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Living in Seattle

Seattle is rapidly becoming a world-class walkable city. SoundTransit’s new light rail line connects the city and to the airport. People are relocating to Seattle for jobs at companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks.

Seattle is ringed by the Olympic and Cascade mountains and surrounded by Lake Washington and Puget Sound. Seattle neighborhood architecture ranges from single family homes in Wallingford to high-rise downtown apartments.

Nearby Seattle Apartments on Redfin

74 Walk Score of Seattle, WA

Seattle is Very Walkable

Most errands can be accomplished on foot.

Walk Score Map

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Photo of Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle

Olympic Sculpture Park

Photo of Cal Anderson Park in Seattle

Cal Anderson Park

Seattle is the 9th most walkable large city in the US with 608,660 residents.

Seattle has good public transportation and is very bikeable.

Find apartments in Seattle's most walkable neighborhoods: Downtown, International District and Belltown.

Seattle Apartments for Rent

Seattle Neighborhoods

Rank

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Name

Walk Score

Transit Score

Bike Score

Population

1 Downtown 98 100 70 5,059
2 International District 98 100 83 3,396
3 Belltown 98 97 76 14,163
4 First Hill 98 98 79 9,294
5 Pioneer Square 97 100 78 4,159
6 South Lake Union 94 85 80 4,054
7 Yesler Terrace 94 98 79 4,126
8 University District 93 82 87 26,712
9 Capitol Hill 93 76 84 29,310
10 Lower Queen Anne 92 69 76 10,241
11 Central District 90 69 89 12,874
12 Fremont 90 61 80 11,994
13 Ballard 90 52 91 17,010
14 Atlantic 86 70 83 6,449
15 Greenwood 85 54 81 16,190
16 Columbia City 85 62 67 6,648
17 Wallingford 85 64 86 15,830
18 Genesee 85 50 57 6,070
19 Madison Valley 85 54 72 3,677
20 West Queen Anne 84 59 65 6,288
21 Roosevelt 84 61 89 6,401
22 Green Lake 84 60 88 8,565
23 Phinney Ridge 84 50 79 9,497
24 Hillman City 83 56 67 4,482
25 Eastlake 82 56 77 4,426
26 East Queen Anne 82 68 71 8,577
27 Whittier Heights 82 50 79 4,855
28 Madrona 80 52 77 3,855
29 Fairmount Park 80 50 63 5,956
30 Ravenna 80 62 81 11,486
31 Brighton 78 63 74 7,492
32 North Beacon Hill 78 74 79 11,513
33 Crown Hill 76 52 67 4,454
34 Westlake 76 71 78 1,876
35 Mount Baker 76 62 72 7,430
36 Bryant 75 60 84 5,218
37 Dunlap 75 57 65 5,772
38 North College Park 74 65 75 6,682
39 North Queen Anne 74 61 65 10,630
40 Holly Park 74 62 73 4,783
41 Leschi 73 54 73 5,303
42 Loyal Heights 73 48 81 7,957
43 Pinehurst 73 55 71 7,811
44 South Delridge 73 55 63 6,481
45 Victory Heights 72 55 58 5,077
46 Maple Leaf 71 63 74 9,404
47 North Admiral 71 42 66 11,729
48 Portage Bay 71 72 79 1,397
49 Bitter Lake 70 52 74 7,853
50 Cedar Heights 70 54 65 5,298
51 Southeast Magnolia 68 44 67 4,891
52 Montlake 68 57 80 4,610
53 Industrial District 68 78 78 529
54 Gatewood 66 45 56 6,337
55 Olympic Hills 66 53 71 8,063
56 Roxhill 66 52 58 4,114
57 Seaview 65 46 54 4,630
58 Madison Park 65 35 54 4,842
59 Wedgewood 65 46 79 7,881
60 Georgetown 64 49 86 1,280
61 South Park 63 41 63 3,976
62 Mid-Beacon Hill 62 57 67 13,127
63 North Delridge 61 53 66 3,596
64 Lawton Park 60 42 58 8,540
65 Meadowbrook 58 50 56 3,320
66 Highland Park 58 48 49 6,063
67 Seward Park 56 44 59 6,493
68 Haller Lake 56 52 61 8,040
69 Denny Blaine 54 45 63 921
70 Sunset Hill 53 37 80 5,412
71 High Point 53 48 56 6,849
72 Interbay 49 49 74 1,599
73 Laurelhurst 48 60 57 4,554
74 Fauntleroy 48 44 32 5,200
75 Briarcliff 47 33 43 5,081
76 Broadview 46 45 44 8,011
77 Alki 46 34 62 6,644
78 Rainier Beach 45 49 38 6,533
79 South Beacon Hill 44 59 47 5,141
80 Windermere 44 55 64 4,635
81 View Ridge 40 49 67 5,246
82 North Beach-Blue Ridge 39 42 45 5,125
83 Riverview 39 45 56 3,861
84 Arbor Heights 38 42 28 5,056
85 Matthews Beach 33 43 51 6,225
86 Rainier View 22 43 23 4,081

Average Home Features

According to HomeAdvisor Data, these characteristics make up the average home in Seattle

Average square footage 2200
Homeowners have 3.3 bedrooms
Homeowners have 2.3 bathrooms
Age of home 39 years
Average time living in home 12 years

Check out HomeAdvisor’s Seattle Home Happiness Survey.

Eating & Drinking

There are about 3,617 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Seattle.

People in Seattle can walk to an average of 2 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in 5 minutes.

Photo of Golden Gardens Boat Ramp in Seattle

Golden Gardens Boat Ramp

Photo of Beth's Cafe Restaurant in Seattle

Beth's Cafe Restaurant

Restaurant Choices Map

= More Choices

thumbnail for Seattle Public LibraryThe curtain wall at the downtown SPL was engineered specifically for this unique building by Rem Koolhaas | OMA. The perforated sheet metal creates static louvers that allow light in from some angles and not others to keep heating and cooling the building efficient. I highly recommend a tour of this fascinating building! #architecture #architectural-tour #donotmiss

Mahalie
on Seattle Public Library

60 Transit Score of Seattle, WA

Seattle has Good Transit

Many nearby public transportation options. Find Seattle apartments for rent on Redfin.

Public Transit Routes

Seattle has good public transportation and about 196 bus, 4 light rail and 11 ferry lines.

Transit Time

The map above shows how far you can travel in 30 minutes from Seattle on public transit.

Neighborhood Guides

Thinking of renting an apartment or buying in Seattle? Ask our neighborhood guides a question.

Kelley B.

Intern @ Walk Score | Seattle | UW | Bears

Ask Kelley about Seattle

http://thenorthwestbear.blogspot.com/ »

Photo of Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle

Olympic Sculpture Park

Photo of Gas Works Park in Seattle

Gas Works Park

Photo of New Botany Greenhouse in Seattle

New Botany Greenhouse

Eric Aderhold

I live in the Phinney Ridge/Whittier Heights region of Seattle, and spend a fair amount of time walking around nearby neighborhoods (like Ballard, Fremont, and Greenwood).

Ask Eric about Seattle

Photo of 6th Ave NW Pocket Park in Seattle

6th Ave NW Pocket Park

Photo of Naked City Brewery & Taphouse in Seattle

Naked City Brewery & Taphouse

Photo of Naked City Brewery & Taphouse in Seattle

Naked City Brewery & Taphouse

71 Bike Score of Seattle, WA

Seattle is Very Bikeable

Biking is convenient for most trips.

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What's It Like to Live in Seattle?

Photo of Capitol Hill in Seattle

Capitol Hill

Photo of International District in Seattle

International District

Photo of Gas Works Park in Seattle

Gas Works Park

Photo of Westlake Park in Seattle

Westlake Park

Overview

Seattle is evolving into a world-class walkable city. SoundTransit’s light rail line connects the city to the airport and express bus lines mean that the neighborhoods are increasingly attractive for those working downtown or in Bellevue and Redmond.

Seattle’s bigger employers are tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, but the region is also home to coffee giant Starbucks, dozens of smaller forward thinking interactive design shops, and a handful of companies who make top notch outdoor gear. It’s not all tech and coffee, there are offices in Seattle for retailers like Nordstrom and Brooks running shoes.

Seattle has been called the Jet City – it’s the birthplace of Boeing, The Emerald City – it’s green, alright, and The Rain City because, yes, it does rain. That doesn’t keep Seattle residents from getting outside. The Olympic Range sits across Puget Sound to the West and the Cascades, where there’s winter skiing, are on the sunrise side to the east. There’s water everywhere, from park lined Puget Sound to the two city lakes, Lake Washington and smaller Lake Union in the heart of the city.

Seattle is an educated, bookish place, with about 60% of the population holding college degrees. It’s repeatedly ranked in top ten lists for literacy. Even though Amazon is here, there’s a thriving independent bookstore scene led by the Elliot Bay Bookstore. The spectacular new downtown library made international design news and dozens of famous writers hail from the Pacific Northwest.

Once you see the city when the Mountain (that’s Mt. Rainier) is out, you’ll get a full picture of why 600,000 people choose to call Seattle home. It’s got easy proximity to nature, interesting, livable neighborhoods, and a range of employment possibilities. There’s a remarkable array of culture and art – including a still very much alive music scene – and the weather, while it does live up to its bad reputation, doesn’t keep the residents from making the most of what’s here. Seattle has a vocal, politically active population that’s singularly focused on keeping the city pedestrian, bicycle, and transit friendly, even while it grows.

Photo of The Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle

The Center for Wooden Boats

Photo of Landmark Egyptian in Seattle

Landmark Egyptian

Getting Around

This is a hilly city, but it supports a community of committed cyclists who have strong legs and own rain gear. There’s a continually expanding network of bike trails. Seattle is betting on bikes by adding the Puget Sound Bike Share program in 2014 and by stocking the program with 7 gear cycles rather than the 3 gear bikes that flatter cities provide. Metro buses have bike racks, though you may find it’s easier to leave the bike locked up at the bus stop during the summer on popular routes than it is to wait for a bus with an empty slot. This is especially true at the Montlake commuter stop across the 520 bridge where the express buses stop before heading to Microsoft.

Car sharing is popular in this walkable city too, there’s ZipCar and Getaround. Because Seattle has so many transportation options, a car-free life in Seattle is very possible, though lots of Seattleites choose to own a vehicle to get access to the great natural playground and national parks that make the Pacific Northwest such an attractive place to live.

While the city has easy access to wild nature, there are also dozens of urban parks that take advantage of the Northwest ecosystem. Discovery Park in Magnolia has miles of trails on the bluffs and along the Puget Sound waterfront. From the water tower in Volunteer Park, you can look West to the Olympics or East to see the downtown Bellevue skyline. Seward Park to the south has views of Mt. Rainier – a handful of rowing clubs have their boathouses on Lake Washington just north of Seward Park. The Olympic Sculpture Park opened in 2007 and while it’s a showcase for modern art, the views highlight the region’s natural beauty.

thumbnail for Golden Gardens ParkHell yes, Seattle.

Dave Peck
on Golden Gardens Park

Neighborhoods

Seattle’s neighborhoods all have distinctive character. Downtown is increasingly livable with the construction of new highrise apartment blocks. Resident have historically done their shopping at the world famous Pike Place Market, but there’s now a regular supermarket and a Target, addressing the practical needs of those who choose the heart of the city as their home. At one end, Pioneer Square has cool lofts in restored brick buildings and at the other end, there’s Belltown and the Waterfront where there’s the latest in luxury apartments with fitness centers and roof gardens and fitness facilities for the residents.

Jackson Street used to draw a line between Seattle’s Chinese and Japanese neighborhoods; now the whole area is referred to as the International District. When the line is completed, the First Hill Streetcar will run right down the middle of Jackson, bordered by Asian supermarkets and restaurants that include Vietnamese, Cambodian, Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, and more. Keep going east to the Central District, and the menu shifts to Ethiopian and Soul food.

Capitol Hill is the city’s densest neighborhood, partly because it’s where you’ll find the easiest commute to the East Side. Housing comes in all shapes and sizes, there are new micro-housing complexes, gorgeously remodeled brick apartment buildings, and the occasional single family Craftsman style home. The once gritty Pike Pine corridor is developing into a hub for some of the city’s finest restaurants and bars. It’s an easy downhill walk from Capitol Hill to downtown, though you may want to take the bus on the uphill return trip.

The University District is by the University of Washington, home to a well respected medical school and the Husky football team. It’s got all the things you’d expect from a college neighborhood – cheap eats, funky second hand stores, great transit, and apartment buildings that rent to students who choose to live off campus. Just west of the U-District, there’s Wallingford where there are more single family homes on the tree lined streets. This is a great neighborhood for families with kids and the main avenues have supermarkets, restaurants, movie theaters… all the stuff you’d like to have walking distance from your front door.

Photo of Georgetown Trailer Park Mall in Seattle

Georgetown Trailer Park Mall

Photo of Meridian Park in Seattle

Meridian Park

Photo of Pike Place Market in Seattle

Pike Place Market

Photo of Dragons on Lampposts in Seattle

Dragons on Lampposts

Ballard, north and to the west of downtown, is evolving into Seattle’s new super hip neighborhood. Some Ballard commuters leave their cars at the Park and Ride lots near the freeway and use Metro to get to the East side – it’s an easy ride on the bus into downtown, though. Ballard has new townhomes and larger apartment blocks with supermarkets at the ground level, and it’s also home to some very nice parks – the Ballard Locks and Golden Gardens, where the beach is crowded when the weather is good.

Queen Anne is almost two neighborhoods. In Upper Queen Anne (made up of West, East, and North), there are boutique shops and cute cafes and while there are some great apartments, there are also grand old single family homes here with Victorian and Craftsman detailing. Lower Queen Anne wraps around Seattle Center, home to Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Experience Music Project, the Children’s Museum, and Seattle’s big music festivals, Bumbershoot and Folklife. There are lots of lower brick apartment blocks here, several supermarkets including one for more gourmet focused shoppers, and restaurants that range from pricy to pub. The Gates Foundation has its headquarters in lower Queen Anne, right across the street from Seattle’s iconic Space Needle.

West Seattle is its own small town in the city. The Elliot Bay Water Taxi runs from downtown to Alki Beach. An amusement park stood here nearly a century ago, now the waterfront strip has restaurants, cafes, and spectacular views of the downtown skyline. West Seattle’s small business districts receive loyal support from neighborhood locals and living close to an express bus line makes for a very short commute into the city.

Find Seattle apartments with views of the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound and Lake Union. Find a Queen Anne studio apartment with a view of the Space Needle, walk downtown Seattle from your one bedroom condo on Capitol Hill, or share a college home rental in the University District near the University of Washington. Families will love family friendly Seattle neighborhoods such as Ballard and Magnolia, and Seattle's east side in Bellevue.

45% of Seattle residents rent their homes in the Emerald City. Search Walk Score for Seattle apartments for rent by commute time, access to Seattle Metro Transit and proximity to the nearest Seattle Starbucks Coffee.

thumbnail for Pike Place Market Gum WallI don’t know who started this trend but the idea stuck, literally. Check out the pounds of used gum on this colorful wall and add some of your own to it. #publicart Photo: Zorlone

Kelley B.
on Pike Place Market Gum Wall

Seattle is Talking About...

coffee school eat food god dinner bus walk lunch beer space needle music centurylink field team party drinking sounders playing sleep pike place market

Seattle is all about:

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Photo of Lake Union Park in Seattle

Lake Union Park

Photo of Lake Union Park in Seattle

Lake Union Park

thumbnail for Olympic Sculpture ParkAs you walk around this park, you will see a collection of beautiful steel sculptures that provoke your imagination and thought. #publicart Photo: ~C4Chaos

Kelley B.
on Olympic Sculpture Park

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