The West Seattle neighborhood was the first area settled in 1851, making it Seattle’s oldest neighborhood. Early settlers arrived on Alki Beach, which is still a popular beach destination for residents. Originally home to the Duwamish Indian tribe, many Indian relics can still be found in the area, such as arrowheads and clam scrapers. Those interested in discovering more about the area can visit the Log House Museum, sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
West Seattle is a peninsula that was incorporated into the City of Seattle in 1902. The neighborhood is known for its beaches that line both sides of the area, as well as views of downtown Seattle from the bluffs. The highest point above sea level in Seattle, at 520 feet, is located in West Seattle in the High Point neighborhood.
Alki Beach at Alki Point is one of the popular beach destinations. Shoppers will find a wide variety of shops along the “Alaska Junction,” along S.W. Alaska Street and California Avenue S.W. More shops are located in the Westwood Village in southern West Seattle. West Seattle is also the jumping off point for commuters to Vashon Island, who take the ferry at Fauntleroy Dock. The park and beach at Fauntleroy are popular in the summer. Ferries also leave from here to the Kitsap Peninsula, and in the summers, a passenger ferry, or water taxi, carries residents to downtown Seattle.
Students attend West Seattle High School after graduating from Denny Middle School, Madison Middle School, and Alki Elementary, Highland Park Elementary, or Roxhill Elementary. The area has its own newspaper, the West Seattle Herald. The city maintains an outdoor saltwater swimming pool, the Coleman Pool, which is open in season.