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This article was originally written on July 15, 2022 and updated on April 17, 2024

There is no place on earth quite like Seattle, Washington.

Where else can you find pristine hiking trails within a stone’s throw of amazing coffee shops; where outdoor activities are within walking distance of great restaurants? Not only does the Emerald City have something for everyone, each of its diverse neighborhoods manages to offer access to nature, culture, and community.

Whether you’re drawn to the bustling downtown area near Pike Place Market, the serene waterfronts of Puget Sound, or the majestic views of the Olympic Mountains, Seattle is a great location to call home.

If you’re thinking about moving to Seattle in the future, or just considering a new property in the city you already love, you need to check out the following neighborhoods to decide which is best for you and your family.

The Best Neighborhoods Seattle Has To Offer

Community events, the best schools, great public transportation or fresh seafood — whatever your priority, Seattle’s Mortgage Broker includes it all in this comprehensive list of Seattle’s best neighborhoods.

Greenwood – A Great Place to Raise a Family

Location:

  • North Seattle

Median Home Price:

  • $685,000

Greenwood is particularly appealing to families with younger kids, due to the quiet roads which are rarely jammed with traffic. The lack of busy streets is due in large part to having so many attractions, amenities, and cool spots all within short walking distance. Most locals know Greenwood for its shops, catering facilities, and great restaurants — perfect for family dining.

This neighborhood is a particularly desirable one within Seattle, so finding an experienced broker is vital to securing a property. You’ll also have to be decisive and willing to move fast in order to find the perfect location and beat out the competition.

Queen Anne – A Scenic Locale with Easy Access to the City Center

Location:

  • Central Seattle

Median Home Price:

  • $895,000 – Upper Queen Anne
  • $485,000 – Lower Queen Anne

Queen Anne is one of Seattle’s premier neighborhoods, known for its stunning views from Kerry Park and how its two sections offer the best of both worlds: the serene Upper Queen Anne and the trendier Lower Queen Anne.

This neighborhood is just a short distance away from Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square, offering easy access to Seattle’s core via public transit. Upper Queen Anne, with its grand Victorian homes, and Lower Queen Anne, a hub for young professionals seeking stylish apartments and condos with low housing costs, both provide a great mix of residential comfort and urban convenience.

Similar to Greenwood, Queen Anne is a location that can easily be traversed by foot. The downtown Seattle area can be accessed in just a few minutes from most places within the neighborhood.

South Lake Union – Seattle’s Thriving Tech Hub and Urban Playground

Location:

  • Central Seattle

Median Home Price:

  • $685,000

Located just to the West of Capitol Hill, this neighborhood has traditionally offered some of the best value in terms of housing costs in the Seattle market, but interest in the neighborhood has increased significantly of late. It’s perhaps best known for housing the Amazon headquarters, which establishes South Lake as one of the most technologically advanced places to live in Seattle.

The area is also full of condos with public transit that connects to the city’s light rail system, making it ideal for a younger demographic. However, this neighborhood is also relatively quiet so would be a great destination for a family looking for a home.

South Lake has a modern aesthetic, but features several touches of old Seattle architecture still visible throughout.

Capitol Hill – The Heart of Seattle’s Music Scene and Coffee Shops

Location:

  • Central Seattle

Median Home Price:

  • $590,000

Capitol Hill, affectionately known as Cap Hill, stands out as one of Seattle’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Whether you prefer to call it Capitol Hill or Cap Hill, the neighborhood remains a cultural hotspot with a thriving music scene, numerous coffee shops, and a youthful vibe that attracts many young professionals.

Its eclectic mix of restaurants and bars makes it the epitome of city life. But just in case you want to experience more of the city center, Capitol Hill is also in close proximity to downtown Seattle, Pike Place Market, and Pioneer Square. Its light rail station, called Capitol Hill Station, makes it easy to access any part of Seattle you like.

While this area is busy, Capitol Hill offers a dynamic urban environment that’s still relatively affordable, all with a level of safety higher than some other areas that are not included on this list. As mentioned, the Capitol Hill neighborhood lends itself to young professionals in particular, with a lively and friendly atmosphere.  If you like to socialize, the bars and clubs are likely to make Capitol Hill your favorite neighborhood.

Fremont – The Center of the Universe

Location:

  • North Seattle

Median Home Price:

  • $855,000

When most locals think of Fremont, they’re likely to mention an infamous sign on a traffic island that claims the neighborhood to be the “Center of the Universe” or an equally infamous public sculpture called “The Fremont Troll.” The cheeky signpost and colossal statue confirms this area is best known for its artsy vibe.

It’s a hub for indie coffee shops, bars, and unique small businesses. The neighborhood’s proximity to Gas Works Park and Lake Union provides ample outdoor activities, while its diverse range of housing options makes it appealing to a broad spectrum of residents.

Being among the most laid-back areas in Seattle, Fremont is incredibly walkable and features public transit connections via bus. It houses a variety of places to socialize with friends and family — both indoors and outside. And its annual Solstice Parade brings the entire city to Fremont once a year.

This area also offers a variety of unique attractions, making it ideal for those who enjoy a unique lifestyle.

Ballard – A Rich Maritime Heritage with a Modern Twist

Location:

  • North Seattle

Median Home Price:

  • $850,000

Originally a Scandinavian fishing village, Ballard has retained its maritime charm while evolving into one of Seattle’s most sought-after residential areas. It’s known for the Ballard Locks and vibrant nightlife. You can find a large number of distilleries and breweries, in addition to plenty of wonderful places to eat.

The neighborhood is ideal for families, thanks to its excellent schools and safe environment. Ballard combines a rich cultural heritage with modern amenities, making it a great neighborhood for those who appreciate both history and contemporary living.

Leschi: Lakeside Living with Stunning Natural Beauty

Location:

  • Central Seattle

Median Home Price:

  • $825,000

Put simply, Leschi is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Seattle. Another area that can easily be accessed by foot and public transit (via the Route 27 bus), this neighborhood is loaded with beauty at every turn.

Leschi is located on Lake Washington and has a rich culture of boating, adding further character to this stunning area. While there isn’t an abundance of shops, it is among the quietest places to live in Seattle. As a result, it is a highly sought-after location for family life.

Columbia City – A Melting Pot of Cultures

Location:

  • South Seattle

Median Home Price:

  • $800,000

Columbia City is a vibrant community rich in diversity and history. Also located near Lake Washington, Columbia City offers a mix of historic charm and modern conveniences.

The neighborhood is well-connected by light rail, making it easy to commute to and from downtown Seattle. Its blend of restaurants, local shops, and cultural events makes it a lively and welcoming place to live for young professionals, families, and just about anyone else.

It should be noted, however, that this area is experiencing a boom in terms of real estate, with housing costs going up significantly of late — making it all the more important to connect with a local broker to find you the best financing deal possible for this neighborhood.

West Seattle – A Relaxed Area with Downtown Seattle Access

Location:

  • West Seattle

Median Home Price:

  • $755,000

West Seattle is renowned for its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful natural settings, including Alki Beach and the West Seattle Junction. It’s a community-oriented neighborhood with quick access to downtown via the West Seattle Bridge or water taxi.

In addition to Alki Beach, the West Seattle area boasts a variety of funky shops and amazing restaurants. In terms of housing costs, West Seattle has seen a recent increase, but its overall value still makes it an excellent consideration for those looking for a slower-paced lifestyle but still within reach of the city buzz.

Beacon Hill – A Hidden Gem with Great Connectivity

Location:

  • South Seattle

Median Home Price:

  • $660,000

Beacon Hill is known for its excellent public transit options, including several light rail stations. The Beacon Hill neighborhood offers a quieter, more affordable alternative to the bustling city center while maintaining quick access to downtown Seattle.

Beacon Hill is a great choice for families and young professionals alike, with its friendly atmosphere and growing number of eateries and shops.

The Nicest Neighborhoods In Seattle to Live

We hope this article has helped you identify a neighborhood in Seattle that fits your preferences, family situation and budget.

While each area combines urban conveniences with outdoor amenities, every neighborhood also brings its own unique set of benefits for consideration. Another key difference between the neighborhoods listed above is the price point (described as of April, 2024), so evaluating your budget is key before making any decision.

To find fast financing customized to your specific financial situation, reach out to Seattle’s Mortgage Broker today — and close the deal on the dream home in your favorite Seattle neighborhood.

About the Author

Helping Seattleites buy their dream homes for over 15 years. Founder of Seattle's Mortgage Broker and author of Homeownership Simplified: The Truth about ZERO Down.