Our beautiful city of Seattle contains a multitude of unique & diverse urban neighborhoods, each with its own commercial center, style of home, local amenities and outdoor activities. Hard to go wrong with a list like this, but which neighborhood is the best fit for you? Choose an option below from our list of Seattle neighborhood guides to find out more about the personality and amenities of each neighborhood.
Some surprising facts about Seattle to give you a leg up on the locals:
- Most tourists and locals alike don’t know that despite its rainy reputation, Seattle does NOT rank in the top 15 rainiest cities by volume in the US! (It does, however, rank 6th in the frequency of rain showers – about 150 days a year.)
- Seattle has the 2nd highest per-capita rate of live music performances in the US! Only New York City beats us out.
- The Washington State Ferry System, which has many terminals in and around Seattle, is the largest in the US and the 3rd largest in the world!
- We have over 500 houseboats in Seattle, the most of anywhere in the US!
- Seattle has the most glass-blowing studios of anywhere in the US and almost the world – only famous Murano Island off the coast of Venice, Italy has more!
- Here in Seattle we hold the distinction of the most literate city in the US, with the highest percentage of residents with a degree in higher education.
Seattle Neighborhood Guides
Sightseeing in Seattle! Seattle is a very popular tourist destination and has some iconic attractions that you will not want to miss.
Ballard Neighborhood Local Guide
In this peaceful residential and commercial enclave just north of Downtown Seattle, anything and everything you could want is within easy walking distance. The residents of the Ballard Neighborhood – a vibrant blend of post-college kids, young families and longtime locals – bring plenty of distinct personality to the crowds at brunch as well as the numerous nighttime watering holes. Public art installations and a gritty, post-industrial history mixed with modern artistic sensibilities give this Seattle neighborhood its plentiful charm. And if you are staying with us over a Sunday, don’t miss the Farmer’s Market on picturesque Ballard Ave.
Over the past several decades, the Ballard neighborhood has grown from a sleepy Norwegian fishing village to a hopping destination with fantastic restaurants and a variety of unique boutique shops, in an aesthetically pleasing setting that is incredibly walkable and family-friendly. With a love of food and art at its heart, and a youthful upstart attitude. Ballard makes for an authentic Seattle experience for anyone traveling to our beautiful city! Even better: if you have family or friends in the immediate area, our well-appointed vacation rentals nearby allow you to stay conveniently close to them without sacrificing easy proximity to the unique attractions of the Emerald City!
Food and Drink
Tractor Tavern – enjoy drinks and nightly entertainment featuring local, national and international artist
The Walrus and Carpenter – cozy and casual hot spot to feast on icy piles of oysters and small plates
Stoneburner – Rustic European cooking is coaxed from a stone hearth & pasta counter and a wide variety of cold cuts and cheese
La Carta De Oaxaca – traditional flavors and spices of Oaxaca, Mexico and great margarita
Ballard Brother’s Seafood and Burgers – There is something for everyone! Burgers, seafood, salads, sandwiches and even milkshakes.
Activities and Shopping
Ballard Farmer’s Market – Seattle’s first year round neighborhood farmer’s market. Every Sunday providing fresh, local produce and hand-crafted products.
Golden Gardens – breathtaking views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains, stroll along the coastline, hike through a forest and fish from the pier.
Hiram M, Chittenden Locks – watch boats and fish travel through the locks or fish ladder from the Puget Sound’s salt water to the ship canals fresh water.
Majestic Bay Movie Theater – a classic yet modern theater with the signature neon sign inviting you in to see the latest movies.
Nordic Museum – explore art, and objects and experience the culture with events throughout the year to celebrate Nordic heritage.
Belltown Neighborhood Local Guide
Just north of the downtown Seattle business core, Belltown has long attracted a vibrant community of young professionals and up-and-coming artists. Extremely walkable to the famous Pike Place Market and Space Needle, as well as countless restaurants, coffee shops, bars, nightclubs, boutiques and upscale shopping options, you can’t go wrong with a stay in Belltown!
Downtown Neighborhood Local Guide
Downtown Seattle is the metropolitan center of the Emerald City. A plethora of sights, sounds, and smells, you’ll find restaurants, art galleries, music and of course Seattle’s major attractions: the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and the Great Wheel.
Fremont Neighborhood Local Guide
Fremont, priding itself in being the true free spirit of Seattle neighborhoods, has some of the most unique public art in town, including the “Waiting for the Interurban” statue at the intersection of 34th and Fremont – a statue with an ever-changing look as garments and accessories are added by creative spirits. The “Fremont Troll” makes its home under the Aurora Bridge, and yes, that really is a Volkswagen Beetle in its hand, and a photo-op not to be missed.
The art-making reaches a crescendo for the Solstice Parade in June – an only-in-Seattle event where bizarre, creative, and unique entries take to the street. Watch out for streaking bike riders with elaborate body paint – a beloved annual tradition. Shopping is eclectic too – find retro clothes, antiques, boutiques, furniture, accessories, and two good grocery stores for the basics and more. Stop by on Sundays for the Fremont Sunday Market to shop for unique handcrafts.
Eat and Drink
Paseo’s – perennial Seattle favorite with the best Cuban sandwiches just about anywhere.
Rock Creek – world class seafood in an elegant space.
Pecado Bueno – excellent happy hour with $3 margaritas!
Westward – Impeccable local seafood with unbeatable views.
Uneeda Burger – gourmet burgers with grass-fed beef, plus beer wine & shakes!
Fremont Bowl – Japanese donburi bowls with poke or chirashi and snacks!
Shopping and Activities
Fremont Sunday Market – everything you want in a local outdoor market!
Theo Chocolate Factory Tour – the most delicious hour you’ll spend all year.
Fremont Troll – the famous statue (and photo op!) awaits.
Fremont Vintage Mall – underground mazelike mall with endless fascinating finds.
First Friday Art Walk – for art (and wine!) lovers who love to discover new beauty.
Woodland Park Zoo – explore and experience 92 acres of fun, animals and live music.
Green Lake Neighborhood Local Guide
The Green Lake Neighborhood sits about 15 minutes from downtown Seattle and is the most popular urban park in the city. The neighborhood has its own unique downtown hub and a whole host of great outdoor activities to choose from! During sunny days you will find many people and dogs enjoying everything the park has to offer from paddleboard and kayak rentals from Green Lake Boat House to a 2.8 mile paved trail for biking, longboarding, jogging and more. There is a playground and a wading pool for little ones. Also, the lake is surrounded by large grass lawns for pickup soccer and ultimate frisbee games, tennis courts and even a community pool! Near by you can golf a few rounds at the Green Lake Pitch & Putt, or take in a Seattle Public Theater performance at the Bathhouse Theater. Green Lake has all the amenities you could want for an active couple or family.
Coffee shops, taverns, and restaurants are plentiful in the Green Lake neighborhood. Most are located along the shores of the lake, but the urban explorer can stumble upon great places right on the outskirts of Green Lake Drive. Often overlooked by tourists is the adorable village that locals call Tangletown. This oasis East of Green Lake has hidden gems including gourmet hot dogs from Diggity Dog, craft beers from Elysian Brewing Co., fresh donuts from Mighty-o-donuts, great coffee from Zoka Coffee and much more.
The Green Lake Neighborhood is not a place with chain restaurants and big box stores. It is filled with individual small businesses that make the neighborhood very quaint. Whether you are craving crispy fish and chips from Duke’s Chowder House, a tasty burger from Teddy’s Bigger Burgers or even new running shoes from Super Jock n’ Jill or Road Runner Sports you will find what you desire in this neighborhood.
Activities and Shopping
Bathhouse Theatre – little theater that bring together the community for year-round plays and musicals
Green Lake Park – 2.8 mile paved track around the lake for biking, longboarding, roller skating, jogging and walking. Jump in the lake for a cooling swim or fish off one of the docks. There is also a wading pool for the kiddos.
Green Lake Boat House & Café- Rent paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, and water hammocks to take in the lake. Plus, a little café for picnic snacks.
Madison Park Neighborhood Local Guide
Magnolia Neighborhood Local Guide
Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Local Guide
Phinney Ridge is a charming, relaxed residential neighborhood with classic Seattle homes, lovely territorial and water views, and a bustling central village that offers a wide variety of shopping and dining, from burgers and coffee joints to hip clothiers, cocktailers and antiques! You will also enjoy quick access downtown via Aurora Ave and easy proximity to Green Lake, Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, Greenwood, the U-District, University of Washington, and Seattle Pacific University!
While staying in the Emerald City, Phinney Ridge is a great place to experience the diverse culinary offerings and the authentic vibrancy of a popular urban residential neighborhood in Seattle. Stay just outside the loud hustle & bustle of Downtown, yet still enjoy easy access to all the best tourist attractions and local destinations! Our beautiful vacation rentals offer great locations, high walk scores, free parking (both street & offstreet options available) and the full range of amenities you would expect from a high-end fully furnished rental home.
Eat and Drink
Queen Anne Neighborhood Local Guide
South Lake Union Neighborhood Local Guide
U District & Ravenna
West Seattle & Alki Beach
Historically, West Seattle is the birthplace of Seattle proper. As the story goes, it was at Alki beach that Chief Sealth welcomed the early settlers and started what we now know as Seattle. Recently, West Seattle was featured in Seattle Magazine as one of the Best Neighborhoods in Seattle 2013.
Great for singles and families alike, Alki Beach is great for active folks that like to jog, bike, rollerblade, and play volleyball. Romantic sunsets and leisurely activities like kite-flying, beachcombing, watching ferry boats cross the Bay, and picnics round it out. Also, check out the water taxi to Downtown Seattle!
West Seattle also has a commercial district at the intersection of SW Alaska St. and California Ave. SW, called “The Junction”, with shops and cafes. In the north part of West Seattle is the Admiral neighborhood, an affluent part of West Seattle with shops, restaurants, and the historic Admiral Theater. In the southwest part of West Seattle, ferries run between the Fauntleroy station and Vashon Island.