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Hip areas in Seattle?

Heading to Seattle for the first time next week for 24 hours! I'm staying in Bellevue, but will have the day to first explore Seattle. I love street art, music, coffee, etc. -- where are the hip areas or neighborhoods to check out? How spread out is Seattle...will I be able to make it to a few neighborhoods in one day? 

7 Answers

top answer by
Tony from Seattle

Seattle is pretty tightly packed...  Long walks or short Uber/Lyft rides are your friends.

First, get out of Bellevue.  It's a terrible sea of glass/steel/malls surrounded by boring suburbs (that should piss some eastsiders off!)

Capitol Hill Neighborhood is a great neighborhood for restaurants, bars, and people watching.  Eat at Skillet Diner - Capitol Hill or Poppy (save room for the dessert Thali for two at the latter).

Pike Place Market is fun to walk around.  Make sure to hit Post Alley.

The Olympic Sculpture Park is a killer place for art and a sunset.

Pioneer Square is a great old neighborhood.  If Armandino's Salumi is open, have lunch there.  It's amazing.  Assuming you eat meat.

South Lake Union is Amazon-country-- lots of new places springing up and insane traffic at rush hour, but the Center for Wooden Boats is neat to walk around.

Fremont Neighborhood is a great place to get to.  Right on the canal.  Eat at Revel (upscale Korean).

For music, Ballard Neighborhood is great- Tractor Tavern ) generally has a great lineup.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Capitol Hill Neighborhood (neighborhood)
  2. Skillet Diner - Capitol Hill (restaurant)
  3. Poppy (restaurant)
  4. Pike Place Market (attraction)
  5. Post Alley (attraction)
  6. Olympic Sculpture Park (attraction)
  7. Pioneer Square (attraction)
  8. Armandino's Salumi (restaurant)
  9. South Lake Union (neighborhood)
  10. Center for Wooden Boats (attraction)
  11. Fremont Neighborhood (neighborhood)
  12. Revel (restaurant)
  13. Ballard Neighborhood (neighborhood)
  14. Tractor Tavern (restaurant)
6 thanks

answered by
Lauren from Chicago


If you do end up at Pike Place Market, stop into Rachel's Ginger Beer for a drink (if you enjoy ginger beer of course!) - so many fun flavors and super fresh. Definitely my kind of twist on a Moscow mule!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pike Place Market (attraction)
  2. Rachel's Ginger Beer (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Karthik from Kochi, India

I'd say a trip Downtown would be the best choice for you. Pike Place Market, Ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, and a nice club/pub in Capitol Hill Neighborhood/Downtown. My two cents.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Downtown (attraction)
  2. Pike Place Market (attraction)
  3. Bainbridge Island (attraction)
  4. Capitol Hill Neighborhood (neighborhood)
2 thanks

answered by
Ed from Seattle

Definitely should check out Ballard Neighborhood and Fremont Neighborhood for cool little artsy shops. Capitol Hill Neighborhood is happenin' for night life. music etc

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ballard Neighborhood (neighborhood)
  2. Fremont Neighborhood (neighborhood)
  3. Capitol Hill Neighborhood (neighborhood)
1 thanks

answered by

My two favorite neighborhoods are Ballard Neighborhood which has lots of little art galleries and Fremont Neighborhood is especially quirky. I would make sure to check out the statue of Lenin shipped all the way from Mother Russia. The gelato place right by is also really good. And lots of buses run between the two neighborhoods

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ballard Neighborhood (neighborhood)
  2. Fremont Neighborhood (neighborhood)
1 thanks

answered by
Ted from Amsterdam

Downtown is a great day trip, especially if you are heading there for your first time. Just head to Pike Place Market and wander around there and the several blocks surrounding and you will have a great day. The "hip" neighborhoods would have to be:

1)Capitol Hill Neighborhood (including parts of First Hill) - lots of great shops and restaurants. The neighborhood has a high gay population, so there is lots of related color and activity. Too many great places to mention here, so go explore and enjoy. Go east up Pike Street out of downtown, and if you still want more/have time head north on Broadway into Capitol Hill. Six blocks east parallel to Broadway, 15th Ave E is the other main commercial street in the area. If you are into books, visit Seattle institution Elliott Bay Book Company

2) Fremont Neighborhood(The Fremont Troll is actually here under the Aurora Bridge - George Washington Memorial Bridge - not in Ballard) - there is a small commercial district there, and the shops and restaurants are interesting and unique. I am betting you would like, Essenza Inc and Les Amis, both must stops for my wife whenever we hit the neighborhood;

3) Ballard Neighborhood - this neighborhood still has a Scandinavian influenced working class feel with a palpable connection to grunge, but it also has some great boutiques and restaurants, especially along Ballard Ave NW. If you are a fan of Mexican food, then La Carta De Oaxaca is a must.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pike Place Market (attraction)
  2. Capitol Hill Neighborhood (neighborhood)
  3. First Hill (attraction)
  4. Elliott Bay Book Company (attraction)
  5. Fremont Neighborhood (neighborhood)
  6. Fremont Troll (attraction)
  7. George Washington Memorial Bridge (attraction)
  8. Essenza Inc (attraction)
  9. Les Amis (attraction)
  10. Ballard Neighborhood (neighborhood)
  11. La Carta De Oaxaca (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered first by
Dee from California

Yes, you can hit a few neighborhoods in a day.  But you could stick mostly to downtown and hoof it or take the free buses or the Light Rail and/or Monorail.  Of course you must see the waterfront--from Pioneer Square up to the Seattle Center and the Experience Music Project, which is a must if you're into music.  You will pass the original Starbucksalong the way in Pike Market. (That route could take you a whole day and you'd see everything you mentioned.)  If you have more time, roam around Ballard Neighborhood be sure to have someone point you to the Troll under the Fremont Bridge.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pioneer Square (attraction)
  2. Experience Music Project (attraction)
  3. Starbucks (restaurant)
  4. Ballard Neighborhood (neighborhood)
  5. Fremont Bridge (attraction)
1 thanks

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