Despite its reputation, Seattle is not the rainiest city in the U.S.—even if some days it feels like it. Campus is situated at the center of everything—close to the shops, clubs and restaurants of Capitol Hill, walking distance to downtown Seattle, a short bus or car ride to outdoor recreation and a place where personal discovery intersects with professional development.
The neighborhood directly to the north of campus is Capitol Hill, one of the city’s most popular nightlife and entertainment districts. Our students can step just a few blocks off campus and be in the middle of it all: concert venues, bookstores, cafes, music shops, restaurants, and more are just a short walk away. Capitol Hill is home to a historic gay and colorful countercultural community
Seattle is the birthplace of modern coffee culture. While Starbucks is an important part of our coffee history, we also love our neighborhood hangouts like Victrola or Bauhaus Coffee and Books. Every café has its own flavor: quiet and contemplative to loud and alternative. With more bookstores per capita, and coffee in or near each one, Seattle is a great place to while away an afternoon reading and people watching.
A favorite spot for Seattle U students, Bimbo’s Cantina is typical of the Capitol Hill eateries just steps from campus. Great happy hour prices on nachos and tacos, plus vegan options.
Seattle's music scene, which exploded in the early nineties with bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam, is now being led by Tres Leches, The Black Tones, Dark Smith, DoNormaal and Perfume Genius. Broadway Avenue, adjacent to campus, stays up late; or head down the hill to Belltown or Pioneer Square.
Located a short walk from campus, this seven-acre park includes water features, a play area, an athletic field and oversized chess boards.
The Capitol Hill Block Party is one of the many fun activities that go on around Seattle U's neighborhood. This six-stage music and arts festival recently featured one of our very own with a performance by alumna Hollis Wong-Wear.
Pike Place Market—one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the US—is a favorite destination for many students and is just a short (downhill!) walk from campus. Other attractions like the world-famous Seattle Public Library, the award-winning nine-acre Olympic Sculpture Park, and the Seattle Great Wheel are all just a short trip away. Just south of downtown (SODO) you’ll find Lumen Field and T-Mobile Park, home to some of Seattle’s professional sports teams: the Seahawks (NFL), Sounders (MLS), OL Reign (NWSL), and the Mariners (MLB).
The Gum Wall at the Pike Place Market was born in the 1990s when people waiting in line for an improv show started sticking their chewed gum on the wall outside the theater. The city cleaned the wall for the first time in 2015, clearing away 2,350 pounds of layered gum. Let’s just say the effort to clean the wall didn’t stick.
Seattle’s waterfront attracts tourists and locals alike with awesome views, entertainment and eateries. Along the boardwalk you can visit the Seattle Aquarium, ride the Great Wheel, ferry watch and bike or walk in Myrtle Edwards Park.
Seattle's thriving arts community is anchored by the comprehensive collections of the Seattle Art Museum. On the first Thursday of every month, downtown galleries are free and stay open late and art fans stroll from show to show.
Marked by the iconic Space Needle built for the 1962 World’s Fair, Seattle Center is home to some of the nation’s best regional theater plus museums, city-wide festivals and concerts.
Being in the city and region of world-class companies—from tech to aerospace, arts to health care—means opportunities abound for students who want on-the-job-training through internships and networking.
Pike Place Market is your gateway to the city. Spend the day visiting the market or let it be your entry point to even more. It’s blocks from Seattle Art Museum, Benaroya Hall, the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood and the Seattle waterfront.
There is no shortage of ways to enjoy the great Pacific Northwest while living in Seattle. The city offers more than 485 parks to explore within city limits; some feature walking paths along the beach, and others lead through urban forests. And if getting out of the city interests you, our Outdoor program sponsors dozens of activities each year for students to camp, hike, rock climb, ski/snowboard, and explore together. No experience needed!
Best city for outdoor enthusiasts
—Insider magazine, 2021
This iconic Seattle park located on the site of what used to be the Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant. Situated on the north end of Lake Union, the park offers views of the Seattle skyline.
Students take in the view at the West Point Lighthouse in Discovery Park. The 534-acre park in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood offers miles of walking trails, protected tidal beaches, forests and sand dunes that surround Magnolia Bluff.
Accessible by water taxi from downtown Seattle or by bus from campus, Alki Beach in West Seattle is one of the region’s best sandy beaches—right down to its beach volleyball courts, fish and chip restaurants and natural tide pools. Alki offers stunning views of the Seattle city skyline, like this image captured during sunrise through the old wheelhouse windows of the historic ferry Kalakala.
Seattle University students snowboarding at Snoqualmie Pass.
Photo credit: Hamilton Keola
Students rock climb the sand bluffs of Larrabee State Park and Clayton Beach outside of Bellingham, WA, during a weekend outing organized by Seattle U’s Outdoor Adventure Recreation.
What better way to explore new terrain than via the region’s public transportation system—by bus, streetcar, light rail or ferry. Take a ride on the region’s light rail and stop at distinct neighborhoods like Columbia City and the International District or hop on a Metro bus and enjoy an afternoon wandering the Olympic Sculpture Park downtown.
Seattle University senior film studies student Queenelle Gazmen catches up on reading on a bus. At least 70% of the Metro fleet is zero emission.
With a stop just outside campus, it’s a convenient option that will coast you north through Broadway or south towards the Chinatown-International District and Pioneer Square. Sometimes the streetcar is wrapped SU-style!
Seattle’s rapid transit line will get you from campus to the airport in 40 minutes. Twenty-five new stations are scheduled to open by 2024 and five more extensions of the line in the next three years.
Let Washington state’s fleet of ferries carry you through the islands off the coast. The choices are vast. Care to spend the day biking Bainbridge Island? It’s a short ferry ride from Seattle’s waterfront. If you’re game for an overnight trip, several ferries will take you to the San Juan Islands where sea kayaking, camping and mountain biking are popular.
Biking to campus is easy with secure commuter bike storage and access to shower and locker space, plus a Ride the City mapping website, and a few off-campus run rideshare options.