1531 California Avenue SW
The viewpoint is on Admiral Hill in West Seattle, above Elliott Bay.
Getting there by car
Click on the map below for directions.
There is a loop road (comprised of Palm Avenue SW and SW Donald Street) for cars going in either direction along California Avenue SW to pull in.
Getting there by bus
From downtown, via bus number 56 (Alki Beach).
Board the southbound bus at the corner of 1st Avenue and Pike Street.
(Enjoy the view from West Seattle Bridge as you cross it on the bus. Unfortunately no pedestrian traffic is allowed on the bridge.)
Alight from the bus at the corner of California Avenue SW and Admiral Way SW. (This is an intersection with traffic lights.)
This segment of the trip is about a 15- to 25-minute ride each way, depending on whether you catch an express bus.
Change to bus number 55 (Admiral District).
Board the northbound bus at the corner of California Avenue SW and Admiral Way SW.
Alight from the bus at the corner of California Avenue SW and SW Atlantic Street. Walk north for about one block on California Avenue SW.
This segment of the trip is about a 5-minute ride each way.
Or, you might prefer walk 15 minutes down California Avenue SW to the park.
Ahead of you the road will dip sharply down to the park, and you will see the "can't-miss" views of Seattle.
Notes and Tips
Hamilton Park is named for Rupert Hamilton, publisher of the Herald newspaper.
The viewpoint offers views similar to nearby Admiral Way, but being slightly "off the beaten track" is less busy. Within a friendly neighborhood, it is surrounded by gardens and lawns, and has several benches. It makes a great picnic spot, and you are likely to see folk pulling in for a moment of rejuvenation.
No visit to West Seattle is complete without a visit to Alki Beach Park! To get to Alki Beach from Hamilton Viewpoint you have three options:
Return to bus route number 56 in the same direction you were originally going, and stay on until its final stop.
For the more adventurous, retrace your path back uphill onto California Avenue SW, turn right into SW Atlantic Street, and veer left onto Sunset Avenue SW. Glimpsed between some lovely homes are amazing views looking towards the Olympic Mountains. Veer right onto Bonair Drive SW where it joins SW Massachussets Street (looking deceptively like a dead end). Bonair Drive is a steep descent which takes you to near to the eateries on Alki Avenue. It doesn't have much of a shoulder to walk on, but cars (mostly local traffic) are considerate of pedestrians. (When I walked down, a car was patiently following a young man seated on a skateboard!) This is about a 20-minute walk, or makes for a fun drive to soak up the residential beachside atmosphere.
Follow California Avenue SW on the downhill side as it continues north, then bends southwards around the point to become California Way SW. At beach level, this joins up with Harbor Ave SW. Turn left onto this scenic drive which follows Alki Beach Park to the eateries and bus stop. This probably best done in a car, although those who are up for a 1- to 2-hour walk will be well rewarded.
Hamilton Park offers 180º views over the classic skyline of Seattle, from Magnolia Hill to Safeco Baseball Stadium. You can see the Cascade Mountains running behind the cityscape along the horizon. You can get above the foreground foliage by standing on the benches. To the west, the Olympic Mountains are visible through trees. At this angle you can watch the ferries turn into Elliott Bay.
Best time for photos is midday, towards the PM, and evening when the city twinkles.
Click on photo for full-size image.
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