Named for the tannic acid present in the water, Bitter Lake is a tight-knit community built around the lake and part of the greater community of Broadview. Back in the day the neighborhood was famous for Playland, the vaunted amusement park that drew many, but was shut down in the 60s. Now the former Playland is primarily the site of the R.H. Elementary School. Today Bitter Lake is a quiet and picturesque community primarily made up of residential homes, apartment buildings, and condominiums. Bitter Lake is perfect for those looking to take a break from the city.
Bitter Lake, Seattle Data : Neighborhoods & Travel – Score out of 100
Bitter Lake, Seattle Reviews
Like Green Lake but Quieter
This nabe is kind of like Green Lake but quieter. There’s an elementary school, and thus a lot of younger families, and it feels open despite the numerous houses that line the mostly suburban streets. The houses are nice and the vibe is friendly.
Younger people won’t be looking to move out here as it has little to offer them in terms of night-life and opportunities, but that’s probably a selling point for the families and older folks who seem to make up the majority of the population.
Lake, Nice Homes
Not much to do
the nearly secret lake
If you’re thinking the same thing as me, you’re thinking “what a very peculiar name for a neighborhood”. What about the lake is bitter? Does it taste bitter? What’s in it if it tastes so bitter?
Don’t quote me on this but apparently tannic acid from the logs dumped into the lake from the early sawmills gave this lake its bitter taste.
The actual lake itself is teeming with activity, from actual people, incorporating a morning row as part of the commute, to the wildlife that call it home. Much of the community is centered around the lake — homes and land boundaries are often dictated by the lake itself.
Being surrounded by woods in most directions really gives this area a ‘rustic’ feel, although not incredibly far from larger hubs like ballad or the U district. People looking to escape the city might turn here for a home because of the quiet calm it that silently resonates through much of the area.
Quaint and sleepy, but that's totally ok.
Mellow and unassuming, Bitter Lake is a nabe that is mostly residential with very little shopping or dining options, but a sense of piece and quiet that is lacking from many of the nabes within Seattle’s city limits. This nabe is one of the furthest north, its northern border sharing the boundary line of Seattle proper, and its distance from the center of the city has resulted in slightly larger houses with cheaper rent.
The main feature of Bitter Lake is the lake that gives the nabe its name. Housing along the lake is very popular and has seen price inflation over the years. Today it is not uncommon for a smaller house to go up on the market, get purchased, and invariably replaced with a much nicer, much larger home, facilitating the rise in the land values.
If you have to commute into Seattle proper, which you probably will due to the lack of jobs in the nabe, access to I-5 is close and multiple bus routes pass through Bitter Lake. This nabe is peaceful and relaxing while still providing easy access to the more exciting parts of the city.