The northwestern area of Seattle includes four neighborhoods: Broadview, Bitter Lake, Crown Hill, and Blue Ridge. Greenwood is sometimes considered a fifth neighborhood in Northwest Seattle, but is more commonly paired with Phinney Ridge.
Broadview is bounded on the west by Puget Sound; on the north by N.W. 145th Street, beyond which is the city of Shoreline; on the east by Greenwood Avenue N., beyond which lies the neighborhood of Bitter Lake; and on the south by N.W. 105th Street and Carkeek Park, beyond which, from west to east, are the neighborhoods of Blue Ridge, Green Arbor, Crown Hill, and Greenwood.
On the western edge of Broadview is a bluff, below which runs the BNSF Railway mainline along Puget Sound. Carkeek Park occupies the southwest corner of the neighborhood along the shoreline. Within it is Piper's Creek.
The Bitter Lake neighborhood is named after its most notable feature, Bitter Lake. It was a mostly natural forest of Douglas-fir and Western Redcedar, inhabited by Native Americans, until the late 19th century. Development especially picked up when the Seattle-to-Everett Interurban streetcar reached the lake in 1906. A sawmill operated in the area until 1913, when most of the trees had been cut down.
To its east, across Aurora Avenue N., is the neighborhood of Haller Lake; to its west, across Greenwood Avenue N., is Broadview; to its north, across N. 145th Street, is the city of Shoreline; and to its south is Greenwood. N. 130th Street is often considered its southern boundary, although some place it further south, at N. 125th Street, N. 115th Street, or even N. 105th Street.
Bitter Lake played a more prominent role in Seattle at mid-20th century—when it was not yet officially part of the city—than it does today. From May 24, 1930 to 1961, it was home to Playland, one of several amusement parks built by the Washington Amusement Company. It was purchased a year after it opened by Carl E. Phare, a designer and builder of roller coasters, who designed The Dipper, a roller coaster with 3,400 feet of track and a maximum altitude of 85 feet. Other notable attractions included The Canals of Venice, 1,200 feet of darkness that may have been Seattle's most famous makeout spot for two generations, and a 9,600 square foot hardwood floor dance pavilion. During the Great Depression, it was home to dance marathons and flagpole sitting contests.
The 12-acre amusement park, with parking for 12,000 cars, closed at the end of the 1961 season, under three economic pressures: the rise of television, the rising value of its lakefront real estate, and the impending Century 21 Exposition (the 1962 Seattle world's fair), which would dwarf a relatively small amusement park on the edge of town.
Part of the site of Playland is now the R. H. Thomson Elementary School; the Bitter Lake Community Center sits near the onetime site of the Dipper.
The neighborhood is bounded on the south by N.W. 85th Street, beyond which is Ballard; on the east by 8th Avenue N.W., beyond which is Greenwood; on the north by N.W. 105th Street, beyond which are (from east to west) Broadview, Carkeek Park, and Green Arbor; and on the west by 15th Avenue N.W., beyond which is Blue Ridge.
The neighborhood's main thoroughfare is Holman Road N.W. (northeast- and southwest-bound).
The neighborhood is bounded on the south by N.W. 100th Street and 105th farther to the east, beyond which is Ballard; on the east by 15th Avenue N.W., beyond which is Crown Hill; on the north by Carkeek Park; and on the west by Puget Sound.
The neighborhood's main thoroughfare is 15th Avenue N.W. (north- and southbound).