Whilst Seattle is well-known for its arts and culture, thriving food scene and beautiful, natural surroundings, there are many hidden gems and lesser-known neighbourhoods to discover. Explore like a local and make plans to visit the below areas to uncover the best of Seattle.
Seattle’s Best Kept Secrets
With its roots laid firmly in the seabourne industries, Ballard’s location on the Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) made it the original centre of Seattle’s Scandinavian seafaring community, who were drawn to the area because of its plentiful salmon fishing opportunities. Nowadays, it’s a hip waterfront neighbourhood and the epicentre of Seattle’s craft ale scene, with Stoup Brewing, Reuben’s Brews and Urban Family Brewing all a stone’s throw away from each other. A great place to get a taste for the city’s distinctive culture, old and new, visitors can watch boats set sail or return with their haul whilst eating fresh-off-the dock seafood at Chinook’s at Salmon Bay.
Travellers can then flock to Golden Gardens Park to lounge on the beach and witness stunning sunsets over the towering Olympic Mountains. Every Sunday, Ballard Avenue transforms into Ballard Farmers Market which is filled with Washington-made produce and craft beer.
An eclectic mix of historic architecture, shopping areas and authentic eateries, the University District surrounds The University of Washington. Attractions include a museum for contemporary arts, Henry Art Gallery which is currently exhibiting Packaged Black: Derrick Adams and Barbara Earl Thomas, an exploration of black identity available for viewing until 1 May, and Burke Museum which focuses on educating travellers on Northwest native art, biology and palaeontology.
There are an array of indie dining and drink options, as well as the opportunity to visit the historical grounds of The University of Washington which boasts classical architecture, plentiful green spaces and at this time of year, blossoming cherry trees. Those interested in outdoor pursuits can take part in kayaking on Lake Union or Portage Bay, go biking through the Burke-Gilman trail, or support the football teams at Husky stadium.
With serene beaches and overflowing forests, West Seattle has a number of natural attractions for everyone to indulge in. Travellers can grab an oceanfront spot at Alki Beach or rent a kayak from Alki Kayak Tours & Activities. Either way, it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset and enjoy the tranquillity the water brings. Visitors can also head to the 135-acre Lincoln Park; from discovering the green forests, rocky beaches and meadows to zip-lining, hiking and jumping in the outdoor heated saltwater pool, adventure here is encouraged.