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Beacon Hill: one of U.S.’s “30 Great Places”

Posted by Johnine Larsen on March 4, 2016
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I’ve been spending a lot of time in Beacon Hill these days, prepping 1327 13th Ave. S for the market, so I took the opportunity to write a more in-depth neighborhood profile.

 

A thick strip of green hillside hides Beacon Hill from view as you drive along I-5. Above those trees, overlooking I-90, Lake Washington, and I-5, and with beautiful views of the Cascades and the Olympics, you’ll find the neighborhood that the American Planning Association named as one of the 30 Great Places in America.

Beacon Hill, particularly North Beacon Hill, offers easy access to downtown Seattle, SoDo, and the International District. The Seahawks, Marines, and Sounders play right on the other side of I-5, and the nearby freeways provide an easy escape to the mountains. A short walk takes you to the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station, which provides a traffic-free trip to the SeaTac airport, south Seattle, downtown, Capitol Hill, or the University of Washington.

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The neighborhood itself has it own draw, as well. Beacon Hill ranks as one of the most culturally diverse areas in Seattle, particularly with its strong Asian presence. You’ll find renters and owners, blue-collar workers and young professionals. A quarter of Beacon Hill households have children, while a third consist of single men or women.

North Beacon Hill has experienced a resurgence in recent decades, thanks to the towering former VA medical center and Amazon’s old headquarters. That process continues with the City of Seattle’s ten-year plan to increase pedestrian and bicycle networks throughout Beacon Hill with greenways, bike-friendly intersections, and designated bike tracts.

The business district of Beacon Hill contains some of Seattle’s best-loved restaurants, including Oak, Tippe and Drague Alehouse, Bar Del Corso, Thai Savon, and El Quetzal.

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The Food Forest has also called recent attention to Beacon Hill. The Associated Press, CBS, and Gawker have all praised the neighborhood for this urban farming project, which is currently “the biggest public food forest in the country.” The seven-acre Food Forest contains a community park and an edible landscape.

More traditional green space also abounds in Beacon Hill. The neighborhood boasts Jefferson Park, the city’s largest park planned by the Olmsted brothers, as well as a number of smaller, newer parks. The northwest corner of Beacon Hill contains the scenic Dr. Jose Rizal Park and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail. Photographers frequently visit Dr. Jose Rizal Park for views of the Olympic Mountains and the Seattle skyline.

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I’ll be in Beacon Hill this weekend hosting this open house, so if you’re in the area, stop on by! The address is 1327 13th Ave. S, and the open house runs Saturday (3/5) and Sunday (3/6) 1pm to 4pm.

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