The Emerald City for everyone: Our top 3 neighborhoods for any type of traveler
So you’ve made plans to visit the Emerald City! Consider yourself lucky; not only is this Pacific Northwest metropolis teeming with fascinating history, gorgeous nature, and delicious eats, it’s also a fantastic place to visit for any age, interest, and budget. Perhaps you’re wondering where you want to call home for a few days while you visit. Or maybe you’re just searching for some awesome things to do while you’re there. Keep reading for our breakdown of the best activities, restaurants, museums, and, of course, where to stay in Seattle, Washington.
Looking for a kid-friendly place to stay in Jet City? Or a romantic pied-a-terre in the heart of town? Or maybe you’re just searching for the best neighborhood for visiting without a car. Whether traveling solo or with the whole fam, Stay Alfred’s Seattle travel apartments will give you more space and privacy than an ordinary hotel room while providing the upscale amenities you deserve.
Trying to decide where to stay in Seattle downtown? The busy center of Seattle culture, business, and tourism is undoubtedly the Downtown neighborhood, home to the famous Pike Place Market and a variety of notable restaurants, shops, bars, and arts attractions. Besides the fun stuff, you’ve also got choices when it comes to places to stay in Seattle downtown. Sure, you could splurge on a luxury hotel, but maybe you’d prefer to spend your hard-earned money on fresh Pacific seafood, symphony tickets, or a picturesque cruise through Elliott Bay.
Want to stay close to Pike Place Market? Stay Alfred Pike Place is just a two-minute walk away from this fabulous attraction and gives you fast access to the best of downtown Seattle’s restaurants and shopping.
Neighborhood Highlights: Downtown Seattle
You know an area is truly special when locals and tourists both love spending time there. Downtown Seattle isn’t limited to the touristy stuff – nor is it a place that only locals visit – it has that rare balance of world-class attractions and hidden gems.
For Couples: Downtown Seattle
Forget the standard dinner and a movie; date night in Downtown Seattle is anything but ordinary. Sure, a romantic dinner out is a perfectly good option, but for a more unique dining experience, book a table at The Pink Door. Though the bay views are beautiful from this Pike Place Market hotspot, you might not pay them much attention between the trapeze artists, burlesque entertainment, and delectable Italian cuisine.
For a different kind of meal with a view, board a lunch or dinner harbor cruise from the Downtown Seattle waterfront. Many cruise companies are available, like Argosy Cruises. From the water, Elliott Bay is indeed a work of art, but to view some world-famous pieces under gallery lighting, opt for a romantic stroll through the Seattle Art Museum. Or for an awesome auditory experience with your honey, don’t miss the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall.
For Friends: Downtown Seattle
Seattle is known to have a rainy day every now and then, and if your plans with pals get rained out by a storm, there’s only one thing to do: head to Damn the Weather for a drink. Known for craft cocktails, this lively bar is just one of a swath of unique watering holes serving up unique libations.
Rain or shine, the cocktails at Diller Room are always good – if you can find the tucked-away speakeasy’s entrance, that is. Cloudy with a chance of merlot? It’s always wine-o’clock at Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, where glasses of vino from around the world pair perfectly with small plates. But when the sun’s shining, your group of friends can’t pass up the vista from the Smith Tower Observatory Bar. On a clear day, the views are as good as their drinks. And the drinks are darn good.
For Business Travelers: Downtown Seattle
Downtown Seattle means business, with international corporations and cutting-edge startups calling the city center home. The dining scene doesn’t mess around either, and savvy professionals will have no problem impressing partners and clients at these fabulous business dinner spots. To celebrate a promotion or numbers in the black, reserve a table at one of Seattle’s finest steakhouses, the Metropolitan Grill.
For Families: Downtown Seattle
In addition to the must-see fish market at Pike Place, Downtown Seattle has a few other fantastic things to do with kids. Prepare to be dazzled (and learn a thing or two!) at the Seattle Aquarium, which features an impressive array of Pacific Northwest marine life.
Speaking of being dazzled, get ready for a jaw-dropping view of the city and the bay from the Seattle Great Wheel. Like a massive ferris wheel, this scenic attraction is fun for all ages and perfect for share-worthy Seattle selfies. After all that sightseeing, head over to Gelatiamo or Shug's Soda Fountain and Ice Cream for a sweet treat.
Neighborhood Highlights: Lower Queen Anne
Looking at places to stay in Seattle downtown but still want to see the sights in Lower Queen Anne? Take the Seattle Monorail to the Seattle Center and you’ll be there in minutes – no parking or sitting in traffic required.
For Couples: Lower Queen Anne
Take your sweetie out for a date night fit for royalty at one of Lower Queen Anne’s best arts venues. Plays and musicals take center stage at the Seattle Repertory Theatre, one of the city’s most acclaimed arts institutions. For a romantic night at the ballet or the opera, head to Marion Oliver McCaw Hall for original performances and the classics.
If your idea of a perfect date is less about watching a show and more about being the star, get your vocal chords ready for a duet at the lively Keys on Main piano bar in the heart of Lower Queen Anne. Or maybe forgo singing altogether and share a romantic candlelit meal at The Sitting Room or a Cajun-inspired tasting menu at Toulouse Petit.
For Friends: Lower Queen Anne
Elevate your Instagram game and your artistic knowledge at the same time with a visit to Lower Queen Anne’s Chihuly Garden and Glass. This famed collection of Seattleite Dale Chihuly’s colorful blown-glass pieces is full of gorgeous photo ops and unique backdrops for taking pics with your pals. Craving more culture? Wander across the street to the Museum of Pop Culture, an impressive homage to music greats from the last few decades.
For Business Travelers: Lower Queen Anne
Due to the close proximity to the KeyArena, the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, and Downtown Seattle, Lower Queen Anne is also a solid choice for business travelers who may be less interested in taking selfies with Chihulys and more interested in finding caffeine in the mornings. Every Stay Alfred travel apartment comes equipped with a coffee maker, but we understand if you want to sample Seattle’s coffee culture. After all, Starbucks was founded in the Emerald City!
Local coffee shops in Lower Queen Anne include La Marzocco Cafe, Uptown Espresso, Caffe Ladro, Citizen Coffee Creperie, and, naturally, several Starbucks locations. Also notable is John Nielsen Pastries for melt-in-your-mouth baked goods!
For Families: Lower Queen Anne
Lower Queen Anne is one of Seattle’s best neighborhoods for families due to the huge amount of kid-friendly attractions within walking distance. And not only kid-friendly attractions, but also attractions designed especially for the youngest Seattle visitors. The under-10 crowd is sure to enjoy the Seattle Children's Museum, jam-packed with hands-on activities and exhibits on topics ranging from medicine to mountains.
The amateur scientists out there shouldn’t miss the Pacific Science Center, and young theater buffs will love the kid-focused shows at the Seattle Children's Theatre. And thanks to the close proximity of these three activities (they’re all on the Seattle Center campus), you can do them all in one day! (Tip: If you're looking for a great way to save on the price of admission to Seattle's best attractions, check out our blog on the Seattle Citypass.)
Well, now you’ve learned about every facet of this gem in the Pacific Northwest. Whether visiting with kids or co-workers, longtime pals or a special someone, the Emerald City awaits.
We’ll stick to what we know (travel apartments and city guides) while you handle the packing (need some packing advice?). If we can further guide you toward your ideal Seattle vacation rental or answer any questions about where to stay in Seattle, just give us a ring at 1.866.232.3864. Get ready to jet off to Jet City!
In the meantime, check out all of our downtown Seattle vacation rentals here.