West Seattle collage: Shutterstock / Seattle Met composite. West Seattle shirt and model: Sam Witt with LostFoundDesign / courtesy Alair
When the West Seattle Bridge cracked in early 2020, a small but vociferous portion of the city’s mainland population typed told-you-so messages to residents of West Seattle, a group now resigned to lengthy, meandering commutes. (See! That’s why you don’t live across the water!) It’s easy to understand why keyboard warriors would be quick to seize on this unfortunate development: West Seattle inspires more than a bit of envy. Though it’s home to various idyllic enclaves, the neighborhood’s most visible area—Alki Beach and adjacent streets—teems with Rollerbladers and yogis reveling in Insta-worthy views of the Sound and city skyline, a blissful alternative to the shadows and stresses of downtown. Natives can also dine at the peninsula’s acclaimed restaurants or drop in to local shops that draw heavily from the city’s creative soul. It’s no wonder why so many make the trip every summer and, unlike Arthur Denny and company back in 1851, stick around for good.