Seattle Neighborhoods, Locations and Districts
(Seattle, Washington - WA, USA)
Natural water boundaries and steep hills differentiate Seattle's closely packed and distinctly unique communities. The downtown area, encompassing Seattle's financial district, numerous historic landmarks and green parks, as well as a plethora of restaurants, bars and shopping plazas, is centrally located with most neighborhoods spreading north, south and east.
Many of the smaller neighborhoods in Seattle, such as Ballard, Freemont, Capitol Hill, Wallingford and the University District, have a friendly, informal and artistic atmosphere, while Belltown, Queen Anne and Pioneer Square cater to a yuppie crowd. The famous Pike Place Market is located on the Seattle waterfront in the downtown district.
Formerly a Scandinavian neighborhood, Ballard has become a popular area of Seattle for local artists, intimate boutiques and trendy bistros. Market Street features a burgeoning and vibrant nightlife with pubs and taverns offering frequent live music shows. The Chittendon Locks in Seattle, known locally as the Ballard Locks, connect Lake Washington to the Puget Sound. As the Pacific Northwest's largest fishing harbor, this is a strong marine industry based community.
At the north end of the downtown area and the Pike Place Market of Seattle, Belltown has been undergoing massive renovations. Thriving with a young, hip atmosphere, Belltown hosts a variety of jazz and rock venues, pool halls and dance clubs, trendy restaurants, cafés and galleries, as well as a range of chic boutiques and thrift shops. Known as the place to club-hop and be seen for 20 to 30 something trendsetters in Seattle, this area spreads into another popular hot spot, Queen Anne.
Adjacent to the downtown district of Seattle, Capitol Hill is lined with brownstone residences, turn of the century bungalows and classic studio apartments. Capitol Hill is famous for its shopping, cafés, record shops, wild nightlife and diverse population, including a strong gay community. Broadway, 15th Avenue East and Madison street are the most popular spots for night time entertainment.
Downtown / Pike Place Market
Downtown Seattle is easily the most heavily trafficked tourist destination featuring beautiful buildings and fantastic views of Puget Sound and the Space Needle. As the financial center of Seattle, historic office buildings and striking high-rises dominate the area, while beautifully landscaped parks are peppered throughout the city blocks.
Lining the streets are unique designer clothing stores and shopping plazas featuring brand name labels (many of which are headquartered in Seattle). A surplus of fine dining, stylish pubs and classic coffee shops overlook the Seattle waterfront area. The renowned cobblestone Pike Place Market, where the infamous seamen toss and catch fish with amazing speed and agility, offers great fresh food and locally made crafts, as well as providing breathtaking views.
Freemont, north of downtown Seattle, is an artist community and trendy destination for the 20 to 30 something chic crowd. A plethora of funky bars and breweries, stylish restaurants and coffee houses line the streets, and are often filled with bohemian university students. Locals in Seattle brag endlessly about 'the troll' that hides under the Aurora Bridge. This statue alone is responsible for putting Freemont on the map.
The lake itself is surrounded by a pedestrian track and hosts a variety of boat rentals including canoes, kayaks, windsails and paddleboats. The district of Greenlake is quickly becoming a favorite residential location for longtime Seattleites as it offers great lunchtime restaurants, quaint shops and local pubs, and is conveniently located to the downtown districts of Seattle.
The International District of Seattle, located between Fifth Avenue South and 12th Avenue North adjacent to downtown, has been home to a diversity of Asian nationalities for over 100 years. Asian food markets, dim sum restaurants and unique import stores line the colorful streets. The area's history is displayed at the Wing Luke Asian Museum and the popularly visited Hing Hay Park at the corner of Seattle's Maynard Avenue South and South King Street is a lively local spot.
Located atop the original Seattle settlement, Pioneer Square features beautiful brick buildings filled with bars, clubs, restaurants, coffee houses, shops and art galleries. Several book stores in the area host book readings and signings by famous authors throughout the year and the galleries offer a free Art Walk the first Thursday of every month. Also known to be one of the best spots for nightlife and live music in Seattle, visitors can pay a single cover fee and visit seven different clubs.
Boasting the best views of the city itself (especially on the west side of the hill); Queen Anne rises over 137 meters above the Puget Sound. It is continuously rated as one of the top places to live in Seattle because of its striking architecture, great shopping and proximity to downtown. Many trendy and upscale bars and restaurants line the streets of lower Queen Anne and fill with affluent students, single adults and those looking for a nightcap after one of Seattle's nearby theater performances.
South of Seattle city center, SODO is a large commercial area encompassing the Safeco Field Mariner's stadium and the recently completed Qwest Field, home to the Seattle Seahawks. The area is nicknamed 'South of the Dome' after the former Kingdome Stadium, which was demolished by dynamite, and features a host of all-American sports bars and memorabilia stores, breweries, art galleries and restaurants.
As one of Seattle's older communities, the University District caters to the students and staff of the University of Washington and its many independent residents. The two main commercial districts are known locally as 'the Ave' and 'the Village'. The 'Ave' boasts vintage clothing, book and music stores, classic theaters, sports bars and international foods galore with an overall grungy and typically Seattle ambiance, while 'the Village' is known for its designer shopping centers. Around the district are tree lined boulevards and impressive mansions, many of which have been turned into fraternity and sorority houses, as well as high-tech development centers.
Located between Freemont and the University Districts in Seattle, Wallingford is home to an eclectic mix of professors, graduate students and artists, and as such the shops, cafés and restaurants have a colorful and energetic atmosphere enjoyed by recent graduates and unpretentious yuppies.
Initially founded by the Denny Party in 1851 as the center of Seattle, West Seattle is an affordable residential neighborhood touting beautiful beaches, charming shops and a mix of old fashioned and upscale restaurants. The heart of the area, called the Junction, hosts shopping centers and features many locally created murals. Lincoln Park and Alki Beach are popular areas for relaxation and leisurely strolls.