In southeast Seattle, a small peninsula of land juts out into Lake Washington. This is Seward Park, and the surrounding neighborhood shares the same name.
The first settlers here in the 1850s were farmers, orchard tenders, and loggers. The nearby sawmill drew in many workers, and the population steadily increased. It wasn’t until a trolley line was built in 1891 that people could start developing the land in earnest. Where views of the lake were to be had, impressive homes were built, and more modest ones filled in the lots that were farther back from the water. When the neighborhood was annexed into Seattle in the early 1900s, the land on the peninsula was purchased by the city and turned into a park, which they named after William Seward. (You know—Seward’s Folly? Alaska? Ring a bell?) Anyway, eventually the whole neighborhood took on the name of the park.
There are two distinct areas to Seward Park: the water side, and the Rainier Avenue side. The part facing the water is largely residential, with neat rows of houses and a quiet, homey feel. On the Rainier Avenue side you’ll find the businesses and activity. Around here, there’s a lot to do and you’re only a few blocks away from other hip neighborhoods like Columbia City and Rainier Beach.
Activities and Attractions
Between Seward Park the park and Seward Park the neighborhood, there is so much to do here. The park has a 2.5-mile paved trail that runs the border of the peninsula, as well as regular old hiking trails that criss-cross through the middle. There are swimming areas, boat launches, playgrounds, and an environmental learning center. Rumor has it that many bald eagles have made their nests here, so if you keep your eyes peeled, you just might spot one!
The business district to the west also has a lot to offer. Flying Squirrel Pizza Company, recently featured by Seattle Metropolitan magazine, had its first restaurant here in Seward Park. Other neighborhood gems include Caffe Vita coffee and Zesto burgers.
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