South Hill is a unique, pleasant neighborhood with several interrelated design characteristics that are appealing to the residents. The neighborhood has a number of areas with distinguishing characteristics. The Ridgeway area, south of the university on the highest elevations of the hill, has been developed since World War II. There are streets with larger lots, fewer sidewalks, more open drainage rather than curbs, and predominantly single story homes.
Excellent views of Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands, and the Canadian coastal range mountains are widely distributed and highly valued. Views of Mt Baker and the Olympic Mountains, while less widely distributed are equally highly valued. A number of people make regular and extensive use of sidewalks because of the varying views, well kept gardens, and nearness to the university and Fairhaven commercial area.