Seattle, Washington has long been known as a grand destination for music fans, but this vibrant city offers so much more than concerts and shows. People of all ages are sure to appreciate the gorgeous nature, fantastic restaurants, unique entertainment, and friendly, welcoming community. With plenty to do and see, it can be challenging to pick from one of many cozy Seattle vacation rentals to serve as a home away from home. Fortunately, there are an abundance of wonderful places to stay both in the city and surrounding areas. With that said, here are the top Seattle neighborhoods and suburbs to visit.

1. Waterfront, Seattle

Source: Pixabay/flexpoint

Staying by the water is such a fun way to experience Seattle. In the Waterfront neighborhood, you can walk to many of Seattle’s iconic landmarks. Take a stroll to the Seattle Great Wheel, a giant 175-foot Ferris wheel that provides a stunning view of the city. Or, grab some fresh-caught seafood for lunch, then enjoy your day exploring Bremerton and Bainbridge Island by ferry. Folks of all ages are sure to enjoy visiting the seals, otters, and fish at Seattle Aquarium, a famous location that’s hosted more than 25 million visitors since its opening in the late ’70s.

2. Mercer Island, Washington

town houses near the lake
Source: Flickr/Brad Greenlee

If you want to stay near the downtown area, but you also want to be able to escape the hustle and bustle, Mercer Island is a great choice. There are plenty of waterfront homes, and the neighborhoods tend to be upscale. It’s an island, so as you can imagine, there’s plenty to do on the water. Head to Clarke Beach or Groveland Beach for a leisurely day of swimming and sunbathing. Nature lovers will be thrilled by Pioneer Park, a multi-acre woodland park with trails for hiking or horseback riding. Be sure to check out the many boutiques, thrift shops, and bookstores, and don’t forget to grab a bite at one of the many local eateries.

3. Capitol Hill, Seattle

city buildings
Source: Flickr/Matthew Rutledge

There’s no shortage of fun to be had on Capitol Hill. This fabulous neighborhood boasts a huge variety of diverse cuisine, shopping spots, and entertainment. Climb the water tower in Volunteer Park for a breathtaking view of the downtown area, and then dance the night away at one of the area’s many nightlife hot spots.

4. Woodinville, Seattle

tree with curved trunks
Source: Flickr/Barry Lancaster

This quaint Seattle suburb is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy peace and quiet without sacrificing city accessibility. The area’s known for its charming farmhouses and spacious properties. Head to the Bassett Pond Natural Area for a beautiful, leisurely hike, then grab some dinner ingredients at the local farmer’s market. Don’t forget to stop by one of the area’s many wineries for a bottle, and maybe even a tour!

5. Belltown, Seattle

space needle in the city
Source: Flickr/Tanya

Trendy and cool, Belltown is a great place to stay if you want to take in Seattle’s nightlife culture. While it may not be the ideal place for those traveling with children, young professionals are sure to fall in love with the neighborhood. Belltown is known for its nightclub scene, but there’s more to this area than that. First Avenue runs parallel with the water, and it’s full of unique shops, art galleries, and cafes. The vintage Cinerama movie theater is a great place to catch a flick, and the Olympic Sculpture Park is a delightful place to check out some local art.

6. Fremont, Seattle

Source: Pixabay/jackmac34

If you want to stay right in the heart of the city, Fremont is a perfect choice. Nestled among multiple neighborhoods just north of the downtown area, Fremont is a great starting point for all of your adventures. Go for a relaxing jog or bike ride near the water on the popular Burke-Gilman Trail to start your day, and then the possibilities are endless! Be sure to stay in the area on Sunday for the Fremont Sunday Street Market, a flea market, farmer’s market, and all-around, fun outdoor experience.

7. Bellevue, Washington

Source: Pixabay/Goodfreephotos_com

Located approximately 20 minutes from Seattle by car, Bellevue is a welcoming, upscale suburb with gorgeous properties. Spend your day bargain hunting at the high-end Bellevue Square shopping center, and then admire the Northwest’s stunning foliage at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. The Bellevue Arts Museum is the perfect place to relax and take in some truly exquisite art and culture.

8. Pioneer Square, Seattle

stone side walk
Source: Flickr/Scott Beale

With over a century’s worth of history at your fingertips, Pioneer Square is a great place to learn about Seattle’s fascinating past. Take a tour through the old city’s underground tunnels, then check out the rotating art installations in Occidental Park. This area is known for its fine dining, so don’t forget to treat yourself to some culinary magic while you’re in this romantic Seattle neighborhood.

9. Issaquah, Washington

hiking trail
Source: Flickr/Andrew E. Larsen

If you love nature and being outdoors, Issaquah is for you. You may not even have time to explore Seattle with so many places to explore in this city. If you stay in Issaquah, your backyard includes Squak Mountain State Park, Tiger Mountain State Forest, Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, and Lake Sammamish State Park, not to mention the natural beauty that permeates the area. There are also plenty of local restaurants and shops to visit once you’re done adventuring.

10. Sammamish, Washington

lake and sky
Source: Flickr/Curt Smith

Sammamish is a calm city that boasts spacious properties and historic craftsman style houses. It’s also known for its low crime rate. Spend your time fishing, boating, swimming, and relaxing at the beloved Lake Sammamish. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and take a hike at the 512-acre Lake Sammamish State Park. Golfers are sure to appreciate teeing off at the evergreen Sahalee Country Club. Sammamish is just a half hour drive from Seattle, making it the perfect retreat when you feel like enjoying small-town comfort.