Neighborhoods to visit in seattle
Hello! If you've been following us on instagram you might have noticed that we just got back from a much needed four-day getaway in Seattle, Washington. Aside from the pure joy of escaping the snow and bitter temperatures in Boston, we had an amazing time discovering the city's neighborhoods, it’s people, and delicious, delicious food. Having never visited the Pacific Northwest we scoured travel sites, Seattle blogs, and consulted friends and family for recommendations on what to see before we landed. During our stay we followed much of that advice and also stumbled upon some of our own little sweet spots. This post marks our first ever official travel guide as JUG explorers, and we hope it will be something our audience can take advantage of, share, and even contribute to. So, on that note, here is our first ever travel guide, part one of our Seattle series.
Neighborhoods to check out in Seattle:
This was our favorite neighborhood. Known for as the gay and counterculture part of town, Capitol Hill has lots of personality. On nearly every street you’ll find music stores, thrift shops, funky bookstores, coffeehouses, live music, happening bars and delicious eats. If you can make it all the way up the hill take time to explore Millionaire's Row, home to some of Seattle's most drool-worthy real estate and then stop to enjoy the views at Volunteer Park, the neighborhoods highest point.
As you might have guessed the Seattle Center area is your one stop shop for the city's top attractions. Make your way to Seattle's most notable landmark, the Space Needle and then walk next door to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, the Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum, or the Pacific Science Center. Seriously, this part of town is great to explore on a rainy day as you won't have to spend much time outside at all. If you only have time for one musuem, go to the Chihuly Museum which has an extensive collection of the Seattle native's impressive work.
Pike Place Market & The Waterfront
Seattle's second most famous icon is the Pike Place Market (most specifically the sign). Definetly take an afternoon to walk through the windy and multi-layered market to taste test some of the waterfront's best seafood. If the fish smells are too much you can always escape to any of the other flower, butcher, dessert, pasta or jelly vendors. Only piece of advice, get there before sunset since the place packs up at 6 o'clock. Once out of the market you'll find yourself on the waterfront piers where you can take in the killer views of the Olympic Mountains, visit the Seattle Aquarium, take a ride on the Great Wheel ferris wheel or stroll through Olympic Scuplture Park.
CNNMoney named Belltown the best place to retire in Seattle calling it “a walkable neighborhood with everything you need.” We found the neighborhood to be a little on the quiet side, but an excellent location for lodging, and it still offered plenty of dining options. You really can’t beat that it is conveniently located right above the downtown waterfront and within short walks of the Pike Place Market, Olympic Sculpture Park, the “retail core” district, the Space Needle, Pioneer Square, Capital Hill and more.
Home to Seattle’s first settlers in 1852, Pioneer Square is full of beautiful, large, restored brick buildings that house cafés, saloons, art galleries and more. More history lies underneath the streets if you want to take Seattle’s Underground Tour, which winds you through the now buried buried original buildings of the town before Seattle’s Great Fire in 1889.
Located across the Elliot Bay from downtown, West Seattle offers more amazing views of the city skyline, the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. Accessible by bus, taxi or the free ferry (in the summer season), West Seattle is home to the rocky Alki Trail and Lincoln Park where visitors can run or bike along the trails or just relax around a beachfront bonfire.
If you don't have time to head up the coast to the San Juan Islands, the 35 minute ferry to Bainbridge is an excellent alternative. It takes you right through the Puget Sound getting you closer to the Olympic Mountains, Mount Rainier, and you might even see pod of whales if you’re lucky. Best of all it’s only $8 roundtrip! Once in Bainbridge there’s a cute downtown area with lots of shopping (great area to pick up some glass blown souvenirs), wine tasting, and more bike or walking trails along the rocky shoreline.
Located north of Queen Anne, Fremont is one of Seattle's "up-and-coming" neighborhoods. The quaint suburban downtown is great for a morning visit. We recommend passing through on a Sunday to catch the Fremont Sunday Market where you stock up on some flannels (hey, when in Seattle, right?), old records, locally made jewelry and more one-of-a-kind pieces. After your vintage spree you can poke in some local shops and then head up the hill to Aurora Avenue Bridge to see the Fremont Troll.
There's more to come! Part 2 of our Seattle Travel Guide will point out all the places we enjoyed the local food and libations...