Unlike the dead mall in Totem Lake (practically swarming with dementors) or the dying commercial centers of South Seattle, Alki Beach, West Seattle is a vibrant community, with a perfect beach view of the Puget Sound to set the scene. It's not out of the ordinary to see the occasional sunbather soakin' up rays in Alki Beach, West Seattle -- in fact, on a sunny day, it might be impossible to neglect the tanning bodies lined up on the beach.
In Alki Beach, West Seattle's finest public beach, you'll get everything you want for a day out in the sunshine: long stretches of grass, good for picnics or letting your kids roam or sandy stretches perfect for beach volleyball, and plenty of shops after a day at the beach. California St, running parallel to the beach, with the signs reading "no shirt, no shoes, NO PROBLEM!" might actually trick you into thinking you've arrived in Seattle's own slice of California beachy wonderland.
If it's not the beach you're interested in, perhaps it's the shopping, places to eat, or the miniature statue of liberty sported by West Seattle locals? The U.S's legendary lady also calls Alki her home, in a smaller and less extravagant way.
Beyond the obligatory features, you might be interested in meeting up with a friend, and wondering the best way to get to Alki? Busses getting to West Seattle area only too easy, the West Seattle Bridge allows traffic from the I-5, and even biking is an option for those willing to brave some of the breezey hills of West Seattle. However, be advised that rush hour traffic hits hard on the way to West Seattle -- it's a commuters neighborhood through and through.
As for shopping, well I suppose it's time we got to that now. It's May 23rd today, which means that Seattle Beer Week will be continuing for the next 7 days. Furthermore, this means the Elliot Bay Brewhouse will be having specials on craft beers, brewed in local breweries like the one down in Rainier Valley or at the Eliot Bay Brewery itself. If drinking isn't your style, there's always the nearby Art-House Admiral Theater, looking like something out of a crisp 60's cinema with its vintage billboard and easy location over on Admiral Street.
West Seattle, and especially Alki, have something that other Seattle areas lack -- a strong sense of community. They're constantly updating neighbors online through blogs, microblogs, or other mediums, which means even if you never leave your house, you're still connected. The regularity with which neighbors gather to hold events, like the huge Summer welcome where pirates literally storm the beach from the sea and mingle with landlubbers and scallywags alike, to casual bike to work days where residents commit to greener efforts make, can draw the occasional local in. Be advised, too much time in areas like Alki Beach, West Seattle, are definitely contagious -- you might not be able to make it back to your home if you stay too long!