Green Lake, nestled just north of Downtown Seattle, is a thriving neighborhood, aptly named for the freshwater lake it surrounds. Bordered by Phinney Ridge on the west, Maple Leaf on the east, Northgate on the north, and Fremont and Wallingford to the south, the area is within walking distance of many other Seattle neighborhoods. The neighborhood is a short drive or bus ride from downtown and there is plentiful on-street parking. The neighborhood itself is small and rated high on the walkability scale.
The main attraction of this neighborhood is Green Lake itself. Named for the algae blooms that frequent the waters and turn it a shade of emerald, the lake is just 259 acres on the surface and 30 feet deep at its lowest point. A 2.8 mile walking path follows the perimeter of the lake, and the neighborhood is known for the abundance of walkers, joggers and bicyclists constantly circling the water. The lake itself is packed with swimmers in the summer, and paddle boats and kayaks skim the surface year round.
There is a very large public park that surrounds Green Lake, complete with tennis courts, playgrounds, soccer fields and a children's wading pool. On a nice day hundreds of people fill every square inch of grass along the park. But, even if the skies are cloudy and grey, you'll be sure to find a few brave souls reading on a blanket or enjoying cup of coffee on a bench, somewhere in the park.
A variety of homes are situated in the Green Lake neighborhood. Early Settlers came to the area in 1855, and some of the older structures, most notably the Green Lake Library, still retain their original style. Walking along the shores, you'll see many large, older homes that have been remodeled, as well as newer condos and apartments, usually located above the businesses that surround the lake.
Coffee shops, taverns and restaurants are plentiful in the neighborhood. Most of them are located along the shores of the lake, but the urban explorer will stumble on a few eateries scattered throughout the neighborhood. You can find cuisine of all kinds, but Green Lake is not a neighborhood of chain restaurants and big box stores. Individually owned small businesses are part of what make the neighborhood so quaint.
Whether you're craving crispy fish and chips, or looking for a new pair of running shoes, a stroll along the water will bring you to your destination. Talk a long walk, enjoy the architecture and the people watching along the lake, then settle in with your favorite drink for a perfect day in Seattle's Green Lake neighborhood.
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