There’s so much to like about Crocus Hill.

One of the St. Paul residential districts encompassed by the larger Summit Hill district, the Crocus Hill neighborhood is among the city’s most popular. Bounded by Interstate 35E to the east, Lexington Avenue to the west, and Summit and St. Clair avenues to the north and south, it’s easy to get to and hard to leave.

“A few houses were built before 1900, but the majority of the houses in Crocus were built from 1900 to 1920,” said longtime resident and real estate agent Mary Hardy. “The further you go east, the older they are.”

That’s because after St. Paul was founded along the Mississippi River in the mid-1800s, development spread uphill and to the west from downtown.

“Between 1900 to 1910 would be your classic Crocus [home] with the big front porch and the three stories,” said Hardy, who sells homes in the area for Edina Realty. “It’s one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city, I think. There are beautiful homes, lots of pride of ownership.”

Two things that stand out for most people are Crocus Hill’s walkability and friendliness. Residents can park their cars at the end of a work day and walk to the restaurants, bars and shops on Grand Avenue. They get to know one another along the way, and have neighborhood get-togethers.

Proximity to Grand Avenue has other advantages. It is home to the annual Grand Old Day street festival, held the first weekend in June. Grand Old Day draws thousands to the city’s longest street for music, food, entertainment, shopping and people-watching. The day kicks off with a race and a family fun run, followed by a parade.

Children may take part in city-sponsored summer camps at Linwood Recreation Center and recreation there throughout the year, including a skating rink. Linwood also has a gym, yoga and fitness classes, and a community garden.

Families who move into Crocus Hill have several education options, from St. Paul’s public schools (Randolph Heights Elementary, Ramsey Middle School and the highly regarded Central High School) to private schools such as St. Paul Academy and St. Thomas More Catholic School (pre-K to 8th grade) and Cretin-Derham Hall, a Catholic high school.

Crocus Hill is popular among relocation clients, too, Hardy said. Downtown St. Paul is just minutes away, within walking and bicycling distance. A commute to downtown Minneapolis takes less than a half-hour.

“Another nice feature is, it’s about 10 minutes from the airport and we don’t have the noise of the airport,” Hardy said.

She described Crocus Hill’s residents as a nice mix of families, singles and retired people.

People actually move around in the neighborhood quite a bit,” Hardy said; “It’s not unusual for people to move a block away. When they downsize, they’re always looking for a smaller place in the neighborhood to move into.”

Hardy has lived in Crocus Hill for more than 25 years and raised her family there.

“I love to find people to move in there,” she said. “It’s just an honor to work on those houses. They’re such beautiful places.”