Beyond Seattle
October 12, 2005 6:26 PM   Subscribe

Are there any areas around Seattle worth checking out while I'm visiting Seattle. My trip is partially for vacation and partially to see if it is an area I might like to move to. Will it be worthwhile to check out neighboring areas like Kirkland and/or Redmond? Which areas should I check out and what spots are worth visiting beyond the touristy areas in seattle? I'd love to hear some suggestions for fun and interesting things to experience in neighboring areas and seattle neighborhoods outside of downtown seattle.
posted by necessitas to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It's not so much the outlying 'hoods as it is the mountains and the water. Take a daytrip on a ferry, or something. Drive to Mt. Rainier. It is the rainy season, and you'll be getting us in our wetness.

Are you here to interview, or just scouting? Adobe has a big campus in Fremont, which is still a fun place but overrun with cash, to its' detriment. Ballard is in the last throes of gentrification and consequently has a happy mix of fusty and hip. Closer in, my neighborhood, Capitol Hill, has partially gone to seed, but is still populated by the young, the fab, and the fey.

I can't speak to the charms of the U, really, and while I like Wallingford plenty, it ain't for reasons that you'd be interested in, prolly. I believe neglected Belltown, downtown, Pioneer Square, and Queen Anne. Others will be along shortly to rectify my terseness.
posted by mwhybark at 6:42 PM on October 12, 2005

Take the downtown ferry to Bainbridge Island and the rest of the Kitsap Peninsula. Visit the winery. Check out beautiful beaches at Faye Bainbridge Park and in nearby Suquamish. If you're into Scandinavian food, check out Poulsbo, Washington's Little Norway.
posted by jeffmshaw at 6:45 PM on October 12, 2005

I'm a student at the University of Washington and the campus is very nice. As someone mentioned before, you can rent kayaks and canoes to take out on the lake, and they offer walking tours every day (lots of pretty architecture, etc). Ballard is a funky little area if you want to look around at shops, etc.
posted by rossination at 8:06 PM on October 12, 2005

Pike's Market Place at the waterfront and Ivar's Salmon House (the most awesome alder cooked salmon anywhere!) are two "must" stops on any visit to Seattle along with boat tours of the gorgeous Puget Sound and surrounding area. Have fun and be sure to enjoy all the delicious treats in the Pacific Northwest! :-)
posted by thebarron at 8:29 PM on October 12, 2005

There have been a couple of What to Do in Seattle threads recently. They are pretty good for starters. If you can give some more specific info about your interests, maybe we can be more useful. For instance, what is it about the area that is making you consider moving here?
posted by Hildago at 8:37 PM on October 12, 2005

If you call the Pike Place Market Pike's Market, we know you're not a native. ;)

I would suggest that if you are looking for interesting neighborhoods to live in, don't neglect the south part of town, like Beacon Hill. Lots of people come here and have a North-of-Lake-Union-Only! sort of attitude, but south Seattle has a lot of great opportunities, neat old Craftsman houses, and cheaper prices, too.

Someone mentioned Ivar's Salmon House -- the view there is awesome and the salmon is good -- but the restaurant is otherwise not great. That doesn't mean you shouldn't go there anyway. :) Just don't expect world-class. (The Space Needle also has the reputation of great view/mediocre food, but they are trying to get past that... I haven't been there in years, so I don't know if that's been successful.)
posted by litlnemo at 1:08 AM on October 13, 2005

Will it be worthwhile to check out neighboring areas like Kirkland and/or Redmond? [(for housing)
Not unless you're a millionare.
But a fun thing to do is to is to travel over there and visit the Chatteau de St. Michelle Winery, they have tours very frequently and is in a pretty area where you can take a picnic or just taste some great wine (reds, merlot) or buy at a reasonable price. Also very closeby is the Red Hook brewery where the sampling is less generous but is an ok place to eat burgers and fresh brews. If you're looking to buy a house I would go N eastside such as Bothell is reasonable and a nice area. New condos can be had in seattle proper for 2-300k if your fast enough.
posted by uni verse at 8:46 AM on October 13, 2005

Close in, and presumably not just a list of hiking trails?

Snoqualmie Falls (southeast) is pretty impressive, though there's not much else around there and it's a 45-minute drive or so.

Up north (20 minutes), Snohomish is a cute little town. It's overrun with antiquers, but it's got some good shops and restaurants and a nice feel.

Check out all the major Seattle neighborhoods -- hell, even my little neighborhood of Greenwood, on the northern fringes, has some of the best Greek food and Burritos in town.

Discovery Park, for close-by nature

I second the complete lack of interest in the eastside. If you have to live there, live there, but there's nothing to _do_.

Farther afield, of course, there are the San Juan Islands and Vancouver.

But yeah, I think most of this has been said in the other Seattle threads.
posted by gurple at 9:17 AM on October 13, 2005

Oh, and just over an hour northeast, the town of Leavenworth is a weird, somewhat overcute little Bavarian tourist trap with excellent schnitzel and beer.
posted by gurple at 9:18 AM on October 13, 2005

just over an hour northeast, the town of Leavenworth, Seattle to Leavenworth:
Total Est. Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes Total Est. Distance: 124.65 miles

More to the point: Seattle in the summer is very different from Seattle in the winter; in October, the weather might be reasonably nice, or not. If you think you like the area, you should visit again in January, when the hours of daylight are short and rain and overcast skies are the most common.

Seattle has real transportation bottlenecks. For example, if you work downtown, whether or not you can afford to live in Redmond, the commute is sufficiently bad that this probably wouldn't be a good idea.

If you want really good answers about neighborhoods, I suggest you provide some more information. Where do you think you might be working? (Or even what type of job would you be looking for?) Do you want to live in an apartment in a neighborhood where lots of things are open late at night, or are you looking for a detached house in a quiet neighborhood where you can walk to stores? Do you bike or hike or kayak, and if so, is that relevant?
posted by WestCoaster at 9:53 AM on October 13, 2005

Gurple: Actually snoqualmie falls can be combined with the Ch.St.M winery I mentioned earlier, for a good day trip, I forgot to mention them together. No, I don't work there, but I might like drinking alot. Its a sociable crowd, kind of mix of tourist and boomers, but good times. Glug Glug. Of course if you want the "seattle experience" I would say go to Pioneer square on sat night for some jazz at doc maynords, but that feels played out - the buzz is usually in bell town (read close to space needle 1st ave) at night, at Down Under or others. If you go that area you can experience the Experience Music Project (next to space needle) before hand, and eat at Teatro Zinzani ($$$$) or have sushi at Saito's ($$) 2121 2nd ave. YUM!.
posted by uni verse at 5:10 PM on October 13, 2005

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