One of the Puget Sound region's newer neighborhoods, South Lake Washington
has quickly become one of the area's more popular places to live. Located fewer than 12 miles from Seattle, the district runs along the northern edge of the Renton,
bordering its namesake lake.
South Lake Washington is unique among Renton neighborhoods in that it is composed largely of former industrial land converted into luxury waterfront residential, retail, recreation, and restaurant space.
It is also home to the Cedar River Trail and Cedar River Park. The nearly 24-acre park features views of Lake Washington. In recent years, land formerly owned by Puget Sound Energy and the Boeing Company has transformed into mixed use communities.
The area is known for being the training camp home to the Seattle Seahawks as well as to the Landing mixed-use community.
The area's proximity to Seattle also gives residents easy access to the arts and culture on a large scale.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Locals and visitors frequent the Peyrassol Cafe in the Southport waterfront mixed use community for its homemade fare, renowned wine selection and handcrafted cocktails. Don't skip dessert while you're there, as the Peyrassol is known for its delectable, seasonal confections. The Red House Beer & Wine Shoppe, meanwhile, is another popular establishment. Located in a 1920s boarding house, the restaurant serves tapas along with hundreds of beers and wines from throughout the globe. For a particularly indulgent treat, order the macaroni and cheese with crabmeat.
South Lake Washington features a quiet but active nightlife scene. For a glass of wine or two in a comfortable yet refined environment, visit Vino at the Landing. Choose between restaurant-style seating or more casual accommodations near the fireplace in the lounge. For those who prefer beer to wine, the Dog & Pony Alehouse and Grill is the place to be. Along with dozens of hard-to-find microbrews, the menu includes pub food such as fish and chips. Locals recommend the fish tacos to those who have never visited the Dog & Pony.
For a fun and unusual outing, bring your friends to the 8-Bit Arcade Bar on South 3rd Street for an evening of retro arcade games and locally brewed beers. From classic pinball machines to modern, TV show-inspired video games, the bar has something for everyone in your group.
History & Culture
Slightly more than a century ago, the South Lake Washington neighborhood, along with the rest of Renton, was home to the Duwamish people. However, coal mining soon ushered in a number of settlers who battled with the native people for land rights. Eventually, the coal industry transformed the small community into a genuine city. The Boeing Airplane Company increased its production during World War II, which further expanded the population.
The South Lake Washington area began to truly take shape in 2001 when Puget Sound Energy demolished its decommissioned Shuffleton Steam Plant, clearing the way for a 17.5-acre mixed-use waterfront development. Three years later, Boeing sold 46 acres of its surplus land in the region to developers of the Landing, another mixed-use community.
Learn more about South Lake Washington history at the Renton History Museum, which houses
more than 15,000 historic photos and 90,000 artifacts.
South Lake Washington is easily accessible from Interstate 405. It is conveniently located near Renton proper as well as Bellevue, the Greater Eastside, Seattle, South King County, Tacoma and multiple airports.
Renton is served by several cab companies and a limo service, as well as Sound Transit and King County Metro buses. Although global rideshare company Uber serves the Seattle metro area, it does not serve South Washington Lake, nor Renton in general.
Renton actively promotes bicycling through its Renton Trails and Bicycle Master Plan. It also constructed a walking and bicycling trail along Logan Avenue North in South Lake Washington, connecting more than 50 miles of pedestrian and bicycling trails to serve as a more scenic route for those who prefer bicycling to driving.
Public parking is limited in the South Lake Washington area, with minimal spots available on local streets and at parks. However, a number of businesses such as the Bristol Hotel offer parking for a fee.
The neighborhood, with its well-lit streets and many public trails, is extremely safe for those pedaling or traveling on foot.
While the cost of living in Renton — and therefore South Washington Lake — is higher than that of the rest of the nation, it remains lower than that of nearby Seattle. Renton's cost of living is around 28 percent higher than the United States average and 13.1 percent lower than that of Seattle. Although the costs of groceries, transportation and other goods and services are roughly the same in the two cities, Seattle's housing costs are 35 percent higher than Renton's, including South Washington Lake.
South Washington Lake's median rent for a one-person apartment or home is $1,200 per month.
South Lake Washington's shopping scene is focused largely in its mixed use communities. The Landing, for instance, features dozens of one-of-a-kind and brand name shops in an outdoor atmosphere designed to look and feel like a village. Shopping options range from sporting goods stores to more upscale spas and salons. Visitors and locals frequent such retail spots thanks to the existence of several high-end residential communities in the neighborhood.
Frequent shoppers at The Landing recommend Poggi Bonsi, which carries European gourmet items including kitchenware, ceramics, linens, and pottery.
For grocery items, many locals stop at Top of the Hill Quality Produce not only for fresh, local fruits and vegetables, but also to browse the store's wide selection of cheeses, fresh seafood and other gourmet items.
The most popular park in South Washington Lake is Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. At 57 acres, this park features an abundance of trails, and The Seattle Times named it one of the region's top five parks for children. Bordering the lake as it does, the park is also a favorite of those who enjoy water-based recreation.
Other amenities at the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park include playground equipment, two tennis courts, a botanical trail, two volleyball sand courts and summer food concessions. There are public picnic areas as well as larger picnic facilities available to rent by reservation.
The Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park is also home to a number of annual events, including Kids Fishing Derbies, a summer concert series and a yearly Fourth of July celebration.
Nearby Cedar River Park's 23 acres include a multi-use field with a baseball diamond, a community center and an aquatics center.
While Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park does not permit dogs, Cedar River Park is dog-friendly,
with a separate area for small dogs.