Best Places to Live in Seattle – Your Cross-Country Guide
You’ve made your decision – you’re moving to the Emerald City. Now that that’s out of the way, your first task is to browse through some of the best places to live in Seattle, Washington and pick an area you’ll move to. We have to warn you right away – it won’t be easy. There are many different districts here, each with its own charm, feel, and amenities. Naming the best neighborhoods in Seattle is more a matter of personal preference than precise statistics.
To pick the right area for you and your family, there are several things you should take into consideration: the cost of living in Seattle, the vicinity to your future workplace or school, the walkability, crime rates, median home values, and so on. Figure out what your priorities are before moving to Seattle, and we’re sure you’ll be able to find the perfect spot to put down roots.
Capitol Hill – The Heart of the City’s Counterculture
Capitol Hill is a residential district known as one of the liveliest places in the city. An array of bars, clubs, and restaurants are there to make sure you never have a boring weekend. As far as residential buildings go, you can find pretty much anything here – from historic villas and mansions to simple apartment buildings. Also, if you’re a fan of coffee, you’re sure to love Capitol Hill – some of the top local coffee shops in the whole city are located here.
Of course, there’s more to Capitol Hill than just partying and drinking coffee. There are some registered historical landmarks here as well, such as the Cornish College of the Arts original building, Volunteer Park Conservatory, and the Asian Art Museum. Lastly, since it’s situated on a hill, you can only imagine the view you’d get living here.
LGBTQ+ and Hipster Haven
If you thought that was all that Capitol Hill has to offer, you thought wrong. This place is also one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly neighborhoods. The history of the gay community in Capitol Hill dates back to the 1960s, and it comes as no surprise many locals have renamed it “gayborhood.” Regardless of what your story is, you’ll feel at home here.
South Lake Union – a Top Area for Young Professionals
As the name suggests, South Lake Union is located south of Lake Union. If you want to get a job before you move, we’d suggest considering this neighborhood. As a buzzing business hub, South Lake Union is considered to be one of the top areas for young professionals in the city. Corporations such as Amazon have headquarters here, providing jobs for the locals.
But this place isn’t all work and no fun. There are also some open green areas here where you could enjoy outdoor activities, such as Denny Park. The park features off-leash areas for dogs, playgrounds for kids, cafes and restaurants, drinking fountains, art exhibitions, and much more. Whether you feel like walking, jogging, or enjoying good coffee, Denny Park can provide.
The History of the Neighborhood
South Lake Union is a relatively historic district. Settlements in this location date back to at least the 19th century. In 1853, pioneer David Denny (yes, Denny as in Denny Park) staked a claim here. Since then, the settlement has been growing and developing into what it has come to be today. This, of course, means that there are a number of historical and cultural landmarks you can check out when you decide to get to know your new hometown.
Central District Takes Pride in Its Ethnic and Racial Diversity
Ask any local, and they’ll tell you that Central District has always been a melting pot of different ethnicities and races. This community has been going through a transition in recent times, but the locals are doing their best not to let this process affect the authenticity of Central District. There are a number of monuments celebrating African American culture and community, several great restaurants, and a handful of other landmarks.
Don’t Avoid this Neighborhood: It Has an Undeservedly Bad Rep
If you ask around, an average resident might tell you that Central District isn’t safe. The truth is that it is just as safe as any other neighborhood of its size in a city as big as this one. Sure, there is some crime and using common sense is always advisable, but it is far from the run-down, unsafe community that some make it out to be.
Rainier Valley – Another Diverse Community
Rainier Valley is one of the most diverse residential areas in the whole Pacific Northwest. Its population is primarily Asian and African-American. Aside from ethnic and racial diversity, an interesting phenomenon in Rainier Valley is its linguistic diversity. Statistics show that around 10% of the population speak African languages at home.
Most real estate is made up of small to medium single-family homes, and the average rent is around $2,000. The demand for homes here is pretty high, so if you choose Rainier Valley, be ready for some competition.
One of the Most Bike-Friendly Areas
Whether you want to minimize your carbon footprint or you’ve been meaning to get more physically active, Rainier Valley should be your number one choice. This is one of the most bike-friendly communities here. More and more locals each day decide to commute by bike instead of driving or using public transport.
Queen Anne – the Place of Luxury and Style
Queen Anne, also known as Queen Anne Hill, is a well-off community located northwest of downtown. Around 28,000 people call this place home, most of whom are young singles. This is a popular spot for well-to-do business people, celebrities, and the current city elite. The streets are lined with lavish mansions, as well as a handful of interesting landmarks, some of which are historic houses. Residents of Queen Anne also get to enjoy a breathtaking view from the slopes of the hill. Of course, it goes without saying that some of the best restaurants in Seattle are located here – such as the Melting Pot.
If you can afford it, Queen Anne should definitely be at the top of your list. The area is around 80% more expensive than the average American neighborhood. However, the crime rate is lower than in the rest of the state of Washington, the median household income is 90% higher than average, while the per-capita income is more than twice the average amount. The unemployment rate is considerably low – only 3%.
This Just Might Be the Best Choice for Families
Although most of the population of Queen Anne is young and single, if you’re moving with kids, don’t write off this option just yet. Some of the best Seattle public schools, as well as private learning centers, are located here. High school graduation rates in the area are just short of 100%. Some of the schools located here are Frantz Coe Elementary, McClure Middle School, John Hay Elementary, and St. Anne Private School. Also, the private Pacific State University is located here.
Ballard – One of the Best Places to Live with a Family
If you’re moving to Seattle with your family, but can’t exactly afford to stay in the most affluent part of the city, Ballard is another great option. Once a community of laborers, Ballard is today a hipsterish area and a nationally registered historic district. Ballard is highly walkable, offers plenty of amenities and nightlife options, and is generally a lively community.
Just like Queen Anne, the schools in Ballard boast admirable high school graduation rates, as well as good test scores. Aside from a number of regular elementary schools, such as Adams Elementary, Loyal Heights, and Salmon Bay, Ballard is also home to an alternative school that has its own program and curriculum.
Numerous Options for Pastime Activities
Most of the best things to do in Seattle revolve around this area. Being a sea-front community, it has lots of maritime-related attractions, such as the Shilshole Bay Marina and the famous Ballard Locks. If that’s not exactly your thing, you might be happy to learn that there are lots of breweries in the area where you can find unique beers. One of the things you should know before relocating here is that it has some great parks – so you can only imagine how amazing the Golden Gardens Park, with its view of the lake, is if we say that it’s one of the most breathtaking ones in the city.
University District – A Mecca for Students
If you’re a future student moving to the largest city in the state of Washington to pursue higher education, you will most likely want to live close to other students. Well, it’s time to hire moving services, because you’ve just found your new home. University District is just what you’ve been looking for. This hip community is one of the liveliest corners of the city, mostly owing to its young population made up predominantly of students. This is where the main campus of the University of Washington is located.
Of course, wherever there are students, there are also numerous pubs, cafes, restaurants, and clubs. In other words, you’ll never be bored here. In addition to that, the surroundings are pretty scenic, so even a simple stroll down the neighborhood’s streets is sure to be enjoyable.
The Springtime U District Street Fair
Every year in spring, a street fair takes place in University District. Simply known as U District Street Fair, the festival has been happening for five decades now. It is said to be the oldest street fair in the country. Featuring music and entertainment performances, a kid’s zone, shopping options, and an offer of delicious food and beverages, it attracts people from all around Seattle and neighboring cities.
Have you picked your favorite yet? Then it’s time to get down to packing and planning your relocation. Contact your movers and schedule the moving date. Seattle is excited to welcome you into the new chapter of your life!