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 characters, including:
- Columbia City – Once a forgotten part of the city left for decay, Columbia City has been revitalized in recent years. Known mostly only by locals, Columbia City is a quiet gem that offers great restaurants, bars, live entertainment, movies, art galleries, and shops. Also, be sure to explore the Columbia City Library, a recently updated Carnegie library.
- Rainier Valley – Home to more immigrants than any other neighborhood in Seattle. Small shops and restaurants abound, particularly African and East Asian.
- South Seattle can also refer to a small residential neighborhood west of Mt. Baker.
Rainier Ave S. and Martin Luther King Jr. Way are the two main thoroughfares that run north and south through the district. Light rail connects downtown and the stadium district to an underground station below Mt. Baker, then continues down MLK Way. Metro Transit bus routes #7 and 42 travel along Rainier and MLK, respectively, with frequent service seven days a week; the 7 is also one of the few routes to operate between 1 and 5 AM. East-west bus service is limited to local routes.
- Seward Park, . The entire park is a large peninsula that is surrounded by Lake Washington. Kids activities in the summer, great scenery, and a 2 and half mile paved level path that circles the whole peninsula, are a few of the attractions.
Bike, run or walk the paved path (not open for cars), that circles Seward Park, also explore the many walking trails.
- Jefferson Park, 4165 16th Ave S (Located on Beacon Hill), ☎ 1+ 206 233-1509, . 4am-11:30 pm. A park that has basketball court, lawn bowling, tennis court(with lights), paths for running, and beautiful view of Puget Sound, downtown area, and Olympic mountains from South Seattle. Tennis courts are recently resurfaced and extra courts are added. Great place for residents to do outdoor activities.
- Mountains to Sound Greenway, (Begins at Jose Rizal Park). Dedicated walking and bicycle path running from Beacon Hill across Rainier Ave to Mount Baker district, Mercer Island and Bellevue.
- Andaluz, 4908 Rainier Ave S (between Ferdinand and Hudson), ☎ +1 206 760-1900, . M-Tu noon-6PM, W,F-Sa noon-8PM, Th noon-7PM, Su noon-5PM. Women's clothing, jewelery and accessories.
Try many of the diverse ethnic restaurants scattered throughout the area.
- Columbia City Bakery, 4865 Rainier Ave S (east of the Columbia City light rail at Edmunds St), ☎ +1 206 723-6023, . M-F 7AM-7PM, Sa-Su 7AM-5PM. Excellent bread, pastries, cakes, and coffee. Mostly a dessert or snack place, though the ham and Gruyère croissant makes for a nice light lunch. Most pastries about $3.
- Tutta Bella Pizzeria, 4918 Rainier Avenue S, ☎ 206-721-3501. 11am-10pm. Award-winning Neapolitan pizza, certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. Recognized as Independent Pizzeria Of The Year by Pizza Today magazine in 2010.
- Island Soul, 4869 Rainier Avenue S, ☎ 206-329-1202, . Lunch: 11a-2p M-F; Dinner 5p-9p M-Th, 5p-10p F, 2p-10p Sat. Authentic Caribbean cuisine from chef Bobby Laing. $$.
- Jones Barbeque, 3810 S Ferdinand St., ☎ (206) 722-4414, . The Columbia City outpost of the acclaimed, small local barbecue chain.
- Geraldine's Counter, 4872 Rainier Ave S, ☎ (206) 723-2080, . Tues-Fri 7a-9p; Sat-Sun 8a-3p. Classic American comfort food with fresh, local ingredients and a sophisticated touch.
- El Sombrero, 4868 Rainier Ave S, ☎ (206) 725-1418. M-F 11a-10p; Sat 12p-10p; Sun 12p-9p. Family-friendly, authentic Tex-Mex restaurant with full bar. $.
- Wabi Sabi, 4909 Rainier Avenue South, ☎ (206) 721-0212, . Lunch M-F 11:30a-2p, Sat 12:30p-3:30p; Dinner Sun-Thu 4:30p-9p, Fri-Sat 4:30p-10p. Contemporary-themed sushi bar and Japanese restaurant.
- La Medusa, 4857 Rainer Avenue S, ☎ 206-723-2192, . Tues & Thur 5p-9p; Wed, Fri, Sat 5p-10p. Italian restaurant billed as "Sicilian soul food" from chef Julie Andres.
- Bar del Corso, 3057 Beacon Ave S, ☎ (206) 395-2069, . Tues-Sat 5pm-10pm. Wood-fired pizzas, Italian dishes (salumi, cheeses and desserts), Italian wines/cocktails, and local beers on tap. $$.
- Columbia City Ale House. Many local beers on tap.
- Lottie's Lounge. A neighborhood-centric lounge with full food menu and inspired original cocktail specials.
- The Bourbon. Located in the same building as the Columbia City Theatre, with a full bar menu, occasional DJ's and karaoke night.
No accommodations in this area. Visitors not staying with friends tend to find hotels downtown.
- Casa de Esperanza, 3317 S Hanford St (at 34th Ave S), ☎ +1 206 734-1994, . Bed and breakfast near Mount Baker Park and Lake Washington. $80+. (47.575135,)
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- Seattle Airport Marriott, 3201 South 176th Street, ☎ 206-241-2000, . This hotel near Seattle Airport provides a unique and relaxing experience for busy travelers, with complimentary shuttle service provided.