West Seattle Neighborhood Links
The ArtsWest Playhouse opened in West Seattle's Alaska Junction in November 1999. I have attended regularly for years and I thoroughly enjoy every production.
For show times and tickets, call the ArtsWest Box Office at 938-0339. For information about ArtsWest's concert series, education, visual and literary arts programs, call 206-938-0963 or visit www.artswest.org
Community Centers in West Seattle
Five of Seattle’s 24 community centers are in West Seattle. Each one offers a wide array of programs and special events for you and your family. Programs may include aerobics, art, basketball, career assistance, before- and after-school child care, computers, cooking, dance, day camp, flag football, indoor hockey, jazzercise, karate, piano, pickleball, ping pong, pool, pottery, roller skating, soccer, T'ai Chi, teen club, tennis, track, volleyball, weight training, and/or yoga. For specific program offerings, call each center to request a copy of their quarterly brochure.
• Alki Community Center (5817 SW Stevens Street, tel. 206-684-7430)
• Delridge Community Center (4501 Delridge Way SW, tel. 206-684-7423)
• Hiawatha Community Center (2700 California Avenue SW, tel. 206-684-7441)
• High Point Community Center (6920 34th Avenue SW, tel. 206-684-7422)
• Southwest Community Center (2801 SW Thistle, tel. 206-684-7438)
King County Water Taxi
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a steam-powered side-wheeler named City of Seattle brought commuters, shoppers and families on holiday to and from West Seattle. The ride took eight minutes! For the better part of three decades, this was the preferred mode of transportation. However, the boat was eventually replaced with other forms of transportation. In 1997, the Elliott Bay Water Taxi offered commuters and recreationalists a fun, fast, easy, and cost-effective way to travel between Seacrest Park in West Seattle and the foot of Yesler Way in downtown Seattle (adjacent to the Washington State Ferries). Renamed the King County Water Taxi years later, a newer and larger boat operates year-round. For information, visit the King County Water Taxi website
Hi-Yu Summer Festival
The annual Hi-Yu Festival is held the third week of July. Dozens of events occur throughout the neighborhood during the week — including the Seattle Seafair Pirates Landing at Alki Beach. Named in 1934 in a community contest, Hi-Yu means "Big Time" in Chinook jargon. For more schedule and volunteer information, call 206-932-3345.
Vaudeville, music, and theatre — right here in West Seattle! Kenyon Hall presents live musical and theatrical performance plus early childhood musical education in an historic West Seattle setting at 7094 35th Avenue SW. The Hall is also home to a Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ, which is featured in a number of film, concert, theatrical, and educational programs. For ticket information, call 206-937-3613.
In an old log carriage house near Alki — just wo blocks from where the Denny party, Seattle's first white settlers, landed on Alki Beach in 1851 — you can learn about Seattle’s roots. Two rooms of historical photos and artifacts and some wonderful local-history videos grace the museum, a program of the non-profit Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Located at 3003 61st Avenue SW. For more information, call 206-938-5293.
Public Libraries in West Seattle
West Seattle Library (
2306 42nd Avenue SW)
The West Seattle Library has a large general collection of fiction, including classics and popular novels, and non-fiction that includes subjects ranging from philosophy to home repair. Materials available also include Books On Tape, CD-ROMs, Language Learning Tapes, videos, CDs and audio cassettes. The library also features a computer learning lab and a variety of classes and events. For hours and other information, call 206-684-7444.
Southwest Library (9010 35th Avenue SW)
The Southwest Branch of the Seattle Public Library houses a state-of-the-art computer lab featuring Internet access and CD-ROMs for children. It also hosts an annual Art Show in November to celebrate local artists. Artwork in a number of mediums is displayed and artists are recognized at a small reception. For hours and other information, call 206-684-7455.
Delridge Library (4555 Delridge Way SW)
The Delridge Self-service Library — co-located with the Southwest Youth & Family Services agency —provides books, books on tape, large print materials, English as a Second Language books and tapes, videos, parenting resources, job and education information, multicultural books for children, educational videos and a paperback book collection. The library also has two computer kiosks with printers for public use; both computers provide access to the Seattle Public Library's database and the Internet. For hours and other information, call 206-937-7680.
High Point Library (6338 32nd Avenue SW)
The High Point Library, located in West Seattle, mainly serves residents of the neighboring public housing community, including a large population of young people and new immigrants. The branch offers regular programs for children and houses a computer learning lab with access to the Internet. For hours and other information, call 206-684-7454.
Parks in West Seattle
Beaches, extraordinary views, old growth forests, gardens, creeks, eagles, salmon — you can find it all in West Seattle. Some of the city's finest parks and beaches are in West Seattle. Here are a few of my favorites:
Camp Long (5200 35th Avenue SW)
Camp Long is one of Seattle's best kept secrets. This 68-acre park offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy nature, hike in the forest, camp overnight in rustic cabins, rock climb, and learn about natural history. The park is open year round. A talented staff of naturalists lead group environmental education and rock climbing classes in the spring and fall. On Saturdays throughout most of the year, individuals and families are invited to join a park naturalist for a free interpretive walk or rock climbing class. For class information, call 206-684-7434.
Lincoln Park (8603 Fauntleroy SW)
Near the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock, my home, and where I grew up is Lincoln Park. It boasts beach access to Puget Sound, a paved walking path along the water, five picnic shelters, two children’s play areas, ball fields, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and trails throughout the park — not to mention Colman Pool, an outdoor, heated salt water pool operated during summer months. For more information about the park, call 206-684-4075.
Longfellow Creek is a three-mile waterway running south to north through the Delridge Valley and emptying into the Duwamish River at the head of Elliott Bay. It is one of only three natural waterways left within the Seattle City limits that remains free flowing. There has been a community effort to restore the creek for several years including yearly fish releases conducted by local schools. In 1995 fish returned to the creek for the first time since 1939. For more information, call 206-233-2046.
Schmitz Park (5551 SW Admiral Way)
Fifty acres of old-growth forest still grows in West Seattle. Lightly logged in the early 1900s, some huge stumps still show deep notches hacked high above the ground for the "spring-boards" on which axe men would stand to avoid having to chop through the lower root crown, the thickest and hardest part of the tree. Except for the paved entrance and a parking lot at the northwest corner, the park remains essentially unchanged. Perfect for hiking and nature study.
Seattle Chinese Garden
In Spring 1999, a team of Chinese craftsmen — two stone carvers, two carpenters, a stone mason, a painter, a landscape architect and an engineer — came to Seattle to assemble the Song Mei Pavilion, a small open-air structure with a flared roof. This authentic Chinese garden pavilion will serve as a demonstration garden while the Seattle Chinese Garden Society raises funds to begin major construction of a six-acre classical Chinese garden. Located at South Seattle Community College at 6000 16th Avenue SW (north entry). Visit any time or, for tour information and project updates, call the Seattle Chinese Garden Society at 206-282-8040.
Schools in West Seattle
West Seattle High Schools:
Chief Sealth High School
West Seattle High SchoolWest Seattle Middle Schools:
Denny Middle School
Madison Middle SchoolWest Seattle Elementary Schools:
Arbor Heights Elementary
Fairmount Park Elementary
Highland Park Elementary
High Point Elementary
Schmitz Park Elementary
For more information about Seattle Public Schools, visit www.seattleschools.org
on the Web.Colleges in West Seattle:
South Seattle College offers two- and four-year degrees, workforce training, and continuing education programs. For more information, visit www.southseattle.edu
Swimming Pools in West Seattle
Colman Pool is Seattle’s only saltwater pool. Located in Lincoln Park at 8603 Fauntleroy Way, it is heated and features a giant tube slide and a 180° view of Puget Sound. Call 684-7494 for more information about swimming lessons, family swimming, water exercise programs and special events. For information, visit www.seattle.gov/parks/aquatics/colman.ht
Co-located with the Southwest Community Center at 2801 SW Thistle Street, the Southwest Pool is one of eight indoor pools operated by Seattle Parks and Recreation. Lesson programs include tot lessons (six months to four years of age), kinder lessons, youth lessons, youth competitive stroke lessons, adult and senior adult lessons, one-to-one lessons, and springboard diving. Exercise classes include aqua jogging, hyrdofit exercise, and water exercise. Family swim, public swim, and lap swim times are also offered. To request a copy of the pool’s quarterly brochure, call 206-684-7438 or visit www.seattle.gov/parks/Aquatics/Swpool.htm
West Seattle Farmers Market
The West Seattle Farmers Market is open on Sundays year-round. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Located in the parking lot at the corner of 44th Ave SW & SW Alaska Streets. To find out what's fresh and learn about programs and special events, visit www.seattlefarmersmarkets.org/markets/west-seattle
West Seattle “Art in the Garden” Tour
An annual tour of home gardens in West Seattle benefits ArtsWest and other community-based organizations. Each garden reflects unique character through planting themes, water features, and works of art. Volunteers and Master Gardeners are on hand at each garden to answer questions. For more information, visit www.westseattlegardentour.org
West Seattle Blog
The West Seattle Blog is an award-winning news and information site frequented by tens of thousands on a daily basis. Check it out at www.westseattleblog.com
West Seattle Golf Course
The West Seattle Golf Course is located nearby at 4470 35th Avenue SW. Designed in 1928 by H. Chandler Egan (an accomplished amateur who twice represented the U.S. in the Walker Cup), it is the sternest test of the three public golf courses in Seattle. The course features sweeping views of the metropolitan skyline and Mt. Rainier. Measuring 6,600 yards from the tips, hilly fairways and small greens, the West Seattle Golf Course is a memorable challenge. For tee times, call 206-935-5187
West Seattle Helpline
The West Seattle Helpline is a non-profit social sevice agency providing assistance for West Seattle residents in need. Since 1988 the Helpline has been offering financial aid and referral advice that can save residents from homelessness, hopelessness, and hunger. West Seattle Helpline provides direct financial aid to families in need as well as access to a vast array of referral services. Financial support comes in the form of vouchers to help pay for rent, utility bills, transportation, food, children's shoes, and medical prescriptions. This is a very worthwhile organization that I have supported as a volunteer and donor. For more information about the Helpline, call 932-HELP or visit www.wshelpline.org
West Seattle Herald
The West Seattle Herald is the place to go for information about community events, local entertainment, art exhibits, fundraising events and lectures. You will find notices seeking volunteers; announcements about club meetings & auditions; things parents can do with children and a special section devoted to senior citizen's activities. Local news briefs are another popular feature, as well as profiles of West Seattle and White Center residents and businesses. West Seattle’s popular sports teams are also covered regularly, along with information about local school programs. For subscriptions, call 932-6456. For other information about the West Seattle Herald, call 932-0300.
9260 California Avenue SW
Seattle, WA 98136-3812
Tel. 206-937-1000West Seattle Family YMCA
Seattle, WA 98126-2788
Questions? Call me at 206-932-2400.