Seattle City Guide: Neighborhoods & Things to Do
The Pacific Northwest is a surprisingly temperate region of the USA – with typically cooler summers and warmer winters and rain. The city of Seattle, on the coast of Washington State and easily within a short drive of a few different National Parks and incredible mountain ranges, is a quirky, natural-focused city with a lot of opportunities for folks looking for amazing apartments with beautiful views. The city itself offers many unique marketplaces, natural wonders and amazing coffee. If you’re looking to move to this beautiful city – known as the Emerald City – our Seattle city guide can help you find the right neighborhood and apartment for your unique needs.
Seattle city highlights
Seattle draws in the tourists by the millions and it’s no wonder with all the amazing attractions and amenities the city has to offer. These wonderful features make Seattle not just a great place to visit though, but an amazing place to live.
- The Space Needle: Probably the most famous Seattle image is the Space Needle. The iconic landmark was originally constructed for the World’s Fair in 1962 and remains one of the city’s main attractions both for tourists and locals when they feel like getting their “local tourist” on. The Space Needle offers incredible panoramic views of the city, thanks to its 600-foot height towering above the city.
- Puget Sound: Puget Sound is one of the most picturesque aspects of the already beautiful city. The Sound is dotted with beautiful islands you can explore, an inlet with an incredible skyline view of Seattle, natural beauty for outdoors enthusiasts and more. While on the Sound, you may enjoy whale watching, sea kayaking and much more. Ferries provide regular rides to the beautiful islands multiple times a day.
- Chihuly Garden and Glass: Perhaps one of the most distinct attractions in Seattle – and one of the top artistry focuses of the city – is blown glass, as found in Chihuly Garden and Glass. The unique museum is dedicated to the local glass-blower, Dale Chihuly, with galleries of fine art crafted from blown glass. The Glasshouse, the museum’s central attraction, holds an incredible vividly colored glass sculpture dangling 100 feet from the ceiling. The gardens contain colorful highlights as well, with unique pieces like the Reeds on Logs and Crystal and Icicle Towers nestled among the plants and trees.
- Historic Underground Tunnels: Found in one of Seattle’s first neighborhoods, Pioneer Square, the historic underground tunnels are available for visitors and locals alike toe explore. Walk beneath the city streets and learn about the history of the city, including the Great Fire of 1889 and the pioneers who once settled the area.
- Snoqualmie Falls: Snoqualmie Falls is not technically within Seattle, but close by. The sparkling falls are located about 30 minutes from Seattle and are known as one of the greatest local wonders in the area. The falls drop almost 270 feet, which can be viewed from two different observation decks. There are hiking trails and parks surrounding the waterfalls, along with a gorge which offers additional vantage points for viewing the falls.
- Seattle Waterfront: Seattle is a waterfront city with amazing boutiques and beautiful views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains. Souvenir shops, dining establishments, museums, the Seattle Aquarium, Seattle’s Great Wheel and the Seattle Sculpture Park – not to mention Pike Place Market – are all located on the waterfront.
- Pike Place Market: Perhaps the other most iconic spot in Seattle is the Pike Place Market. The world-famous neon sign rests above the marketplace, drawing in locals and tourists for their marketplace needs. Artisans, grocers, produce sellers, flower sellers and more set up their booths here, selling their wares. The famous fish-tossing market, live music and more offer some entertainment while you shop.
Seattle city guide to the best neighborhoods for renters
Looking for the best place to live in Seattle? Our Seattle city guide showcases some of the best neighborhoods. You’ll find condos, homes and apartments to rent that fit your needs perfectly.
West Seattle has an expansive waterfront and quiet feeling that entices many families. The neighborhood is filled with plenty of residential spots as well as trails for rollerbladers and cyclists, burger shacks, beachfront and more – as well as parks such as the Jack Block Park nestled among the shipyards. The whole neighborhood is a great place for families, couples and singles alike with much to offer on walks and casual outings.
Located between the Puget Sound, Pike Place Market and South Lake Union, Belltown has become known as Seattle’s unofficial nightlife and entertainment hub. The high-rise condos, entertainment venues and trendy restaurants appeal to a wide range of locals, along with the bars and beautiful views. The neighborhood is home to The Crocodile bar, where Nirvana once played and is extremely walkable for just about anyone.
Downtown is absolutely the heartbeat of Seattle with Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square and other iconic spots located within. From downtown, you can look out over Elliott Bay, visit the Seattle Art Museum, or hit up the Showbox for a concert or show. Traverse along the bike lanes or public transit for the greenest travel around and enjoy the many fine restaurants and shops all within easy walking distance.
Ballard has roots of Scandinavian seafarers who formerly made much of their living via fishing for salmon. The neighborhood is located just north of Downtown and the famous Seattle salmon still run through the functioning Ballard Locks even now. The waterfront neighborhood boasts of many trendy restaurants and shops, with quieter residential areas as well. Plus, the sparkling sandy beach offers views of the glorious mountains in the distance.
Located northeast of Downtown, Capitol Hill is one of the city’s most densely populated areas. The neighborhood has old and new homes and condo and just happens to be considered Seattle’s LGBTQIA+ capitol. The neighborhood is diverse and enjoys plenty of gay bars, nightclubs, shopping, indie coffee houses and is a foodie’s paradise. Don’t forget to visit Volunteer Park and the Seattle Asian Art Museum for some outdoor fun and culture.
On the eastside of Seattle, you’ll find Central District with a nice balance of close-by amenities and a quiet residential feel. The neighborhood has easy access to public transit and is fairly walkable for most, while offering plenty of coffee shops, bars, nightlife and cultural activities. You’ll also find an emerging food scene with original locations like Reckless Noodle House and Ezell’s Famous Chicken, along with art centers and museums for the more culturally minded.
South Park is a historically immigrant and Latinx neighborhood in Seattle. The neighborhood has fought off gentrification for many years and maintains its reasonably priced houses with yards and parking while embracing and celebrating its history of diversity. The neighborhood is home to walkable streets and cozy coffee shops, walking paths, great restaurants and beautiful venues and studios for yogis and dancers.
Fremont is the self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe” thanks to its many eclectic Seattle residents and families who enjoy the quirky vibe. The neighborhood is located northwest of Lake Union and is home to yoga studios, Thai restaurants, bike shops, coffee shops, fun boutiques and beautiful markets and a fabulous Oktoberfest each year.
Located north of Greenwood Lake, Greenwood is laid out like a grid – straightforward and easy to navigate. The residential area is great for young families for its quietness and easy access to downtown, just 15-minutes away. The neighborhood is filled with local bars and cafes and most are family-friendly and great for groups.
Columbia City once was considered the hidden gem of the city because of its lovely, affordable housing and great amenities while being located a bit farther away from downtown than many of the most popular neighborhoods in the city. Columbia City remains one of the most affordable neighborhoods for families, located in the Rainier Valley on the west side of the city. There are many pubs with live music, cafes and restaurants and more and it remains one of the most diverse areas in Seattle.
Queen Anne is one of the most recognizable neighborhoods in the city because of its distinct location on the map. The homes are atop the highest hill in Seattle. The neighborhood is named for its distinct architectural style – Queen Anne – and offers a beautiful, elegant vibe. The neighborhood is on the quieter side and remains one of the more affluent areas with fenced yards front and back within city limits. Despite being stately, the area remains wonderfully low-key and comfortable.
How to find your dream apartment in Seattle
If you’re ready to start shopping for your dream apartment, our Seattle city guide is here to help! Search for the type of rentals you’re looking for or search by neighborhood. You’ll find an amazing place to relocate to in no time.
Looking for the perfect apartment in Seattle? Check out the apartments for rent to find the right location in the Seattle or the surrounding area.