|Median Rent||Median Sqft|
|1 Bed||$1,783||638 sqft|
|2 Beds||$2,350||913 sqft|
|3+ Beds||$3,450||1,590 sqft|
Located on the Puget Sound 100 miles south of the Canadian border, the beautiful port city of Seattle is the largest in Washington state and all of the Pacific Northwest. Nestled between two mountain ranges, Seattle offers residents an abundance of natural resources, earning its nickname Emerald City. There are freshwater and saltwater bodies, rolling hills, sprawling meadows, rich green forests—and the peaks of Mounts Baker and Rainier adorning the skylines.
Contrary to reputation, it’s not raining all the time in Seattle. In fact, the city gets less rainfall annually than Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Miami, and many other major metropolitan areas. The temperate climate—without harsh cold winters and without extreme heat in the summers—makes it perfect for year-round sports like running, hiking, and kayaking.
Home hunters have seven official districts and dozens of diverse communities to choose from here. Neighborhoods run the gamut from quiet, historic enclaves on one end to buzzing centers of nightlife and activity on the other. Rental homes and apartments in Seattle range from single-family houses to units in large high-rise buildings. Many new units are studios or lofts in large complexes and attached homes such as row houses.
With Amazon based in South Lake Union and Downtown Seattle, those neighborhoods have become premium property. Other popular neighborhoods are Belltown in the city center, with a bevy of bars, restaurants, and music venues or South Lake Union, known as a trendy tech hub. The affluent cluster in and around Queen Anne which sits on a steep hill in the heart of Seattle.
With over 700,000 residents, Seattle attracts millennials, career professionals, and, of course, nature lovers. The city is a hub for educational, technological, medical, and scientific fields, which stimulates more and more creativity and diversity in the area. For those who can afford it, living in Seattle is worth the rising cost. Its restaurants are famous for fresh seafood. Its music scene was put on the map by Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden.
There are plenty of walkable neighborhoods in Seattle, but you can still travel easily from the outskirts. Seattle’s public transportation makes commuting affordable for many residents. No matter where you’re headed, you have a variety of choices: Sound Transit’s Link light rail, King County Metro Transit bus service, South Lake Union Streetcars, or First Hill Streetcars, each making periodic stops all day and night. There’s also the iconic Seattle Center Monorail, an elevated straddle-beam railway to add to your commuter mix.
Driving in Seattle can be challenging, as evidenced by its frequent appearance on lists naming cities with the worst traffic. At any given time, drivers contend with rain, rush-hour, temporary HOV lanes, one-way streets, steep hills, and unexpected toll roads as they navigate the geography. Cyclists add to the confusion as many of them—and they are plentiful—follow the biking rules of the road, some of which may be confusing to motorists. For example, bicycles are not required to use a bike lane or road shoulder, and cyclists are permitted to ride on the left side of one-way streets with the traffic flow.
Seattle’s food scene has a yin and yang mix of laid-back and high-end restaurants. And there’s much more to the local cuisine than seafood. Enjoy a variety of culinary delights, including salty, raw oysters, buttery croissants, and authentic Asian foods.
If there’s one type of seafood pulled from the Pacific Northwest waters that captures Seattle’s flavor, it’s the oyster. For the most freshly shucked ones, grab seats at the Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard. This tucked-away bar is often touted as the best local place to enjoy these bivalve mollusks.
For the freshest cuts of fish served Omakase-style (Japanese for “I leave it up to you”), where your order is left up to the whimsy of the sushi chef, choose Sushi Kashiba in Pike Place Market. Chef Shiro Kashiba is a legend who once presided over the city’s very first sushi bar. The experience is so in-demand, diners line up outside the restaurant two hours before they open. Pike Place Market also houses arguably the world’s best mac and cheese from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. Today, you can buy frozen versions of this famous comfort food at grocery stores around the country, but if you’re in Seattle, be sure to get the original version. The dish is made with penne and a blend of Beecher’s Flagship and Just Jack cheeses. The gooey combo is then spiked with a dash of garlic powder and sprinkle of chipotle powder to give it an extra kick.
Speaking of comfort food, students can’t get enough of Ballard Pizza Company for its $2 slices sold every day during “Flour Hour” from 4-8 pm. Owned by famed Seattle restaurateur Ethan Stowell, BPC puts the pizza on a pedestal whether served with traditional or inventive toppings. For veggie lovers, they also have a variety of salads.
When it comes to home cooking, grocery stores in Seattle include Whole Foods Market, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, and QFC. But if you’re craving something unique, there are other purveyors to add to your shopping list. Visit Uwajimaya for Asian specialties like sake, sauces, noodles, rice, and an assortment of teas. You can also pick up sashimi, barbecue, seafood, meat, and produce. If you’re near Capitol Hill, stop into Central Co-op for natural and sustainable foods sourced whenever possible from Washington producers. Stock up on local beer and wine, freshly baked bread, and Seattle-born brands like Ellenos yogurt, Full Tilt Ice Cream, Cucina Fresca pasta, and more. Also in Capitol Hill, find Rain Shadow Meats, a decade-old nose-to-tail butcher shop at Melrose Market. Enjoy the selection of local meats, charcuterie, and its own curing room.
There are two sides of a shopper’s coin in Seattle. Fashionistas can fill their bags in Downtown Seattle to refresh their wardrobe trends from around the world, while design lovers looking for one-of-a-kind pieces can browse elite boutiques in Ballard.
The Seattle flea market experience also has its place. Rummagers can wander around the Fremont Sunday Market held every Sunday just north of Downtown Seattle. It doesn’t cost a penny if you just want to browse the displayed arts and crafts. But it’s well worth the small splurge on the street food options and flower market.
Pacific Place in the Financial District is where you can burn the day and a hole in your wallet at the same time. This premier five-story shopping center in Downtown Seattle spans an entire city block at the intersections of two major hubs. The mall’s grand new entrance faces Amazon at Seventh Avenue and Olive Way that opens up to South Lake Union, with a second downtown-facing entrance at Sixth Avenue and Pine Street. Popular shops, restaurants, and the AMC Pacific Place 11 theater draw crowds in at all hours. Represented brands include Tiffany & Co., Lululemon, JNBY, and Aveda. The underground garage offers plenty of parking, but the mall is also accessible by the Light Rail.
For outside gear, be sure to check out the flagship store of Recreational Equipment, Inc., better known as REI. Whether you’re planning a mountain excursion, looking for a wetsuit to play in Puget Sound, or are just on the hunt for the latest outdoor gadgets, REI is your place. Their Seattle location has an impressive amount of retail space that shoppers can only get to after crossing a miniature section of Northwest trail replete with pine trees, ferns, and a waterfall.
Active adventures abound in Seattle, but when you need to find Zen, take a pause at Waterfall Garden Park, an intimate greenspace in Pioneer Square. Stand before a 22-foot waterfall plummeting over granite boulders into a serene Japanese pool while you meditate on your new home in Seattle.
And there’s no shortage of team sports for those who are avid fans of football (Seahawks), soccer (Sounders), hockey (Kraken), and baseball (Mariners).
If your idea of being active is supporting your favorite causes, there are many opportunities to engage with like-minded groups. Seattle is passionate about politics, and the residents make it known by hosting marches, rallies, and other displays of political activism.
For indoor entertainment, check out the theater and music scene. Beyond being the birthplace of grunge rock, one of the world’s most recorded orchestras, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, performs here. Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet both stage new and classic productions, and Seattle Symphony puts on innovative concerts. Plus, more than 80 clubs and music venues hold regular live performances to fill your calendar every month. Seattle is also a theater town, home to a variety of companies, including Seattle Rep, the largest nonprofit resident theater in the Pacific Northwest and the latest touring Broadway productions.
Students can consider one of 7 four-year colleges within the Seattle city limits and 23 four-year colleges within a 50-mile radius. If size matters, the University of Washington Seattle Campus enrolls the most students. But if money is your main concern, Lake Washington Institute of Technology offers the lowest in-state tuition for four-year colleges in the area. The Seattle area also hosts nationally ranked institutions like University of Washington Seattle Campus, Seattle University, and Seattle Pacific University.
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