The neighborhood of Inglewood-Finn Hill
provides a comfortable suburban lifestyle set along the beautiful landscape of Lake Washington. As one of the many neighborhoods on the lakefront, residents enjoy spectacular views of the lake and the mountains beyond. The close proximity of the neighborhood to the city of Kirkland
provides plenty of options for dining and entertainment in a larger city setting. However, many residents find enough options for food, shopping and entertainment within a few-mile radius of the neighborhood.
The lakefront location of this neighborhood certainly takes a toll on real estate prices here; homes
and apartments in this area rank much higher than other areas of Washington. However, those that can afford the higher cost of living in Inglewood-Finn Hill find that the benefits of public parks, beachfront scenery and good school systems outweigh the initial costs. Located at just over 17 miles from the center of Seattle, residents can still make a reasonable commute to the big city in around a half an hour, depending on traffic conditions.
Schools in Inglewood-Finn Hill
School data provided by GreatSchools
Restaurants & Nightlife
The majority of the neighborhood serves mainly as residential real-estate space, with most of the best restaurants located to the east on 100th Avenue near Lake Washington. The options here range from very pricey to mid-level range restaurants. In general, the closer you get to downtown Kirkland, the more frequent restaurants become. Cafe Juanita acts as the neighborhood's culinary pride and joy, attracting people from all the surrounding neighborhoods for its fancy dining experience. This restaurant features fairly high prices, and reservations should be made ahead of time. Cafe Juanita places a high emphasis on presentation and elegance in its dishes, with high-class cuisine such as duck, veal and rabbit available. The crowd favorite here proves to be the rabbit crepes, with a bit of gelato sorbetto as a tasty dessert to end the meal.
For a taste of something different, head a couple blocks over from Cafe Juanita to find Oto Sushi. Sushi lovers will enjoy the extensive offerings of rolls and raw fish at this Japanese restaurant, along with lunch specials such as the Kitchen Combo Bento Box. This combo costs only $7.95 and includes your choice of some Japanese favorites, including two sushi rolls, fried rice and a meat dish. Oto Sushi has become a very popular take-out spot over the years, but it also includes seating in-house. If you can’t decide what to try, get the increasingly popular Dynamite Roll and Seared Salmon Roll with a side of free edamame.
Though the options for nightlife here seem slim at first, locals still have a few choices when it comes to dive bars and pubs around Inglewood-Finn Hill. Bishop’s Alehouse serves as the go-to neighborhood pub for cheap drinks, darts and watching the Seahawks game. Visitors to Bishop’s Alehouse can play pool, darts and arcade games while enjoying their drinks. On weekends, the pub also hosts some live DJs for dancing and karaoke nights. Be sure to check out their daily drink deal, which features a different beer on tap each night of the week for only $3.25 a pint. Happy hour runs from 4:30-6 p.m. every day, with cheap bar-food appetizers such as nachos and burger sliders to choose from.
Residents looking for some live entertainment like to catch a show at Laughs Comedy Spot, located a few miles east of Inglewood-Finn Hill. This entertainment venue hosts live comedy acts from around the country on most nights of the week. With a full bar and some light-food options, Laughs Comedy Spot serves as a popular nightlife destination for various neighborhoods in the area. Laughs runs different specials throughout the week, but Wednesdays tend to draw a pretty good crowd with open mic night and no cover fee to get in.
History & Culture
As with many of the neighborhoods surrounding Lake Washington, Inglewood-Finn Hill was settled in the late 19th century by settlers moving west. L. A. Wold first mapped and settled the area in 1888. The area grew as a residential destination over the next century, eventually being annexed to the city of Kirkland in 2011. As an off-shoot of Kirkland, Inglewood-Finn Hill now serves as a quiet suburb located outside the busy parts of the city.
Those interested in culture and the arts can enjoy the displays of public art found in the parks. Parents looking to teach their children art skills can bring them to AL Studio Fine Art Classes, a local studio that teaches art to grade-school children. The highlight event each year in this neighborhood proves to be DennyFest, a day-long festival of live music, food and a dog show in O. O. Denny Park.
All in all, the neighborhood provides ample public transportation options to get around, but not enough to totally ditch the car. Most residents own a car by necessity, with many restaurants, cafes and grocery stores lying outside of walking distance. The neighborhood includes sidewalks in the residential areas, but walking as a way to commute proves rather rare. Most of the main bike lanes are located east of 100th Avenue, but residents can still bike through the residential areas of Inglewood-Finn Hill.
The bus lines from Kirkland service the area with public buses. These services prove convenient if you are taking a quick trip to downtown Kirkland, but prove not so useful for most other destinations. Those looking for a cab should probably count on calling ahead of time, as finding a cab to hail will be hard in most areas. Many residents choose to use alternative services like Lyft or Uber for ride sharing. Drivers experience plenty of space for parking in the area, with nearly all lots remaining free of charge. The closest Interstate is I-405 and can be accessed by taking NE 124th Street east until the highway ramp.
Residents in this neighborhood experience a relatively high cost of living. Compared to other neighborhoods in Kirkland, prices remain comparable; however, most of these neighborhoods also range on the pricey side, so that doesn’t say all that much. A one-bedroom
apartment here typically rents out for around $1,200 a month.
A trip to Kirkland city center will cost around $3 on public transportation, although many residents choose to drive. Gas prices in this neighborhood rank about 3 percent higher than the national average price. Prices for food and entertainment prove slightly less than downtown Kirkland, with most pubs serving draft beers for around $5 and meals ranging from $7 to $25.
The Totem Lake
Mall acts as the nearest center of commerce to the neighborhood, lying just off 124th Street and Interstate 405. Residents can count on finding many recognized name brands here, with clothing stores, shoe stores and chain restaurants spread throughout. For those looking to hunt for some bargains, check out Forget Me Not Consignments to snag that extra-rare find. With deals on clothing and accessories starting as low as $2, this consignment shop features ultra-affordable prices on lightly used, or even new, items. The parking lot here is a bit small, so look for parking in the surrounding areas along the way. Pay attention to the colored tags on each item, as each day of the week features a different percentage off depending on the colored tag attached.
Music and movie lovers should check out Vortex Music & Movies. This locally owned record store includes an extensive collection of CDs, vinyl LPs and DVDs to browse. Make sure to talk to one of the knowledgeable staff members in the store, and ask for recommendations on what to listen to or watch next.
Locals typically shop at the nearby Safeway on 100th Avenue for their weekly groceries due to its convenient selection and close proximity to the neighborhood. However, many people prefer to shop at the Juanita Friday Market
during the warmer months for its impressive selection of fresh produce from local and regional farms. Located near the coast of Lake Washington by Juanita Drive, this farmers' market also includes food vendors and artisan bread and baked-goods stands. Make a day out of your shopping trip, and head over to Juanita Beach after browsing for a swim or tanning session.
The closest and largest park in the neighborhood is Big Finn Hill Park. Located in the northwest section of the neighborhood, this free park serves as a central community spot for meetings and outdoor activities. The park includes plenty of sports fields with baseball diamonds and open soccer fields available for use. Picnic shelters, a playground and restrooms are also available. Many people come to Big Finn Hill Park to explore its large network of walking and hiking trails. Whether you enjoy mountain biking, jogging or dog walking, these trails provide a range of difficulties to suit each activity.
Another notable park in the area is Juanita Beach Park. Though quite a bit smaller than Big Finn Hill Park, the main attraction here is the beach and swim area in the summertime. Visitors of Juanita Park can spread out on the sand, play sand volleyball or go for a swim in Lake Washington. In addition, the park also provides stand-up paddle boards for rental use.