Despite the city’s many hills, Seattle is an excellent destination to explore on foot. Whether walking to work or for pleasure, Seattle’s sidewalks and trails will get you there. Walking may be the ideal means of transportation in Seattle, given the traffic, steep hills, and crumbling roadways. We believe that walkable communities with public transit, shorter commutes, and accessibility to the people and things you care about are the key to a happier, healthier, and more sustainable existence. Seattle has a vociferous, politically active citizenry that is only concerned with keeping the city pedestrian, bicycle, and transit-friendly as it grows. Here are Seattle’s most walkable neighborhoods.
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Ballard has a Walk Score of 87, making it one of the city’s most charming and walkable historic neighborhoods. Ballard residents don’t need a car to get about daily. Ballard residents never have to sit in traffic to access the basics, thanks to food stores (Safeway, Walgreens, Ballard Market), mail (Sip and Ship, Ballard Mailbox, and the Post Office), the Ballard Branch Library, multiple parks, and schools. Ballard has shed its image as a tranquil fishing community for families and first-time homebuyers. Additional condos and apartment complexes are springing up along major thoroughfares such as Market Street and 15th Avenue, bringing over 1,000 new housing units to the neighborhood.
Downtown Seattle is very walkable if you don’t mind hills. Downtown has a virtually perfect Walk Score of 99 due to its proximity to stores, businesses, and public transportation. Spend the afternoon looking around the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). The historic Triple Door Theater offers live entertainment. Benaroya Hall will host a classical performance by the Seattle Symphony. Whatever you do, Downtown is bursting at the seams with arts and culture.
Belltown, which borders Downtown, is Seattle’s third most walkable area. This neighborhood is also conveniently located near the Puget Sound coastline, the Seattle Center, and Amazon-land in South Lake Union. Belltown is famous for its famed music and arts scene, intertwined with high-rise apartments and sophisticated cafés. Daytime activities include Olympic Sculpture Park, Myrtle Edwards Park, and the Elliot Bay Trail, while you can find nightlife on First and Second Avenues.
South Lake Union
South Lake Union (SLU) has become an excellent location for living, working, and playing. Its spot at the south end of Lake Union is ideal for water enthusiasts, with opportunities for stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, boating, and even a seaplane ride. Runners and bikers can also take the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop, and culture buffs can visit the Wooden Boats Center and the Museum of History & Industry. SLU has many restaurants, pubs, and shops, including the only Whole Foods Market downtown.
Queen Anne is another famous “hill” in Seattle, with many spots to walk up top on Queen Anne Street and in Lower Queen Anne alongside Mercer Street. Lower Queen Anne is notable for the Seattle Center, which houses the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center, Chihuly Garden & Glass, the Museum of Pop Culture, and several performing arts centers. Greater Queen Anne is an ideal neighborhood for walkers, runners, bikers, and water enthusiasts due to its location between Lake Union and Puget Sound and along various paths.
Fremont is the furthest away from downtown Seattle, but it is still walkable. The Fremont Troll, Fremont Brewing’s Urban Beer Garden, and closeness to Gas Works Park highlight this walkable area. It is also well-known for the numerous pubs, restaurants, and other places to visit that you can find along North 34th and 36th Streets, Fremont Avenue, and Stone Way. Fremont’s northeast corner borders Ballard’s primary brewery sector, and its southern border is a 1.6-mile stretch of the renowned Burke-Gilman Trail.
Edmonds has Seattle’s most walkable Downtown. The city is well-known for its arts and culture, and it also has galleries, the Edmonds Center for the Arts, and the Cascade Symphony, which hosts concerts and theater productions. Historic and contemporary buildings coexist along the tree-lined lanes of downtown Edmonds, with benches strategically placed to encourage lingering. Wipes highlights include the old-fashioned movie theater [Edmonds Theater], the Saturday farmers market, which runs from May to October, and the Salish Crossing complex, which comprises the Northwest Art Museum, restaurants, a wine shop, and a distillery.
Capitol Hill is Seattle’s creative, young, LGBTQ-friendly hub and one of the city’s most vibrant nightlife and entertainment zones. This historically working-class neighbourhood has long been a haven for artists and the homosexual community, and it is now experiencing another transition that has attracted preppy, young partygoers. Gentrification has generated some friction recently, but if you’re outgoing and open-minded, it’s still a terrific place to live. Capitol Hill is a walker’s paradise, with streets packed with movie theaters, coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and music venues. Mamnoon serves delicious Lebanese and Syrian cuisine. Adana serves Japanese comfort food. At Hula Hula Lounge, try out the karaoke machine. Grab a cup of Ghost Note or Capitol Coffee Works on your way to work.
Pioneer Square is one of Seattle’s walking neighborhoods. Pioneer Square, the region where Seattle originated in the mid-nineteenth century, had phases of boom and near-bust before a period of preservation saved and transformed the area. Today, it is Seattle’s most historic neighborhood, with notable landmarks such as the Pioneer Building near Occidental Park, the Smith Tower, a Victorian-style wrought-iron pergola that initially originated in 1909, and multiple totem poles of varying heights. It also houses the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and several noteworthy exhibitions.
Kirkland is one of the Seattle neighborhoods with the most walkable Downtown. Long-standing favorites thrive, and modifications to some structures have introduced a more contemporary architectural style. Kirkland is still a picturesque lakeside town, with sidewalks along Lake Washington Boulevard accented by parks and luxury waterfront condos attracting swarms of walkers and runners, who inevitably end up in the close Downtown crammed with stores, restaurants, and galleries.
Other downtown amenities in Kirkland include the Kirkland Performance Center, which hosts famous theater and music shows, the upscale Heathman Hotel; Marina Park, which hosts summer concerts and serves as the departure point for some Argosy boat tours. A community center and outdoor pool; and Kirkland Urban, a mixed-use shopping center under construction on the eastern edge of Kirkland, are also present.
With 4,635 residents, Windermere is one of Seattle’s most walkable neighborhoods. Quality of life is subjective and can be affected by various factors. While some house buyers choose a walkable city with plenty of things to do nearby, others prefer the suburbs with their serene streets, peace, and access to open areas and wildlife. Being car-dependent is undesirable to some, while a reasonable journey time to their favorite weekend hangout is a dream come true for others. Windermere is in King County and is one of Washington’s most excellent places to live. Windermere residents enjoy an urban-suburban mix, and the majority own their houses.