Crown Hill has remained a fairly quiet neighborhood while Ballard has REALLY grown up, along with Greenwood to Crown Hill’s east. While it is more lively than the posh Blue Ridge neighborhood to its north. In Crown Hill, you’ll see plenty of kids, so it is really is more alive than ever!
The main thoroughfare in Crown Hill is Holman Road, which is lined with shops and services, both chains and independently owned. Some of these are much adored, including the Thirsty Fish pub and, of course, Dick’s Drive-In. You’re sure to spot familiar spaces at these places and more when you settle down in Crown Hill.
But first, they have to be familiar, right? Here are four ways that Crown Hill’s features, attractions, and associations make it easier to form a community and feel truly at home.
Hyper-Local Goodies at The Weekly Summer Market
The retail on Holman Road is more about everyday needs and decor. You won’t so much find fancy boutiques and grocers. In lieu of this, the Crown Hill Weekly Market on Wednesdays throughout summer is a great way to get indulgent goods direct from local artisans. And we mean hyper-local, as in other residents from in and around Crown Hill. If the bustling Ballard Market on Sundays is a bit too busy for your tastes, you’ll love the sweet, friendly simplicity of the midweek market in Crown Hill. Including…
Green Goodness from City Grown
Started by two young urban farmers, City Grown is a fixture at the Crown Hill market and throughout north Seattle. They farm entirely within the city, using a network of backyards and unused green spaces to grow hyper-local produce. Their produce is sold within a day or two of harvest and travels 10 miles at most. Crown Hill has a lot of yards used by City Grown, with participants getting the added benefit of the free landscaping that comes with it. (City Grown puts decorative plant barriers between the food and the street.)
This network of homes and veggie lovers is committed to sustainability and neighborhood self-reliance. It’s a beautiful project that yields truly delicious and wholesome results. Read more about City Grown’s practices here.
The Fruity, Fishy Quirks of Carkeek Park
Seattle is rich with stunning parks. Some are simple oases of green, while others are that and much more. Carkeek Park is definitely the latter.
Visitors enjoy dramatic views of the Puget Sound and islands and peninsula beyond year-round at Carkeek Park. The sandy beach is not like the one you find at nearby Golden Gardens. (Crown Hill residents can also easily access Golden Gardens, a scenic gem, and hot summer destination.) At Carkeek Park, you can explore tidal areas full of sea life. On weekends, you’ll often see a beloved figure in Seattle: The Bubble Man, who throws giant bubbles along the shore using the sea breeze.
In the fall, the park’s streams come alive with migrating salmon, and Piper’s Orchard brims with fruit. It’s great to experience as a visitor, but there are lots of volunteer opportunities, too. Read about the salmon program, forest stewards and friends of the orchard on the official park website.
Advocacy and Debate at Crown Hill Urban Village
Everyone knows that Seattle is having growing pains. Not every neighborhood is so proactive about using this pivotal moment to determine a path for responsible growth. Unlike other associations that are steadfast in opposing all density and diversity, Crown Hill Urban Village has a slightly more progressive approach. There is an understanding that corridors like Holman Road can be developed to support more families without displacing current residents.
It’s complicated, but better to be involved, right? The association has been around since 2016 and is also advocating for better pedestrian access. Crown Hill is actually far more level than the name implies. Terrain wise, it’s very walkable and bikeable, but sidewalks are scarce off the main streets. Some long-time residents prefer this, so there is no consensus. There isn’t a consensus about many issues, but CHUV is creating a forum where residents can perhaps come to one, and flex their collective muscle for improved transit and urban planning.
It’s an exciting time to be in Seattle, and Crown Hill is a neighborhood where it pays to be engaged.
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