MatthewM

  • Local Expert 677 points
  • Reviews 29
  • Questions 3
  • Answers 0
  • Discussions 0

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"Decent LGB nightlife"

Ive gone down to Portland for a few long weekends to visit friends and its a pretty fun place. They have some chill gay bars and just a fun nightlife scene overall. Its even MORE casual than Seattle, which I didnt know was possible until I went there.

Some of the clubs downtown can get a bit sleazy though, so watch out for that. I have some friends that live in the Central East Side of Portland, and when I visit them well usually stop by Crush Bar first, which is very laid back, and sometimes does drag shows, burlesque, and other events. Its cute. The foods not bad either.

If we feel like going out to a club afterwards, Holocene is nearby, though it gets overcrowded on the weekends. Its supposedly a gay bar, but it doesnt really seem like it inside. They used to do a monthly party called Gaycation, but they just did their last one unfortunately. Not sure why.

I was in Portland once when European Championship was on and so we went to 4-4-2 Soccer Bar, which was awesome. So rad to be in a place where everyone actually cares about soccer!

Oh I should probably mention the craft brew scene. Its just as good in Portland as in Seattle, which means there are a TON of local breweries. You really cant go wrong. There are also a lot of beer festivals. One of the biggest and the only one Ive been to is the Oregon Brewers Festival. This year Im planning to go to the Portland Craft Beer festival instead.

My friends who live in Portland love living there, and Id consider it if I was looking to move. Its definitely more affordable than Seattle and they seem to have public transportation figured out better than we do in Washington. Probably the only downside might be that its even rainier than in Seattle if you can believe it.
Pros
  • Great food and nightlife scene
Cons
  • Large homeless population
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
Just now

"Shopping at U Village"

The U-district seems like a sweet place to live in if youre in college. Ive never lived there, but I like going to U Village, which is the shopping center nearby. They have a ton of stores and they actually provide parking! (which basically never happens in Seattle).

I like the U village because they have both outdoors gear and regular clothes stores. I usually check out Northface, Ibex, and of course the Nike Running Store (which has digital gait analysis to help you get the best shoes). Also Lululemon. People think Im joking when I say I get stuff from Lululemon, but they actually have really good running and yoga guys stuff now. A couple women I run with like to go to Oiselle, which makes womens specific running clothes. My favorite new find is Marine Layer, which is an apparel company that makes seriously the most comfortable stuff. I like it because it looks nice but also has some performance features so you can wear it hiking and stuff. Plus I always stop at Molly Moons Ice Cream afterwards. Cant resist!

Ive also been to the U District street fair 3 years running with friends. Its usually sunny and we hang out in the beer garden then walk around. Mostly its just crafts and lots of stuff for women, but there are also food trucks and artwork and stuff for your house. Just a chill way to spend the day in early summer.
Pros
  • Great mall
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"Super steep hills and the arboretum"

Are you ready for the ultimate Seattle running challenge? Try to run up any of the crazy steep hills in Stevens.

If youre not feeling the 25% grade (for real), you can head over to the arboretum, which is a really peaceful place to put in a few miles.

There are tons of paths in the Arboretum, but the park is long and narrow, so even if you dont have a map and just run wherever you feel like, you probably wont get lost. There are a couple main paths that run lengthwise (north/south), and these tend to be the busiest. But you can also explore a bunch of small trails branching off from those paths that wind around the different parts of the park. Thats generally the best option if its a hot sunny day, because the smaller paths have more shade and less people.

I like to run from one end to the other and back, maybe twice if Im feeling ambitious. Running through Marsh Island keeps it interesting, but last time I went there, there was a ton of construction getting back from East Montlake Park. If you run out to the Foster Island part of the park, you can wade into the water to cool off.

There are also a bunch of good restaurants in this part of the hill, so sometimes Ill get lunch afterwards. I like Vios Caf on Aloha because its super quick, amazing Greek food. They also have a little store that is kinda cool. Oh yeah, and the gelato. Which to be honest is the real reason I come here haha.
Pros
  • Great restaurants
  • Beautiful parks
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"Hilly running loop with good views"

The 2.8 mile Discovery Park loop is a Seattle classic run. Its a trail run, even though its in the city, because the park is so huge and the trails are not paved. A lot of its in the woods, but you can see some good Puget Sound views during parts of it. I like to mix it up and run some of the side trails as add ons. It can definitely get muddy on some of them, so I use my trail running shoes with extra grip. Or Ill do the loop 2 or 3 times so I know exactly how far Ive run. It can get challenging with all the hills if youre pushing yourself to run fast.

Magnolia is too far from where I live to run to (Lower Queen Anne) so I have to drive there. I only go on the weekends if traffic isnt bad, because you can only access it via bridges, which can get clogged up when theres traffic. Technically Magnolia is a peninsula, but if the sea level rises, Interbay will disappear and it will be an island!!!

I also like the Seven Hills Running Shop which is near the park. No surprise their specialty is trail running shoes. They have a group run on weekends which is cool for some people but not exactly my style. But the staff are super knowledgeable, especially about trail running, races, and ultra running. Cool place.
Pros
  • Running loop
  • Good parks
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"Lakeside running"

One of my favorite city runs starts at Madrona Beach. You park nearby, then go down to the beachfront road, which is Lake Washington Blvd at this point. There is a path that runs next to the road where you start running south. Because the path doesnt continue nonstop the whole way, youll have to alternate between the path and the sidewalk on the road, but you have a sweet lake view either way.

You can continue to follow this road/path as far as you want basically. I sometimes aim to make it to Seward Park and back, which is 11 miles. Or to mix it up Ill jump on the I-90 walking path and run to Mercer Island and back. Its 6.5 miles round trip if you just go to the edge of Mercer Island, but you can make it longer. Youd think that it would be super smoggy from all the cars but actually its not because of the breeze off the water. But you definitely need sunglasses!

Then when you get back to where you started, you can jump in the lake at Madrona Beach swimming area! Make sure to have lots of water and some food waiting for you, because a lot of this run will be in the sun in the summer. And believe it or not it gets really hot in the summer in Seattle sometimes.
Pros
  • Nice waterfront path for running/walking/biking
  • Beautiful mountain and water panorama
  • Great parks
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
Just now

"Port of Seattle & warehouses & rail yards"

The Industrial District is where I work a lot of the time. Its mostly just a bunch of warehouses. I work at the BNSF (railroad) Stacy Yard down there, which takes up a big chunk of the neighborhood. The reason its down there is to be close to the Port of Seattle, which is also a big piece of the Industrial District. In the port there are tons of huge cranes and loading docks that take the cargo off (or on) the ships, and put some of them on (or take them off) train cars. Then it becomes a giant puzzle where we put them all in order in different trains depending on where everything is going.

Theres been a bunch of protests nearby in the past couple of years because people dont want oil trains coming through the city. They have a bad habit of exploding when they crash and the ones that go through Seattle actually go in a tunnel under part of the city. But dont worry theres never been any oil train crashes in Seattle so far. I think the message from the protestors isnt really so much about safety but more an environmental one about not oil extracting. But they use the platform of exploding oil trains to make their point.

Other than BNSF, the port, and warehouses, theres some big box stores like Costco and Home Depot. Thats because its one of the only places near downtown where real estate is cheap enough for those stores to set up. Pretty convenient for me haha.

Oh yeah and theres also SODO where all the stadiums are. I think I mentioned the stadiums in the Pioneer Square review, but I guess technically they are part of the Industrial District. Anyways its where you go to watch Seahawks football or Mariners Baseball or sometimes there are other things there like big concerts (I could hear the Justin Beiber concert driving home from work one day last year. My ears still burn.)
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
Just now

"Affordable neighborhood for students"

I have some friends who live out here because they are students at North Seattle College and dont want to pay a ton to live downtown. It seems like a pretty decent school, and housing is definitely more affordable there, even though its only just north of Green Lake. My friend looked at rent in Greenlake, but it was literally like $500 a month cheaper to live half a mile north.

This is a weird section of highway 99 thats lagging in development though. Its kinda sketchy sometimes. Theres like some run down used auto shops and weed stores. But its actually improving really quickly, so itll probably be a lot nicer in a year.

Oh its also close to Northgate Mall, so thats convenient if you like shopping. Or if you want to work at the mall to pay for your tuition, like my friend does.

The one thing my friend always complains about is that theres no big grocery stores in the neighborhood. But driving less than 10 minutes to Greenwood to Fred Meyers doesnt seem that bad.
Pros
  • More affordable
  • Close to North Seattle College
Cons
  • Still developing
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
4/5
Just now

"The neighborhood with the best pub ever"

So there are tons of sports bars in Seattle, but for some reason I think the Roanoke is the best one. It’s not that there’s anything that special about it, but it just has a good feel to it you know? I think because it reminds me of my Euro-trip, it’s kinda like some of the pubs in the UK—small, comfortable, darkish, people of all ages, sports on the telly. (And they consider political debates sports so if you’re into that too).

Or maybe it’s just because they have the best happy hour EVER. Every weekday has a different special but by far Wednesdays are the best. You can get $1 cans of beer and $1 tacos!! The tacos are greasy as all hell, and the food is slow to come out (they only have 1 person in the kitchen), but who cares when you can spend $8 and be stuffed and buzzed.

Mostly though it’s just because it’s got such a chill atmosphere that you can bring anyone there and they’ll feel comfortable. Oh that and there’s ping pong on the back patio when it’s nice out.

Ok I think you get the point I really like Roanoke Pub.

I don’t really know what else is in the Portage bay neighborhood to be honest. There’s a bay I guess. Oh and I’ve been to the park there at the bottom of the bay, but I’m not sure if that’s still in Portage Bay neighborhood or not. I’ve been there because they have a track. But then I remembered that I hate running on tracks and I never went back.

So basically, instead of running on the track, I ran to the pub. Win win situation.
Pros
  • The best pub ever
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"A bright and fun city, with a big price tag"

I went to college in San Fran (SF State University), and living there was awesome. I decided to move to Seattle a while after graduating for a change of scenery, but I’d totally live there again.

The LGBTQ scene is obviously amazing in SF. It’s different than Seattle though. It’s more about status and looks (though Seattle has that too). Lots of clubs have dress codes, for example, which is pretty rare in Seattle. But the scene is just so BIG that you can find something that is your style no matter what. Plus, Pride Parade is amazing. There’s nothing that compares to it. I go back every year just for the party haha!

One of the reasons I moved was because rent was SO high in San Fran. I didn’t like having to share an apartment, but there was literally no other option for someone on a salary just out of college. Even a small shared apartment in an older building ate up most of my income, and I wasn’t even living on Russian Hill or anything! Seattle’s not that much better, but at least I can afford my own place. If I did move to SF again, I would try to find something on Nob Hill, which has so much happening. Some of it is a bit grimy, but parts are really artistic and fun. Though realistically, I would probably have to share an apartment again though, or move further out of the city center.

There is a decent amount of interesting running trails close to San Fran. The #1 favorite run for most people (not me) is Crissy Fields to Hopper’s Hands. This goes from Golden Gate Bridge on a flat trail east along the bay. I don’t like it because it’s too crowded. You can also put in a few good miles at Golden Gate Park, but you’re going to be dodging walkers the whole time. It’s a good option for after work when you don’t want to drive anywhere though, because it can take some time to get out to the hills, since the city is on a peninsula.

I have to say though, once you DO get out in the hills, San Fran has amazing nearby trail running with *views*.

Marin Headlands is definitely in my top 5. It’s a challenging 8.4 miles, and you have a ton of elevation change in that. But you have amazing views most of the time, to distract you from the pain haha. Also, it’s a loop, so you don’t have to double back over any terrain, which is sweet.

My other favorite is the Mt. Tamalpais loop, aka northside loop. It’s very similar in length and difficulty to Marin Headlands, but you’re literally running around a mountain, so afterwards you feel like you kicked a*s. And again, dope views. Plus, sometimes it is high enough to get out of the notorious San Francisco fog that socks in the city so often. Once you come up out of those clouds into the sun, it feels amazing.

The other thing I miss about SF are some of my favorite restaurants and cafes. Zarzuela on Russian Hill is SO good! There are really too many amazing restaurants in the city to list them. Each neighborhood has it’s favorite haunts. I don’t know the exact numbers, but there seems to be more restaurants than in Seattle, for the size of the city. And the standards were really high as well. Probably because there’s so much competition!
Pros
  • Nearby trail running
  • LGBTQ scene
  • Great restaurants
Cons
  • Overpriced
  • Extremely high rent
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
Just now

"Super steep and quiet"

East Queen Anne is probably my least favorite part of Queen Anne Hill. There's nothing really wrong with it, it's just not awesome. The hill gets so steep on the east side that part of it is not developed, it’s just a green belt full of trees and bushes. That sounds nice, but in reality there is a homeless population that camps there and throws their garbage. This only really affects the homes that are right on the edge of the greenbelt, and honestly they probably don’t care because their view to the east of the mountains is so epic.

The neighborhood above the greenbelt to the top of the hill is small houses and low rise apartments. They’re pretty nice, it’s just harder to get to stuff from here because of the greenbelt. There are some walking bridges that cross the greenbelt, but no roads. You have to drive around. There’s also no parks, which is crazy for Seattle. The greenbelt isn’t a park, and you can’t go in it.

For nightlife you only really have access to the bars at the top of the hill, which aren't bad. Other than that, there’s no other close downtown area, so you’d have to go to Fremont or Lower Queen Anne, which each probably take a half hour or more to walk to. So if you want a busy nightlife, this probably isn’t the best neighborhood for you. Better for people who like quiet time.
Cons
  • More expensive housing
  • Highway corridor dividing neighborhood
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"Good for UW master’s students"

The only reason I'd consider living in Ravenna is if I decided to do a master’s at UW. That’s what some of my friends are doing and so far they seem to like Ravenna. I’ve checked out the neighborhood a few times and I think I’d like it because it’s super close to the university but not ONLY undergrads live here. Though honestly at this point Capitol Hill would probably be a first choice.

Also it’s super close to Green Lake which is awesome. Being close to the U Village Shopping Center would be nice too. They have pretty good stores for my taste. But it is pretty quiet, so I’d probably live near Roosevelt where there’s more happening.

Pies and Pints is probably my favorite place so far. Trivia night is the best!! Another favorite is Jet City Improv, the comedy place. But fair warning-- don’t sit up front unless you want to participate. Haha! Luckily they serve up liquid courage to help you participate and come up with ideas for the comedians.

Oh also I like how close it is to the Burke-Gilman trail for running. The streets are quiet enough to that you could run through the neighborhood without being slowed down too much by cars or traffic lights.
Pros
  • Good bicycle trails
  • Neighborly spirit
  • Walkable
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
Just now

"Mostly just big apartments"

Westlake is kinda weird for Seattle in that it’s not really a neighborhood and doesn’t have a downtown. Pretty much all the neighborhoods here have at least some central area, but not Westlake. It’s this narrow piece of land between Aurora and Lake Union, and it’s mostly apartments. Because Amazon has been growing, the apartments are totally taking advantage of that and overcharging by a ton. I have a couple friends who got apartments here when they moved to Seattle recently and they can’t wait for their lease to end so they can move.

But there are some new restaurants opening up in the south part of the neighborhood, practically in South Lake Union. I’ve been to a few and these are the ones I liked:

--Pho Cyclo Café: your typical Vietnames noodle soup place. Tastes like Pho. Lol.
--Pagliacci Pizza: this is another chain restaurant that does pizza by the slice. It’s convenient, and their pizza is good but not amazing.
--Cask & Trotter: This place is a little uptight for me, but the food’s not bad and they have good beer.
--Art Marble 21: This is my favorite place. The name is misleading—it’s not some fancy craft cocktail place. It’s a huge sports bar with tons of games. And when I say games I don’t mean just pool. They also have ping pong, Bocce ball, air hockey, arcade games and a bunch more. Plus they play all my favorite sports games.
Cons
  • Overpriced housing
Recommended for
  • Professionals
4/5
Just now

"Locals nightlife"

Belltown can be a fun place to go out. It’s close enough to walk to from Lower Queen Anne if I want a more locals scene that’s not full of tourists or jam-packed from some event. I definitely prefer the nightlife scene on Capitol Hill, but it’s so easy to go to Belltown instead I go there sometimes instead.

For dancing the main place is Foundation Nightclub. Last fall they were closed for like a month to do a huge remodel so it’s way nicer than it used to be. It was kinda grimy before. But the downside is that since it’s the only nightclub in Belltown (and really downtown except a couple in Pioneer Square), it gets CRAZY crowded. Guys basically have to get there by 10 or 11. Girls have an easier time getting in because usually there are too many guys haha. It’s not as big as the other dance places in Seattle, but it’s ok. The DJs I’ve seen there have been decent. They usually are EDM with trap, house, or trance focus.

Sarajevo is kind of a locals secret. It’s a Mediterranean restaurant by day, and on weekend nights it becomes a dance club. Fridays are latin nights and Saturdays European/Greek/Baltic night. I’ve been twice on Saturdays and had fun. The food is really good too.

For pubs I like Spitfire for a sports bar with burgers and regular pub grub. They play a ton of sports, not just football or baseball so that’s cool. I like to catch hockey or soccer here. Roccos is decent for pizza and beer.
Pros
  • Great nightlife
3/5
Just now

"Part of the Lake Union Loop"

I’ve been to Eastlake a bunch of times when I’m running the loop around Lake Union. It’s obviously the east side of the lake.

It’s actually probably my LEAST favorite part of the 6 mile loop, because it’s the only part where you have a bunch of road crossings. For most of the rest of the loop, you’re on your own separate path, away from cars. But in Eastlake you have to join the vehicles on the small road, I think its Fairview Ave.

BUT one cool thing from running this part of the city is that I never would have found all the micro parks that line the lake here otherwise. They are tiny bits of lake access in the otherwise private beachfront. There’s not really much to them, but they’re good to stop for a break and check out the view.

It’s also kinda cool to see the houseboats in Eastlake. It’s pretty funny how they have their own ‘streets’ with the docks. Haha!

A tip: When you’re crossing the University Bridge north of EastLake when running the the loop, runners are supposed to use the West side. I made the mistake of using the east side once, and it was too crowded with the bikes. The city has a pretty good map online of the whole loop that shows all the parks and stuff like that.
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
Just now

"Family neighborhood feel"

I live in Lower Queen Anne right now, and would consider West or East Queen Anne also, but I’m not sure if I’d live in North Queen. It just seems kinda too quiet and harder to access. But I guess if you live close to the top of the hill, it doesn’t really make a difference which side you’re technically on.

Being deeper on the north side is definitely a different feel though. You’re closer to Fremont and north Seattle, rather than downtown and the Seattle center. If feels more like a neighborhood and less like downtown than the rest of the hill.

Seattle Pacific University keeps the neighborhood young. I considered checking out their programs because it’s so close, but there was a shooting there in 2014. Scary stuff. But there’s shootings everywhere now so it doesn’t really matter. But the school is super expensive anyways, costs like $40k a year to go there, so I’d probably look somewhere else if I wanted to go back to school.
Cons
  • Very steep hills
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
Just now

"Nice shady neighborhood, big houses"

The few times I’ve ran pretty far north on the Burke Gilman Trail, I’ve gone through this area. The trail here goes through a lot of green area, and I generally turn around after a break at Magnuson Park, which is a huge park on the lake. Starting from Lower Queen Anne, that makes for a 20-mile run, 10 miles each way. So it’s a pretty big training day.

Not sure what else to say about this part of Seattle except that it’s obvious that a lot of well-off people live here, judging on the houses and cars. The houses are huge, and the landscaping is nice. And there are some good views of Lake Washington and the Cascades along the way. I wouldn’t mind living here down the road if I had a family, but I wouldn’t want to live here while I’m young, it’s too much like a suburb. For now I’m just happy to have a shady place to run in the summer when it gets hot.
Pros
  • Great Parks
  • Quiet environment
  • Bicycle-friendly
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
Just now

"Relaxed neighborhood with steep hills"

Some of my friends live in West Queen Anne, and I actually really like it. One good thing is that it’s far away from all the tourists. It’s pretty much just locals. I'm getting a little sick of all the tourists constantly around my place in Lower Queen Anne.

I thought about moving here after my lease ends and if I did, I would live close to the top of the hill to be close to the food and bars. Also to be by the Safeway, although there’s a Whole Foods in Interbay not too far away.

One thing that’s not awesome is the fact that to get anywhere you have to go down a steep hill. As a runner, it’s not ideal to have to start or end a run on a super steep grade. Especially when it’s raining. Which if you haven’t heard, it does a lot in Seattle.

The other thing is that there aren’t too many new apartment buildings like in other neighborhoods. There are some newer condos, but those are harder to get your hands on unless you want to buy, at least for studios and 1 bedrooms based on what I’ve seen. The good thing is that a ton of the buildings have a view!

I’ve gone out a few times here—basically everything’s at the top of the hill (except for a few coffee shops on McGraw that are a couple blocks west). Hilltop Ale House is good, pretty standard brewpub, good place for a Friday night with your buddies. Targy’s Tavern a few blocks away is alright, they have pool tables. Kinda grimy though. I like eating out at the 5 spot. You can count on good food and beer there.
Pros
  • Beautiful city and water vistas
  • Great restaurants
Cons
  • High traffic volumes on arterial streets
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
Just now

"Food, beer, sports"

I only really go to Pioneer Square to go to Mariners baseball games in the summer. It’s been kinda cool to see this neighborhood changing so much over the last couple of year though. Seems like every time I go there there’s a new pub or restaurant. It’s really turning into an interesting neighborhood—in a good way.

The Mariners play at Safeco Field. You’ll know you’re there when you see giant 100-foot posters of baseball players on the stadium. Haha. I like going because it’s the kind of thing that most people can go to, because it’s affordable and usually not sold out, so you can get a bunch of friends together and have a good time. Not like Seahawks where tickets are crazy expensive and can be hard to get. For Mariners games I like to get some friends together and just hang out in the beer garden the whole time.

Games can last a long time so afterwards we usually like to grab a snack before heading home. The only part that sucks is that this stadium is kinda far from the main Pioneer Square area. It takes 10-15 minutes to walk there afterwards, but it’s not that bad. Way better than trying to find parking—after a game gets out you can just walk past all the cars stuck in the gridlock. Haha!

If you don’t feel like walking that far you can go to the Pyramid Alehouse, but it gets slammed because it’s so close to Safeco. There’s also Jimmy’s on First and The Hawks Nest, which both have the same problem. So after a game we’ll usually just walk all the way up to Pioneer Square and then we have tons of options.

Some good ones are:

* Central Saloon: Your typical pub grub old dive bar. Not sure why I like this place but it has character.

* Quality Athletics: Probably my favorite spot right now, it’s a sports bar but classier than most. Got a good vibe to it. And in the summer their rooftop garden is off the hook!

* The Lodge Sports Grille: This one’s good too for before/after a game. It’s got an older style with wood and antlers and all that stuff. A little bit of an older crowd than at Quality Athletics. But they have TONS of beers on tap.
Pros
  • Mariners games
Cons
  • Limited parking
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
Just now

"Living in a runner’s paradise"

Seward Park is such a great place to run. I can’t believe it’s in the city. The park itself is a peninsula with a path all the way around. The path is a wide, paved 2.4 miles. So depending on energy levels, 2 or 3 laps around is perfect. The miles go by super quick because you have a changing lake view the whole time. Also sometimes it becomes an obstacle course when it’s busy haha.

If you’re feeling really good you can finish up by running along Lake Washington Blvd, which has a great sidewalk along the waterfront. It goes all the way to the Flying Squirrel Pizza Co—just turn left on Genessee. Not exactly the healthiest post-run meal but you can get a killer personal pizza for under $10. Plus they have salads too so you can get some leafy greens in and all that.

In the summer a better post-run option is to jump in the lake! There’s swimming on the north and the south sides of where the peninsula meets up with the land. The north part has a swimming raft in the summer that you can swim out to and jump off. It’s pretty fun. So I like to just bring my lunch and eat it after I jump in the lake following my run. It’s good for your muscles too.
Pros
  • Great parks
  • Waterfront activities
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
Just now

"Good people, beer, and activities. Bad transportation and homeless problem."

Seattle’s a pretty decent city overall. The people take a little time to get to know, I guess that’s what people call the Seattle Freeze. But so far I’ve liked living here.

The good things:

There’s lots of good food here, and of course the microbrew scene is epic. I didn’t realize that Washington was one of the top beer scenes in the country. But there are so many small breweries here.

As a runner, I like the city, but it could improve. There are some paved paths that are good for running and staying off the streets to avoid cars and traffic lights. But they could definitely use some more. Luckily it seems like they are always building more, so I think it'll be even better in a couple years.

The people are really outdoorsy here. I kinda like that. Maybe I’ll try out some more outdoor stuff besides trail running, because it’s all really close to the city. There's also great trail running in the mountains super close by, mainly in Issaquah.

The bad things:

There are too many homeless people in Seattle. I mean a LOT. I don’t know what the problem is, but Seattle doesn’t seem to be able to deal with it very well. Most of the homeless people are in Pioneer Square and downtown, but there are lots in each neighborhood too. It’s kinda sad to see that all the time.

The other thing is transportation. It’s crazy. You basically have to drive everywhere because the city’s pretty disconnected when it comes to public transportation, at least a lot of the places where I need to go. Then the traffic is so bad you end up sitting in your car all the time.

So Seattle’s pretty good, but I’m not 100% sold. I’m also from Eastern Washington, where the culture’ pretty different, so it takes some getting used to. Not sure if I’ll stay here for life, but it’s fun for now.
Pros
  • Lots of craft beer
  • Outdoor activities
  • Strong job market
Cons
  • Too many homeless
  • Traffic
  • High cost of living
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"Burke Gilman Trail and tech"

Fremont is a pretty chill neighborhood. There are a ton of tech companies here like Google, Tableau, Adobe, Getty, and some smaller ones. So that means that Fremont has a lot of good restaurants to feed them all.

Paseos is of course a classic. It’s up Fremont Ave, you’ll know you’re there when you see a huge line. But dude the Cuban sandwiches are worth the wait. Rock Creek a block away has amazing seafood too. I also like brunch at the Yellow Dot Café because they have bottomless mimosas haha. There are a lot of other places, I won't name them all though, just go explore. You'll find something good.

But mostly I’m near Fremont because I’m running on the Burke Gilman Trail. I love running all the way west to Golden Gardens Park in Ballard. If it's really hot you can jump in the water! But then you have to rinse your feet off and wait for them to dry so you don't get blisters on the way home. Lessen learned the hard way. Or you can run the other way and go past Wallingford and around Lake Union or Lake Washington. It’s just nice being on a path away from the road to avoid stoplights and cars. Since I start at Queen Anne, usually Gasworks park is a good turnaround point for a pretty decent workout.
Pros
  • Burke Gilman Trail
  • Excellent cafes
  • Bicycle friendly
Cons
  • High traffic volumes on arterial streets
  • Parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"Fun place for young people to live"

I love living on Queen Anne. There’s a lot of young people here and tons of places to grab a meal or some drinks both on the top of the hill, and at the bottom of the hill close to the Seattle Center.

I don’t make it to the top of the hill as much because I live at the bottom of the hill and it’s steep. But when I go out I head to Mercer area by the Seattle Center and I usually start out at Streamline Tavern with a game of pool. Or Peso’s is pretty good for happy hour. Café Mecca does $1.50 Millers from 3-7 on weekdays which is definitely the cheapest around. But it’s pretty grungy. Afterwards I’ll probably hit up Ozzie’s, the huge dive bar. I’ve been known to do karaoke here when I drink too much. They usually just turn up the vocals to drown me out haha.

There’s also the best damn happy hour at the Seattle Center. It’s ok, good for a big group because you can play games.

I guess the only downside is that as a runner I usually have to head somewhere else. The closest good runs are either running down interbay to ballard or the Burke-Gilman, or running around South Lake Union. Running on Queen Anne is too steep of a hill with too many cars and interruptions to really get into a good flow.

The other downside is that there aren’t a ton of new apartment buildings. I managed to grab one, but it’s pretty small compared to other places in Seattle. I think I might move at the end of my lease but I’m not sure yet. I love the view of the city at night.
Pros
  • Many entertainment options
  • Unique dining choices
  • Downtown neighborhood
Cons
  • Difficult parking
  • High traffic volumes on arterial streets
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5
Just now

"Tons of trail running"

The small mountains south of Issaquah are heaven for trail running. They are challenging and long, with endless options. Unless it’s mid to late summer, when the trails get super dry, you’ll want to throw on something you can get covered in mud, and embrace the grime, because a lot of these trails can get pretty muddy for a lot of the year.

Cougar Mountain usually has maps at the main trailheads, so grab one of those because it’s a maze. I avoid the mountain bike trails on Tiger Mountain, because I don’t want to get run over. But other than that, it’s a killer place to explore. Just pay careful attention to your turns so you don’t get lost.

Once in a while I’ll stop at the Issaquah Brew House afterwards, which is a chill place on Front Street. The Salmon Sandwich is the best, and healthy. Plus obviously the brews are good.
Pros
  • Trail running
  • Close to outdoor activities
4/5
Just now

"Lots of good food"

I’ve never lived in Georgetown, but I’m in the area whenever I work at our South Seattle BNSF rail yard. At first I didn’t really like it, but as I got to know the area, I changed my mind and now it’s one of my favorite places. Not sure if I would live here, it feels a little sketchy when I have to work the yard at night. Though obviously it would be different in a home and not in a rail yard. And there are some things about Georgetown that area a little too hipster for me—like the trailer park mall where people sell things out of trailers.

But there are TONS of good restaurants here. Here’s some recommendations:

--Hangar café if I have a long lunch and am working in the yard all day.
--Jules Maes for after work game of ping pong or air hockey and a beer.
--Lect’s soup stop: when you’re in a hurry. They also have sandwiches.
--Slim’s Last Chance—not the healthiest but the chili is the bomb.
4/5
Just now

"Train yard and restaurants"

The only reason I go to Interbay is for work---BNSF has a yard there. We actually take up a big chunk of Interbay with a few dozen tracks, since it’s the lowest point around and easier for the trains to get through. I’ve gone out for lunch nearby plenty of times, and there are some good ones, but they’re really spread out compared to other places in Seattle.

*Mulleady’s Irish Pub: your typical pub, good burgers. Better for after work so you can grab a brew too.
*Pagliacci Pizza: same as their pizza at any of the locations. You can get slices, which is quick and easy. I like trying the slice of the day to mix it up.
*Red Mill Burgers: Kinda cheesy diner, but the food’s decent.
*Josefinas Mexican Grill: this is probably my favorite place, but sometimes it takes too long for lunch. But if you ask the waiter to hurry they’ll usually get the food out quick enough to get back to work in time.
*Boxcar Ale House: only been here once after work, it was fine, nothing that amazing. Full of dudes when I was there though.
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
Just now

"Crowded path but nice views around the lake"

Green Lake is a super popular jogging place. Actually, it’s too popular. It’s a flat 2.8 mile paved path, with one lane for walkers/joggers, and another lane for wheels. If you go in the early morning, in the middle of a weekday, when it’s raining, or at dusk, it’s fine. But other than that, this place is slammed. I generally avoid it for running unless I happen to get a really early start. It is helpful to know exactly how far you’ve gone and what to expect, so you can train on it, though. The other plus is that it’s a nice view over the lake, especially at sunset.

Woodland Park just south of Green Lake is a little better, but still pretty crowded.

The other main reason I go to Green Lake is to go to one of the running stores.

At Road Runner Sports you can do the Rundog assessment here that scans your foot and gait and helps you pick the perfect shoes. It actually works pretty good. Not a piece of equipment you generally find in any sports store.

Super Jock n Jill probably has better service though. They also do training runs for people who are doing the Jingle Bell Run around Green Lake. That’s a charity run in December.
Pros
  • Paved jogging path
Cons
  • Crowded
4/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
Just now

"Beer Heaven"

Ballard is good if you like beer. They have a ton of brewpubs around the neighborhood that do microbrews. But I wish they were all closer together so you could walk to them easier.

Some of the best places are:

--Ballard Beer Company: This one’s right on the strip, and good chill place to go with friends.
--Stoup Brewing: Best in the summer, because they have garage door walls that open up. I’d get the Citra IPA if they still have it. There are kids allowed here too though so not everyone’s scene.
--Hilliard’s—this is a large brewery where you can bring your own growler and they’ll fill it up. Since it’s a huge warehouse, it’s not that fun as a bar, because it makes it feel empty, but it’s good as a concert venue. They do shows pretty often.
--Populuxe Brewing: They have a nice patio but literally only do beer. So you have to bring your own food, or they let you order takeout and bring it in, or they have a food truck. My favorite is their namesake the Populuxe IPA. It’s always on the menu.
--Jolly Roger: this is the kind of place where you take your family when they’re visiting. It’s a little cheesy, but family friendly. I don’t really like to go there otherwise though.

If you REALLY like beer, you can do the Cycle Saloon. We did this for my friend’s birthday. It was pretty fun, but depends on the people in your group. Basically it’s a giant bicycle bar that you all peddle together around Ballard and stop at the bars to drink.
Pros
  • Lots of craft beer
Cons
  • Breweries are spread out
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
Just now

"Very quiet with a couple good pubs"

Wallingford is where friends who are getting married like to live. It’s a little too quiet for me, but it’s fun to go to once in a while. I checked out the area to live, but it’s mostly houses and the apartments are really quiet and not that close to the nightlife, so I didn’t end up here.

One reason I go through this area is when I’m running on the Burke Gilman Trail, that goes all the way from Golden Gardens in Ballard past Fremont and Wallingford, then up Lake Washington. It takes you right past Gasworks park which is a good stopping point.

There are 2 places I like to go to in the evening as well, with my buddies who live in the area:

1. Kate’s Pub: they seriously have the best happy hour. It’s half off almost everything. The food’s not outstanding, but it’s your usual pub grub. Pretty good.
2. Go to Mardi Gras at the Octopus bar. Or really any holiday. Weekends are good too--just in general, this plays gets packed! It’s a lot of fun.

There are a few other places too, those ones are my favorites though.
Pros
  • Large parks
Cons
  • High traffic on arterial streets
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
Just now

"Waterfront running"

Ok I’m gonna let you in on one of my running secrets. So start early on a weekend morning and take the water taxi across to Alki. (it only runs on weekends in the summer). Then run south along the path. Make sure to stay LEFT at the path when it breaks off to go to Jack Block and Joe Block Park. Run until you get to the end of Joe Block park and turn back around. Now keep running along the path, around the corner, and along the north shore. Keep going all the way until you reach the statue of liberty. Boom. You just did 4 miles. With a water view almost the whole way. Now you can grab a coffee or breakfast at Alki Cafe. OR, turn around and run back to the water taxi to add another couple of miles.

This is more fun with a friend so you can have breakfast together, but it’s good on your own too. The thing is you have to start early though, otherwise the paths are crawling with tourists and it’s super frustrating.
Pros
  • Beach-front recreation
Cons
  • Too many tourists
  • Heavy traffic during Summer months
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
Just now

"Decent shopping, ok but not great nightlife"

Decent shopping, ok but not great nightlife

Downtown Seattle doesn’t really have much going on besides work. There are a few bars and restaurants, but if you want to go out, it’s way better in the neighborhoods. I don’t work downtown, so I don’t end up here very often, but a few of the places I’ve been to that I like are:

--The Elysian Bar on 2nd. This is a local Seattle brewery that has a few pubs around town.
--Sazerac: They make good cocktails and I like their happy hour.
--The Triple Door: This is a small music venue that also does happy hour. So if you want something different for drinks after work, you can see an early, low-key show here at the same time. Their food is from Wild Ginger next door, so it’s pretty good.

Shopping downtown isn’t bad. Most of it is on Pike and Pine, and a few places on 1st. Seattle actually has pretty good style, so there are some nice stores that are hard to find in other cities, like All Saints and Brooks Brothers.
Recommended for
  • Professionals

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