Magnolia famously got its name in 1857 when Lieutenant George Davidson mistook the neighborhood’s madrona trees for magnolias. Nevertheless, the name stuck. This area has a long culture of fishing, beginning with the Duwamish people, and today, Magnolia’s revered Fishermen’s Terminal serves as home to hundreds of commercial fishing boats and a full service seafood market. All in all, Magnolia is known for its beautiful homes and a suburban, oasis-in-the-city appeal.
Magnolia is surrounded by water, but its solitude is its strength.
This neighborhood is a peninsula, surrounded by Elliot Bay to the west, Salmon Bay to the east, and Puget Sound to the north, and the water makes its presence known. Access to the rest of Seattle is limited to the three bridges on the east side: Emerson, Dravus, and Magnolia. Despite its convenient proximity to Downtown, Ballard, and Queen Anne, Magnolia’s residents are able to luxuriate in a quieter and slower pace of life.
Recreation here was made for weekend mornings.
The Magnolia Village operates as the center of the neighborhood, where you can find the post office and other necessities. It’s a great place to stroll on a Saturday afternoon, where you can browse Magnolia’s Bookstore or visit Petit Pierre Bakery, a cozy, family-owned French cafe. They have more than eleven macaron flavors on any given day! Try the Nutella pop tart or the lemon meringue tarte (or maybe one of each). The Magnolia Farmers Market, offered during Seattle’s warmer months, offers local produce, fresh seafood, and other artisanal goods.
Seattle’s most beloved public park.
Magnolia is home to a Seattle favorite. Discovery Park, an impressive 534 acre playground, features a 2.8 mile loop around the perimeter that is a favorite among Seattle trail runners. It is Seattle’s largest park, and never feels crowded due to its sheer size. Highlights also include the West Point Lighthouse and two miles of protected beaches. Visitors often spot wildlife there, including eagles, herons, seals and owls. On the other hand, Magnolia Park, located on the Magnolia Bluff, offers a more groomed experience, with picnic tables, tennis courts, and stunning views of the Seattle skyline.
City life is optional.
By far, the best thing about Magnolia is the peace and quiet. While short bridges connect it to the rest of Seattle, Magnolia residents are the ones who like to stay home over going out. After spending an evening watching the ferries and yachts go by with the sunset in the background, could you blame them?