Seattle Culture

This Neighborhood is the ‘Friendliest’ in America

And it’s right here in Seattle

By Rob Smith February 27, 2024


A few years ago, I was in Cooperstown, N.Y., because my son was playing in a weeklong baseball tournament. I asked one of the park workers where the friendliest people come from (teams from across the country participate in tournaments there all summer long).

She didn’t hesitate. “People from the West Coast are, by far, friendlier than anywhere else.”

And they’re friendlier in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood than anywhere else as well.

Home improvement business All Star Home analyzed Google reviews with the word “friendly” based on the 200 most-viewed city neighborhoods on Zillow in 2022. The Magnolia neighborhood emerged as the nation’s friendliest, followed by Kingwood in Houston, and Highland in St. Paul, Minn. Top friendly businesses across the country are Trader Joe’s, the UPS Store, and Great Clips. Starbucks and Costco are both among the top 20.

Six of the 10 friendliest neighborhoods are in the Western U.S. Hilly Magnolia is the only neighborhood in Washington state in the top 20, though Portland claimed two neighborhoods.

Until recently, I lived in Magnolia, which Wikipedia says is the second-largest neighborhood in the region, with about 20,000 residents. Merchants often greeted me by name. Our neighbors were fantastic. Hikers throughout Discovery Park routinely smile and wave. My favorite bartender even remembered the type of beer I drank and had it ready whenever I came in.

I now live in Ballard. People are friendly enough, but I sometimes feel out of place because I have no skinny jeans or combat boots. I’m just not hip or grunge enough. Oh well.

Magnolia is just a short drive away.

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