Seattle is bordered by the Puget Sound to the west and Lakes Washington and Union to the east, with a neighborhood for everyone in between. Home to a culture of grunge, hippy, and hipster, a dash of suburban bliss, and an extra splash of beautiful nature everywhere, when it comes to Seattle neighborhoods, everyone can find their place in The Emerald City.

Ballard

Aerial view of the Ballard Locks opening to allow water to pass through along the shore of a wooded area
Aerial photo of the Ballard Locks | Photo: Steve Ringman for The Seattle Times

Overview

Once a city of Scandinavian immigrants, Ballard includes a mix of nautical themes. Located just off the Lake Washington ship canal, Ballard is home to the largest fishing harbor in the Pacific Northwest along with eateries and unique coffee shops. Easily accessible—thanks to a convenient light rail stop, if you're looking for unique boutique shopping and one-of-a-kind restaurants with a view of the Puget Sound and impressive views of the Olympic Mountains, Ballard is your spot.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,300

Notable attractions

Chittenden Locks or Ballard Locks: Popular in the summer months with tourists, the Ballard Locks connect Lake Washington and Lake Union, located at the west end of Salmon Bay.

Ballard Farmers Market: Open on Sundays, the Ballard Farmers Market is known for its organic produce, fresh fish and shellfish, and family-friendly entertainment.

Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery: Eat delicious desserts, like the Dark Decadence cake or their Sweet Potato Spice shake which is not only delicious but also vegan. It's been a crowd favorite since the restaurant opened in 2008!

The Station: Socially conscious and committed to being a place where anyone is welcome and can gather, the Station serves delicious coffee while hosting amazing events like block parties and kickbacks for people of color. They also serve some fantastic Mexican Hot Chocolate that's better than Abuelita's.

Beacon Hill

A well landscaped park with a playground in the background and a skyline of Seattle
Find your inner-child on the swings at Jefferson Park | Photo by: Olmstead

Overview

Beacon Hill hosts a mix of ethnic communities. The north side is the busier and more lively side, while the south side is more residential, secluded, and quiet. Overall, Beacon Hill is considered incredibly family-friendly with activities and dining to accommodate everyone.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,550

Notable attractions

Jefferson Park: Do all of your activities in this park. Enjoy the golf course, tennis courts, hiking trails, and kids' playgrounds.

Delite Bakery: Not your average bakery: this one is perfect for a normal breakfast pastry, a special occasion cake, AND Filipino bread.

Belltown

A dark room with decorative tiles on the ceiling and a claw foot tub in the middle of a bar. Tables and booth line the walls and a fully stocked bar can be seen in the back.
You can't bathe in the gin at Bathtub Gin & Co...or maybe you can? | Photo by: Hot Spots Seattle

Overview

Belltown is unique in its landscape as a formerly low-residential area, but it's now home to high-rise condominiums and old storefronts that have been converted into restaurants, trendy boutiques, and shops. Belltown is touted as the most densely populated neighborhood in Seattle and has the most business district or downtown feel to it. It's also home to great nightlife, and its views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains make it a delightful place to take a scenic walk.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,500

Notable attractions

The Crocodile: Visit Seattle's "best live music venue," where the likes of R.E.M, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Mudhoney, and more have played.

Bathtub Gin & Co.: Take a trip back to the Prohibition era with this speakeasy bar located in the basement of a hotel (and have a drink or two sitting in a clawfoot tub).

Neon Boots: For a long, strange Seattle trip, Neon Boots has delicious sandwiches and a pretty generous happy hour. They don't believe in having a phone (true story) but they're the place to be to get your sci-fi Seattle fix.

Olympic Sculpture Park: Visit Seattle's largest green space covered in monuments and sculptures and  get spectacular views of Seattle landmarks. (But beware of the pigeon poop here.)

Capitol Hill

Blurred pedestrians cross a rainbow painted crosswalk as a lightrail car passes through an intersection.
According to the Seattle Times, Capitol Hill is Seattle's "capital of everything cool" | Photo by: The Seattle Times

Overview

Some seasoned Seattleites feel that Capitol Hill is over-done and too "incorporated", but if you're new, it seems like the epicenter of everything fun. While being an elegant and established neighborhood, Capitol Hill is known for a nightlife that lights up. Visitors can count on great pub crawls and drink specials. Since cementing itself as the hub of the LGBTQIA+ community, the gay bars and rainbow-painted sidewalks proudly display its status and allyship.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,400

Notable attractions

Volunteer Park: Find the Volunteer Park Conservatory and the Seattle Asian Art Museum here.

Pine Box: The bar is housed in a former funeral home and mortuary, and the main interior bar served as the chapel for services. Find your next favorite draft beer with some spicy jalapeno hummus.

Best neighborhood in town to get Pizza: Get your pizza by the slice from Ian's where you can stick to your basic or get their monthly featured option or grab a little late night slice of New York at Big Mario's.

Mamnoon: Modern Middle Eastern food with influences from Lebanon and Syria. Mamnoon brings Middle Eastern culture around food and spices bringing people together in an amazing dining experience.

Jimi Hendrix Statue: Catch Jimi mid-shred at the intersection of Broadway and Pike Street.

Chinatown/International District

A brightly colored, traditionally asian entryway adorns the entrance to Chinatown as a man and young boy pose in the foreground
Seattle's Historic Chinatown Gate | Photo by: Natalia Dotto for Red Tricycle

Overview

Seattle deemed this area the International District because residents are mostly of Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino descent. The area has been deeply affected by racial prejudices, including but not limited to the Japanese Internment after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Ultimately, community leaders protected the district to preserve culture and tradition, and the International District continues to be a major meet-up area for the Asian-American population. The overwhelming feeling is one of family and inclusion for everyone without exception.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,150

Notable attractions

Uwajimaya Market: The huge store specializes in Asian-inspired trinkets and boasts lots of foods from popular to unique, including Black Cod, Octopus, Soba and Sukiyaki Meat.

Chinatown Discovery Tours: Walk on a guided tour through the neighborhood and learn about the history of Chinatown/International District.

Seattle Japanese Garden: Enjoy the calming experience of the Seattle Japanese Garden, 3.5 acres of sanctuary with water features, bridges, flowers, and animals. The scenery is constantly changing for a unique experience for every visit.

Columbia City

A street level view of Columbia City Ale House against a clear sky and behind a tree lined sidewalk
Tree lined streets in Columbia City | Photo by The Seattle Times

Overview

Named after Christopher Columbus, this area is experiencing a resurgence after an initial decline following World War II. The nicest thing about Columbia City is the ability to walk everywhere; everything you need is within walking distance. The overarching theme of this neighborhood is "harmony". People get along with each other and look forward to living alongside each other; neighbors help neighbors in Columbia City.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,500

Notable attractions

Columbia City Theater: Listen to live music or see live performances in Seattle and see why it's called "The City's Finest Sounding Room."

Geraldine's Counter: Say it with me: all-day breakfast. Geraldine's French toast continues to be one of the best in Seattle.

Empire Espresso: Empire loves what its customers love, and they pride themselves on their flavorful espresso shots. Even if you're not an espresso person, these might surprise you.

Downtown

An aerial view of downtown Seattle on a clear day and a mountain in the distance.
Downtown Seattle from an aerial perspective | Photo by: Downtown Seattle Association

Overview

Bordered by the waterfront on the west, Downtown Seattle is the closest feeling to New York City that you can get in Seattle; it's a walkable part of town that has everything you need and want in a small area, whether you're looking for great nightlife or a quiet night at home. Beware, though; the downtown area is super walkable for a reason: traffic downtown is especially horrible. However, the area is generally navigable by public transit, especially the Lightrail North and South, Seattle's answer to a subway system. The walkability and central location come with a hefty price tag on apartments—it's pretty expensive, so good luck trying to afford this neighborhood.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $3,120

Notable attractions

Pike Place Market: At one of the most recognizable Seattle landmarks, watch out for the flying fish!

Central Library: This gorgeous library has ALL the books, along with great connections to community resources.

Triple Door: Hang out at this intimate music venue that features cool jazz acts in a lounge atmosphere that event-goers describe as "a venue boldly doing its own thing."

Eastlake

Brightly colored houseboats can be seen lined up long a waterway
The residents of Eastlake take their house boats seriously. | Photo by: Cooper Jacobs Real Estate Group

Overview

Eastlake is a prime location to live in your houseboat and among some unique architecture. Traditionally more family oriented, it's prime location near the University of Washington and Capitol Hill have made it the next up and coming neighborhood for Seattle's young professionals. The architectural landscape is always exciting and interesting to look at and unique things to do. (Hello ... bocce ball, anyone?)

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,450

Notable attractions

Lake Union Crew: Get your exercise and your teamwork skills by joining the Lake Union Crew. No experience necessary!

Fairview Park: For spectacular views of the water and a way to immerse yourself in nature, Fairview Park is the place.

14 Carrot Cafe: An brunch cafe that's a Seattle local favorite for a reason. Family owned and managed and they get get rave reviews on pretty much everything. Definitely try their Orange Poppyseed Pancakes—a recent diner didn't even have words to describe how delicious they are.

First Hill

A red velvet couch stands alone on a high varnished hardwood floor surrounded by pieces of classic art in ornate gold frames
Immerse yourself in gorgeous art at the Frye Salon | Photo by: Frye Museum

Overview

Once known for being the neighborhood for families with money—including the Boeing family, lots of medical professionals now live in First Hill due to its many hospitals. With some shopping and dining options in this neighborhood, First Hill allows you to stay close to the action of downtown and Capitol Hill without actually having to be in IN the action.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,975

Notable attractions

Frye Art Museum: Head to this museum for amazing art brought to the First Hill community that inspires engagement and conversation. The best part: the museum is free.

Seattle Town Hall: An open forum where some of the best speakers and panels in Seattle are held regularly, usually in partnership with non-profits to raise money and awareness for their causes.

Fremont

A large concrete troll sculpture appears to crawl from beneath a bridge while crushing a VW Bug
Don't mind the VW Bug, The Fremont Troll is a pretty friendly guy | Photo By Sue Elias on Flickr

Overview

Known as the self-proclaimed "Center of the Universe," Fremont and Wallingford make up most of Lake Union's north shore and are home to the hippie culture in Seattle. Famous (or maybe infamous) for their naked solstice bike ride in the summer, locals deem Fremont an artsy district in Seattle and a treasured place to find unique vintage clothing and housewares. While it has experienced new development recently, residents still find ways to maintain its "weird" culture.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,550

Notable attractions

Fremont Troll: Since the Aurora Bridge was built, residents of Fremont claim they have seen a troll living beneath the bridge, often describing their sightings with terrifying tales. In 1989, the Fremont Troll was sculpted at 18 feet tall with a fantastic metal eye and crushing a Volkswagen Beetle. Can't wait to visit? Check out a 360-degree view of the troll!

Woodland Park Zoo: Woodland Park Zoo is a fantastic place for all ages to be amazed at incredible wildlife. They're serious about conservation and worked with global partners to keep over 900,000 pounds of waste out of landfills last year.

N 36th St: Find fun and unique bars including The Backdoor for a speakeasy vibe and Stampede Cocktail Club for beautiful and delicious drinks and for happy hour from 4-7 p.m., and Theo's Chocolate Factory which is responsible for the delicious chocolate smell that permeates the street.

Georgetown and SoDo

A street level view of the red brick building that houses Georgetown Pharmacy
Georgetown Pharmacy's storefront speaks to its status as an older neighborhood | Photo by: Knute Berger for Crosscut

Overview

The theme of these neighborhoods is industrial and unassumingly residential. That being said, the Georgetown/SoDo area is not necessarily the preferred place for most to live, especially if you're only in town for a short time. Both neighborhoods started as industrial but are becoming increasingly lively with quite a few eateries, breweries, and unique shopping experiences. Additionally, many industrial buildings have been converted into condominiums and apartments for those who would love to work in the downtown area but can't afford downtown prices.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,400

Notable attractions

School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts: Remember how you wanted to run away and join the circus as a kid? Here's your chance. Learning how to do the flying trapeze with the greatest ease is maybe a little more difficult but way more fun than you imagined.

T-Mobile Park: Catch a Seattle Mariners game at this nationally-ranked stadium. Fans describe the atmosphere as electric and love the sunsets over the Puget Sound. So, try to make a night game!

Greenwood

Cars cross through the intersection at Greenwood Ave and 85th street as a pedestrian crosses with his dog
Casual stroll with your pruppet? Greenwood is a great neighborhood for that | Photo by: Parker Staffing

Overview

Not to be confused with Green Lake, Greenwood rose from the marshlands. The community in this neighborhood is unmatched, and the business district in this neighborhood aims to keep it that way by coming together to host events that everyone loves. That being said, nighttime is relatively quiet for residents in Greenwood, making it perfect for families and homebodies.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,050

Notable attractions

Greenwood Car Show: Hosted by a group of car enthusiasts called the Greenwood Knights, this car show started as a way to bring more visitors to the community and has become an anticipated event that gives back to the community in big ways.

Chuck's Hop Shop: Chuck's boasts itself as the "Land of a Thousand Beers," where you can find a brew to suit any taste or mood.

Lake City

What's left of a large stone door stands tall as the entrance to a small city plaza
The entrance to the former SeaFirst Bank preserved in a Lake City park | Photo by: Joe Mabel

Overview

Composed of five smaller neighborhoods, Lake City has had many different personalities throughout the years. Most recently, Lake City became increasingly more environmentally-focused finding new ways to collect waste that's more sustainable and creates smaller footprints. If you're looking for a more lively atmosphere, the more central area of Lake City is perfect for you, while on the outskirts, things are relatively quiet and calm.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,250

Notable attractions

Ezell's Famous Chicken: Feast on home-cooked southern food, especially the "famously good chicken." Ezell's makes fried chicken using a homemade Texas recipe, bringing southern cooking to the Pacific Northwest.

Kaffeeklatsch: a coffee shop based on the German ladies' custom of gathering to sip coffee and talk. Kaffeeklatsch is a place to grab a delicious cup of coffee, delicious pastry and chat--you bring the gossip.

Leschi

Brightly colored boats line the water front at the Leschi Marina against a lush treeline
We're not kidding when we say Leschi is on top of Lake Washington—the Leschi Yacht Basin | Photo By: Marinas.com

Overview

One of the best-kept secrets in Seattle is just on top of Lake Washington. Leschi prides itself on being off the beaten path and always laid-back. It's like being in the city without a city feel. The business area has great restaurants and shopping, and for those looking to live life on the lake, the Marina is ready for your boat.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,660

Notable attractions

Leschi and Frink Parks: These two connected parks head toward the lake and are incredibly peaceful.

BluWater: Opened in 2004, BluWater serves nothing but delicious food from breakfast to late-night snacks. Try their famous Lake Side Cafe Fish and Chips.

Madison Park

A brown brick pathway with small benches and tables winds around dense trees and bushes
Know what's at the end of this pathway? A beautiful bathing beach. | Photo by: Seattle Parks and Recreation

Overview

Want that "traditional Seattle view?" You know the one I'm talking about—the trees and the mountains and all the green with the great houses. Find it in Madison Park. Everything in this neighborhood seems a little bit classier, and it's enough to make you feel like you're beyond the hustle and bustle of the city. Madison Park residents love and find new ways to honor their neighborhood history and the businesses and artists that continue that legacy.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,530

Notable attractions

Madison Park Beach: Tan, kayak, lounge, swim, and enjoy time outside in the sun.

Washington Park Arboretum: On the University of Washington campus, the Arboretum has an incredible assortment of plants and a wealth of activities from guided tours to family hikes.

Cactus: Bringing TexMex to Seattle, Cactus is Seattle's first tapas bar and a great way to get your tastebuds dancing. They're also serving brunch and are selling their Salsa Orale by the bottle. (Seriously, buy some.)

Madrona

A row of brick lined shops and boutique are featured; Center is Madrona's Laundromat with a neon sign and bordered my colorful flowers
Molly Moon's micro ice creamery inside of the Madrona Laundromat | Photo by: Molly Moon's

Overview

Based on location, you'd think that Madrona is hustling and bustling like its neighbor Capitol Hill, but you'd be surprised to find out that it's a relatively quiet, sleepy neighborhood with wholesome community events like movie nights, outdoor concerts, and sewing/knitting groups.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,000

Notable attractions

Glassybaby's: Purchase handblown glass art that gives back. Each Glassybaby sale donates $3 back to the Glassybaby White Light Fund to provide hope and healing.

Madrona Park: Go for a picnic on Lake Washington's waterfront for an outstanding outdoor dining experience.

Hi-Spot Cafe: Need a delicious bunch spot? Check out Hi-Spot Cafe where the pancakes are plenty fluffy and delicious.

Magnolia

A white house with green borders and a red clay roof sits along the rocks and in the foreground of a large body of water against a clear sky
Amazing views from Discovery Park in Magnolia | Photo by: Chris VR for TripSavvy

Overview

When you think of the shipping industry in Seattle, city residents think of Magnolia. It's a secluded area that has an amazing walk score. (It's not all ships and houses!) Through the the Magnolia neighborhood blog, you can find little pockets of activity, and when in doubt, you can always find a great spot for fishing in Discovery Park.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,200

Notable attractions

Discovery Park: The largest park in Seattle where you can take a free nature walk or take a free class at the nature center to better connect with your environment. Don't want to do anything guided? The park itself is directly on the water and has amazing views of Mount Rainier.

Daylight Star: A Native American cultural center located in Discovery Park with a native art gallery and history and heritage of the indigenous people in the Puget Sound.

Maple Leaf

A large building painted yellow with decorative diamonds sits next to a brightly colored floral shop with the name "Maxines"
A quick shot of Maple Leaf's main drag | Photo by: Walking Seattle Neighborhoods Blog

Overview

Do you ever wonder if a perfect residential neighborhood exists? Spoiler: it does, and it's Maple Leaf. The entire community is tight-knit and perfect for families. It's such a model for good neighborly behavior that it's been nationally recognized for it. Residents of Maple Leaf take time to make people feel welcome and show a genuine interest in each other.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $1,680

Notable attractions

Math 'N' Stuff: You don't have to be a math whiz to love this store. It's filled with the best books, games, and puzzles that are deceptively educational.

Cloud City Coffee: Find both community and coffee over a latte and homemade breakfast and/or lunch.

Pioneer Square

Pedestrians walk in between tree lined cobblestoned streets surrounded by brick buildings
Original brick buildings and tree-lined streets. Yes, please. | Photo by: Food and Wine

Overview

Pioneer Square holds the title of "Seattle's oldest neighborhood" and is famous for upscale restaurants and fancy art galleries. The red brick buildings were constructed after the city of Seattle was rebuilt post the Great Fire of 1889. While not traditionally known to be residential, the development of Century Link Field has sought to change that.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,700

Notable attractions

Zeitgeist: Local Seattle roasted coffee in a warm and inviting atmosphere surrounded by local art.

Pioneer Square's underground tour: Get a chance to go underneath the streets of Seattle and discover its fiery past in this interesting and hilarious tour.

Central Saloon: Home of the Seattle Sound: discover new music while having a beer in the oldest bar in Seattle (established in 1892!)

Queen Anne

Moss grows on concrete steps surrounded by trees covered in ivy
Queen Anne's Hidden Stairways are good for a new adventure every time | Photo by: Queen Anne Public Stairs

Overview

Broken into two parts, Upper Queen Anne and Lower Queen Anne are fairly upscale and within walking distance of Seattle Center. Known for old beautiful homes and super proximity to the Space Needle, if you want to live in a quiet, relaxed atmosphere, Queen Anne Hill is the spot to be. Upper Queen Anne is home to boutiques and high-end restaurants but is most readily recognizable as being the spot with the "big houses on the hill". Lower Queen Anne has more working-class residents and is recently experiencing gentrification, but it remains a place that houses smaller homes, apartments, and shops.

Average Upper Queen Anne rent prices

2-bedroom: $3,048

Average Lower Queen Anne rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,400

Notable attractions

Kerry Park: While it sees a lot of visitors, locals and tourists alike, visitors say there's nothing like enjoying a cup of coffee and seeing the sunrise and sunset in this park (and an occasional glimpse of Mount Rainier).

Hidden Staircases: If you want to exercise, head to the Queen Anne stairs. There are over 100 sets of stairs on Queen Anne Hill alone. While the Queen Anne stairs are home to amazing views, only true explorers can find the other staircases left off tourist maps in this area.

Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop): Take a deeper look into Pop Culture at MoPop. Opened in 2000, MoPop brands itself as radically hospitable and uses popular culture to create an environment for learning, expression, and creating. Enjoy an outdoor theatre experience at one of their Campout Cinema events or explore the lineup of upcoming and current exhibitions.

Rainier Valley

The sun rises on Rainier Ave as cars cross the intersection
Rainier Ave as the sun comes up | Photo by: South Seattle Emerald

Overview

Located on the east side of Seattle proper, Rainier Valley recently experienced a surge in popularity due to its low cost of living compared to other Seattle neighborhoods. Residents of Rainier Valley show pride in its historically African-American culture and promote neighborhood diversity. Residents host a ton of community events that keep those who live there engaged and proud to be a part of Rainier Valley.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,000

Notable attractions

Kubota Garden: Created out of a marshy swamp, The Kubota Garden has been going strong since the first five acres were purchased in 1927. In 1987, Seattle acquired the garden and committed to maintaining the beautiful garden as a natural area.

Ravenna

Lush greenery winds its way along the hiking trail enhanced with steps
This scenery on a hike? Catch me there everyday. | Photo by: Tripadvisor

Overview

Ravenna started as a wild area covered in trees and was identifiable by a flowing creek. As the city expanded, much of the wilderness was diverted but can still be seen in Ravenna Park. Ravenna has enough shopping and entertainment for those who live there—and possibly to draw a few outsiders— but not enough to disturb the feeling of peace valued by the residents.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,200

Notable attractions

University Village (U-Village): Buy your brand names like J. Crew and H&M at this open-air shopping mall.

Trophy Cupcakes: Get your sugar rush with these gourmet cupcakes baked fresh daily and in every flavor you can imagine. Because what makes a s'more better? When it's in a cupcake.

Ravenna Park: For most, this park looks relatively unassuming, but it's a half-mile of space to hike, jog, or picnic.

Roosevelt

Pedestrians and motorists cross an intersection where brick covered buildings stand along side buildings with brightly painted trim
Photo by: Good Migrations

Overview

Known for adorable houses and a pretty active business district, Roosevelt is named after President Theodore Roosevelt and attracts residents who are looking for a peppy place to live while having easy access to other parts of the city. The pinnacle of Roosevelt's shopping experience revolves around niche shops like consignment boutiques and music specialty stores.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,340

Notable attractions

Rain City Burgers: Feast on fresh and natural beef burgers that are named after the sports teams of Seattle.

Cowen Park: It's a park in the middle of everything yet helps you get away from it all.

South Lake Union

Two abstract glass spheres sit in the middle of a green grass plaza where a group of young men play a game
This is an actual rainforest in the middle of a park. Thanks, Amazon. | Photo by: The Seattle Times

Overview

While most of Seattle has experienced renovation, none has seen as extreme of a restructuring as SLU. Once a neighborhood lined with warehouses and industrial buildings, skyscrapers and booming tech giants have taken over South Lake Union. With Amazon, Google, and Microsoft campuses, South Lake Union (SLU) has become the place to be with exciting events and great spaces to explore. If you need some transportation, you can rent a Vespa to go on an SLU adventure. The neighborhood is very active during the day and much more relaxed at night, making it an ideal place to call home.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,450

Notable attractions

The Amazon Spheres: Hilariously nicknamed "Bezos' Balls," enjoy an amazing indoor garden where life and nature are encouraged and Amazon employees can work surrounded by plant life.

MadArt Studio: Get a first-hand look at the process of large scale art installations that make art accessible to the public.

Museum of History and Industry: Discover the events that shaped Seattle and its diverse history and find out Seattle's impact on the rest of the country. Get lost in Seattle's past, and get excited for Seattle's future.

University District (U District)

Cherry blossoms bloom in the middle of a common space with benches and stone buildings
The University of Washington quad during the summer with all the cherry blossoms blooming | Photo by: Tripadvisor

Overview

U-District is home to the University of Washington and lots of gothic architecture. The crowd of residents include the younger people due to its proximity to the university. U-District is truly a city in and of itself, providing college students more than enough entertainment, food, and fun to keep them busy. With lots of access to public transportation, it's easy to get around in this area. The main drag is University Way (AKA "The Ave"), which is filled with cheap—but good—restaurants and vintage shops as well as historic theaters and the University Farmers Market.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,500

Notable attractions

Henry Art Gallery: Located on the University of Washington campus, the Henry Art Gallery is an amazing collaboration of different types of art and artistic method. It's free for UW Students and Staff (and their families!) and is $10 for the general public. An easy and cheap way to get lost in art.

Burke Museum: Curious teenagers built this museum and is filled with artifacts to understand where, how, and why Seattle and the Pacific Northwest came to be.

Wallingford/Green Lake/Phinney Ridge

Brightly painted condominiums line a street with limited parking and in the background, a skyline of downtown Seattle can be seen
Brightly colored condominiums line the streets of Wallingford | Photo by: Wonderlane for Flickr

Overview

The Wallingford/Green Lake/Phinney Ridge cluster of neighborhoods is primarily residential and has a lot of access to the outdoor Seattle experience. Due to its varied demographics made up of recent college grads, modest yuppies, and struggling families, Wallingford is described as "eclectic," while folks who love to get up and move live in Green Lake. Find great running trails in Green Lake Park or visit The Little Red Hen for country line dancing lessons. While two of this trio are buzzing with activity, Phinney Ridge is a laidback area that is perfect for a neighborhood stroll.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,270

Notable attractions

Gas Works Park: The huge park spans 19 acres and has a beautiful view of Seattle. Created atop the site of the old Seattle Gas Light Company, see remnants of a time past for a neat historical flair.

Archie McPhee Joke Shop: In a time when independent toy stores are almost non-existent (RIP Toys-R-Us), Archie McPhee has withstood an increasingly digital world. Most consider Archie McPhee to be a mecca for those interested in the strange and unusual.

Open Books: A Poem Emporium: The bookstore holds new, old, and rare poetry. Go there for exclusive book launches, readings, and classes to grow poets and develop an appreciation for poetry writing.

Westlake

Colorful houseboats lined up in a row in a body of water on a grey overcast day
Another houseboat community—why just sit on your porch when you could fish off of it? | Photo by: Good Migration

Overview

Westlake is a super small neighborhood that residents note as a "pass-through" to get to and from other major neighborhoods. Because Westlake is crowded, parking can be a problem, but most residents find living there worth the hassle because it's home to some of the most unique architecture you're going to find: office buildings built over boat parking.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $3,110

Notable attractions

Pasta Freska: Go for Italian dining that's delicious and doesn't make you feel bad for eating 3 pounds of pasta and drinking from one of the largest wine selections in the city of Seattle.

Pot Shop Seattle: The retail cannabis store features a variety of edibles, concentrates, and CBD products.

West Seattle

Waves roll in on a rock gravel beach lined with algae and seaweed
The waves roll in on the shores of Alki Beach | Photo by: Tripadvisor

Overview

The residents of West Seattle have a passion for nature and a shared sense of collective responsibility for their environment. The color of West Seattle is green, not only for its lush forests but also for the residents' commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness. The entire area is known for its small-town feel because it's comprised of small districts: Admiral, Alki, Arbor Heights, Delridge, Fauntleroy, High Point, Morgan, South Park, West Seattle Junction, and White Center.

Average rent prices

2-bedroom: $2,300

Notable attractions

Alki Kayak Tours: Take a guided tour around incredible bodies of water like Elliott Bay, and learn the histories and intricacies of these ecosystems.

Alki Beach Park: Have the perfect beach tour complete with a beach fire and beach volleyball.

Lincoln Park: Walk and bike on the 4+ mile trails on this bluff on Puget Sound.

Arthur's: Described as an "all-day cafe", Arthur's true claim to fame is the exceptional service and experience they provide diners. Also, try the Avo Smash—you won't regret it.

No matter the person or interest, there's a place for everyone to belong in Seattle. We recommend spending time in neighborhoods you might be interested in and getting a feel for the space, the people and the ambiance. Try to take strolls at different times of the day and feel what fits you. If you're able, spending a couple of months in a mid-term rental in different neighborhoods can help you determine if you'll love a neighborhood for a longer term. Trust us, no matter what, Seattle's feeling of camaraderie mixed with its gorgeous scenery will make any traveler feel like home.