. Sayers Memorial Park takes up a tiny peninsula of land and connects to the beautiful Genesee Park, which rambles through the neighborhood and eventually ends in Columbia City. The Community Clubhouse holds events for whoever wishes to come. Choices include fitness day, bingo night, lectures, and workshops for both kids and adults.
Noteworthy dining establishments include Emerald City Fish and Chips, That’s Amore! Italian Café (made even better by the stunning view), and Repast Bakery. Of course, along Rainier Avenue there are about a gazillion options, from fast food to cuisine from many ethnicities.
Homes in Mount Baker
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If you’ve ever traveled west on the I-90 bridge heading into the city of Seattle, you’ve probably noticed some impressive homes and waterfront parks ahead of you before you enter the tunnel. This is the Mount Baker neighborhood, and it’s even more impressive from the inside.