What to Do in Green Lake Seattle

Green Lake, Seattle

The Green Lake community thrives with outdoor enthusiasts, athletes, and animal lovers; from bicyclists, skaters, and joggers, to strollers, bird-watchers, and afternoon picnics. Fun activities for families and singles flourish all year around the lake, especially during the summer, and it’s close to the Woodland Park Zoo. Just a block away from the lake are quiet, tree-lined streets offering vintage-style craftsman homes. Welcome to the beautiful and highly sought after Green Lake neighborhood.

The neighborhood was named after David Phillips. In September 1855, he surveyed the area for the United States Surveyor General. His notes referred to the area as “Lake Green,” because the lake appeared to be green in color due to the algae blooms in the lake.

Where It Is

Green Lake is located north of downtown Seattle and just northwest of the University of Washington. Green Lake is bounded by NW 85th Street to the north, I-5 (Interstate 5) to the east, NE 50th Street to the south, and Aurora Avenue N. to the west.

Things to Do

As with most Seattle neighborhoods, there's no shortage of restaurants in the neighborhood. You can choose from American, Chinese, Japanese, Mediterranean, Mexican, Italian and more. The most popular restaurant in the area is the Greenlake Bar and Grill. To find a restaurant nearby, Yelp is a great resource!

There's some nightlife in the Green Lake neighborhood, too. The Little Red Hen, at 7115 Woodlawn Ave. NE is Green Lake’s country bar. They boast seven nights a week of live country music. It’s a casual, fun environment.

Green Lake itself is worth checking into as it opens up plenty of recreation. Some people swim in the lake (although it looks pretty and clean, the water has algae growth that can cause swimmer’s itch so look for any swim warnings) and non-motorized boating is allowed on the lake.

The lake offers two trails for recreation; the outer perimeter trail is 3.2 miles long with a crushed granite path and the inner perimeter asphalt trail is 2.8 miles long. Many people use the trails for walking, running, and skating. There is also an indoor swimming pool, and outdoors there are tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts.

The Woodland Park Zoo and the Lower Woodland Playing Fields are nearby, and so is the Green Lake Golf Course.


Locals living in and near Green Lake walk, bike, run and even skate their way around town. Many of the local shops are within walking distance of real estate properties around the lake. Parking is mainly off-street or in designated parking lots. Others travel by way of bus. The following King County Metro Transit routes serve Green Lake:

  • Weekdays: 16, 26, 48, 76, 242, 316, 358
  • Weekends: 16, 26, 48, 358
  • Nightly or “Night Owl”: 82

For more information visit Metro online.

Apartments and Real Estate

The median home price in Green Lake is $550,000; the median condo/townhome price is $340,000. The apartment rental range for a 1 bedroom/1 bathroom is $600-$800 a month and a 2 bedroom/1 bathroom rents for $695-$1245 a month. Green Lake offers a nice mix of single-family homes, condos/townhomes, apartments, and there are even a few multi-unit residences being built and some already in place. The area is also a strong attraction for more athletic buyers to trickle into the area.


  • Green Lake Elementary School, 2400 North 65th St. – K-5
  • Daniel Bagley Elementary School, 7821 Stone Ave. N. – K-5
  • Billings Middle School, 7217 Woodlawn Ave. NE. – 6-8
  • Bishop Blanchet High School, 8200 Wallingford Ave N. – 9-12
  • John Marshall Alternative High School, 520 NE Ravenna Blvd. – 9-12