As one of the most beautiful and culturally-diverse cities in the United States, every neighborhood in Seattle has its own unique feel. No matter what inspires you, Seattle can easily accommodate. And as you plan your visit or move to Seattle, keep these best Seattle neighborhoods in mind to live so that you don’t miss out on any of the splendor that the Emerald City has to offer.
One of the best Seattle neighborhoods to live in is Ballard. And Ballard is situated in the northeastern part of Seattle and is known for being hip and trendy. Centered on Ballard Avenue, the neighborhood is teeming with boutiques, restaurants and more than a dozen taprooms. And it’s also home to the year-round Ballard Farmers Market, which opens every day at 10:00 a.m. In addition, Ballard also has some really unique and quirky attractions:
- Push/Pull: Push/Pull is a subterranean shop that sells, fittingly, underground comic books and art, much of which are produced by local talent
- Sonic Boom Records: Leave your iPod at home; Sonic Boom Records is the spot for old vinyl records and musical memorabilia
- Monster: Monster specializes in art made exclusively by local artists. If you’re interested in Seattle’s subculture, Monster should top your to-do list
- National Nordic Museum: A museum celebrating the immigrant culture of the five Nordic countries complete with a gift shop
Like any hip and trendy place, real estate in Ballard comes with a pretty hefty price tag. For instance, the average home in Ballard sells for about $750,000.
Belltown is in the midwestern part of the city and is known for its bustling nightlife. In other words, anyone who loves the party scene will feel right at home in Belltown’s many bars and nightclubs. One of Belltown’s main attractions is The Crocodile, an exclusive rock venue that has hosted some truly iconic rock bands, including the Emerald City’s most beloved grunge band: Nirvana.
If you’re interested in buying a home in Belltown, you can expect to pay about $571,000.
Another of the best Seattle neighborhoods to live in is Capitol Hill. Capitol Hill is just northeast of downtown and is the heart and soul of Seattle’s LGBTQ community. For anyone interested in Seattle’s vibrant counterculture, Capitol Hill is a must. The neighborhood is also home to a historical statue of rock legend Jimi Hendrix. However, it’s not cheap. The average price of real estate in Capitol Hill is $632,000.
Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (CID) is located just southeast of downtown Seattle. Though named for the city’s Chinese immigrants, the CID is actually divided into three distinct neighborhoods: Chinatown, Japantown and Little Saigon. The CID celebrates Seattle’s Asian-American immigrants, and, as such, has a wide array of Asian attractions.
The CID is a great place to grab a bite to eat; the streets of the CID are lined with Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai restaurants. This includes sushi, noodle and dim sum eateries.
The CID is also home to some unique cultural attractions. If you’re planning on visiting the CID, make sure not to miss out on the Danny Woo International District Community Garden, Hing Hay Park or the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience.
If you fall in love with the CID and decide you want to live there, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the cost. Real estate in the CID costs significantly less than in other Seattle neighborhoods; the average house in the CID sells for around $295,000.
Like the center of any metropolis, downtown Seattle is busy and provides that center-of-the-action feel. Popular downtown attractions include:
- Pike Place Market
- The 5th Avenue Theatre
- The Showbox
- Paramount Theatre
- Benaroya Hall
- Triple Door
- Seattle Central Public Library
- Seattle Art Museum
It would probably be easier to list the things you can’t find in downtown Seattle. Real estate in downtown Seattle is comparable to other trendy Seattle neighborhoods, with the average home selling for about $615,000.
Located due north of downtown and southeast of Ballard, Fremont, which touts itself as the Center of the Universe, is a bohemian neighborhood known mostly for its quirky art shops, delectable cuisine and breathtaking view of the Seattle skyline. Some of Fremont’s main attractions include the Fremont Troll, Fremont Vintage Mall, and, of course, a formidable arcade called Add-A-Ball, a must for any video game enthusiast.
Real estate in Fremont is definitely on the upper end of the scale. The average home in Fremont will run you upward of $833,000, and available homes tend to sell quickly.
Located just southeast of Ballard, Pioneer Square is Seattle’s first neighborhood and, thusly, where you can find a lot of Seattle’s firsts. Seattle’s first bar, skyscraper and the nation’s first art walk, the First Thursday Art Walk, all call Fremont home.
If you make it to Fremont, you don’t want to miss visiting the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, where visitors can explore art, culture and history in the Kerr Room.
Pioneer Square homes are priced similarly to those in downtown Seattle; the median home cost in Pioneer Square was $667,515 in 2019.
If you think of quintessential and quality Seattle neighborhoods to live in, Queen Anne is one of the best. Queen Anne is just south of Fremont and one of the biggest neighborhoods in the city. The neighborhood’s main attraction is the Seattle Center, which is home to the Space Needle, the Museum of Pop Culture, the Pacific Science Center and Chihuly Garden and Glass. Queen Anne also houses Key Arena and Memorial stadium, which are the homes of the Seattle Storm (basketball) and Seattle Reign (soccer), respectively.
Homes in Queen Anne top the price charts with a median home price of nearly $900,000.
SoDo sits on the eastern coast of Elliot Bay and got its name before the Kingdome was demolished in March 2000. Its name is short for “south of the dome.” Nevertheless, SoDo is the absolute heart of Seattle sports and home to both Safeco Field, where the Mariners play, and CenturyLink Field, where the red-hot Seahawks roost.
The University District, for obvious reasons, is highlighted by the University of Washington. The U-district, as the locals call it, is pretty much everything you’d expect in a college town. Most of the U-district’s attractions cater to a younger crowd. These include The Ave, the Burke Museum, the Henry Art Gallery and University District Street Fair. If you’re young and like to party, you’ll have no complaints about this neighborhood.