West Seattle is the most populous district of Seattle. Separated from the remainder of the city by the Duwamish River, much of it has a decidedly suburban character, and certainly sees far less tourist traffic than the downtown area. For those who do visit, West Seattle has worthwhile attractions of its own, including miles of Puget Sound shoreline, a plethora of restaurants, and a thriving commercial district centered on Alaska Junction.
Get on the West Seattle Bridge from either Interstate 5 or from southbound Highway 99. Keep going uphill until you reach California Ave. You will be at Alaska Junction (the intersection of California Ave. and Alaska St.) where there are several shops, restaurants, etc. To reach Admiral Junction (more shops, restaurants, etc.) turn right (north) on California and continue past the high school.
To reach Alki Beach from the West Seattle Bridge, take the Harbor Ave. exit off the bridge and head north along the waterfront. You'll see the sandy beach when you get there.
The ferry terminal at Fauntleroy offers frequent service to Southworth and Vashon Island. If bringing your car over, be warned that parking near the terminal is extremely scarce.
More so than the rest of the city, a car will prove useful. Bus service is no more than adequate; the lower density of the area and frequent traffic jams on the few bridges in and out lead to widely scattered routes on unpredictable schedules. Travel between Alaska/Admiral Junctions and downtown is never a problem, although there's no single bus route that runs the length of California Avenue. Trips to the outer reaches of the area will require some advance planning. Bicycle lanes exist, but the terrain is often hilly and steep.
- The Viewpoint at Admiral, 3600 Admiral Way SW (From I-5, take exit 163 to the West Seattle bridge, exit onto Admiral Way. Just before the top of the long climb there's a pullout on the right and a fenced viewing area.). Free. Some of the best views of the Seattle skyline are from West Seattle and the Viewpoint at Admiral is the best of the best. You can't miss it as there are usually people there. Bring your camera.
The small Statue of Liberty toward the west end of the beach area has just been restored and is much beloved in the neighborhood.
The Beach at Alki is one of the best and biggest sandy beaches in Seattle. There's a rollerblade/bike/walking path along it for miles and the beach itself is always busy and fun. Great views of the city, the ferries and the Olympics. There are several great cafes and coffee shops right across the street.
West Seattle Golf Course is a city course with great views of Seattle.
Lincoln Park is a big, wild park, next to the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock, serving Vashon Island and Southwark. Lincoln Park has lots of walking paths, picnic areas, beautiful trees, and beach. Unlike Alki Beach, it's quite pebbly and full of driftwood. To reach the park: come across the West Seattle Bridge into West Seattle, bear left at the "Y" intersection at Fauntleroy. Stay on Fauntleroy all the way to the park. Follow the signs to the ferries.
- Spring Hill Restaurant and Bar, 4437 California Ave. SW, ☎ 206-935-1075. Tiny, noisy place just north of the Alaska Junction,serving local Pacific Northwest dishes. Spring Hill was named one of 2009's Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appetit magazine. It's not cheap, but it manages to be both experimental and down-to-earth. If you're a foodie, this comes highly recommended.
- Mashiko, 4725 California Ave SW, ☎ (206) 935-4339. One of the best sushi restaurants in Seattle is this tiny, always-packed place on California ave. Traditional sushi and some very creative stuff, too.
- Spud Fish n' Chips, 2666 Alki Ave SW Seattle, WA 98116, ☎ (206) 938-0606, . 11AM - 9PM Daily. An Alki Beach favorite for over fifty years, Spud serves a wide variety of deep-fried seafood items. Right across from Alki Beach, Spud allows customers to enjoy their meals with one of the better views in Seattle.
- Circa, 2605 California Ave SW Seattle, WA 98116, ☎ (206) 923-1102, . Lunch 11:30AM - 2PM Mon - Fri, Dinner 5PM - 9PM Daily Brunch 9 AM - 2PM Sat/Sun. Small but good neighborhood restaurant on California Ave a couple doors south of Admiral. Steak salad is the house favorite. Beer and wine.
- Buddha Ruska, 3529 SW Genesee St. Seattle, WA 98126, ☎ (206) 923-6470, . ". Away from the busy Junction area, just west of the West Seattle Bridge entrance to West Seattle. Superb Thai cuisine in an elegant setting. The Crispy Garlic Chicken is a favorite.
- Jak's Grill, 4548 California Ave SW Seattle WA, 98116, ☎ (206) 937-7809, . Lunch 11AM - 2PM Tues-Fri, Sun/Mon 5PM - 9PM, Tu - Th 5PM - 10PM. Fri/Sat 4:30 PM - 11PM. Great steaks at Alaska Junction
- Duke's Chowder House- at Alki Beach, 2516 Alki Ave SW Seattle, WA 98116, ☎ (206) 937-6100, . Sun - Thurs 11AM-10PM Fri/Sat 11AM-11PM. Extremely popular and often times crowded seafood restaurant with a great view, especially from the upper deck when it's open. They're famous for, wait for it, their chowder, but have many other offerings, including salads and burgers for those who don't appreciate seafood. They are also famous for their Duke's Famous Bloody Bloody Mary made with in-house infused vodka and garnished with two prawns. Full Bar, with a very good wine list and a great selection of beers.
- Phoenicia at Alki, 2716 Alki Ave SW Seattle, WA 98116, ☎ (206) 935-6550. Tu-Su 5:30-9:30. Due to the recent death of Hussein on Saturday 8/8/09 the future of Phoenicia is not certain and will be closed until the family decides what they are going to do in his absence. A small, intimate restaurant with a great view of Alki beach. It's lovingly ran by Hussein, who makes his way around the dining room making sure that everyone's happy and offering suggestions on what to order. The food is Middle Eastern, with French and Nortwest influences. moderate to expensive.
- Kokoras Greek Grill, 6400 California Ave SW Seattle,WA 98136, ☎ (206) 913-0041, . Mon-Wed 12:30-9:00, Thurs/Fri 12:30-10:00 & Sat 11:30-10:00. Great things come from the tiny kitchen in this neighborhood gem. The lamb souvlaki is tender and delicious. The gyro platter is piled high and a great value. Entrees come with salad and choice of Greek fries or, a truly unique, rice pilaf. Trust in the daily specials featuring regional Greek cooking at its best.
- Endolyne Joe's, 9261 45th Ave SW Seattle, WA 98136, ☎ (206) 937-6310, . 8:30AM-12AM, closed 3PM-5PM Sat/Sun. A culinary oasis located in the bedroom community near beautiful Lincoln Park. Very popular with locals, Joe's has a rotating menu that focuses on a specific region and its cuisine. Volunteer artists change the decor accordingly. Full bar.
- Pegasus Pizza & Pasta, 2770 Alki Ave SW Seattle, WA (On the corner of Alki Ave & 63rd Ave SW), ☎ (206) 932-4849, . M-F 11:30- 11:00, Weekends 12:00-11:00. An institution for many West Seattlelites, Pegasus specializes in deep-dish, Chicago style pizzas, including the Tom's Special:Mushrooms, Green Peppers, Onions, Olives, Feta & Mozzarella Cheese, Fresh Garlic, Diced Tomatoes, Spinach, Sunflower Seeds, topped with Shredded Pepperoni ($22 for a large). There is also a variety of pasta dishes and salads. Beer and a limited wine selection, no hard alcohol. $11-$12 Pastas & $12-$22 Pizzas.
- Salty's on Alki, 1936 Harbor Avenue. S.W Seattle, WA 98116, ☎ (206) 937- 1600, . Situated on West Seattle's popular Alki Beach, Salty's offers a wide variety of seafood and steaks. The restaurant offers one of the most amazing views of downtown Seattle and is a popular hot spot with local celebrities. The food can range from catch of the day, various poultry dishes, or top sirloin. Reviews of the food itself are mixed, surprising considering it's one of the most expensive restaurants in West Seattle. When the sun is shining or downtown is lit up, there is no better view of downtown Seattle. Pricey ($20-$60)..
- Zeek's Pizza, 6459 California Ave SW. Yes, it's just a pizza place, but it's a welcome addition to the cluster of shops and bars around Morgan Junction. If you're next door at Beveridge Place bar, you can grab a slice to have with your beer.
- Alki Bakery and Cafe, 2738 Alki Ave SW, +1 206 935-1352. Free Wi-Fi.
- Alki Tavern, 1321 Harbor Ave SW Seattle, WA 98116, ☎ (206) 932-9970, . Their motto 'the 10 cent bar with a million dollar view' might be a little harsh. The Alki Tavern is a rustic, no nonsense watering hole to hang out with friends over a pitcher of PBR. They have some fun specials, Tuesday $1 Wimpy burgers and $1 tacos on Thursday to mention a few.
- C and P Coffee Company, +1 206 933-3125, . Offers awesome coffee from Lighthouse Roasters, free wireless access and live music.
- Elliott Bay Brewery Pub, 4720 California Ave SW Seattle, WA 98116, ☎ (206) 932-8695, . Mon - Sat 11 AM - 12 AM, Sun 11AM - 11PM. A variety of locally brewed, certified organic beers are the main draw as well as a great selection of burgers and sandwiches.
- Matador, 4546 California Ave. SW Seattle, WA 98116, ☎ (206)932-9988, . 11am - 2am Daily. A strikingly, well decorated Mexican, 21 and older only, restaurant just up from the junction. Updated versions of Tex/Mex classics are offered on the menu. Check out their Happy Hour menu, available from 4pm to 6pm and again from 10pm to 1am, which features some interesting $4 & $5 small plates. Full Bar with an extensive Tequila selection.
- Rocksport, 4209 SW Alaska St Seattle, WA 98116, ☎ (206) 935-5838, . A combination sports bar/live music venue as its name implies. The Rocksport is very popular with the young crowd and always has something going on.
- West 5 Lounge and Restaurant, 4539 California Ave SW (Just down from the junction), ☎ +1 206 935-1966, . 11AM-midnight, 1AM F-Sa. A hip/retro vibe permeates, a great place for drinks, but the food is good, too. They are justifiably famous for their Astral Mac and Cheese.
There are few hotels in West Seattle, and fewer still worth considering. In a pinch, most chain motels and hotels have branches a few miles south in Tukwila or SeaTac near Sea-Tac Airport; otherwise, look closer to downtown.
- Chittenden House B&B, 5649 47th Ave SW, . One of the only B&B choices in West Seattle. Comfortable, but the decoration (including floral pattern wallpaper on the ceilings) is either funkily Victorian or overwhelmingly noisy, depending on your taste.
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