Alki
Alki

Apparently early European settlers took their cues from baby seals, because Alki was the very first place they stopped in Puget Sound in 1851. The view was quite different back then when they were greeted by none other than Chief Seattle. Imagine—no Space Needle, no Century Link Field, no piers or ferry terminals! The conditions were rather unforgiving, and they named the settlement New York-Alki. “Alki” means “by-and-by” or “In a while” in Chinook, so apparently no one was expecting the place to be a booming metropolis anytime soon. It didn’t take long for people to move to Elliot Bay, where the weather and harbor were a little more forgiving. The few people who stayed (only two families) dropped the “New York” from the name and kept the Alki, liking its laid-back sound. Eventually even those families bailed on the area, and Alki was left empty while the rest of West Seattle populated. It wasn’t until neighborhoods like Admiral and Fauntleroy were well established that Alki saw action again, this time as a public beach and a resort area for the wealthy.

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