Which Seattle Neighborhood is Best for You?

Seattle skyline at sunset, WA, USA

Given Seattle’s mild climate, amazing job market and a young, progressive vibe, it’s no wonder so many people are moving to the Emerald City. If you’re one of these people, you’ll first need to decide which part of the city you’re going to call home. Fortunately for you, Seattle boasts some amazing options to pick from. Whatever your interests, hobbies or lifestyle, you’re sure to find a neighborhood that’s as eclectic as you are. So if you’re relocating to or within Seattle, here are some of the best neighborhoods to consider. 

Finding Your Best Neighborhood

There are seven official districts and dozens of unique neighborhoods that make up Seattle. These range from quiet, tree-lined streets to big-city lights, bustle and nightlife. Of course, picking the best fit is going to be relative to your preferences and lifestyle. Depending on your work location, you’ll want to consider your daily commute, as Seattle is known for its share of serious traffic. Luckily, there are plenty of diverse options to choose from, guaranteeing you’ll land on the perfect option before too long. Here are some excellent choices to consider during your search. 

Downtown Seattle

When people envision Seattle, they generally think of Downtown, a neighborhood that encompasses such iconic areas as: Belltown, Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, and many others. This area boasts plenty of high-rise condos and skyscrapers overlooking the Elliot Bay or city hills. 

For a dose of culture, visit the Seattle Art Museum, listen to a symphony at the Benaroya Hall, or catch a show and amazing live music at The Showbox. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you won’t need a car to get there. Downtown is filled with bike lanes and great public transit options so you really don’t need a car when you move here – a fact you’ll appreciate after witnessing the traffic. 

The average cost of rent downtown is roughly $2,400 and median selling price hovers around $750k, but this number will generally rise along with your proximity to the waterfront. 

Queen Anne

Queen Anne is an iconic and instantly recognizable neighborhood, named after the beautiful architectural style of the homes located there. Because of its geographic location, homes in Queen Anne sit at the top of the highest hill in Seattle, providing a quiet, affluent feel and a chance at an enclosed yard within the city limits. 

While offering a respite from the hectic feel of a big city, Queen Anne still enjoys great access to the rest of Seattle’s areas. It’s a perfect neighborhood for anyone looking for an elegant, yet low-key lifestyle. 

This neighborhood is further sectioned into North, West, and East Queen Anne, and the average rent is around $2,200 per month and median selling price is in the neighborhood of $935k.

Columbia City

Once considered a “hidden treasure” due to its distance from downtown and affordability compared to the rest of the city, it’s no longer a secret that Columbia City is a great neighborhood option for anyone looking to move to Seattle. It’s a particularly attractive community for families looking to settle down here. 

Located on the west side of the city in the Rainier Valley, Columbia City offers a lively café, music and pub scene and boasts the most diverse population in Seattle. 

With average rentals going for $1,450 – $1,700 and a median sale price of about $638K, Columbia City is relatively affordable compared to the rest of Seattle. 

Central District 

Located on the east side of Seattle, the central district holds a great balance of proximity to bars and nightlife, and a more removed residential feel. Historically, this area has been very culturally diverse, but has recently undergone some gentrification due to its allure. 

With easy access to public transit and local shops and businesses, this neighborhood is perfect for you if you like a bit of both worlds: big-city amenities with a neighborhood ambiance.

Rent averages around $1,900 per month in the areas comprising the Central District and median sale price is $829k. 

Capitol Hill

Northeast of Downtown, you’ll find one of Seattle’s most densely populated areas – Capitol Hill. This diverse and accepting neighborhood is the LGBTQ+ capitol, and a foodie haven. It’s a natural hotspot for bars, nightclubs, cafés and boasts some of the top restaurants in Seattle. 

The architecture in Capitol Hill is a unique mix of traditional and contemporary, and you can expect to pay an average of $1,900 in monthly rent if you decide on this neighborhood. Median sale price for Capitol Hill is also in the neighborhood of $829k. 

West Seattle

Safe from the noise of downtown, West Seattle offers a popular option for those who are looking for a laid-back lifestyle and a better value on housing. With plenty of farmer’s markets offered year-round, convenient beach access and assorted shopping, it’s easy to see why many people flock to live in West Seattle. 

With rent prices around $1,300 – $1,750 per month and a median sale price of $616k, West Seattle is a great option for those looking for an affordable option within the city limits. A recent development with the closing of the main bridge in/out of West Seattle has residents wondering about the long-term impact to West Seattle. Time will tell if the new commuting options in/out of West Seattle will impact rent as well as housing prices.

Final Thoughts

Seattle is a city that offers a wide range of neighborhoods, guaranteed to match the lifestyle you are looking for. Whether it’s the city bustle you’re after, or a more intimate residential feel, chances are, you can find it here. Consider our top picks for the best Seattle neighborhoods, and be sure to do your research before making your final choice, as your neighborhood will greatly influence your experience in the city.

Written by Laura Highsmith 

I can't think of anything more satisfying than helping others find the home that speaks to them. We are all unique individuals with our own personal tastes, whether selling or buying it's my goal to help guide you through the process to a successful close. Let's talk!

Vicinage Real Estate Group