Eastlake was an area heavily forested with trails throughout, but later, it was cleared in order to create orchards and farms. In the early 1900s, the area became know for its large houseboat population. Around 1920, an apartment and housing boom created the charming vintage buildings and houses that attract renters and homebuyers today.

Eastlake is Seattle’s best-kept secret. Its strategic location on the north end of downtown, situated on the east side of Lake Union, makes it a great location for people who want a small neighborhood feel, but the option of being within minutes of downtown. Eastlake Ave., the main drag, offers retail shops, restaurants, and bars, attracting a calm, more mature crowd.

Due to Eastlake’s close proximity to the University of Washington, students tend to rent in the area. Young professionals employed in the downtown or Lake Union area find Eastlake a desirable location. There also continues to be a somewhat large houseboat population in the area.

Fun Stuff
Eastlake is home to one of Seattle’s favorite restaurants, Serafina. Often rated as one of Seattle’s best eats, Serafina was opened by two New Yorkers in the early 1990s.

Eastlake is becoming a popular place in the evenings with the Motion Lounge, Zoo, and 12 Carrot Café attracting locals and others to its retro establishments.

The P-Patch is another hidden charm in the Eastlake neighborhood. Its attentive gardeners take good care of it, making it a valued community project.


Average Rent: $$

Primary Housing:

Small Apartment Buildings

Medium Apartment Buildings

Single-Family Homes



Commute Times:

Downtown 5-10 minutes

Eastside 20-25 minutes, 35-40 minutes in traffic

As its name suggests, this neighborhood is located on the east side of Lake Union between the lake and I-5. This neighborhood is small geographically, but has a high concentration of rental units. Its central location and reputation as a low-key neighborhood makes it a popular area. North of South Lake Union and northwest of Capitol Hill, it has rental properties in this area that range from older, vintage apartment buildings to mid-century properties to newer apartment and condominium buildings.

Because the hill slopes from I-5 down to the lake, many available units and condos offer spectacular views to the west. Higher up the hill toward I-5, the better the view but highway noise can be a factor to consider as you reach the eastern most part of the neighborhood. On Eastlake Avenue you will find numerous restaurants, shops and local hangouts; most properties in Eastlake are a short walk to Eastlake Avenue.

Also available in Eastlake is single-family homes and townhomes for rent. The Eastlake neighborhood is also one of the few areas in Seattle where you can rent a houseboat. Houseboat rentals are relatively scarce and are typically expensive.