Neighborhood Guide: Seattle

Ready to explore Seattle? Check out things to do with our Seattle neighborhood guide. It’s a great way to get a more personal, street-level view of all that the historic, tech-savvy and eclectic Emerald City has to offer.


Pioneer Square

Seattle’s original downtown, Pioneer Square offers a glimpse into the city’s past and present. The 1890s-era Central Saloon has hosted gold miners, grunge rockers and techies over the past 100+ years, while the Last Resort Fire Department Museum—along with all the brick facades that populate this neighborhood—serve as a reminder of the 1889 fire that virtually destroyed everything in the area. Stop at a food truck or kiosk in Occidental Square Park where businesspeople, artists and wanderers coexist. An underground tour introduces you to the area’s shady history and characters, while the gleaming new office buildings towering above remind visitors that this is a city focused on the future.


Capitol Hill

High on a hill east of downtown, Capitol Hill is a Seattle neighborhood that’s simultaneously diverse and inclusive. From its tree-shaded boulevards with century-old mansions to its trendy bistros, modish boutiques and gay nightspots, this lively locale is also home to famous sites like the spectacular Lake View Cemetery, the Seattle Asian Art Museum and Starbucks’ one-of-a-kind roastery and tasting room. Day or night, the Capitol Hill neighborhood is a vibrant hub with a variety of things to see and do.


South Lake Union

On the southern tip of Lake Union, and easily accessible from downtown, the revitalized South Lake Union neighborhood offers a blend of waterfront activities, sweeping Seattle skyline views and renovated mixed-use industrial buildings. Lake Union Park serves as one of the city’s favorite new green spaces. Nearby, the REI flagship store features Pinnacle Climb—the highest peak in town. And the Museum of History & Industry celebrates 200 years of ingenuity that defines Seattle.



From the mid-1800s until the early 1900s, Ballard was its own blue-collar city north of downtown Seattle and bustling with fishermen, boat-builders and millworkers of Scandinavian descent. In 1907, however, the city government was disbanded and it became an official Seattle neighborhood. Today, it’s home to a thriving art scene and upscale boutiques along Market St. and Ballard Ave., while the Scandinavian influence of a bygone era is still evident in the Nordic Heritage Museum and the Norwegian fishermen working the docks. Don’t miss the Ballard Locks to see how boats—and fish—navigate the waterway, and make sure to get your nature fix at Golden Gardens Park.


Downtown and Seattle Center

With views of mountains and waterways, skyscrapers and world-class attractions, the Downtown and Seattle Center neighborhood is a sparkling jewel among the area’s numerous gems. Art, innovation, history, children’s hotspots and mega shopping centers are all here in this highly walkable and visually entertaining cityscape. Key attractions include:

  • Sky City, the revolving restaurant atop the famous Space Needle
  • Pacific Science Center, featuring a laser dome, planetarium, science exhibits and more
  • Chihuly Garden & Glass, with colorful blown-glass sculptures from world-renowned Dale Chihuly
  • EMP Museum, which pays tribute to all things pop
  • Seattle Center Monorail, rolling above the traffic from Seattle Center to Westlake Center
  • Seattle's Children's Museum, for hands-on learning
  • International Fountain, a splish-splashy good time for the young, and young-at-heart
  • Pike Place Market, one of the oldest and most popular farmers' markets in the U.S.

Ready to travel? Find hotels in Seattle and explore the city's neighborhoods.



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