Bounded by two lakes to the north and south (Green Lake and Lake Union) and a freeway to the east (I-5) and a highway to the west (Aurora Ave.), Wallingford can feel like an island even though it sits at the center of the city. Ask anyone who was snowed in for a week or two during winter 2008—you really don’t have to leave Wallingford.
Residents adore their local amenities and, for the most part, applaud the recent influx of acclaimed restaurants and sweets destinations. But they also love how easily they can get away from the traffic and bustle of the main thoroughfares, N. 45th and N. 50th streets, to quiet side streets of mostly modest Craftsman homes where strollers and trikes sit on every other porch.
Families flock to Wallingford for its acclaimed public school (John Stanford International), large parks (Gas Works, Wallingford, and Meridian), and walkability. Probably the most iconic of these destinations is former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant turned public space, Gas Works Park, located at the south end of the neighborhood, boarding the north shore Lake Union. Gas Works is also located along the Burke-Gilman Trail, connecting it to the many surrounding neighborhoods by the popular pedestrian walk/bike path.
Today Wallingford’s main retail area, N 45th Street, is adorned with popular boutiques, shops, restaurants, confectionaries, and pubs, many of which still maintain the architectural feel of the neighborhood’s early years. Some classic sites that shouldn’t be missed, the Wallingford Center, the large neon “Wallingford” on top of the QFC, the Guild 45th Theatre, and Historic Seattle’s Good Shepherd Center.
To learn more about Wallingford, visit the neighborhood’s blog, MyWallingford.com.