Magnolia is a small slice of suburbia just 5 minutes from downtown Seattle. Surrounded on three sides by the Puget Sound, the neighborhood has no "through" traffic. This results in a quiet atmosphere and a relative lack of congestion.
Like many Seattle neighborhoods, Magnolia has an abundance of fantastic views and great parks. But one of its biggest claims to fame is Discovery Park. At just over 500 acres with 2 miles of beach it is big enough to get lost in. But a stroll through this park is not for the faint of heart as there is quite a bit of elevation change, but worth it as the views from the top are outstanding.
Magnolia does have a small commercial area (residents call it "the village") with a few restaurants, bank, drug store and (naturally) two places to get coffee. The Village is also home to one of Seattle's two outdoor public swimming pools.
Housing is predominantly 1950s ramblers (many with basements) which are now seeing a resurgence in popularity since being renamed "mid-century modern". Multi-family housing is predominantly located on the east side of the neighborhood where you can find quite a few older condo buildings and a few small apartments. Townhouses have begun to spring up in the last ten years.