Haller Lake/Bitter Lake

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The Bitter Lake neighborhood bordering Puget Sound in northwest Seattle reaches north from N 105th Street to the city limits at N 145th Street, and is bounded on the east by Aurora Avenue N. It is home to Bitter Lake, which beckoned many of the first settlers to the area.

It drew its identity from an amusement park called Playland that operated on the south shore of Bitter Lake for 30 years, beginning in 1930. The Seattle-Everett Interurban trolley line ran through the heart of the neighborhood, bringing people and goods to the area and hastening its development. The Bitter Lake area was a timbered land of Douglas fir and cedar, often eight feet in diameter, inhabited by Native American lake people who gathered and fished from abundant resources.

Fortunate early settlers found available flatland to farm and, since there were no roads, floated their produce to Seattle markets via Puget Sound. Other farmers farther inland and farther north raised poultry. A small, lake-bound sawmill operation at the southwest corner of Bitter Lake. The tannic acid from logs dumped into the lake was so bitter that horses refused to drink from it, thus giving the 20-acre pond its name. The Bitter Lake Sawmill remained active until 1913.

Bitter Lake is neither owned nor controlled by the City of Seattle. All property owners with land abutting the shore share in its control. Under Washington state law, developers are prevented from building out over the Lake.  The lake is within walking distance of the new library and retirement homes and is backyard to the elementary school and community center. Today, condominiums and other multi-family homes have replaced farmhouses and other homes, and both Bitter and Haller Lake are now urban villages.

The residents of Bitter and Haller Lake tend to primarily be small, young families.  With its close proximity to Shoreline Community College, Northgate and I-5, the area is also good for students and people employed in the city who are looking for slightly less expensive housing than that found in neighborhoods closer to downtown

Fun Stuff
The Bitter Lake and Haller Lake neighborhoods offer a community center, Highland Ice Arena, and a Creative Dance Center which are all fun, family-oriented options for entertainment.  Additionally, Bitter Lake Park features large climbing structures, swimming, areas for sand play, picnic tables, and a wading pool, playing fields, and tennis courts. 


Average Rent: $

Primary Housing:


Small Apartment Buildings

Medium Apartment Buildings

Single-Family Homes

Commute Times:

Downtown Seattle 20 minutes

Eastside 35-40 minutes

The Haller Lake and Bitter Lake neighborhoods are situated west of I-5 and are located at the northern-most part of Seattle's northwest neighborhoods. The rental housing options here include some small- to medium-sized apartment and condominium properties but are primarily dominated by single-family homes.

The price ranges in rental housing in these areas are similar to the other north-Seattle neighborhoods. These area rentals are quite affordable when compared to the neighborhoods a couple miles to the south that are closer to downtown Seattle.

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1405- Quorum Real Estate
1405- Quorum Real Estate 715 N 130th St. Haller Lake/Bitter Lake 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom $1750
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