Live In Sheridan Heights | Lake Forest Park, Washington’s Favorite Neighborhood
The Sheridan Heights Neighborhood of Lake Forest Park, WA
Are you thinking of living in The Sheridan Heights Neighborhood of Lake Forest Park? This is a beautiful area on the hill rising up to the northwest of Lake Washington, north of downtown Seattle, WA.
It has some of the best schools, lush landscapes, and nicest single family homes in the north end.
Sheridan Heights, Lake Forest Park
Sheridan Heights is considered a prime location by many folks around Lake Forest Park, WA. I remember driving through the area in the school bus on the way to Brookside Elementary as a kid, with my face pressed against the steamy glass window.
Sheridan Heights Schools
It was so soothing, looking out at the tidy homes, each one well taken care of and nicely spaced. Occasionally we would come to a cross street, and I would glimpse the shiny waters of Lake Washington down the hill a few blocks away.
Sheridan Heights is in the Shoreline School District, well-thought of in the area. The local elementary school is Brookside, just down the hill. The middle school, Kellogg, was recently remodeled (2020) and the high school, Shorecrest, was rebuilt around 2010. The students get good test scores and the GreatSchools.org score tends to range between a 7 and 8 for these schools.
On the back side of these neighboring schools, you’ll find Hamlin Park which offers baseball fields, hiking trails, and an off-leash dog park. I used to explore Hamlin Park as a middle school cross country runner and have come back many times to enjoy the playgrounds with my kids who love having outdoor adventures in its shady acreage.
Folks in this area love supporting schools, many vote YES on school levies and other property taxes supporting local parks, sidewalks and public services, so property taxes can be higher, especially since Sheridan Heights is home to some of the more expensive real estate in the area. (Lake View property doesn’t come cheap!)
Higher Education Opportunities Near Sheridan Heights
Sheridan Beach Terrace is less than 1 mile from Shoreline Community College off Aurora Ave and 160th Ave NE. There’s also close proximity for Bastyr University – a medical school offering degrees in acupuncture, herbalism, and naturopathy. Also keep an eye out for North Seattle College at Northgate.
Get Out Your Walking Shoes!
The Walk Score of Sheridan Heights Lake Forest Park is 45, it’s a great place to go for an exercise walk, or walk your dog, but there’s not a lot of shopping or anything to do around there. There’s actually a busy 45-Mile Per Hour Street (Lake City Way/Bothell Way) just down the hill.
Lake Forest Park Has A Lot To Offer Residents
However, if you have strong legs, and don’t mind the walk back UP the hill at the end of the day, you’re just a few blocks off the Burke Gilman trail which is a wonderful walking and biking path around the shores of the Lake that is totally level and will take you half a mile to the Lake Forest Park Town Center.
Businesses and Community Thrive At The LFP Shopping Mall
The Town Center (or Towne Centre as some more “affected” people may choose to think of it) is the social and commercial hub of the Lake Forest Park community and just a short walk or drive away.
Lake Forest Park Restaurants
Here there are all sorts of restaurants: Starbucks, Mod Pizza (my favorite), Subway, Frozen Yogurt and Everest Kitchen, Juice Bar, Lake Forest Park Bar & Grill, and a food court upstairs. There are also plenty of Mom & Pop stores like a jeweler, hair salon, Third Place Books, Ace Hardware, and a knitting shop.
Lake Forest Park Activities
If you’re looking for things to do, you won’t want to miss the dance studio, the Avid Angler fishing gear outfitter, Planet Fitness Gym, or the piece de resistance – the upstairs stage and community gathering space full of free meeting rooms, shared board games, a kids play area, and a giant-size floor chess board with knee-high wooden pieces to move. It’s meant to be a place that brings neighbors together, and has historically hosted different speakers, music performances, dances and book readings.
Lake Forest Park Government
City resources here in Town Center include the Lake Forest Park Town Hall, Police Station, Fire Station and Public KCLS library. This is where we come to drop off our ballots when we vote – Everyone votes by absentee or mail-in ballot by default here in Washington State. This is also where we came to get our passports when we took our kids to Prague for a work trip in 2017. If you want to build a house, you’ll find the Lake Forest Park planning division here, so it’s a good idea to come in and introduce yourself to your local public servants.
Local LFP Farmer’s Market
Don’t miss the local Lake Forest Park Farmer’s Market – open on Sunday afternoons during the summer, and hosted on a pop-up basis during the winter when Christmas shopping season rolls around.
Although not as big as the amazing local Ballard Farmers Market in NW Seattle (where my sister and her husband went on their first date, by the way), it boasts a variety of local vendors with fresh veggies, local meats and honey, flowers, and hot fresh food to eat. You can spend the day experiencing fresh food, talking with neighbors, and supporting local farmers.
A fun diversion and it brings people out into the community as well as invites visitors who may be pedaling by on the Burke Gilman Trail.
The Burke Gilman Trail Connects Sheridan Heights To The Community
If you love to bike, you’re going to love the Burke Gilman trail with over 26 miles of connecting flat biking trail leading along Lake Washington. The bike score is 51, but the trail is paved and beautiful, although it does include dogs, walkers, kids and frequent street crossings for cars. From Sheridan heights you can continue to the North East and visit Log Boom Park in Kenmore, and continue through Bothell to the UW campus there, or on toWoodinville where you’ll find open trails and wine country. Go in for a tasting, but don’t drink and bike afterwords!
Alternatively you can head south to the University of Washington campus or the U-Village for shopping if you’d like.
Word on the street is that rush hour can be pretty busy on the trail, with serious bicycle commuters whizzing by pretty quickly, so keep your wits about you during the dark wee hours of the morning.
Sheridan Beach Community Club
Sheridan Beach is a nearby neighborhood within the same Home Owner’s Association, called the Sheridan Beach Community Club (SBCC). The 270 deeded homeowners within the zone, are required to pay annual dues, and are afforded certain rights as members, including pool and beach access.
According to the SBCC, “Deeded members enjoy year-round access to our private beach club, facilities and events, with the option to add on a pool membership during the summer, fall and early winter seasons. Beyond the Club, SBCC offers many benefits including a desirable neighborhood of spacious single-family lots, sidewalks, and property values which reflect these amenities.”
At the beach, the SBCC maintains a few small watercraft: Stand up paddle boards and kayaks, for local owners to use. You can also bring your own boats, but you can’t leave them there. There is a boat launch for larger watercraft and temporary moorage, but no overnight dock parking is allowed. If you have a boat and you’d like to keep it in the water, check out the nearby marina at Log Boom Park for monthly boat parking.
Swimming pool access is available to neighbors within a 1-mile radius not in the HOA, but it is generally considered rather expensive. Associate memberships to the beach club come with a wait-list and you must be sponsored by two members already in the club.
Lake Forest Park Civic Club
Many locals not within the Sheridan Heights HOA choose to go through the inexpensive ($300/year) Lake Forest Park Civic Club across the street from the LFP Town Center in order to get access to the parklike grounds, indoor event facility, and Lake Washington beach front. It is open to the broader Lake Forest Park population.
This is where our cub scout group would hold its outdoor camp fire graduation each June for example. We were often blessed to see a bald eagle fly across the lake at sunset.
Lake Washington: The Gem Of The Area
One of the best attractions in the Sheridan Heights and Sheridan Beach neighborhoods is the views of, and access to, Lake Washington. Lake Washington is a giant freshwater lake separating Seattle from Bellevue and Lake Forest Park sits west of Kenmore and Bothell at the Northern tip of the Lake. It stretches 22 miles from north to south, and spans about 2.5 miles… a distance which is crossed by two bridges – the 520 floating bridge near the University of Washington north of downtown Seattle, and the I-90 bridge which also crosses Mercer Island in its stretch from South Seattle to Bellevue, WA.
Life on the water is a lot of fun, and many find the influence of water hard to ignore! From speedboats and water skiing, to canoeing, paddle boarding, kayaking or even just fishing and swimming, a person could find plenty to do at Lake Washington – especially in the summer months.
Lake Forest Park and Shoreline Parks
One of the things that many people who relocate to Lake Forest Park really notice about the area is the abundance of beautiful woods and parks all over the place.
From saltwater beaches, to boggy swamps, and forested parklands, Seattlites love getting out into our parks no matter what the weather or what time of year. Many people here have dogs – in fact in the city of Seattle more people have dogs than have kids! So you’ll find dog walkers braving the elements to get their furry friends the exercise they need – 365. Why don’t you join the fun and get out there, too!
Check Out My Video Tours Of Some Of My Favorite Parks
Real Estate Prices and Overview
The median property value for single family homes in Sheridan Heights and Sheridan Beach is around $1.5 million, making this one of the more expensive neighborhoods in the area. Many adults and families would find this quiet neighborhood meets much of their criteria, but the challenge is to identify a home for sale at a reasonable price. Sometimes friends will tell each other when a new home is coming up for sale in this desirable neighborhood, but most people contact a local Lake Forest Park real estate agent to find the help in viewing a listing and finally obtaining a Sheridan Heights home address.
There are few budget rentals or condos, and new construction building here is infrequent. You’d have to tear down an existing house, or do an expensive remodel to build something new on land that was already in use.
The average rent in the Briarcrest/Sheridan Beach area is currently $2956 for a 3-4 bedroom home, averaging neighborhood-specific data collected from NeighborhoodsScout.com. Although you can find an apartment for lease in Lake Forest Park, Sheridan Heights is composed of single family homes only. It is rated the most expensive neighborhood by rent. Briercrest – Sheridan Beach is a suburban area with high population density.
City Location – Lake Forest Park
Lake Forest Park is just 13 miles from downtown Seattle, a short distance to commute via car for most suburban residents. The town is a scenic suburb tucked away along Lake Washington’s Northern Shore. Lake Forest Park has an outdoor park-like environment rich in greenery and easy access to the water. Lake Forest Park is predominantly residential and offers residents a peaceful place to live. The area also hosts The Town Center, Lake Forest Park a vast shopping centre filled with restaurants and stores.
Transportation To Downtown Seattle from LFP
Most people living in the Sheridan Heights area find it’s a good place from which to get to downtown Seattle. And has decent access to Bellevue, WA on the East Side of the Lake, as well.
Getting To Work
Although the Sheridan Heights neighborhood has many fine sidewalks to delight residents… most of them don’t lead anywhere. Certainly they don’t lead to work… unless you’re one of those fortunate work-from-home’ers.
If you’re headed downtown by car, expect about a 35 minute drive. If you’re headed to Bellevue, it may take longer. Approximately 66.9% of those living here use private cars for work.
Although most employees will find it easiest to commute to work by by car, but there are public transit options available too. You can catch the bus at the Lake Forest Park Town Center and there is a park and ride at Lake Forest Park Presbyterian Church nearby. Or, you can always ride your bicycle. You’ll find plenty of bikes parked at the bus stops, too.
Airport Travel Out Of Seattle, WA
If you need to fly, you have 3 options. SeaTac is the major international airport serving the Seattle area, and you’ll find it about a 45 minute drive south of Lake Forest Park. Paine Field in Everett, WA is significantly smaller, but it has started offering a serviceable number of commercial passenger flights. It might be worth checking out. The the drive there may not be appreciably shorter, the smaller airport will have less foot traffic, which should save on parking and walking around once you’re at the airport itself.
The closest airport is actually the tiny Kenmore Air Harbour which has a fleet of float planes that take off from Lake Washington. These 4-8 passenger planes are a popular way to travel to the nearby San Juan Islands, Victoria, BC and Vancouver.
Notable & Unique Neighborhood Characteristics
At the end of the day, how you feel if you go walking or traveling through your neighborhood is really at the heart of the character and its ambience. The details matter. Compared to many other north Seattle area neighborhoods, Sheridan Heights looks good, and feels good – it is tidy, well kept, located away from busy streets and feels like a quiet residential neighborhood where you can be left to yourself. And the views of the water offer a hint of luxury. That doesn’t hurt either.