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Seattle Neighborhoods

Published on November 17, 2015

Wondering what neighborhood in Seattle is the right fit for you? Below are brief descriptions of some of the most popular neighborhoods around the city.

Nearby Neighborhoods to Check Out!

Ballard: Ballard, a few miles north of downtown Seattle, retains a funky, working-class charm that hints strongly of its Scandinavian heritage. Ballard is the place for a growing number of bistros, pubs, music venues, and art galleries. Farther south, along the Ship Canal, are steel fishing boats, giant crab pots in huge stacks, and in off-season, much of the Alaska salmon fishing fleet rests dock-side at Fisherman’s Terminal.

Belltown: Part of the area north of downtown is a hip, vibrant mixture of unusual restaurants, funky cafes, thrift shops, condos and apartments. It’s a place to try downtown living, loft apartments, attend concerts at places like the Crocodile, or find a trendy lounge to drink after-work cocktails.

Capitol Hill: Capitol Hill is possibly the city’s most culturally diverse section and, along its main street, Broadway, its most energetic. Capitol Hill is home to a vibrant, diverse community, and a magnet for young folks ranging from techies, to skateboarders and punk rockers, to serious book-toting students (three colleges reside here). After cruising Broadway and its numerous funky shops and incredible restaurants, take a walk through one of Seattle’s favorite urban escapes, Volunteer Park.

Central: Central District borders Capitol Hill, First Hill, and the Madison Valley.  This classic neighborhood, like Capitol Hill, offers homes with grace and character, and a great commute to downtown.

Chinatown – International District:  Just east of Pioneer Square and one of Seattle’s oldest and most eclectic neighborhoods, the International District (or just ID) is full of an array of International cuisines, markets, and festivals throughout the year.

Denny Triangle: Connecting the Retail Core to Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, Denny Triangle is one of Downtown’s fastest growing neighborhoods with beautiful new developments pushing it forward.

Downtown: In recent years, sophisticated apartment and condominium buildings with ground floor shops have replaced vacant lots and dilapidated structures. The Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Symphony, many cinemas and rich nightlife all add to the excitement of downtown living. Residents and tourists alike enjoy shopping at world famous Pike Place Market in the heart of downtown.

First Hill:  Perched above the Retail Core and Chinatown/International District, First Hill is regarded as Seattle’s first neighborhood where pioneer families established roots and left behind a rich history of classic homes, gardens and churches.

Fremont: Located north of the Ship Canal that connects Lake Union to Puget Sound, Fremont is a liberal, artsy neighborhood with many diverse restaurants, music venues, coffee shops, and pubs.  It is a popular place for college students and young professionals. The famed Fremont Troll can be located under the Aurora Bridge. It is also home of the annual Summer Solstice Parade, which features the clothing optional bike ride. Those that reside in Fremont seem to share a common goal; keeping Fremont weird.

Georgetown:  Georgetown is bordered on the South by Boeing Field and includes landmarks such as the Rainier Brewing Company. Considered an industrial warehouse district with bohemian blue-collar chic, Georgetown features rail yards, refurbished lofts, antique shops and markets. It is a creative hub that attracts artists, families, and more to make up a diverse culture.

Green Lake: Green Lake is a Seattle neighborhood surrounding a lake of the same name on the northern and eastern sides. The downtown district of the neighborhood borders the Lake. Although there are no waterfront homes because of the surrounding park and trail, many enjoy views of the lake from their residences. Green Lake is a popular Seattle destination, where the outdoors becomes a social venue for sporting events, roller blading, biking or running around the lake, shops and restaurants and world class zoological gardens.

Madison Valley/Park: Madison Valley is bordered by the sprawling and beautiful Washington Park Arboretum to the north and Lake Washington to the east. Known for its upper-crust vibe, this walkable neighborhood, along East Madison between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Lake Washington Boulevard, is now more accessible with fantastic new eateries and shops for every budget. 

Madrona: Madrona is a Seattle neighborhood located on the shores of Lake Washington between the neighborhoods of Denny Blaine and Leschi. Madrona has a small commercial core centered at the corner of 34th and Union and is a very family oriented area. Many homes also have views of the water or downtown Seattle.

Magnolia: Located on a peninsula west of Queen Anne Hill, south of the Ballard Locks and a few minutes from downtown Seattle, Magnolia is one of the western-most spots in the city.  Accessible by three bridges, Magnolia has natural boundaries that give residents the feeling of living on an island. Magnolia is a small and vibrant community with a busy business district and a small town feel.

Maple Leaf: Maple Leaf sits between Interstate 5 and Lake City Way, Northgate Way and 80th Street.  Maple Leaf is a very dog and family friendly community with thriving locally owned restaurant and coffee shops.

Queen Anne: Queen Anne is a beautiful, family-friendly community. On Seattle’s second-tallest hill, Upper Queen Anne features sprawling homes with sweeping views and charming shops along a peaceful, tree-lined avenue. Lower Queen Anne is a bustling neighborhood that’s home to the Space Needle, Key Arena and Experience Music Project, to name a few. New condos line the west and east sides of The Hill, and Lower Queen Anne is beginning to look a lot like Belltown. But the top of Queen Anne has retained much of its small-town charm.

Ravenna: Ravenna is a neighborhood in North Seattle, from Green Lake, past the University District, and on to the east toward Lake Washington. It is a quiet family oriented neighborhood with a smattering of small bars, cafés, and restaurants along 65th Street near 20th Ave NE.

Pioneer Square: Historic Pioneer Square, South of the Retail Core and nestled between the Chinatown-International District and the Waterfront, is rich in history and culture as Seattle’s original Downtown. Pioneer Square offers brick lined loft spaces, bars with history, and an exciting up and coming restaurant district.

SoDo:  SoDo is located just south of Pioneer Square and the Chinatown/International District. This industrial neighborhood is home to Starbucks headquarters, an assortment of businesses, art galleries, lofts and pubs. SoDo also houses warehouses, light industrial outfits, start-ups, and Safeco Field and the Century Link stadium.

South Lake Union: Once full of warehouses and light industrial buildings, South Lake Union is one of Seattle’s fastest developing neighborhoods, and is home to Seattle’s biotech community as well as Amazon’s new campus. The neighborhood offers views of the Space Needle and floatplane sightings on Lake Union.

University District: The campus of the University of Washington is filled with architectural styles, stunning views of Mount Rainier, well-tended gardens, well-stocked libraries and two worthwhile museums (the Burke and Henry). It consists of an energetic, youthful neighborhood, made up mainly of college students, but there’s more to the U district than “U Dub.” University Avenue, (“the Ave”) is home to ethnic restaurants, music shops, cafes, pubs and the University BookStore.

Wallingford: Bounded by two lakes to the north and south (Green Lake and Lake Union) and a freeway to the east (I-5) and a highway to the west (Aurora Ave.), Wallingford can feel like a little isolated even though it sits at the center of the city. Residents adore their local amenities and the recent influx of acclaimed restaurants and sweets destinations. But they also love how easily they can get away from the traffic and bustle of the main thoroughfares. Families flock to Wallingford for its acclaimed public school (John Stanford International), large parks (Gas Works, Wallingford, and Meridian), and walk-ability.

Wedgewood/View Ridge: Located east of Maple Leaf, Wedgwood/View Ridge has a small town feel, friendly, low-key and tight-knit community.  The commercial corridor is located along 35th Avenue Northeast and isn’t much when compared to other more densely developed neighborhoods; however, it has enough of everything— to make it highly walkable.

West Seattle: South and west of downtown lies this neighborhood of quiet streets and beaches. Separated from Seattle by the Duwamish River and a bustling industrial district, West Seattle has a remote feel to it that appeals to the young urban professionals moving there. Besides gorgeous views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains and downtown, the area has two worthy attractions: Alki Beach and Lincoln Park.

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