Just a 15-minute drive from downtown, the Greenlake Guest House offers a unique Seattle experience. The B&B, a beautifully renovated 1920s Craftsman house in a low-key residential neighborhood, is just across the street from Green Lake, a popular park featuring flowering and evergreen trees, grassy seating areas, a small beach, and a 3-mile paved path around the lake for walking and biking. Rooms feature relaxing amenities such as en-suite baths with jetted tubs and gas fireplaces, and the made-to-order gourmet breakfast offers a delightful start to the day.
YOU SHOULD KNOW While the sought-after Green Lake neighborhood has plenty to offer, you'll have to drive or deal with public transit to get to Seattle's most popular attractions.
Attractive guestrooms feature a mix of classic and antique furnishings and decor that complement the home's architecture, such as gleaming wood dressers, iron beds with traditional linens, and leather chairs and ottomans. While each of the five rooms is unique, all include large windows, a gas fireplace, and an en-suite bath. The best rooms, naturally, have lake views.
Private bathrooms feature classic Craftsman details such as pedestal sinks, beadboard wainscotting, and heated hex floor tiles, as well as a jetted tub. Plush towels and bathrobes add to the pampering feel.
The common living area features attractive Craftsman details such as picture rail molding, expansive banks of windows framing lake views, and gleaming hardwoods covered in plush Oriental rugs. A handsome leather sofa is a pleasant place to unwind in front of a crackling fireplace. There's also a bistro table on a sun-dappled patio overlooking the lake.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Like many Seattle homes, B&B has a full flight of stairs leading to the front door.
Like any B&B worth its salt, the Greenlake Guest House serves an outstanding breakfast. Starting with a fresh fruit dish, the daily breakfast menu includes a mix of savory and sweet dishes, such as an omelet, mini buttermilk pancakes, and slab bacon. Guests can also opt for eggs cooked to order, oatmeal, toast, and gluten-free options.
With such a hearty breakfast, you may not need a snack, but you should try the available-all-day complimentary cookies just the same.
To explore Seattle from Green Lake, it's really best to have a car, unless you're comfortable taking public transit that might involve transfers and can be agonizingly slow. You'll definitely want to use GPS or a map app to drive anywhere, as the residential and city streets of Seattle are often confusing. Apps can also help direct you to the least crowded routes, as Seattle's traffic is notoriously daunting. The best way to reach downtown is via I-5 or I-99; traffic varies considerably throughout the day on each. To reach Ballard, head south around the lake toward 65th Street. And for Seattle Center, take I-99 south and watch for exits that say Seattle Center.
One of the best restaurants in the area is one of the most unlikely: On an odd-shaped lot, Bongos (5-min drive or 20-min walk along the lake path) serves up fantastic Cuban and Caribbean fare. The outdoor seating area, very popular during the summer, features sand and a boardwalk; during the winter, with indoor seating only, it can get overly crowded. Mykonos Greek Grill (10-min walk), a local favorite, is well-known for its tender gyros, but other menu items stand out as well, including the yigandes, a Greek-style lima bean dish.
Beer geeks should pay a visit to Uber Tavern (3-min drive or 13-min walk), which offers a seriously good selection of beers in a small but cozy spot with seating around an indoor fire pit. Shelter Lounge (10-min walk) is hit-or-miss when it comes to the food but the light-flooded space is attractive, the drinks are solid, and the lake views among the best in the area.
WHY WE LIKE IT
For B&B lovers, the Greenlake Guest House in residential Green Lake offers a unique Seattle experience, from the inn's handsome Craftsman architecture to the lake views and easy park access. Serene rooms feature luxurious touches such as gas fireplaces and en-suite baths, the customer service is friendly yet unobtrusive, and the daily breakfast is delicious.