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The Appendage of Magnolia

Posted by Johnine Larsen on September 2, 2014
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Magnolia. The appendage of Seattle. The forgotten peninsula. The sleepy bedroom community that just might have your absolute, perfect home. Here’s a checklist.

[] Peace and Quiet

Forget coffee; if you’re looking for a quiet, safe neighborhood, Magnolia is Seattle’s best. The neighborhood lacks any real nightlife, which is a huge plus or minus depending on your point of view. Homeowners here are families and older couples with early bedtimes. They usually fall on the upper half of the socioeconomic spectrum, too, as many homes here are high-end. For those who like quiet nights, Seattle has no better option than Magnolia.

[]  Waterfront Views

Magnolia offers first-rate views of the Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, and the Olympic Mountains. Just step onto the porch and watch sunsets and sailboats to your heart’s content. And because Magnolia is built on a hill, these views aren’t limited to waterfront millionaires; the neighborhood arranges its houses stadium-style, so everyone gets a view. Only instead of uncomfortable plastic seats, this stadium has lavish houses and quiet, well-manicured lots.

[]  Charming Downtown

Magnolia Village

You won’t find Belltown’s skyscrapers or Capitol Hill’s bar scene here. You will find, however, a quaint community of restaurants and shops and small grocery stores in Magnolia Village. Plus, the place has a farmers market.

[]  Slow Pace of Life


Magnolia has a suburban feel, while still being very much a part of Seattle. That means quiet evenings, empty streets, and sleepy shops, without any of the hustle and bustle of the city. It also means safe play areas and neighbors you can trust. This might bore some people, but for others, a place like this is perfect.

[]  Access to Seattle
Magnolia View

Magnolia is close to Seattle, but at the same time, very far away. Expect short drives to Ballard, Fremont, and downtown Seattle–and Ballard is even within walking distance, if you find a house far enough north. To get anywhere else, though, be warned: traffic is tough. If you need to commute to Capitol Hill or 520 during rush hour, you’ll face a very long, frustrating drive. Fortunately, bus routes make things significantly easier.

[]  Nice Houses

You’ll see a variety of homes here. Tudor-style, mid-century charmers, and contemporary styles make up the expensive end; bungalows, small brick, and box houses fill the not-as-expensive end. Gardens are well-manicured with sculpted trees and bushes. What you won’t find: dumpy eyesores rented out to college kids.

[]  A Little Bit of History

Fun fact: Magnolia was named wrong. In 1856, Captain George Davidson of the U.S. Coast Survey saw the area’s abundant magnolia trees and named the place after them. Only thing was, they weren’t magnolia trees—they were madrona trees. The name stuck, though, despite the captain’s mistake. Now you know: those trees with the peeling red bark on the side of the road are madronas, not magnolias.

[] Discovery Park
Discovery Park

This is the neighborhood’s crown jewel: Seattle’s biggest, wildest, and arguably most beautiful park. With 500 acres, 11 miles of hiking trails, and 2 miles of beaches, everyone loves Discovery Park. This place is the reason most people visit Magnolia. We wrote an entire blog post about it a few months ago, which you can find here.


For even more information about Magnolia, check out our neighborhood profile.