Where to Stay in Seattle First Time 2023 – 14 Best Areas

Where to stay in Seattle without a car, for first time? family, couple, nightlife? In this blog post, I will help you to decide the best areas to stay in Seattle (include map and video), the best hotels in Seattle for all budgets and the safest places to stay in Seattle.

Seattle is the largest city in not just the state of Washington but the entire Pacific Northwest. Located on the shores of Puget Sound, it is filled with tourist attractions, luxury hotels, and iconic locations, such as the Space Needle.

Seattle is overall a safe city for tourists. But, as in any big city, it always important to practice common-sense safety precautions, and stick to well-lit and populated neighborhoods.

Downtown Seattle, Belltown, Queen Anne are some of the safest neighborhods in Seattle for tourist. While Seattle is relatively safe, it’s still essential to keep an eye on your belongings, stay aware of your surroundings, and avoid poorly lit or deserted areas at night.

Where to stay in Seattle first time?

The best areas to stay in Seattle for first-timers are Downtown Seattle, Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, Belltown, Seattle Center, Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, and South Lake Union. These are popular neighborhoods for tourists that offer a wide variety of attractions and amenities.

Downtown Seattle is the overall best place for first-time visitors due to its proximity to the city’s top tourist attractions and many choices in accommodations. If you book hotel here, you will be in the midde of everything, within walking distance to many shops, bars, and restaurants.

Downtown Seattle is the best place to stay in Seattle without a car. Downtown is walkable and well-connected to public transportation, making it the best area for car-free travelers. Downtown encompasses the areas of Pioneer Square, Belltown, and Pike Place Market.

Capitol Hill also has some wealthy parts, although they aren’t as abundant as in Queen Anne. It is, however, the best place to stay for fans of Oriental culture. Woodinville provides a classier experience. While not as expensive, the price comes from its location outside the city limits.

Map of best areas and neighborhoods to stay in Seattle:

Map of the best areas to stay in Seattle first time
Map of the best areas to stay in Seattle first time

How to get around Seattle without a car?

Getting around Seattle without a car is quite manageable, thanks to the city’s well-developed public transportation system, walkability, and other alternative transportation options.

Here are some ways to navigate Seattle without a car:


The King County Metro Transit operates an extensive bus network in Seattle and the surrounding areas. You can use the OneBusAway app or website to check routes, schedules, and real-time arrival information.

Light Rail: 

Seattle has a Link Light Rail that links downtown Seattle with the airport and other neighbourhoods. It’s a convenient way to get around the city.


The Seattle Streetcar serves the South Lake Union and First Hill neighbourhoods.


Seattle has a growing network of bike lanes and bike-sharing programs. You can rent bikes through services like Lime, JUMP, or use bike-sharing programs like Pronto.


Many neighbourhoods in Seattle, especially in the downtown area, are very walkable. You can explore local shops, parks, and attractions on foot.


Seattle is surrounded by water, and there are several ferry routes that can take you to nearby islands and other destinations. The Washington State Ferries system is extensive and offers both passenger and vehicle service.

Ridesharing/ Taxis:

Services like Uber and Lyft are widely available in Seattle, and they can be a convenient way to get around if you prefer not to use public transportation.

Traditional taxis are still an option in Seattle, although they are less common than ridesharing services.

Seattle also has water taxi services that can take you across Elliott Bay to West Seattle and other destinations.

Car Rentals and Car-sharing:

While you’re trying to avoid owning a car, you can still rent a car for occasional needs through traditional car rental agencies or use car-sharing services like Zipcar.

Sound Transit:

In addition to the Link Light Rail, Sound Transit operates commuter trains and express buses that connect Seattle with its suburbs and neighbouring cities.


The Seattle Center Monorail runs between downtown and the Seattle Center, home to the Space Needle and various museums.

Remember that Seattle’s traffic can be congested, especially during peak hours, so using public transportation or alternative methods can save you time and stress. The city is generally very pedestrian-friendly, and there are many options for getting around without a car.

Best areas to stay in Seattle for first-time tourists are:

1. Downtown Seattle

Downtown, best area to stay in Seattle for first timers

Downtown is best overal area to stay in Seattle for first time travelers due to its prime location. It is filled with major attractions, some of the best luxury hotels, and a plethora of amenities like bars, shops, and restaurants, all walking distance apart.

Located on the shores of Elliot Bay, Downtown is home to Pioneer Square, Belltown, and Pike Place Market.

Among the most prominent attractions in Downtown Seattle is the Seattle Art Museum. Established in 1933, it is home to more than 25,000 pieces, covering all different styles and eras, making a perfect stop for any fans of art or history.

In a similar vein, you also have the central branch of the Seattle Public Library. One of the most incredible buildings in the city and filled with more knowledge than you could learn in a lifetime, it is a fabulous destination for anyone interested in architecture or education.

Switching to attractions of a more traditional tourist nature, you have the Seattle Aquarium. Located on the Elliot Bay Trail, right on the Seattle waterfront, the aquarium opened in 1977 and receives almost 1 million visitors each year.

Containing a collection of marine life that includes seals, otters, octopuses, seahorses, puffins, and all manner of fish, it is a fabulous way to learn about these creatures, at a non-profit organization designed to help and protect them.

You even have the Washington State Convention Center, located in the east section of Downtown Seattle. Opened in 1988, it hosts some of the biggest events in the city and even has its own light rail station to provide convenient access.

Among the most popular events hosted here are Emerald City Comic Con, PAX West, Sakura-Con, and the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. All of this is without even mentioning the convenience offered by the central location of the Downtown area. 

The Downtown’s waterfront area is also home to 157 foot tall Seattle Great Wheel on Pier 57 which has forty-two gondolas; Argosy Cruises where you can take a sightseeing boat tour around  Elliott Bay and Lake Union to explore the Salish Sea; and plenty of seafood restaurants.

Other places of interest in Downtown are the Starbucks Reserve & Roastery, Paramount Theater, Pacific Place Shopping Center, Seattle Pinball Museum, Westlake Center, and The Gum Wall.

Surrounded by many of the other top districts in the city, as well as offering views of the Space Needle, Olympic Mountains, and Seattle skyline, it makes Downtown a perfect for those wanting to do a little bit of everything during their visit.

Being centrally located and well-connected public transportations with light Rail, buses, monorails, streetcars, Downtown is the best place to stay in Seattle without a car.

Downtown has a wide range of accommodation options from budget hotels to luxury hotels that cater for every of travelers families, couples, business travelers, and Alaskan cruise vacationers.

Stay in Downtown if you are a first-time traveler; you want to be situated in the city center; you are traveling without a car;

Best places to stay in Seattle Downtown:

luxury ($$$): Grand Hyatt Seattle, 5-star hotel is located within a short drive from the Space Needle, the Experience Music Project, and Pike Place Market. It has modern guest rooms, a business center, fitness center, on-site restaurant, on-site car parking, and health club.

mid-range ($$): The Paramount Hotel, 4-star hotel has a fitness center, a restaurant, private car parking, free WiFi, rooms with modern furnishings. It is close to the Paramount Theater, Washington State Convention Center, and shopping at Westlake Center.

budget ($): Hyatt House Seattle Downtown, 3-star hotel offers on-site bar, a private car parking, air-conditioned guest rooms with a terrace, and a coffee machine. The hotel is within walking distance from the Museum of Pop Culture and the Olympic Sculpture Park.


2. Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square along with Pike Place Market and Belltown is one of three subdistricts of Downtown. Centrally located immediately south of the very center of the district, it is the oldest neighborhood in the city.

Containing a denser collection of attractions than perhaps anywhere else in the city, Pioneer Square is one of the best place for those traveling without a car, who want plenty of things to do within walking distance.

Pioneer Square is home to Waterfall Garden Park. The Waterfall Garden Park is located on the grounds of the original UPS building and was created in 1978. The park is 60 feet by 80 feet and its central feature is a 22-foot waterfall that pumps 5,000 gallons of water per minute. The running of the waterfall makes it “one of the most expensive parks per square foot ever built in the United States”.

Next to the UPS park, you will find the Occidental Square with the shade of London Plane trees and surrounding outdoor cafes, it is a vibrant place to gather. Within a short walk away, you will find the Smith Tower, the oldest skyscraper in Seattle.

Seattle was a stopover on the rush to find gold in Alaska, to learn more about Seattle’s history in the frenzy of the Gold Rush days, head to the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

Another of Pioneer Square’s popular attractions is its Underground Tour. Pioneer Square is built on a network of tunnels that were constructed in the mid-19th century. Between the late 1800s and early 1900s, a combination of the Great Seattle Fire and Bubonic Plague caused them to be abandoned.

While most have been left to dilapidate, some sections have been made safe for the public to venture into. Since the late ’60s, tours have been taken around these sections, making Pioneer Square a great place to stay in Seattle for those who want to explore its darker past.

For those who simply want lively nightlife, Pioneer Square is also the location of Seattle’s oldest bar. Now, while three bars all claim to be the oldest; Merchant’s Café & Saloon, Central Saloon, and The J&M Café & Cardroom, all of them are located in Pioneer Square.

This makes Pioneer Square a great opportunity to take in some history and culture while having a drink. As there’s no conclusive proof as to which is truly the oldest, I guess you will just have to try them all out, to be certain you visited the right one.

If you head to the east of Pioneer Square, you’ll find the International District. Containing the city’s Chinatown, Japantown, and Little Saigon neighborhoods, it is a fabulous destination for those interested in Oriental culture or cuisine.

Meanwhile, Pioneer Square is also one of the best places to stay in Seattle for those wanting to visit Olympic National Park. Home to the Olympic Mountains, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful areas in the entire Pacific Northwest.

Pioneer Square is also great for sports lovers within walking distance to the multi-purpose stadium Lumen Field which is the Home of the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders FC, and T-Mobile Park which is home to the Seattle Mariners and hosts 81 baseball games a year.

Pioneer Square is also a great base for day trips, as it’s very close to the Washington State ferries and Seattle’s King Street Amtrak station which is convenient links to Sound Transit commuter rail, Sound Transit Link light rail, local and regional buses, and the First Hill Seattle Streetcar.

Stay in Pioneer Square if you want incredible nightlife; you come for sports and games; you don’t plan to hire a car; you are interested in history;

Best places to stay in Pioneer Square:


3. Pike Place Market

 Pike Place Market, one of Seattle’s most popular tourist areas

The Pike Place Market district is subdistrict of Downtown and is centered around the famous Pike Place Market itself. The Pike Place Market opened in 1907 and is one of the oldest farmers’ markets in the country to have remained in continuous operation.

Located right on the waterfront, Pike Place Market is one of Seattle’s most popular tourist destinations and the 33rd most visited in the world, with more than 10 million visitors making the trip to Pike Place Market each year.

Pike Place Market has people of various trades working within it, including farmers, fishermen, craftsmen, and merchants. Set over multiple levels, a variety of unique shops, including comic book stores, antique dealers, fishmongers, head shops, and fresh produce stalls, make Pike Place Market a great place to browse, no matter what you are looking for.

Pike Place Market isn’t solely a place to go shopping either. For starters, there are also a number of restaurants located within Pike Place Market. Run primarily by local families, it makes Pike Place Market the ideal place to sample the best authentic Seattle cuisine, made from locally sourced produce.

Then you have the entertainment and attractions on offer in Pike Place Market as well. With everything from buskers to fish throwing, you will find the inhabitants of Pike Place Market always have a way to bring a smile to your face.

Pike Place Market isn’t just for tourists either, as many people actually live within the market. With almost 500 residents living in 8 separate buildings, it makes Pike Place Market a truly central part of the community.

You combine all of this with the ease of access it provides to the other areas of Downtown and it becomes clear why Pike Place Market is a popular place to stay in Seattle for all manner of different visitors.

Stay in Pike Place Market if you are a fan of shopping; you want to try authentic, local cuisine; you want to be within walking distance of all the other areas and amenities of Downtown.

Best places to stay in Pike Place Market:


4. Belltown

Belltown along with Pioneer Square and Pike Place Market is the best place to stay in Seattle without a car. Belltown is Downtown subdistricts, located immediately north of Pike Place Market. If you stay here, you will be able to find affordable accommodation within walking distance of some of the most popular attractions and amenities in the city.

Belltown is home to the Olympic Sculpture Park. Opened in 2007, the park acts as a 9-acre, outdoor museum. Offering free admission to all, it features numerous modern and contemporary sculptures, as well as rotating exhibits donated by the Seattle Art Museum which runs it. It even has its own beach on the Puget Sound, where you can relax and take in some of the stunning scenery.

With attractions like these, the beautiful waterfront views, and convenient access to the rest of the city center, it makes Belltown an ideal choice for anyone who wants to explore Seattle, without spending a fortune.  

Belltown also offers a vibrant nightlife with plenty of trendy restaurants, boutiques, late-night bars, Jazz clubs. It can get a bit rowdy and loud.

Stay in Belltown if you are traveling on a budget; you want lively nightlife; you want a central location; you want beautiful views of the Seattle waterfront.

Best places to stay in Belltown:


5. Seattle Center

Seattle Center - Uptown, where to stay in Seattle for families

Located immediately to the north of Downtown, the Seattle Center is actually the name given to the entire area surrounding the famous Space Needle.

The Space Needle was built in 1961 for the 1962 World’s Fair. Standing over 600ft tall, it is one of the tallest structures in not just the city but the entire Pacific Northwest region. As one of, if not the, most iconic landmarks in Seattle, it has been visited by more than 50 million people since it opened.

The Space Needle also features a popular observation deck, some 520ft above ground. This gives visitors the chance to take in breath-taking views of not just the Seattle Skyline, but also the Puget Sound, Elliot Bay, Mount Baker, Mount Rainer, and the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges.

Surrounding the Space Needle, you also have a number of other attractions. First landmark is the Museum Of Pop Culture, which was opened in 2000 and hosts exhibits and performances relating to pop culture, including things like music, acting, science fiction, and much more.

Many of these pop-culture exhibits have garnered acclaim and awards, with 17 ending up touring internationally, as well as across the US. In addition to just pop culture, the Museum Of Pop Culture also contains the Science Fiction & Fantasy Hall Of Fame. Established in 2004, it features exhibits and is run by some of the most legendary names in the field.

There is also Seattle Children’s Museum, a unique establishment, displaying exhibits specifically aimed at young children, as well as featuring ample space to let them play. Meanwhile, the Pacific Science center is much more adult-oriented. Its mission is to help ignite curiosity and fuel a passion for discovery, experimentation, and critical thinking, with events and performances held on its 7.1-acre grounds.

In addition to point of interest around Seattle Center is the Chihuly Garden & Glass, as well as monuments, landmarks, a fountain, a playground, and an Amphitheater

On top of its attractions, its abundance of green spaces makes the Seattle Center a fabulous place to enjoy some time relaxing outdoors. There is even a Seattle Center light rail station on the monorail, making it incredibly easy to access from other parts of the city.

Stay in Seattle Center if you are traveling with families; you are a fan of science fiction and fantasy; you want to be close to Downtown Seattle.

Best places to stay in Seattle Center:


6. Queen Anne

Queen Anne, one of the most exclusive neighborhood in Seattle
The view of Seattle and Mt. Rainier from Kerry Park/ Gallant’s Photography

Lower Queen Anne along with Belltown, Downtown, and Ballard, is one of the safest area to stay in Seattle. Centrally located immediately next to Downtown, it offers easy access to Lake Union and Puget Sound. There are several buses run around the intersection of Mercer Street and Queen Anne Avenue North.

Queen Anne Hill quickly became a popular spot for the rich and wealthy after the settling of the city, due to the fabulous views available from atop it. It gets its name from the Queen Anne architectural style that many of the mansions and homes were built in.

Even today, Queen Anne remains one of the most exclusive parts of the city. Anyone wanting to stay in a historic hotel or trawl through boutique shops and fancy restaurants will be in their element here.

Queen Anne features a collection of 29 Seattle landmarks, including 12 historic houses, making it a fabulous stop for history buffs. However, beyond the buildings, Queen Anne also has a much more natural side as well.

At present, Queen Anne features 24 parks, including Kerry Park, Kinnear Park, Rachel’s Park, Queen Anne Bowl, West Queen Anne Playfield, as well as 2 cemeteries, Hills Of Eternity Cemetery and Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Perhaps the most popular among these is Kerry Park. While it is by no means the largest, at only 1.26 acres, it features some of the best views in the city. With the Puget Sound, Space Needle, Mount Rainer, and the entire Seattle Skyline visible, it makes the perfect choice to relax and take in the incredible landscape surrounding you.

You combine all of this with the fact that the attractions of Uptown are part of Queen Anne, as well it being located immediately next to Downtown, and it makes Queen Anne the ideal place to stay in Seattle for anyone looking for a little more class, without missing out on all of the best attractions.

Stay in Queen Anne if you are a fan of parks and breath-taking views; you prefer a more exclusive area; you want to stay in a safe neighborhood;

Best places to stay in Queen Anne:


7. Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill, vibrant, hip, LGBT-friendly area in Seattle

Capitol Hill is located to the northwest of Downtown Seattle and offers a diverse landscape, suitable for various different travelers to the city. Capitol Hill is a hipster neighborhood packed with bars, restaurants, boutiques, artisanal cafes, coffee houses, live music venues, and great nightlife.

Despite what the name suggests, Capitol Hill is not actually the location of the Washington State Capitol, which lies over 60 miles away, in the city of Olympia.

Capitol Hill in Seattle is instead known for a number of other reasons. Firstly, much like Queen Anne, Capitol Hill is home to one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Seattle. “Millionaire’s Row” features some of the most expensive housing in the city, surrounded by amenities to match its price tag.

Known as a hub of counterculture throughout the 20th century, Capitol Hill has also become the most prominent LGBT area in the city. In addition to being home to many in the community, Capitol Hill features a number of gay bars and is the epicenter of the city’s “Pride” festivities each year.

There is also a number of historic and cultural institutions located within Capitol Hill as well. The Harvard-Belmont Landmark District is listed on the National Register Of Historic Places for its abundance of early 20th-century architecture.

If buildings aren’t your thing, Capitol Hill also has a great collection of parks to be enjoyed. Interlaken Park, Cal Andersen Park, Louisa Boren Park, Roanoke Park, and Thomas Street Park are all great places to enjoy some time unwinding outdoors, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Of all the Capitol Hill parks though, Volunteer Park is undoubtedly the crown jewel. For starters, at almost 50 acres it is the second-largest park in Capitol Hill, making it a fabulous place to spend hours roaming outdoors. However, it is the attraction located within that makes it really stand out.

Boasting a conservatory, amphitheater, water tower, statues, memorials, and a reservoir, there is plenty for visitors to discover. On top of that, you also have the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

Housed in a beautiful Art Deco building, it features works and teaches about the history of art from all of the Southeast Asian countries. It is perhaps fitting then, that just north of the museum, in Lake View Cemetery, you can view the graves of Bruce and Brandon Lee, two of the biggest movie stars in the region. 

For those that want to expand their adventure to the Orient even further, you can travel just a short way east, outside of Capitol Hill, to the Seattle Japanese Garden. Covering 3.5 acres, it is considered one of the oldest and most authentic Japanese gardens in the entire United States.

Capitol Hill is also a great place for foodies where you can find Melrose Market, Needle and Thread Speakeasy, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, and the Jimi Hendrix statue.

Stay in capitol Hill if you are part of the LGBT community; you are a fan of Oriental culture; you want a selection of beautiful parks; you like historic architecture; you want to visit one of the wealthiest parts of the city.

Best places to stay in Capitol Hill:


8. South Lake Union

The South Lake Union Neighbourhood is sandwiched between Capitol Hill to the east, Downtown to the south, Queen Anne to the west, and Lake Union to the north. This already makes South Lake Union a fabulous place to stay in Seattle for anyone planning to explore all of those areas.

South Lake Union is an up-and-coming neighborhood and hi-tech hub where you can find major business headquarters such as Amazon and Microsoft. However, it is the latter of those areas that makes the South Lake Union district so attractive. On the south end of Lake Union, you will find Lake Union Park, the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), and The Center for Wooden Boats.

Lake Union Park covers 12 acres and is specifically designed to provide a place for people to enjoy the great outdoors, boasting beautiful green spaces, as well as Lake Union itself. Features such as fountains, bridges, a model boat pond, a history trail, boat launching facilities, and even a restored shoreline have been implemented to make Lake Union more enjoyable.

Whether you’re on an organized event or sailing out by yourself, Lake Union offers plenty of opportunities. Meanwhile, the park itself has trees, lawns, footpaths, benches, and facilities for events, allowing even those who aren’t fond of the water to have an enjoyable day out.

The Cascade neighborhood of South Lake Union boasts numerous historic buildings, many of which feature stunning architecture, such as the Saint Spiridon Orthodox Cathedral and the Immanuel Lutheran Church. While many of the historic buildings in South Lake Union no longer retain their original purposes, they are still a sight to behold.

It isn’t just the buildings of South Lake Union that offer a historical experience though. For starters, there are numerous historical ships docked around South Lake Union. This gives you the perfect opportunity to delve into the city’s maritime history as well.

South Lake Union is even the location of the oldest park in Seattle, Denny Park, meaning no matter what section of the city’s past you are interested in, you are sure to find something to please you.

If you are looking for where to stay in Seattle to best combine history, convenience, and outdoor activities, you simply have to take South Lake Union into consideration, given all it has to offer.

Stay in South Lake Union if you want to visit Lake Union or Lake Union Park; you want convenient access to the surrounding neighborhoods; you are interested in historical boats, buildings or parks.

Best places to stay in South Lake Union:


9. University District

The University District, also known as the U-District, is located just to the north of Capitol Hill, on the other side of Portage Bay. Named after the main campus of the University Of Washington, which is located here, the U District is unsurprisingly incredibly popular with students.

If you are looking for where to stay in Seattle to best experience the bohemian culture that often goes hand in hand with student-dominated areas, the University District is it.

Take for example the University Village Shopping Center. An open-air shopping mall, located at the heart of the University District, University Village features a combination of large chains and small boutiques, selling everything from home furnishings to gifts and fashionwear. It even features a number of its own restaurants, giving you the opportunity to take a break from shopping or recover after a long day trawling through the stores.

Beyond this, you have bars, nightclubs, brewpubs, and even a street fair. With many offering prices that are generally student-friendly, it makes the University District a great choice for anyone seeking to relax or go wild, as and when they choose, without breaking the bank.

There are also some museums and art galleries that are worth visiting such as Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Henry Art Gallery.

Stay in University District if you want to visit the University Village Shopping Centre; you are, or are visiting, a student at the University Of Washington; you enjoy the stereotypical student atmosphere; you are attending the street fair.

Best places to stay in University District:


10. Ballard

Ballard is located in northwest Seattle, looking out over the Puget Sound. It is located on the western border of all three of our previous destinations and is a fabulous choice for anyone who prefers to stay a little further from the city center.

It also offers a few charms and attractions that are unique exclusively to this part of Seattle. For instance, it has traditionally been home to a large Scandinavian, seafaring community. This creates a great opportunity to experience an entirely different culture and sample their foods and wares.

For those who really want to delve into it, you can learn more at the Nordic Museum. Having been founded in 1980, it has moved from place to place around the neighborhood, teaching about the past and the culture of the people who inhabit the area.

If you’re lucky enough to be traveling here around May 17th, you’ll also find the Ballard SeafoodFest and Norwegian Constitution Day celebrations in full swing. This will bring the culture of the area to life in a way most will only dream of seeing.

Even if you aren’t interested in the Scandinavian side of Seattle, attractions like the Ballard Locks, Shilshole Bay Marina, and Golden Gardens Park still make Ballard an enjoyable and relaxing place to stay in Seattle.


11. Fremont

Fremont is located on the other side of the Aurora Bridge from Queen Anne. It used to be referred to as the “Republic Of Fremont” and was well known for its counterculture. Many artists moved to the area to embrace the atmosphere and develop their latest works in friendly surroundings.

In recent years, the area has seen a lot of gentrification and this culture has become a lot less prominent, although it does still exist. However, many of the pieces of art the neighborhood was known for remain to this day.

You have the 18ft tall concrete sculpture of the Fremont Troll, the 16ft Fremont Rocket built at the height of the Cold War, the Waiting For The Interurban, which displays 6 people and a dog waiting for public transportation.

You even have a statue of Vladimir Lenin, salvaged from Slovakia after the fall of the Communist government. Beyond the art, you also have unique events, such as Troll-A-Ween and the Summer Solstice Parade & Pageant, which gained notoriety for its nude cyclists.

Attractions like these and many others make Fremont a great place to stay in Seattle for those seeking a wild, weird, and totally unique stay in the city.

12. Phinney Ridge

Phinney Ridge is located immediately to the north of Fremont, with its eastern boundary running around the western shore of Green Lake. I mention this, as it is Green Lake and the neighboring Woodland Park that draw the vast majority of visitors to Phinney Ridge.

With a near 3-mile path running around its shore, Green Lake is a popular destination for hikers, cyclists, roller skaters, etc. Numerous species of birds and fish, as well as mammals like rabbits, make it a great way to spend time outdoors and do some wildlife spotting.

The wildlife then continues into the 91-acre Woodland Park, where turtles, rats, coyotes, squirrels, beavers, and a number of reptiles and amphibians are added to the mix. If that isn’t enough, it even features the Woodland Park Zoo, to give you the opportunity to see something a little more exotic.

Don’t fret if wildlife isn’t your thing though, as there are plenty of other facilities available for you to enjoy at both the park and the lake. 

With mini-golf, monuments, sports clubs, picnic spots, pools, piers, boating activities, and swimming areas, east Phinney Ridge is a fabulous place to enjoy the great outdoors during your stay in Seattle.

13. Greenwood

On the north edge of Phinney Ridge, you will find the neighborhood of Greenwood. Fairly detached from the center of the city, it offers a much more relaxed experience than you’ll find elsewhere.

Numerous bars, restaurants, coffee shops, theatres, and stores are present throughout Greenwood, offering an incredible range of things to do and see. No matter your budget, you will have plenty of entertainment, without having to be surrounded by mobs of tourists the whole time.

The only time Greenwood gets really busy is in the middle of summer, between late June and the end of July. This is due to a pair of festivals that are held in the neighborhood during this time.

The Greenwood Classic Car Show is held on the last Saturday in June, while the Greenwood Seafair Parade takes place on the 4th Wednesday in July. Both bring tens of thousands of visitors to the neighborhood, meaning that, while it’s great for business and a unique experience, it isn’t the best time for those looking for a peaceful break. 

14. Woodinville

Woodinville is actually a separate city, located on the other side of Lake Washington. While this may sound a strange inclusion in an article focusing on where to stay in Seattle, it has plenty to offer for the right visitor. This is the sort of place best suited to those who want to explore Seattle but would prefer to stay in a slightly more remote and refined destination.

With numerous waterfront parks and densely wooded areas, it is a fabulous choice for those who love the great outdoors. Whether you want to go on an adventure or simply enjoy the natural beauty, you are sure to find areas to suit your taste here.

If you are more about simple relaxation, there is also a winery and brewery with expansive grounds for you to enjoy. I mean, what better way to try out the local beer and wine than by sampling it on the very grounds it was made.

Woodinville certainly won’t be the ideal place for everyone to stay in Seattle, due to how far from the city center it is located. However, if you’re looking for a different way to experience the city and its larger region, it is a fabulous yet unheralded option.

Where should I stay in Seattle for the first time?

Downtown is the best place to stay in Seattle for first-timers due to its prime location. If you stay here, you will be located within easy access to attractions, as well as restaurants, bars, and shops.

What are the best areas to stay in Seattle?

Downtown, Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, Belltown, Seattle Center, Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, and South Lake Union are the best areas to stay in Seattle because they are the most popular areas for tourists that offer many things to do and see.

Where to stay in Seattle without a car?

Downtown Seattle, Belltown, Pioneer Square, and Pike Place Market are the best areas to stay in Seattle without a car. They are walkable, central, and well-connected public transport. You can easily get around on foot, by Link Light Rail, Monorails, buses, taxis, Uber, and Lyft.

Where to stay in Seattle with a car?

Most hotels in Downtown Seattle have parking with a fee. If you are looking for a hotel with free car parking in Seattle, look into The Grove West Seattle Inn or Georgetown Inn Seattle.

What is the safest area to stay in Seattle?

Downtown neighborhoods, Queen Anne, and Ballard are some of the safest places to stay in Seattle for tourists. Downtown is very popular for tourists, but it is recommended to always practice common sense as you travel to any big city. 

Where not to stay in Seattle?

I recommend avoiding The Jungle with lots of homeless, the area between Pike and Pine Street, as well as the area in Belltown between Blanchard and Bell at night.

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In conclusion, Downtown, Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, Belltown, Seattle Center, Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, and South Lake Union are the best places to stay in Seattle for tourists and first-time travelers. They offers plenty of hotel options for all budget travelers.

Overall, Downtown is the best area to stay in Seatlle for first-timers. Downtown is the heart of the city and is the most convenient location to see attractions. If you stay here, you will be located within walking distance to tourist attractions as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

So, all that’s left is to go and start getting things booked, so you can look forward to uncovering its wonders for yourself as soon as possible.

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