Welcome to Southeast Seattle
Picturesque diverse neighborhoods and lakeside beach parks
Southeast Seattle is among the most diverse regions in an already international port city. Located on the western shores of Lake Washington, this region is defined by Rainier Beach, giving it the name Rainier Valley. The neighborhood spans the entire west side of Lake Washington, from beautiful Madison Park down to Lakeridge Park. Along the way, there are a dozen opportunities to stop and lounge by the water or enjoy recreation with the glittering lake in view.
Southeast Seattle is considered a low-key neighborhood that maintains a chill vibe despite the incredible density of every city block. Architectural styles tend to reflect a cozy contemporary, with a preference for large windows to catch the northern sun but roots in mountainside cottage charm. Southeast Seattle offers a seemingly endless grid of quiet single-family homes and locally owned businesses.
What to Love
- Beautiful parks and green spaces
- International selection of nearby restaurants
- Big and small single-family homes in eclectic styles
- Oasis of calm in the city bustle
- Friendly neighborhood with tons of outdoor recreation
Life in Southeast Seattle has been described as remarkably calm and low-key for its proximity to downtown Seattle and other bustling districts. With a larger percentage of homes and parks to business and shopping districts, many residents love Southeast Seattle because of its quiet nature. Seattle is a beautiful city dripping with greenery from end to end, but neighborhoods like Madison Park take the cake for beauty and grandeur.
Homes in Southeast Seattle are often large, stunning, and reflect traditionally elegant styles. Delight in the magnificence of the Washington Park Arboretum's natural vistas, and enjoy lavish venues or bask in the summer sun on the shoreline of Madison Park. Further south, you will find the Rainier Valley neighborhoods with a simpler charm, including the Japanese Kubota Garden and small but varied restaurants to explore.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
There are some truly delicious and delightful restaurants to explore in Southeast Seattle, from Madison Park to Seward Park. Start your cuisine tour at the adventurous Cactus, a Tex-Mex establishment of the highest order. The decor is a festive view of Texas through a California lens, but the food is authentically amazing.
For a romantic dining room with a unique menu, you can't miss Grappa, a Mediterranean restaurant where every dish and cocktail is a hand-crafted artisanal beauty. The reviews are excellent, and the menu is worth trying a few dozen new things.
For a taste of French cuisine, catch a table at the pocket-sized L'Oursin. This bright, quaint space features sustainable food, natural wine, and French-inspired dishes in a delightfully fresh bistro-style venue.
Monsoon Seattle is one of the best places for Vietnamese cuisine in a picture window cafe on 19th Avenue. There's something beautifully plated and delectable for everyone, whether you have a favorite Vietnamese dish or are trying the cuisine for the first time.
Things to Do
You will never be bored living in Southeast Seattle, as there are always events and festivals nearby. Kick up your heels at the Capitol Hill Block Party, a three-day music festival held each July in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle.
You can also find all-year entertainment at the beautiful Madison Park, sharing the public shoreline on the glittering Lake Washington. Further down the coast, you'll find the picturesque Madrona Park with a swimming dock and boat launch, where many locals enjoy light water sports, hiking green trails, or lounging on the grassy slope.
One of the area's greatest attractions is the Washington Park Arboretum. This vast, sprawling green space lined with breathtaking mini-lakes and beautifully landscaped trails was designed as a free asset for Seattle locals to enjoy wildlife in all its beauty. Within its grounds, you will find the Japanese Maples, the Memorial Gates, Rhododendron Glen, an abundance of walking trails, and a unique little spot called Duck & Ball Island.
Southeast Seattle is also the proud home of Seattle University, the largest independent university in the Northwestern U.S. The university's many students offer the neighborhood rich access to their many performances and student services, including the Pigott Auditorium, the School of Nursing, and the Pacific Northwest Research Institute.