West Seattle is its own sustainable and thriving community, and you never really have to leave if you don’t want to. There are funky shops and specialty stores, yoga and fitness studios, grocery stores strategically positioned so you never have to drive — or walk — too far, salons on practically every block, and parks for nature exploration or exercising outdoors.

Favorite local shops, which are found on or around California Avenue in North Admiral, include Carmilia’s for seasonal and designer dresses, consignment institution Funky Jane’s, and the thrifty Many Moons Trading Co to name a few.

As far as entertainment goes, ArtsWest Gallery is one of the area’s best-kept secrets, and hosts rotating exhibits that are free to the public as well as performance pieces in its cozy 149-seat theater. Catch a newly released flick at Admiral Theater, a West Seattle icon that opened in 1942, or check out a community event like the Alki Art Fair, which takes place every July.

Nature enthusiasts rejoice with West Seattle’s plethora of outdoor options at their fingertips. Of course there’s Alki Beach Park where families with dogs stroll the boardwalk, children build sandcastles on the beach, competitive volleyball games ensue, and friends gather around blazing fire pits. Lincoln Park is also a West Seattle treasure with beachfront access, a heated saltwater pool, and sports courts. The Duwamish Trail makes for a nice walk or bike ride along the historic Duwamish waterway, a blend of industry and natural beauty.