As you stroll through the collection of urban shopping and historic homes, mix in with students rushing between classes or relaxing when their work is done.
The focal point of Seattle’s University District is the University of Washington, a prestigious public institution on a beautiful 700-acre (280-hectare) campus. Visit in the spring to see magnificent cherry blossoms on the Quad. Look for Denny Hall and the Theodor Jacobsen Observatory, both built in 1895. The Drumheller Fountain is the picturesque centerpiece of the campus, shooting water high in the air from a wide pool.
Visit some of the university’s cultural centers: the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Henry Art Gallery, the Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse and the Brechemin Auditorium. Watch song, dance or dramatic performances at Meany Hall. Wear purple to cheer on U-Dub’s renowned football team playing other Pac-12 teams at Husky Stadium. Pre-game tailgating is popular among students, visiting alumni and other fans. Bring your own food and drinks.
The university campus is about 5 miles (8 kilometers) north of downtown Seattle. Cross a short bridge over the manmade Montlake Cut connecting Union Bay and Portage Bay. Stand on Montlake Bridge and gaze down at university rowers practicing in their slim hulls. Step inside the Conibear Shellhouse and look up at the Husky Clipper that the UW eight-oar team rowed to win a gold medal in the 1936 Olympics. Rent a canoe or kayak at the Waterfront Activities Center near the stadium for your own adventure on either of the bays.
Beyond the campus, find dining and shopping on University Way, known as The Ave by locals. Greek Row running north and south has fraternity and sorority homes in elegant mansions along a tree-lined boulevard. Hike along the local portion of the Burke-Gilman Trail that stretches between Puget Sound and Lake Washington.
If you’re a college student, you’ll quickly find your way around the University District. If you’re just visiting, simply ask friendly students for recommendations for their favorite spots.