Madrona is a residential community in central Seattle located on the shores of Lake Washington. The neighborhood is bordered to the north by East Howell Street, Denny Way, and Madrona Drive, beyond which are the Washington Park and Denny Blaine neighborhoods; bordered by Martin Luther King, Jr. Way to the west; and to the south by the neighborhood of Leschi, which begins on the south side of East Cherry Street.
While Madrona is located on the shores of Lake Washington, the neighborhood does not feature any waterfront homes. The waterfront is dominated by Madrona Beach Park, originally developed around 1889 to attract buyers to the neighborhood, which at the time was considered remote from the rest of Seattle. Today the neighborhood is only a 10-minute drive from downtown Seattle on city streets.
Madrona is home to a diverse selection of homes. While Madrona is not generally referred to as a hill, the neighborhood gently slopes upward from its western border until it crests at 34th Avenue, where it begins to slope more steeply down toward Lake Washington. Thus, to the east of 34th Avenue many homes are larger and have views of Lake Washington, while on to the west of 34th Avenue houses are generally more reasonably priced. However, many homes west of 34th Avenue enjoy views of the University of Washington to the north and downtown Seattle to the west (although partially blocked by Capitol Hill and First Hill), making the west side of Madrona also very desirable.
Madrona enjoys a small but vibrant commercial core filled with shops and restaurants centered at the corner of 34th and Union. The commercial core is family oriented, so most businesses generally close by 11 p.m., or midnight at the latest. Shops and restaurants line 34th Avenue for two blocks between Spring and Pike streets. Restaurants include the Hi Spot, a very popular breakfast and lunch restaurant; St. Clouds, which often has live music on the weekends; as well as other great restaurants, a corner market, barber shop, dry cleaner, and laundromat. Well-known candleholder manufacturer glassybaby has its headquarters in Madrona, and passersby enjoy watching the candy-colored glass being hand blown by its artisans.