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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 Apartments

74 Walk Score of Seattle, WA

Seattle is Very Walkable

Most errands can be accomplished on foot.

Walk Score Map

Photo of Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle

Olympic Sculpture Park

Photo of Cal Anderson Park in Seattle

Cal Anderson Park

Seattle is the 8th 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 Neighborhoods




Walk Score

Transit Score

Bike Score


1 Downtown 98 100 72 5,059
2 International District 98 100 80 3,396
3 Belltown 98 99 75 14,163
4 First Hill 98 99 78 9,294
5 Pioneer Square 98 100 77 4,159
6 Yesler Terrace 94 100 78 4,126
7 South Lake Union 94 89 80 4,054
8 University District 93 78 86 26,712
9 Capitol Hill 93 81 83 29,310
10 Lower Queen Anne 92 72 69 10,241
11 Fremont 90 64 79 11,994
12 Central District 90 73 89 12,874
13 Ballard 89 54 88 17,010
14 Columbia City 85 62 64 6,648
15 Greenwood 85 55 78 16,190
16 Atlantic 84 72 83 6,449
17 Wallingford 84 63 85 15,830
18 Genesee 84 51 57 6,070
19 Hillman City 84 55 61 4,482
20 Madison Valley 84 58 72 3,677
21 West Queen Anne 83 61 61 6,288
22 Green Lake 83 55 87 8,565
23 East Queen Anne 82 70 70 8,577
24 Roosevelt 82 57 88 6,401
25 Whittier Heights 82 52 77 4,855
26 Eastlake 82 59 77 4,426
27 Madrona 80 54 75 3,855
28 Phinney Ridge 79 51 79 9,497
29 Loyal Heights 79 49 80 7,957
30 Fairmount Park 79 53 63 5,956
31 Ravenna 79 58 79 11,486
32 Brighton 77 62 73 7,492
33 Westlake 77 74 75 1,876
34 Crown Hill 77 54 65 4,454
35 North Beacon Hill 76 75 76 11,513
36 Dunlap 76 57 68 5,772
37 Bryant 75 54 82 5,218
38 Mount Baker 74 63 71 7,430
39 Holly Park 73 61 76 4,783
40 North Queen Anne 73 63 65 10,630
41 Leschi 73 57 71 5,303
42 Portage Bay 72 76 79 1,397
43 Pinehurst 71 55 70 7,811
44 North College Park 71 61 71 6,682
45 North Admiral 71 43 65 11,729
46 South Delridge 70 55 64 6,481
47 Victory Heights 70 56 59 5,077
48 Bitter Lake 69 52 75 7,853
49 Cedar Heights 69 55 64 5,298
50 Southeast Magnolia 68 44 67 4,891
51 Olympic Hills 67 54 68 8,063
52 Maple Leaf 67 60 72 9,404
53 Madison Park 66 37 58 4,842
54 Montlake 66 63 79 4,610
55 Industrial District 66 79 77 529
56 Seaview 66 48 55 4,630
57 Gatewood 66 48 56 6,337
58 Wedgewood 65 48 77 7,881
59 Roxhill 65 52 57 4,114
60 Georgetown 64 48 84 1,280
61 Mid-Beacon Hill 62 57 68 13,127
62 South Park 61 40 65 3,976
63 Lawton Park 60 43 58 8,540
64 North Delridge 59 54 65 3,596
65 Seward Park 58 42 60 6,493
66 Meadowbrook 57 51 54 3,320
67 Denny Blaine 57 47 60 921
68 Sunset Hill 57 39 77 5,412
69 Haller Lake 55 52 62 8,040
70 Highland Park 54 47 50 6,063
71 High Point 53 49 55 6,849
72 Alki 51 35 61 6,644
73 Laurelhurst 51 50 56 4,554
74 Interbay 50 50 76 1,599
75 Rainier Beach 48 48 43 6,533
76 Fauntleroy 48 46 35 5,200
77 Briarcliff 48 34 44 5,081
78 Broadview 46 46 45 8,011
79 Windermere 44 48 63 4,635
80 South Beacon Hill 43 60 53 5,141
81 North Beach-Blue Ridge 41 44 41 5,125
82 View Ridge 39 46 65 5,246
83 Arbor Heights 38 43 32 5,056
84 Riverview 37 45 57 3,861
85 Matthews Beach 35 44 50 6,225
86 Rainier View 23 42 26 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.

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

on Seattle Public Library

60 Transit Score of Seattle, WA

Seattle has Good Transit

Many nearby public transportation options. Find Seattle apartments for rent near public transit.

Public Transit Routes

Seattle has good public transportation and about 189 bus, 4 light rail and 10 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

70 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


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


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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