Welcome to Magnolia! This neighborhood is a place of quiet and tranquility. Home to Seattle's largest public green space and more beaches, viewpoints, and walking trails than you could ever get tired of visiting. Magnolia is the neighborhood of choice for anyone who wants to live within city limits, yet be free from its stresses, and live close by the water or nature.


Magnolia Neighborhood


Magnolia is the second largest neighborhood in Seattle in terms of area, and lies northwest of downtown. Discovery Park intersects Elliott Bay and the Puget Sound. And the West Point Lighthouse marks the westernmost point of the entire city of Seattle. But Magnolia is as much about convenience as it is about seclusion. You can commute to downtown in less than 20 minutes or easily cross Salmon Bay to explore other north Seattle neighborhoods such as Green Lake or Ballard.


Discovery Park

There's no better place to start off your day at Magnolia than the neighborhood's main attraction, Discovery Park. But before you get here, take a stop at Petit Pierre Bakery for a hot cup of coffee and a Parisian style flaky croissant on a crisp weekday morning, while the lines are more manageable. Then head to this massive 534 acre park, which takes up a large chunk of this neighborhood, and is Seattle's largest public park. Here, you'll find nearly 12 miles of walking trails, multiple beaches, and plenty of picturesque picnic spots with spectacular views across the cascade and Olympic mountain ranges.

Make sure to plan your wonderings around the park to include a visit to the West Point Lighthouse. This is the iconic landmark of Discovery Park and the neighborhood of Magnolia. This 23-foot-high lighthouse began operation in 1881, and was the first manned light on the Puget Sound. Part of the charm of this lighthouse is that it isn't typically accessible by road vehicles. The closest public parking lot is about one and a half miles from here, but despite the exercise, it's well worth the effort. And if you need to take a rest, you can relax on one of the sandy beaches before heading back. There are a couple boat ramps close to the lighthouse that are accessible by water only. And the Discovery Park Visitor Center offers permits to those who aren't able to make the trek out to the lighthouse so they can park at one of the limited spots at the point.


Ballard Locks


If you can tear yourself away from Discovery Park for long enough, then head to the inlet that connects the Puget Sound to Lake Union, and soon you'll stumble across another favorite Seattle attraction, the Ballard Locks. Magnolia lies on the southern side of this historic landmark, which is where you'll find the Fish Ladder. And back at the surface, there's more opportunities to view another mesmerizing process as you can watch the many boats going into and out of the Puget Sound. These are the busiest locks in the country, and many tourists line the walkways to get a view of the way that these water levels rise and fall. This is a great attraction with a lot of real life education on the salmon life cycle and an engineering marvel that are the Locks. On the north side of the locks, there's a lot more to see and do in Ballard, which you can see in more detail on our Ballard neighborhood tour on our YouTube channel.


Magnolia Real Estate


Let's take a moment to talk about the real estate market in Magnolia. Home prices here are booming with an increase of almost 17% over the past 12 months, according to Zillow, which is both a higher percentage increase in the Seattle city average and means home prices in this neighborhood are about 40% higher than the city average as well. The median sales price of homes in Magnolia are now upwards of $1.2 million versus the Seattle average of just shy of $900,000.


Fishermen's Terminal


Another pleasant spot around this neighborhood is the Fishermen's Terminal - wedged between Magnolia and Queen Anne on Salmon Bay. This shopping area has a cluster of good restaurants and shops set against the backdrop of the Marina. The terminal has a long history beginning in 1914 and has been synonymous with a commercial fishing trade of the Pacific Northwest in the many decades since. Wonder the many docks and perhaps you'll see a commercial fishing vessel when it's way out to the Sound or take a moment to ponder the many perils awaiting those who choose this livelihood at the Seattle Fisherman's Memorial, which serves as a place to visit for friends and families of those lost at sea.


Little Chinook's


A great way to end your day in Magnolia is with a hearty portion of fish and chips from Little Chinook's. The terminal offers many eateries that have outdoors basis for you to enjoy your food with a view of the water. If you could see yourself living in Magnolia, or anywhere else around the Seattle area, please give us a call or schedule a Zoom meeting to see how we can help you call the beautiful Pacific Northwest home!



About the Author

Helping Seattleites buy their dream homes for over 15 years. Founder of Seattle's Mortgage Broker and author of Homeownership Simplified: The Truth about ZERO Down.