Good walks in Seattle?
November 24, 2007 9:19 AM   Subscribe

I'm in the Seattle area for the weekend (thanks, Microsoft!) and I have all day tomorrow to see the city by myself. My favorite way to see a city is by walking around it: does anyone have suggestions of good walking routes?
posted by goingonit to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
This from The Seattle Times. Totally agree with b1tr0t, but know nothing about interviews...check out the underground tour. Beautiful city, but hilly.
posted by JABof72 at 9:52 AM on November 24, 2007

The area within the red boundary provides free bus transit, if you want to explore the areas between the International District and Pike Place Market without walking or paying for a cab.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:01 AM on November 24, 2007

The waterfront is pretty happening these days, especially with the new outdoor sculpture park at the north end. And you can zig-zag into downtown and then back out again to see Pike Place Market, too.

posted by Aquaman at 10:13 AM on November 24, 2007

I enjoy walking around the Pioneer Square area. The architecture is beautiful, there's lots of good restaurants to try, and there's the Underground Tour you can check out.

If your legs feel up to it, you can walk from Pioneer Square down to the legendary Pike Place Market. More amazing food, and you can watch the famous fish throwers. You'll pass the Seattle Art Museum on the walk up, and the Elliott Bay Bookstore, which is nice.

And if you're still not tired, you can walk down to the Outdoor Sculpture Park, which isn't far at all from Pike Place Market.
posted by polyester.lumberjack at 10:25 AM on November 24, 2007

Best answer: Seattle is a wonderful city to walk, precisely because it is so hilly. Lots of views and distinct neighborhoods.

If you're like me and don't mind spending hours walking around a city, I recommend getting yourself to the new sculpture park, then heading south through downtown, hitting Pike Place, the new library, and finally the international district. From there, turn inland toward Capitol Hill and walk north on Broadway. Try a coffee shop or two ( I recommend Vivace ) and then, if you're still game, keep walking north to cross Portage Bay and wind up in the U District. The University itself is lovely, there is a good bookstore, and there are lots of teriyaki joints to recharge at. You could take a few options from here. The best would probably be to head up to 45th and turn westward, crossing over I5 into Wallingford and walking around the neighborhood there, preferably winding up going south at some point and heading to Gasworks park for one of the best views of the skyline in existence. This would be a really long walk, but I did most of this casually and with friends the last time I was in town (International District to Wallingford) so it should be quite accessible compared to some of the routes I've done in other cities.
posted by Schismatic at 10:53 AM on November 24, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone!

Schismatic -- that's just what I was looking for. Google Maps says it's about 8mi, so it's a good day's worth of walking (though depending on the weather I might skip some of it and take the ferry to Bainbridge Island instead).

And b1tr0t--don't worry, Microsoft is certainly not my only prospective employer.
posted by goingonit at 11:09 AM on November 24, 2007

Best answer: I really like the Ballard and Fremont neighborhoods for walking around. Ballard in particular has the Ballard Locks and Archie Mc Phee's (best toy store/randomness anywhere). Both neighborhoods have loads of funky shops. Might I recommend Fremont Coffee as well?
Capital Hill and the U District actually seem less unique to me...but I supposed it really depends on what you are into. The arboretum at UW is quite nice. I thought the outdoor sculpture park was overrated on the waterfront was overrated.
I know it doesn't really qualify as walking around Seattle--but if you have the chance and it is a clear day I suggest taking a ferry somewhere. It doesn't really matter where (Bainbridge or whatever) but you get awesome views.
Have fun, I love Seattle.
posted by fieldtrip at 11:22 AM on November 24, 2007

I'd include on this walking tour a ride on the waterfront streetcar but apparently it's being restored and a bus is the temporary replacement.
posted by Rash at 1:27 PM on November 24, 2007

Recommending Schismatic's long walk, since you're up for it. Also seconding the idea of spending some time in Fremont and Ballard. If so inclined, you can rent a bike and easily explore all of Seattle north of downtown (including Ballard, Fremont) via the amazing Burke-Gillman bike highway. Ferry trips (with your rented bike!) are pretty nice as well.
posted by fatllama at 1:29 PM on November 24, 2007

both fremont and ballard have very cool outdoor markets on sundays...check them out as you're walking by!
posted by enaira at 10:00 PM on November 24, 2007

Response by poster: Well, that was fun--and a lovely day for a walk too. Thanks for all the suggestions. For posterity's sake, here was my eventual (13-mile!) route. It took me from quarter to 10 in the morning till 4 in the afternoon:

-Started at Pike Place Market; wandered through downtown to Pioneer Square (which seemed to be inhabited primarily by the homeless...maybe just a Sunday Morning thing?)
-To Capitol Hill via Yesler Way and Broadway
-To the University Bridge via 10th ave and Volunteer Park (seeing the Seattle Marathon along the way!)
-Down the Ave. for a few blocks, then over to Gas Works Park via Pacific St.
-To the Fremont Sunday Market (Market was eh, but nice neighborhood, esp. statue of Lenin)
-To Market St. via 3rd, then down Market St. to Ballard (Archie McPhee's was fun)
-To the Ballard Locks (yay sailboats!)
posted by goingonit at 8:43 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

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