In the busy hustle of Seattle, it is rare to find a neighborhood this close to the urban areas that is as quiet as Windermere. This neighborhood has not changed much since its beginnings in the early 1900s. It started then as a neighborhood for upper middle class and it is still that today.
You will find everything from apartments to large lakefront mansions in this neighborhood but what you won’t find is any commerce. Instead, you can enjoy a quiet neighborhood where you are free to wander just about anywhere. Amenities for Max are a ways away, either in the University District or up north near Northgate. Food for you is a bit closer, but if you think you will be needing a drink or a snack on your walk through the neighborhood, you are best off simply packing something with you.
Seattle weather is notably mild. You will rarely see snow or extreme temperatures. Rain and wind are more common.
Windermere, like most of Seattle, has quite a few hills. This area is not as bad as some, however, and it's quite walkable. The changes in elevation are gradual but often long, so as long as you take your time if you are a beginner, the terrain here should be great for getting in some good exercise. The exception to this is Hawthorne which is on a hill that is quite steep in places.
There are sidewalks throughout the neighborhood, so there are plenty of places to walk and the area is very quiet overall. Sand Point Way is one of the only roads you may want to avoid. It is an alternative route from north to south into the University District, so it can get congested at times. The road has limited sidewalks and no lights and it can be up to five lanes in places. With few crosswalks, it can be a dangerous road to cross.
If you choose not to walk through the quiet areas in Windermere, there are a few other options for you to choose from. The Burke Gilman Trail runs through this neighborhood and extends a long distance both north and south. In most areas, the trail runs along a greenway, offering lots of grass and trees for Max to explore. The trail will take you to the north end of Lake Washington and, to the south, it runs through the University of Washington.
You also have access to Sandpoint and Magnuson Park. Once a World War II base, this large area is now a park, beach, and four miles of walking trails with plenty to see. Many of the old buildings from the military base are still here alongside swimming beaches, wetland habitats, and, best of all, an off-leash area. Windermere also has its own private park at the south end of the neighborhood that is for residents only.