The neighborhood of Westlake Seattle gets its name because it's located on the west side of Lake Union. The waterfront is home to a number of Marinas and great restaurants and is just over the hill from the beloved Queen Anne district. Residents of Westlake Seattle enjoy a combination of larger businesses like boatyards and hospitals mixed with smaller restaurants, shops, and bars. This is a particularly nice area for singles and couples without kids. Apartments in Westlake Seattle are usually newer, well maintained, and considered a prime location with high rent. Enjoy views of the space needle, Lake Union, the Cascade mountains, and Queen Anne Hill. This is a great place to watch Seattle's twice-yearly firework shows over Lake Union each Independence Day and New Year's Eve.
All of the Lake Union neighborhoods boast a great waterfront view and are within walking distance to many places. Unsurprisingly, you'll pay premium rent for this kind of location. Prices begin at $1200/mo for small studio apartments in Westlake Seattle, and go as high as $4300/mo for a two bedroom with water views.
Westlake is walking distance from Key Arena, which allows the chance to see premium concerts without having to worry about parking. Lake Union is the home to many, many events including the 4th of July, the boats afloat show, and Seafair. This puts you right in the center of many fun activities year round. If you want to take a day trip to somewhere local, you're also walking distance to the Kenmore Airport, where you can visit the San Juan islands or Victoria, BC by float plane. Westlake Seattle boasts great dining choices, like the nationally famous McCormick and Schmicks Harborside seafood or the small family-owned Pasta Freska italian restaurant.
The marina areas are pretty pet-friendly, and the traffic on Westlake Avenue isn't that bad as far as getting over there. However, pet owners will more often have better luck going uphill to Queen Anne instead of downhill to the lake. The Queen Anne neighborhood is larger and known for many high-end pet lovers shops. There are a number of pet bakeries, high-end natural pet stores, pet boutiques, grooming salons and spas, vet offices and hospitals and doggie daycare venues.
Seattle is not an easy city to drive during rush hour. However, if you work downtown and don't require the highways to get to your job, you're very close. If you don't want to drive, there is a bus system that can get you there with less stress and save you money in parking and gasoline. Cyclists will find the city bike friendly and getting friendlier with the current mayor. This is quickly becoming the fastest and easiest way to travel around Seattle.
Seattle schools are not segregated by neighborhood. Instead, every student in the district is eligible to apply to the schools they wish to attend. The state is beginning to allow charter schools, though this hasn't affected the Seattle School district much yet because the large population and different offerings of the schools have made it a sort of charter system on its own. Depending on the interests of the child, there are schools with specialties in Broadcast Journalism, Drama, Art, Lanugage Immersion, STEM (Science and Technology), Social Sciences and more. Students must qualify for the program of their choice, and choose multiple options in case they aren't given their first choice. If your child doesn't get the program you want for them, then there is always the option of over 100 private schools within the Seattle city limits with religious, college prep, art, music or dance conservatories and alternative education possibilities.