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- #1View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.4 miles to city center#1 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (1722)Read MoreSitting about a block from the waterfront in downtown Seattle, the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle is sleek and polished with a few touches inspired by the region. Local artwork is on display throughout the property, and the popular Goldfinch Tavern serves Pacific Northwest fare paired with tasty cocktails and craft beers. Recent travelers compliment this Four Seasons property's highly attentive service staff. Many visitors also love the extra perks like the infinity pool and its views of both the Olympic Mountains and Elliott Bay. When it's time to retreat to your digs, you'll be greeted by plush terry bathrobes, down duvets and pillows, flat-screen TVs and iPod docking stations, among other luxe features. If you bring a vehicle to this property, though, be ready to shell out for expensive valet fees.
- #2View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.2 miles to city center#2 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (3559)Read MoreStylish since 1924, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle has stayed true to its elegant roots. Crystal chandeliers dangle delicately from the arched ceiling and a classical pianist performs at afternoon tea in The Terrace lounge. The Fairmont Olympic Hotel receives high praise for everything from its indoor swimming pool to its impeccable service staff to its convenient downtown location. Inside the 450 accommodations, lodgers find terry bathrobes, windows that open to let in the breeze, internet access (free for Le Club AccorHotels members) and goose-down duvets. But fair warning: The Fairmont is pricey, and so is the food at The Georgian Restaurant, though guests say the stay and the eats are worth the splurge.
- #3View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.5 miles to city center#3 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (2933)Free WiFiRead More
This boutique hotel has one of the best locales in town according to recent travelers, with Pike Place Market just around the corner. Yet despite the nearby hustle and bustle, the Inn at the Market stays cozy, with a romantic courtyard and a quaint rooftop deck with picturesque views of Elliott Bay. Recent visitors fell in love with the unbeatable vistas from their contemporary rooms. Those rooms also include perks like iPod docking stations, complimentary Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TVs, Keurig coffeemakers and floor-to-ceiling bay windows. What's more, there are a few restaurants on-site and plenty of nearby eateries for visitors to enjoy.Free WiFi
- #4View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.1 miles to city center#4 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (2566)Read MoreThe Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle, located in the heart of downtown Seattle, is one of the most pet-friendly hotels in the city, with no fees or pet size restrictions. Special perks for your pet include pup room service menus, dog-sitting services and personalized itineraries. Recent travelers loved the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle's boutique-y features, including the modern red-, gray- and white-themed guest rooms. Visitors also raved about the staff, saying everyone from the valet to the room service attendants makes you feel like you're a VIP. While you're staying at this branch of the Kimpton family, be sure to frequent the nightly wine receptions held in the lobby (which are covered by the property's daily $20 facilities fee). And as an added bonus, IHG Rewards Club members can receive perks here like minibar credits.4.5-star Hotel Class
- #5View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.9 miles to city center#5 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (1784)Read MoreThe airy Pan Pacific's color scheme – with blond wood, tan marble and cinnamon accents – creates a warm atmosphere even in the dreariest of Seattle winters. The spacious rooms come equipped with high-tech perks like flat-screen TV's, complimentary high-speed wireless internet and programmable thermostats. And though some recent travelers say the Pan Pacific's location isn't the most convenient, others note that there's an easily accessible Whole Foods below the hotel, and the complimentary shuttle will take you into downtown Seattle. But you might not need to leave the property to indulge in tasty cuisine: this hotel is home to The Lobby Bar at Pan Pacific, and 24-hour room service is also available.
- #6View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.5 miles to city center#6 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (1261)Free WiFiRead More
Just steps from the Pike Place Market, the Thompson Seattle is an up-and-comer in the Emerald City hospitality scene. The hotel, which opened in June 2016, occupies a distinctive building with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Its 158 rooms and suites come equipped with Samsung televisions, complimentary in-room Wi-Fi access, honor bars and views of the courtyard, the city streets or Puget Sound. Guests say the Thompson Seattle's location, just a mile from top sights like the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass, is one of its biggest assets. Travelers were also impressed with the rooftop bar, The Nest, which offers impressive views of the harbor. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant, Scout PNW, which showcases seasonal ingredients and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, in addition to a special multicourse tasting menu experience. Business travelers will also be pleased to find that the Thompson Seattle offers 5,000 square feet of meeting and event space across six indoor and outdoor venues.4.5-star Hotel ClassFree WiFi
- #7View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.1 miles to city center#7 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (1134)Read MoreNestled in the heart of the downtown area, this stylish W fits in well with the other ultra-mod hotels of Seattle. Board games are available in the Living Room lobby, local artwork is on display at the welcome desk and in-room spa treatments are available at the ready. Rooms are spacious and comfortable with Bliss bath products, pillow-top beds, flat-screen TVs and large, nearly floor-to-ceiling windows that boast city vistas. Most recent travelers compliment the service staff, as well as the food and atmosphere at the on-site restaurant, TRACE. Other guests were less pleased with the steep daily parking fees and length of time it took to get hot water in the showers. And because this hotel is part of the Marriott hotel family, Marriott Bonvoy members can earn and use points here.
- #8View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.2 miles to city center#8 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (1930)Read MoreNestled in downtown Seattle, this small Kimpton property is perfect for wine lovers. Guest rooms are named after the vineyards of Washington wine country and luxuriously decorated. And the complimentary evening wine hour – featuring tastings with local winemakers – is popular with travelers. Guests also love the comfy pillow-top beds, the yoga mats in every room, the complimentary coffee and the wireless Internet (that's complimentary for IHG Rewards Club members). They also compliment the friendly service staff. However, some guests express disappointment in the expensive parking rates. If you care for a bite to eat, Tulio Italian restaurant is a must-do, with notable cuisine and a pleasant ambiance.
- #9View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.2 miles to city center#9 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (2278)Read MoreLocated about a mile north of Pioneer Square, Kimpton Alexis Hotel Seattle has eclectically decorated flair. Leather wing chairs are paired with stainless steel four-poster beds, and not one of the 121 guest rooms and suites has the same layout thanks to the quirky contours of this old building. But what really makes the Alexis a standout are its rotating art exhibits, found in the lobby and gallery room. There are also a handful of specialty suites, like the Spa Suite, with a two-person soaking tub with jets and separate walk-in shower. Recent travelers love this Kimpton property's convenient location, as well as its friendly service staff and adjoining bookshop/bar and grill, the Bookstore Bar and Café. Plus, guests can score extra perks for being part of the IHG Rewards Club loyalty program.
- #10View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.2 miles to city center#10 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (3219)Read MoreThis ultra-modern property is popular with trendy travelers. The dramatic backlit staircase takes center stage in the small lobby, but recent visitors also love the futuristic-looking fire pit in the adjacent sitting room. Guest rooms are a bit less flamboyant, decorated in dark earth tones with dramatic details like tubs that fill from the ceiling. Techies rejoice over the high-tech in-room phones that also show area dining options, as well as the flashy televisions that double as art displays. And the Hotel 1000 also has the city's only virtual-reality Golf Club that has more than 50 courses from around the world, including the Old Course at St. Andrews, Pinehurst No. 2 and Pebble Beach. Recent guests praised the on-site All Water Seafood & Oyster Bar for its contemporary West Coast inspired cuisine and its service. Now part of the Loews portfolio, rewards program members can enjoy perks here.
- #11View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.1 miles to city center#11 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (1853)Read More
The Arctic Club Seattle – originally built as a fraternal men's business club in 1916 – is all about honoring its Klondike Gold Rush heritage. The lobby is full of flourished crown molding, classic wood paneling, and black-and-white portraits of former club members (businessmen involved in Alaskan gold prospecting). Up on the third floor you'll even find taxidermy walrus heads from the prospecters' Alaskan adventures. Guest rooms keep in vintage step, but with modern touches like flat-screen TVs, in-room coffee makers and iPod docking stations. Recent travelers give high praise for this DoubleTree property's Pioneer Square locale as well as the Polar Bar and JUNO Restaurant on-site. Members of the Hilton Honors program are eligible to earn and redeem rewards points for staying here.
- #12View all PhotosKirkland, WA7.7 miles to city center#12 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (634)Read MoreThis charming boutique hotel is nestled along the waterfront in Kirkland, a small suburb located about 11 miles northeast of downtown Seattle. The Heathman is all about personalizing your experience with options like the Art of Sleep Menu (available at booking), which allows you to chose from three mattress options. Other popular perks include complimentary transportation around Kirkland in a luxury hybrid SUV, daily happy hour and in-room French press coffee makers. But what really hits home with guests is the highly attentive service they receive from the hotel staff. This service extends to the on-site restaurant, Trellis, which serves farm-to-table American cuisine. Guests were wowed that the fresh ingredients came from executive chef Brian Scheehser's 18-acre farmland.
- #13View all PhotosKirkland, WA6.8 miles to city center#13 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (1306)Read MoreNestled in the über-upscale suburb of Kirkland (guests here share vistas with Bill Gates' mansion), The Woodmark Hotel and Still Spa feels more like an exclusive resort than a hotel. Basic amenities include complimentary "Raid the Pantry" late-night snacks, cozy in-room chenille throws, flat-screen TVs and Molton Brown toiletries. And then there's the Still Spa, which features unique and luxurious treatments inspired by the Pacific Northwest. Recent travelers were also really impressed with their dinner at the Bin on the Lake restaurant and the stellar service staff throughout the Destination Hotel. The Beach Cafe is another waterfront dining option that guests love for its fresh fish selection. However, visitors were disappointed that you had to pay an additional nightly amenity fee. You'll find The Woodmark Hotel & Spa about 10 miles northeast of Seattle on a picturesque lakefront, and guests can enjoy the natural beauty of the area on complimentary bikes or kayaks.
- #14View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.6 miles to city center#14 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (683)Read MoreBoasting a quirky mantra – "where elegant meets edgy" – the Palladian certainly lives up to its superlatives, according to recent guests. Visitors say everything from the hotel's pristine rooms and the friendly front desk staff to Shaker + Spear's meals and Pennyroyal bar's craft cocktails was impressive. Like other Kimpton properties, the Palladian hosts a daily wine hour, it offers in-room spa services, it's pet-friendly and Kimpton Karma rewards members can get "Raid the Bar" credits, earn reward nights and enjoy free in-room internet access. Speaking of rooms, the hotel's accommodations come with large work desks, funky decor and beds with pillow-top mattresses and Frette linens. Other on-site amenities available to guests include a 24-hour gym and free loaner bikes to cruise around Seattle. You'll find the Palladian downtown, near many of the city's top sights like Pike Place Market and the Seattle Art Museum.
- #15View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.5 miles to city center#15 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (4525)Read MoreSeattle's only true waterfront hotel, The Edgewater balances on its own pier into the harbor, giving guests prime vistas of the Puget Sound. Of course, there's a catch: The waterfront rooms with balconies are smaller than those waterfront rooms without balconies. But trust us, the floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, the picturesque views through them and the claw-foot tubs in the bathrooms make up for the lack of floor space. Plus, recent travelers love the cozy, lodge-like feel of their rooms, especially the gas fireplaces. Recent guests do warn that walls are thin, though, and that some accommodations could use an update. Venture outside of your room and you'll find the waterfront Six Seven Restaurant, which serves up creative cuisine for three meals a day.
- #16View all PhotosSnoqualmie, WA23.6 miles to city center#16 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (1496)Free ParkingRead MoreOverlooking Snoqualmie Falls, the Salish Lodge & Spa makes guests forget they are less than 30 miles from downtown Seattle. These rustic yet refined accommodations are set in front of some spectacular waterfalls. While tourists will come for an hour just to snap a photo and move on, hotel guests can savor the atmosphere all day long. And despite its eerie past (the Salish was the setting for many macabre scenes in David Lynch's mystery television show "Twin Peaks"), guests feel exceptionally comfortable in the accommodations here. You'll be tempted to stay in your cozy room with its wood-burning fireplace and oversized bathtub. According to recent guests, one drawback is the price: The room rate, dining and resort fees all add up to an expensive stay. A few who hosted events at this property also experienced some miscommunication and weren't pleased with the event coordinators. Guests are more complimentary of the Spa at Salish Lodge, saying the treatments are worth the splurge.Free Parking
- #17View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.5 miles to city center#17 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (2848)Read MoreThe Hyatt at Olive 8 is the city's first hotel to be LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Everything – from the water system and the plumbing fixtures to the native plant-based landscaping – is designed with ecological efficiency in mind. Even the in-house restaurant, Urbane, touts its eco-friendliness, planning menus around the produce available from local farmers. Most love this Hyatt’s green practices as well as the convenient locale minutes from hot spots like Pike Place Market, though some recent travelers complain about thin walls and noise seeping in. Guest rooms feature iPod docking stations, 37-inch flat-screen TVs and Portico bath products. If you're a member of the brand's rewards program, you can earn extra perks and points toward free nights.
- #18View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.4 miles to city center#18 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (1361)Read MoreThe Sorrento Hotel, built in 1909, is the oldest boutique hotel in Seattle. The vintage property is full of charming details like wrought-iron gates, a palm tree-laden courtyard and the cozy, eight-sided Fireside Room where guests can sit and relax. And classy extras like live jazz and traditional high tea help create an elegant atmosphere. Some recent travelers complain about the uphill commute to the hotel's First Hill neighborhood. When it's time to retire to your digs for the night, you'll find fully stocked honor bars, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, 400-thread-count linens and complimentary wireless internet access.
- #19View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.7 miles to city center#19 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (2232)Read MoreLocated about a mile north of Pioneer Square, Hotel Ändra is a boutique hotel adorned in a unique Scandinavian-meets-Northwestern style. In the living room-like lobby, simple, modern furnishings surround a stone fireplace, complete with stacks of wood at the ready. Recent guests give high marks to the hotel's central location and the friendly service staff members, who go above and beyond when it comes to meeting guests' needs. Though, many needs are met by the luxe amenities found in each of the hotel's 119 guest rooms. Accommodations feature goose down pillows, 37-inch flat-screen TVs and for those traveling on business, a spacious desk area. Whatever the reason for their stay, recent visitors applaud the two on-site restaurants – Lola's Pacific Northwestern cuisine and Assaggio Ristorante's Italian cuisine – as some of the best eats in the area.
- #20View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.5 miles to city center#20 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (3655)Read MoreThe Grand Hyatt Seattle is nestled in the Pioneer Square district, about a mile and a half inland from Elliott Bay. Rooms are plush with luxurious linens, down blankets and pillows and iPod docking stations. Although the larger rooms and suites are spacious, the basic double rooms may be a tight fit for more than two travelers. Recent visitors loved this Hyatt's location, but some complained that the service was average and employees were slow in handling requests. If you're willing to leave your room to dine, this property offers a few on-site eateries that range from Starbucks to Ruth's Chris Steak House. Members of Hyatt's rewards program have the option to earn and redeem rewards points at this Seattle property.
- #21View all PhotosSeattle, WA11.8 miles to city center#21 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (2654)Free WiFiRead More
Hoping to book a hotel near the Seattle airport? Heed the advice of recent guests and head to Cedarbrook Lodge. Though the hotel sits less than 2 miles south of the airport, it feels a world away, according to past lodgers. Set on 11 acres and surrounded by a perimeter of natural restored wetlands, Cedarbrook Lodge cultivates a relaxing atmosphere that guests can't help but gush about. In addition to the peaceful, well-maintained grounds, the hotel's rooms also received a hefty amount of praise. Accommodations are equipped with wall-mounted HDTVs, complimentary Wi-Fi access, alarm clocks with MP3 capability and Keurig coffee makers. Some suites also come with fireplaces. After you're well-rested, make use of the property's other amenities like the fitness center, the on-site spa or the Copperleaf Restaurant & Bar, which serves farm-to-table Pacific Northwest fare. If you're still weighing whether Cedarbook Lodge is for you, consider the property's complimentary amenities like free breakfast and a complimentary shuttle to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.Free WiFi
- #22View all PhotosSeattle, WA0.3 miles to city center#22 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (1152)Free WiFiRead More
The Motif Seattle receives mixed reviews from visitors. The handful of travelers who enjoyed their stays couldn't help but rave about it, citing the hotel's stellar staff, excellent rooms and well-equipped conference facilities as reasons to return. On the other hand, an equally large group of lodgers weren't as impressed, blaming faulty in-room amenities and outdated property facilities as nuisances. Still, everyone agreed that the location couldn't be better. The Motif Seattle is situated in the heart of downtown Seattle and is within close walking distance of numerous top attractions, including Pike Place Market, the Seattle Aquarium and the Seattle Art Museum. There are also plenty of shopping and dining options steps from the hotel, though some guests say the on-site Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails is worth a visit. Travelers will also find a fitness and business center on-site. Rooms, meanwhile, are equipped with flat-screen TVs, Keurig coffee makers, minifridges and high-speed wireless internet access.Free WiFi
- #23Seattle, WA0.7 miles to city center#23 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (1289)Read MoreSilver Cloud Hotel - Seattle Broadway is a 4 star hotel located at 1100 Broadway, in Seattle. It has a 4.5 overall guest rating based on 1289 reviews.
- #24View all PhotosBellevue, WA6.2 miles to city center#24 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (2787)Read MoreLocated in Bellevue, the Hyatt Regency isn't exactly the immersive downtown Seattle experience. Still, most guests don't seem to mind. Recent travelers love how close this Hyatt property is to the creative restaurant scene and best shopping malls in the area. And though this hotel is popular with conventioneers, its accommodating service staff gets high marks from all sorts of travelers. Guests find the rooms comfortable and clean; accommodations are stocked with amenities like iPod docking stations, flat-screen TVs, in-room coffee makers and access to room service dining. But there's little need to spend time in your room when the hotel offers nine eateries and bars, a 7,000-square-foot gym and a heated indoor pool. Also, members of Hyatt's rewards program can earn and redeem points for their stays here.
- #25View all PhotosRenton, WA9.2 miles to city center#25 in Best Hotels in SeattleTripAdvisor (401)Free WiFiRead MoreHyatt Regency Lake Washington at Seattle’s Southport is a 4 star hotel located at 1053 Lake Washington Blvd N in Seattle. It has a 4.5 overall guest rating based on 401 reviews.Free WiFi
Neighborhoods in Seattle
Seattle is located on peninsula surrounded by several different waterways: Puget Sound to the west, Elliott Bay to the south and Lake Washington to the east. Salmon Bay, Lake Union and Union Bay (collectively known as the Lake Washington Ship Canal) also slice the city in half, with the Ballard, Fremont and University District neighborhoods to the north and the rest of Seattle's neighborhoods to the south.
Seattle's neighborhoods each offer something different to visitors, ranging from a concentration of the city's top sites to charming residences and distinctive eateries. Consider investing in a map and organizing your sightseeing for the day before setting out – and be sure to exercise patience as you navigate the city as heavy traffic can be frustrating. If you'd like a local to help guide you, consider signing up for a tour.
You'll find some of the most popular tourist attractions in downtown Seattle, including the famous Pike Place Market. Consequently, some of the best hotels in Seattle are situated here. Downtown is also home to the city's financial centers, a bustling waterfront and many shopping and dining opportunities. Elliott Bay and a string of tidal flats downtown provide great sightseeing opportunities. Downtown also features several cultural sites like the Seattle Public Library, Benaroya Hall and the Seattle Art Museum.
Another popular tourist attraction just south of downtown is Pioneer Square, a historic district that was once the heart of the city. The buildings here have been restored to their previous glory, highlighting their Renaissance-Revival and Richardsonian-Romanesque architecture; the square's century-old, ornamental pergola is a particular eye-catching sight. South of Pioneer Square, sports lovers can watch the Mariners play ball at T-Mobile Park or catch a football game (or concert or soccer game) at CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks.
South of downtown and east of Pioneer Square, Chinatown-International District is Seattle's ethnic and culturally diverse enclave. Nicknamed "the I.D.," this neighborhood is one of the city's oldest. You'll encounter plenty of specialty stores here, as well as many restaurants serving Asian specialties.
Situated north of downtown, Queen Anne is a part residential, part business district anchored by Seattle's most famous icon, the Space Needle. This towering landmark stands more than 600 feet tall and offers a great panorama of the entire city. Another visitor favorite, Chihuly Garden and Glass, is located right next door to the Space Needle. Many key events and concerts are held at the Seattle Center (surrounding the Space Needle), which is also home to the Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Seattle Children's Museum. Just along the southern outskirts of the Queen Anne neighborhood, you'll find the Olympic Sculpture Park. As for its moniker, the neighborhood draws its name from the architectural style seen in many of the historic mansions built in the late 19th century.
West of Queen Anne is the Magnolia neighborhood, which is mainly residential, and includes the sprawling Discovery Park on its northwestern edge. The park offers plenty of hiking trails and prime vistas of Puget Sound. Magnolia's main drag is McGraw Street, which is lined by trees of the neighborhood's name. Along McGraw, you'll find a smattering of restaurants, cafes and shops.
The Capitol Hill neighborhood, located northeast of downtown, showcases some of the city's oldest Victorian mansions. It's also home to a thriving gay and lesbian scene, as well as many students who attend Seattle University, young professionals and musicians. For those interested in music history, Capitol Hill was home to the famous grunge music scene in the early 1990s. Check out the acts at the Capitol Hill institution, Neumos, which is one of the most popular music venues in the city. At the northern part of Capitol Hill sits Volunteer Park, which features a conservatory and the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
Meanwhile, the Central District (south of Capitol Hill and east of downtown) is primarily a residential area that's historically been home to the city's black community. This part of Seattle boasts some of the oldest black churches, such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church (established in 1886 and built in 1912) and the Mt. Zion Baptist Church (established in 1894 and built in 1975). Other notable Central District attractions include the Pratt Fine Arts Center and the Douglass-Truth branch of the public library.
Nestled across Salmon Bay from Magnolia in the northwest region of Seattle, this neighborhood contains some of the city's most prized historic landmarks, including the Ballard Carnegie Library and the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. Visitors can see the area's maritime influence on Ballard's festivals (like Seafood Fest in July) and atmosphere. Concert halls, charming eateries and lively bars line central Ballard, transforming it into a hub for music and nightlife.
The artsy, bohemian Fremont neighborhood, sandwiched between Ballard and the University District, was originally an independent town until the Seattle government annexed the area in 1891. Even now, Fremont is known for its fierce independence: Its nickname is "The People's Republic of Fremont," and its unofficial motto is "Freedom to be Peculiar." And embrace the peculiar, it does. This neighborhood offers visitors some quirky art to admire; including the Troll under the Aurora Bridge and a massive bronze sculpture of former Russian communist leader, Vladimir Lenin. The area also has popular nightlife spots, and houses offices of some of the country's largest tech companies, including Adobe Systems and Google.
Seattle's University District in northeast section of the city (east of Fremont) is home to the University of Washington, and has an assortment of restaurants and nightlife options, including several bars and nightclubs. You'll encounter plenty of college students in this part of town, but Seattleites and visitors alike enjoy strolling through the neighborhood's gardens and admiring the cherry trees when they're in bloom. University Way, known as "The Ave," is the main thoroughfare in "the U District." The Ave is peppered with fun stores, coffee shops and eateries. Other top spots on campus are the Henry Art Gallery and Meany Hall, which hosts concerts, plays and dance performances.
SoDo (or south of downtown) makes up the industrial heart of Seattle, while Georgetown is a popular residential area – and both are located just east of the Duwamish River. Major corporations have headquarters in SoDo, including coffee giant Starbucks. And over the years, factory buildings in both SoDo and Georgetown have slowly transformed into apartments, art galleries and trendy bars.
South of downtown and west of the Duwamish River sits West Seattle, which comprises several smaller neighborhoods. Alki Point in West Seattle is considered the original founding point of the city, and its beach is a fan favorite for sunbathing, jogging and people-watching. Thanks to its hilly terrain and verdant landscape, West Seattle also attracts more active travelers; Lincoln Park and Schmitz Preserve Park feature trails for hikers and bikers to take advantage of. Meanwhile, hungry travelers will find a variety of cuisine and libations available at "The Junction," a collection of restaurants and bars found at the intersection of California Avenue Southwest and Southwest Alaska Street.
Also commonly referred to as Southeast Seattle, Rainier Valley is bordered by Lake Washington to the east, the Central District to the north and SoDo and Georgetown to the West. This neighborhood is known for being one of the nation's most diverse, inhabited by residents of multiple races who speak many different languages. And as the people vary, so do the offerings in this section of Seattle. You'll find a plethora of restaurants dishing out flavorful food in this neighborhood, as well as special events like the monthly live music festival Beatwalk in Columbia City (the northern section of Rainier Valley).
Across Lake Washington about 10 miles east of the city center, Bellevue is the Seattle's largest suburb and a major economic hub. This area gets its name from the "beautiful view" it provides of the Olympic and Cascade mountains. Bellevue boasts dining hot spots, a number of notable hotels and many of its own attractions, including the Bellevue Botanical Garden, several shopping complexes and numerous parks.
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