Find the best Seattle neighborhoods for young professionals.

Want to find a Seattle neighborhood to suit your passions and professional drive? Many looking to move to Seattle for its bustling job market and abundance of outdoor activities find it hard to know where to start. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you‘re a 20 something, 30 something, or a little out of that age range on either end, we’ve narrowed down the best neighborhoods in Seattle for young professionals of all types.

South Lake Union

This neighborhood has been constantly evolving and growing for years now. You will find Amazon, one of the largest tech companies in the world here.

SLU is definitely worth your consideration, or at the very least, a visit. It’s named for its southern tip that borders Lake Union and provides fantastic water views, as well as the occasional seaplane sighting on the lake.

Being located adjacent to the water makes boat rides and kayaking easy to come by. Many restaurants and shops are dotted along the lakeshore. You will also find the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), Lake Union Park, and plenty of local businesses here.

Wallingford

Located in the north central portion of Seattle, Wallingford rests on a hill above the northern shore of Lake Union and is close to downtown. Residents have no trouble getting around, with trolley tracks that run through the neighborhood past shops and businesses, making it one of the best Seattle suburbs around.

Most of its commercial buildings are located in one spot, along 45th Street, and as its business center continues to develop and thrive.

Highlights in the neighborhood include the neon “Wallingford” sign; Dick’s Drive-In, a local staple for great fast-food eats; Gas Works Park, which provides a fantastic view of the Olympic and Cascade mountains; and Wallingford Center, the urban center of the town.

Ballard

If you are still wondering where to live in Seattle and were thinking something near the sound might be nice, perhaps Ballard is the neighborhood for you.

Check out the Scandinavian roots that course through this waterfront neighborhood at the Nordic Heritage Museum. You’ll also find some of the city’s trendiest eateries, hippest bars and craft breweries, and plenty of unique shops and boutiques here. Be sure to visit the Chittenden Locks (also called the Ballard Locks), located at the west end. This waterway connects the saltwater of the Puget Sound to the freshwater of the Ship Canal.

Ballard is home to several live music venues and records stores, a great Farmer’s Market to visit on Sunday mornings, and is known for its many Craftsman-style homes. Ballard is definitely worth the visit—possibly the move.

Downtown Seattle

If all you know is you want to be close to work, then downtown may be the best first neighborhood for you. Here lies the central business district of Seattle, steeped in glassy skyscrapers that overlook Elliot Bay.

Entertainment options abound. Catch sweeping views of the entire city from the giant Ferris wheel, browse the rotating exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum, or roam through the world-class aquatic exhibits at the Seattle Aquarium. Downtown isn’t all modern shops and buildings, though. Scattered through the area are many historic brick structures that bring to mind a simpler time.

One of the big perks of downtown living is you get to enjoy access to some of the most popular restaurants and cultural institutions like Pike Place Market or and the Paramount Theatre.

Bellevue

While it’s not in Seattle-proper, Bellevue is just a short drive across Lake Washington away. It’s the third-largest city in the Seattle urban area and this brings a lot of perks you may not find in the area’s second-largest city, Tacoma. The city has its own group of cultural institutions, including the Bellevue Arts Museum and  Bellevue Botanical Garden, which is fairly substantial and has both woodland and wetland areas to explore. Bellevue’s namesake Bellevue Downtown Park has a magnificent garden and waterfall with plenty of benches and a large swathe of open lawn allowing for a range of outdoor activities.

Seattle may have the most diverse collection of restaurants in the area, but you’ll love exploring Bellevue’s eclectic international cuisine options of its own. Opportunities for shopping are vast, with the Bellevue Collection having 180 retailers to visit. Every year, residents enjoy the annual Bam ARTSfair, where over 300 designers display their wares, as well as the delectably cute Bellevue Strawberry Festival.

Bellevue is more than just a boomburb, it’s entirely a city of its own.

Belltown

Rounding out the list is Belltown, one of the most densely populated areas in Seattle. The neighborhood sits on an artificially flattened strip of land right at the downtown waterfront and is named after the original owner of the land, William Nathaniel Bell.

Locals enjoy a bevy of indie shops, plenty of cafés, and many high-rise apartments to choose from. The area is especially known for its corporate climbers, upper-class couples, and young professionals loving the urban setting,

With an amazing walk score, you will find that most amenities are within a few minutes of each other—so don’t be afraid to ditch that car. You’ll also enjoy the views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, as well as a busy, musical vibe that brings the neighborhood alive.

Check for the latest apartment listings in these neighborhoods on Zumper. Or explore the Seattle apartmentsavailable from AMLI.

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About Danielle L'ami


Danielle thrives on researching and writing on all aspects of life. In addition to writing for the Zumper blog and personal finance, she is an advocate of self-improvement and living a financially responsible and knowledgeable life. When she’s not typing away on her computer, she’s spending time with her husband and two sons.