Zenith – Des Moines, WA

Between Seattle and Tacoma lies the quiet suburb neighborhood of Zenith. Located within the city of Des Moines, Wash., the neighborhood provides scenic views of Maury Island across the Puget Sound. Think about glorious sunsets that can only be witnessed from beaches and piers on the Pacific Coast. The coastal community offers easy access to the Puget Sound through the marina. Fishing boats embark from the marina and come back loaded with fresh fish and clams.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Zenith does not have one central restaurant area, though most locally owned establishments can be found near the marina in the northwest corner of the quiet town. Old-fashioned American meets wine and whiskey at The Scotch and Vine. Located on Marine View Drive, the restaurant is just a short walk from the Des Moines Marina. Start your meal with a drink and a cheese plate, with over 250 different labels of Scotch and 200 world-class wines, you can’t make a bad decision. For the main course, try the Black Hills Gold Buffalo, a bison patty served with Beecher’s flagship cheese and black corn salsa. Make sure and call ahead for reservations since the dinner crowd can get heavy. A quick walk south and you will find Wally’s Chowder House Broiler. Get your fill on Mondays when the diner offers unlimited clam chowder and fish-n-chips from 4:00 p.m. until 8:45 p.m. Expect a crowded house but not a long wait. Enjoy a microbrew with your meal, and don’t forget dessert like the hand-made blackberry pie. If you have a craving for pizza, check out Via Marina Ristorante. The pizzeria offers handmade true Neapolitan pizzas along with the traditional Italian pasta staples. You can create your own margherita or marinara pizza, or choose from one of their specialty pizzas. Try the Diavola, made with spicy olive oil, pepperoni and cherry tomatoes. The pizzeria prides itself on being family-friendly, and kids can watch the pizzas being baked in the oven at the bar. Locals gather at the Lighthouse Lounge or Yardarm Pub to grab a pint while watching a game. For a more active nightlife scene, you will need to travel north to Seattle.

History & Culture

The Des Moines Historical Society sits on South 225th Street between Marine View Drive and 7th Avenue South. The museum, open afternoons on Saturdays during the summer, details the history of the quiet area. The city was a frequent fishing and clamming spot for the local Native American tribes. The first homestead certificate was sold in 1872, and in 1889 the Des Moines Improvement Company from Des Moines, Iowa, began development of the city. Zenith does not have an active fine arts scene, but artisans display their art at the farmers' market in the summers. The community hosts several annual events throughout the year. Gather your ghosts and ghouls together for the annual Mayhem at the Marina on Halloween night, or light the night with Christmas carols on the Christmas Ship.


Zenith residents enjoy lush green yards with tree-lined private streets suitable for walking. Bicyclists should take care when riding on the streets as they do not feature bike lanes. Most commuters residing in Zenith use personal vehicles for transportation. Commuters have access to Seattle via highways 505 or 99, and I-5 runs north to south just east of the neighborhood. If you don’t feel like driving, consider calling one of the local cab companies. Uber is not an option as the service range ends just north of Des Moines, but you can use your smart phone to request a Lyft ride. You can catch a bus on any of the major thoroughfares, but buses do not travel through neighborhood streets. A bus trip to Seattle takes between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on the day and traffic speeds. A trip to Tacoma by bus takes approximately 65 minutes. Located 5 miles to the north, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport caters to the jet-set crowd looking to spend their frequent flier miles. All residential areas in Zenith have private parking, and street side parking is possible too. Commercial areas and business complexes provide free parking, but their spaces may be limited. Customers can park streetside if necessary. If you cannot find street parking, the marina has ample space for parking, and is only a short walk to popular areas.


Living in Zenith carries a higher cost of living – about 19 percent more than the national average and 7 percent more than Washington in general. Residents happily trade the higher cost of living for scenic waterfront views, lush landscapes and access to highly rated schools.The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the area runs around $900 a month. Taking the bus from Zenith to Downtown Seattle will take between 60 and 90 minutes and cost about $2.65. A trip to Tacoma will cost around $7.50 and take 70 minutes. Gas prices run about 16 percent higher than the national average. You can expect to pay around $4.50 for a pint of beer.


Zenith residents will need to head east to the I-5 corridor to perform everyday shopping. Safeway, Walgreens, and Lowes can be found there. Denizens can find a farmers' market on Court Avenue every Saturday from May to October. A winter market opens for select weekends in November and December. Shoppers travel 6 miles north to Westfield Southcenter to shop at Nordstroms and Sears. If you are looking for exclusive shops such as Barney’s New York, you will have to travel to Seattle’s Pacific Place on Pine Street. Zenith Holland Gardens operates as the oldest business in Des Moines. The nursery holds 11 greenhouses on just over an acre of land. The historic business primarily serves as a wholesaler, but they open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October. Stop by to pick out one of Lyn’s specialty baskets, which is sure to give a pop of color to your gardens. Overlooking the Puget Sound, Carriage Country Quilts provides a scenic view to inspire quilters and shoppers alike. Housed in a brightly painted bungalow, the shop carries all the supplies you need to create beautiful quilts of any style. Nationally recognized by as a top 10 shop by Better Homes and Garden’s Quilt Sampler Magazine, this is one treasure you don’t want to pass by.


The Saltwater State Park is located on the south border of Zenith. The park features over 1,400 feet of saltwater beachfront. Visitors can swim along the sandy beach or play in the tidewater pools. Scuba divers enjoy exploring the submerged artificial reef. Campers can experience the rugged outdoors by utilizing any of the 47 standard campsites. The state park is dog-friendly, but dogs must always remain on their leash. Des Moines Beach Park lines the north border of Zenith. The historic site gives visitors access to breathtaking views, a bicycling trail and walking path. This site is available for events, and residents receive a discount to the full rental rate. You can take your dog to the Grandview Off-Leash Dog Park for some socializing and exercise. The park features a large fenced-in area to let your puppies run and play while you relax on benches with other dog lovers. Waste receptacles and bags line the area so that visitors can help keep the park clean. There are no official annual events held in the parks, but the parks hold ample space for planned events.