Seattle Culture

This Neighborhood is the ‘Friendliest’ in America

And it’s right here in Seattle

By Rob Smith February 27, 2024

339699371_6187071364713772_6107083355222400990_n-16-9-2000x1125

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.

Follow Us

Birds, Brains and The Burke

Birds, Brains and The Burke

Bothell is booming. Here's why.

The crows. Bothell is known for the crows...

Back to the Future

Back to the Future

Seattle's Central District is reclaiming its rich history

One of the Central District’s original settlers was Black pioneer and businessman William Grose — the owner of the Our House hotel and restaurant on Yesler Way and the first Black person to buy property in what was known as East Madison in 1882. Illustration by Martin Haake

The One-Stop Waterfront

The One-Stop Waterfront

Everett is in the midst of a metamorphic makeover

For decades, Everett has been associated with Boeing planes and the naval base, where nearly a dozen combined Navy and Coast Guard ships are currently homeported. It’s a bit industrial, and maybe not the location many Seattle-area folks have historically been excited to settle in. That’s all changing with the expansion of Everett’s waterfront and

Rat City: Not What You Think

Rat City: Not What You Think

White Center's nickname doesn't refer to a rodent

White Center is having a moment. An unincorporated community nestled between West Seattle and Burien, the area boasts the most diverse list of restaurants in the region, an incredible arts and music scene, and a short commute to both downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac International Airport. Illustration by Martin Haake