South Seattle occupies a broad swath of the city between I-5 to the west and Lake Washington to the east. Though often overshadowed by flashier neighborhoods, continued development and the recent introduction of Seattle's first light rail line are raising its profile.

The area contains numerous neighborhoods with their own distinct characteristics, including:

Mount Rainier as seen from South Seattle's Seward Park

Get in

Beacon Hill's light rail station

By car

Rainier Ave S. and Martin Luther King Jr. Way are the two main thoroughfares that run north and south through the district. Interstates 5 and 90 is the major highway through Seattle and offers several convenient exits into South Seattle.

By rail

By bus

By bike

Like most of Seattle, attitudes towards bikers are fairly generous and there is a fair amount of built in bike lanes but some of the hills can be intimidating to unaccustomed cyclists. There are several popular bike trails through south Seattle including Lake Washington Boulevard which is a scenic, approximately 8-mile (13 km), route through Seattle, Washington, that hugs Lake Washington. There are views of the lake, small sections of rainforest, meadows, and views of the Cascade mountains. From the north end at Coleman Park (just south of Interstate 90)the trail runs all the way to Seward Park in the south. Bike maps can be obtained from the city here.

By boat

By seaplane


Jefferson Park viewpoint

Designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm in Seattle's early days, park planners across the country recognize Seattle's park system as one of the best preserved and best designed in the United States. More importantly, while many eastern cities have only one or two Olmsted-designed parks, Seattle has an extensive multi-park plan linked by boulevards. It is this legacy that makes Seattle one of the most livable spots in the country including Jefferson and Seward parks in South Seattle.

Olmsted parks

Other parks



fresh crabs for sale at Mutual Fish in south Seattle


Columbia City, home to many great area restaurants

Many diverse ethnic restaurants can be found throughout South Seattle with many gems tucked away in residential areas. However most tend to be centered around three neighborhoods, each with their own nearby light rail stations, Beacon Hill, Columbia City and Othello.



Like the rest of Seattle, South Seattle takes its coffee very seriously. Although there are several chain coffee shops like Starbucks, for the genuine experience visit one of these shops to rub elbows with the locals. Many of the establishments listed above (e.g. Tutta Bella, Columbia City Bakery) are also excellent for coffee.


micro brew at Columbia City Ale House

Seattle is well known for its local craft beers and most pubs carry a variety of local breweries so don't be afraid to ask your server when you want to try something new. Georgetown Brewery is a south Seattle based brewer so look for their varieties such as Manny's and Lucille.


Generally a residential area South Seattle does not have a wide variety of places to stay. Visitors not staying with friends tend to find hotels downtown.


Most coffee shops offer free wifi and all branches of the Seattle Public Library have open wireless, using the SSID spl-public. Public computers with Internet access and basic office software are available for up to an hour at a time, but require either a SPL library card or a temporary pass available from the circulation desk. All services are free.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, March 20, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.