The Happy Valley Neighborhood encompasses 627 acres. It is bordered by Interstate 5 to the east, Old Fairhaven Parkway to the south, an irregular line from 14th to 20th Streets to the west, and Bill McDonald Parkway to the north.
Early residents in the Happy Valley Neighborhood settled on small platted lots near Fairhaven and larger "garden" tracts throughout the rest of the valley. The neighborhood grew primarily as a single family residential area. However, as Western Washington University has continued to grow, Happy Valley has become a popular location for student housing. Since the late 1960's, increasing numbers of apartments directed toward student housing have been built, infilling amongst and replacing single family housing. The highest densities of apartments have been built in the north end of the neighborhood, closest to WWU.