Even if you don’t live in Seattle proper, most spots in the Greater Seattle Area enjoy easy access to the city. If you’ve just moved to the Seattle area, or if you’re interested in moving there, you might be wondering which neighborhoods you should check out.

Most people know that Pike Place Market and the Space Needle are fun spots. However, to Seattle residents, the Space Needle is a lot like the Eiffel Tower: they’re both gorgeous, historic landmarks that are fun to visit once–okay, maybe even twice–but their charm tends to quickly wane after a couple of experiences navigating the lines of tourists and steep prices.

Seattle’s real glory comes from its unique neighborhoods and hidden gems of lushly green parks and funky eateries. Every few years or so, The Seattle Met puts out an updated list of the top ten neighborhoods in Seattle. Here’s a brief overview of the top five neighborhoods they chose.

1. Ballard

Historically, Ballard was community of fishermen and a hub for Scandinavian immigrants. Today, with its quiet residential streets, its trendy bars and restaurants, and its famous farmer’s market, Ballard is one of the sweetest spots in the city. I personally love the bar Essex and its nextdoor sister restaurant Delancey for cocktails, delicious woodfired pizza, and a relaxed atmosphere.

2. Queen Anne

I have family who recently bought a house in Queen Anne, and, while visiting them, I fell in love with the area. Like Ballard, Queen Anne is centrally located and features peaceful residential streets and funky restaurants, shops, and bars. While in the area, I suggest trying a cup of rich Turkish coffee at Coffeemind and grabbing a super fresh, locally- sourced lunch at The Bounty Kitchen.

Also worth visiting in this neighborhood: Kerry Park, which offers incredible views of downtown, and the small but lovely Parsons Gardens.

3. Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill is an up-and-coming neighborhood in southeast Seattle. With its cozy and artistic coffee shop The Station, or its fantastic Mexican restaurant Baja Bistro, this area features something for everyone.

Also, be sure to visit the Beacon Hill Food Forest, which is an edible urban forest garden that grows berries, nuts, and other edible plants and is open to the public for foraging. When completed, this food forest is set to be the largest of its kind in the country.

4. White Center

Another up-and-coming neighborhood, White Center is located in south Seattle and is known for its diverse immigrant population and global atmosphere. The Seattle Met recommends trying tres leches de chocolate at Salvadorean Bakery and Restaurant.

5. Central District

Central District is a mostly residential neighborhood located just south of Capitol Hill and east of downtown Seattle on the shores of the gorgeous Lake Washington. Central District also was once home to several celebrities, including Quincy Jones, Jimi Hendrix, and Sir Mix-a-lot.

If you’re spending the day in Central District, check out the Northwest African American Museum before heading to the upscale Vietnamese restaurant Ba Bar for traditional Saigon street food.

Other great Seattle neighborhoods include Roosevelt, Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, Columbia City, and West Seattle Junction. Additionally, if you’re curious about real estate listings in the Greater Seattle area, contact the SeaReal Team today: 206-518-5518 or info@searealteam.com.