Welcome to South Lake Union
Hip, urban community in the heart of Seattle’s tech scene
Located at the southern tip of Lake Union and featuring some of Seattle’s newest and most sought-after real estate, South Lake Union is a thriving Seattle neighborhood recognized as one of the most technologically inventive areas in the country. The community was originally claimed by pioneer David Denny in the mid-19th century and served as the site of the city’s largest sawmill for half a century. Because of this, it brought many employees and their families to the area to settle and inspired many other mills to open nearby. As a transportation hub for coal and timber, South Lake Union was instrumental in the growth of Seattle. South Lake Union has always had innovation at its core. Today, South Lake Union is home to Amazon’s 11-building campus, Microsoft, Apple, and countless tech startups.
Around the turn of the century, South Lake Union saw a growth in manufacturing, encompassing everything from cabinetry and furniture to Boeing’s first airplane factory and the first Ford Model T factory west of the Mississippi River. South Lake Union was brought to life by big thinkers, and its reputation today is no different. Led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his company Vulcan Real Estate, the development of the neighborhood has skyrocketed in recent years, making South Lake Union one of the most exciting and desirable places to live in the city.
With 340 acres of parks, LEED-certified retail, commercial, and residential buildings, and lakefront access, South Lake Union is a dynamic neighborhood where residents rub elbows with some of the world’s greatest technology leaders and thriving creatives alike.
What to Love
Rich culture thanks to public art, parks, and historic buildings
Lakefront access and ample transit options
People & Lifestyle
Thanks to its modern nature and many amenities, South Lake Union attracts those looking for a young and trendy community full of life and culture. Home to many tech companies, South Lake Union is buzzing with people during the day, including employees from Amazon’s neighborhood headquarters.
When the workday is over, the streets stay alive. Both workers and residents flock to the many restaurants and bars for drinks and delicious bites, as well as to the area’s many fitness studios to burn off steam.
Those who call South Lake Union home also take advantage of the neighborhood’s pedestrian-oriented infrastructure designed to be walkable and connect residential, commercial, and cultural spaces across the neighborhood. Its forward-thinking attitude and endless list of amenities, including UW’s medical campus, draws in younger residents, including students and young families who work nearby and have settled in one of the many new apartment complexes.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
South Lake Union is brimming with dining, entertainment, and shopping options for every taste. At 2200 Westlake, you’ll find a 550,000-square-foot three-tower condo community with numerous retail, leisure, and entertainment options, including a 47,000-square-foot Whole Foods, the five-star , a luxury spa, and a two-level lobby featuring local artwork.
Local favorite opened a location in the neighborhood on the ground floor of luxury apartment tower McKenzie, providing the perfect place for those looking for a hip, modern spot with good vibes to enjoy Southeast Asian cuisine. Another neighborhood staple is , a bustling bar to indulge in a burger and selection of over 30 beers on tap. Other hot spots in South Lake Union include for Mexican, for trendy farm-to-table fare, and for barbecue.
After hours, be sure to try the craft cocktails at re:public and enjoy the view from the rooftop . For shopping, you can’t miss the neighborhood REI, the brand’s Seattle flagship store for outdoor enthusiasts. While it does have a climbing wall, the store also offers programming for those seeking to learn more, including how-tos on hiking and mountain biking as well as organized community cleanups and yoga experiences.
Things to Do
South Lake Union is also known for its rich cultural offerings, and residents will never run into a shortage of things to do. Putting Seattle’s story on display, from wilderness to world city, the (MOHAI) is a must-visit and has something for the whole family.
The and Lower Queen Anne are a short distance away, putting access to opera and ballet at residents’ fingertips. Fans of contemporary art can enjoy stimulating exhibitions at , one of Seattle’s finest galleries. If you’re into theater and dance, and are in the neighborhood, as are , which put on live music and dancing almost every night.
In line with the neighborhood’s “work hard, play hard” attitude, fitness lovers find a haven in South Lake Union, where spin, barre, yoga, and CrossFit studios are around nearly every corner, including the first Barry’s Bootcamp in the Pacific Northwest.
Thanks to its numerous parks, South Lake Union also puts on a number of festivals and outdoor events throughout the year, including the in September, which offers food, live music, workshops, boat races, and more, as well as the , the largest festival focused on celebrating the community. The neighborhood also hosts Seattle’s largest outdoor movie series on the , a summer film series bringing the community together for free screenings once a month.
South Lake Union is part of the Seattle Public School District. Highlights include:
Spruce Street School, K-5
The Center School, 9-12
Cornish College of the Arts, Higher Education