Seattle Neighborhoods - Credit: orkposters.com
You can start looking for apartments about 20-30 days before you want to move in. Many ads go up for the 1st of the month around the 10th of the previous month. If you're looking to find some roommates to move in with, you'll often be able to find something sooner. If you go to look at an aparment, bring your checkbook and info for a rental application with you. Especially around the beginning of the school year, apartments go fast.
Classified lists and rental agencies:
- Craigslist: by far the best resource for finding an apartment or roommate. More often than not, the openings listed on the websites below are also listed on Craigslist.
- UW Daily Classifieds
- Seattle Times Classifieds
- Seattle Rentals and their FAQ
- Phillips Real Estate
- Brink Property Management
- Cornell & Associates
- Dave Poletti & Associates
- Northwest Apartments
- Alliance Management
- Monroe Investments
The current students are also good resources if you have further questions.
The area of Seattle around the University is broken up into different neighborhoods, each with their own set of charms. UW students generally stay within a few miles of the University. Definitely look at the Metro Bus Routes and Timetables and Popular Bike Routes when scoping out a location. The neighborhoods listed below are those where students typically live.
College Inn Pub, Home Sweet Home - Credit: M McCully
The University District has many of the cheapest apartments, studios, and efficiencies close to campus...as well as the highest concentration of undergrads, frats, and sorority houses.
- Shultzy's: Great for an afternoon drink, and one of the only places in the U-district with an outdoor deck
- Aguaverde: The closest non-cafeteria food to Health Sciences and also some overpriced kayak rentals
- College Inn Pub: A staple of the UW grad student community
- Big Time: In-house brewed beers and open atmosphere
- La Casa Del Mojito: More excellent Cuban sandwiches
- The Irish Immigrant: Relatively more upscale bar with frequent live music
- Dante's: Lots of events, cheap beer, great space
- Blue Dog Kitchen: Some of the best breakfast food and sandwiches in Seattle
- The Knarr: If you want low-life
- Farmers Market: Weekly and year-round produce from local farmers
Gas Works Park from Lake Union - Credit: M McCully
Wallingford has lots of very affordable houses if you want to live with roommates and the occasional single apartment. It's a very homey place with many parks, including Gas Works Park where the Lake Union fireworks take place every 4th of July.
- Murphy's Irish Pub
- Bizzarro Italian Cafe: Delicious and reasonable Italian food with a unique atmosphere
- Blue Star: Lots of beers and ciders as well as good food including brunch
- SeaMonster Lounge: Fun live music
- Kate's Pub: Laid-back atmosphere with good drinks and pub games
- Tuttabella: Neopolitan pizzeria with frequent live music
- Musashi's: Cheapest sushi in town
- Molly Moon's: Homemade ice cream. Get there early in the summer because the line goes around the block!
Fremont Troll and 2007 Recruits - Credit: K Stoll
Fremont is known for its eccentricities and many festivals. It is also home of the Fremont Troll and Statue of Lenin. Fremont has plenty of cute shops and coffee houses as well as a tame nightlife with several bars and restaurants.
- Bottleworks and Brouwer's Cafe: Massive beer selection
- Stickman Cafe: Home of the 2002 North America Barista Champion
- Paseo: To-die-for Cuban sandwiches
- Theo Chocolate: Organic, fair trade, award winning chocolate
- Fremont Outdoor Movies: Movies in the park during the summer
- Fremont Sunday Market: Weekly year-round market with antiques, crafts, and second-hand gems as well as a farmers market
Ballard is a bit of a communte from the UW, but it has a great night life with lots of live music and delicious restaurants. The Burke Gilman Trail will take you all the way from UW to Golden Gardens where you can BBQ on the beach while watching the sun set over the Olympic Peninsula.
- Kings Hardware: Bar with outdoor seating and Skee-Ball
- Tractor Tavern: Live music...if you like country and Monday night square dancing
- Hattie's Hat: The portabella burger is to die for, but there is plenty of meat too
- La Isla Seattle: Puerto Rican food and $3 mojitos 10pm-midnight
- Balmar: Loungy bar
- Egan's Ballard Jam House: Live local music
- Ballard Locks: Watch the salmon climb the fish ladder and cross the Ship Canal to Magnolia by foot or bike
- Cupcake Royale: That's right, a cupcake shop
Duke's Chowder House at the north end of Greenlake - Credit: D McCully
Greenlake is the area around Greenlake which is a popular place for canoeing, playing volleyball and ultimate frisbee, jogging, walking, and generally hanging out. It also has many cute shops and restaurants near the lake and plenty of housing in the surrounding areas.
- Duke's: Award winning clam chowder and delicious sweet potato fries
- Zeeks Pizza: Tasty pizza overlooking Greenlake
- Lenny's Tavern: Dive bar with great burgers
- Elysian Tangletown: Wide spectrum of beers, including the best pumpkin beer anywhere
- Mighty O Donuts: Classic organic donuts
Eastlake is located conveniently between the UW and the Hutch. It doesn't have a whole lot to do, but it's on several great busses that will take you to all the best places in minutes. It has plenty of moderately-priced apartments, particularly if you can find a roommate.
- Eastlake Bar & Grill: Fantastic happy hour food from 10pm-close
- Serafina: Upscale restaurant with a romantic atmosphere; part of the 30 for $30
- The Zoo: Dive bar with lots of games and older folk
Capitol Hill is one of the liveliest places is Seattle with coffee shops, restaurants from every country, bars of every type, and dance clubs galore. You will see many fixed gear bikers cimbing the hill at any hour of the day. Apartments have gotten somewhat expensive, but it's worth it for the location.
- Linda's: Outdoor seating, cheap drinks, and amazing breakfast
- Cafe Metro: Exceptionally cheap happy hour
- Neighbours: Seattle's favorite gay dance club
- Cha Cha: Strong drinks, vibrant atmosphere
- R Place: A diverse mix of people in a multilevel building with a bar, billiards, and dance floor
- The Chapel: Some of the fruitiest, yummiest, and most exciting martinis in Seattle
- Canterbury Ale & Eats: Pub fare with a rustic atmosphere
- Cal Andreson Park: Field space, outdoor movies and music, frisbee golf, bicycle polo and more
- Harvard Exit Movie Theater: old artsy movie theater often showing independent or foreign films
There are many more residential places where students live, including Phinney Ridge, Maple Leaf, Roosevelt, Ravenna, Bryant, Montlake, and Sand Point. These areas can be less expensive and are still very close to the UW. They all offer both rental houses and apartments.