First Hill is so named for being the first of the seven hills of Seattle that one encounters when traveling east from Downtown. This nabe is just up the hill fromDowntown, making it one of the most convenient areas of Seattle. A huge selection of bars and restaurants ranging from dives to high-end dining line Pike Street and Pine Street, and live music pulses from many establishments. Housing is mostly apartments and studios with a few houses strewn about here and there. First Hill is also known as “Pill Hill” due to the nabe being home to the three largest medical centers in Seattle.
First Hill, Seattle Data : Neighborhoods & Travel – Score out of 100
First Hill, Seattle Reviews
The Ave of Cap Hill
A couple of my buds from highschool go to Seattle University, and call this area home. Conveniently enough, I usually end up crashing at their place if we ever go out to the bars, because traffic, parking, and just about everything in this area is horrendous and inaccessible. Broadway is sort of “the Ave” of Capitol Hill, I suppose. On the average day you’ll find drunk wandering the streets, college kids hustling by, and boozers enjoying the sun. The appeal of this area, and many surrounding parts, is almost completely beer/liquor oriented, since every other establishment is a fairly divey bar.What's awesome
Getting drunkWhat's not so awesome
Remembering what happened
You might find yourself here for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Or just drunk and passing through.
Interestingly enough, First Hill and Seattle Center are the only two nabes in most of Seattle that make me extremely nervous. What’s weird is that the anxiety I feel while in these nabes is completely unfounded. I think it has to do with my complete lose of direction in these areas. It almost feels like being in a theme park, and having no ability to relationally understand your current position. This probably doesn’t apply to everyone, in fact, it may just apply only to me, but needless to say I always grab a friend when navigating these areas. My utter loss of direction may have to do with the fact that many roads change directions, dead end, or reappear several blocks away from where they died.
Mostly comprised of residential zones with a sprinkling of parks, this nab boarders roughly along James to the south, 12th to the west and pike to the north. It’s quite a small nab, and many of the rental housing or condo options take advantage of the ‘hill’ part of first hill, standing tall in the sky with a view that spans all directions. Seattle University boarders along Broadway and O’Dea High School isn’t too far either. On the downside, you might get the noisy group of 2am party goers yelling, shouting and littering as they stumble home from the bars.
– Mostly quiet, but nestled between extremely dense areas.
– Close access to downtown for commuters.
– A quick hop off first hill will put you at a central location
for nightlife or many other fantastic avenues of adventure.
– Almost completely surrounded by hospitals.
– Close the several schools and universities for students.
– Again, late night grocery stores surround this area.
– Terrible parking, but good public transit surrounding the area.
– Often a bit noisy and dirty from drunk weekenders.
– Rent comes in mostly the form of high-rise buildings and be a bit
on the expensive side
– If you’re anything like me, it’s incredibly difficult to
navigate these parts.
Wedged between high class and high art, First Hill is a bit of both, and a bit of neither.
First Hill is a strange little wedge of land off Pike Street up the hill and across the 5 from downtown Seattle, but not quite all the way to the Hipster, Gay/Lesbian, and trendsetting neighborhood of Capitol Hill. Instead you get a slightly more upper-class taste of the city, one in which it’s a quick five minute walk to the expensive shopping and restaurants and tasteless bars of downtown. A ten minute walk to the tourist infested, yet still pretty darn good place to shop, Pike’s Place Market and the waterfront, or a ten minute walk the other direction to Capitol Hill, Seattle’s own little Williamsburg, tragically hip and always up-and-coming enclave of Hipsters (mind you, this is Seattle we are talking about, so everywhere is hipster infused).
First Hill is quiet and very green, with huge flowering trees lining all the streets and moss collecting on the sidewalks. It’s location makes it very easy to get to downtown, or the 5, but parking can be a ludicrous test of your ability to wake up before seven AM just to move your car before you get an excessively expensive ticket. The city requires you purchase parking passes for your neighborhood, but they oversell them, and there is never enough parking. However, if you don’t have a car, this neighborhood is a good option as it has multiple bus routes running through it, and you can walk to pretty much anywhere you want to go.
Centered around Pike Street (eastbound) and Pine (westbound), the area south of these hallowed Seattle roads serves as the residential part of First Hill, with few dining options or nighttime fun to be had. But as soon as you step on to Pike and cross the street and head north or east, your options are almost limitless. The area abounds with delicious ethnic restaurants and quirky bars ranging from the dive of all dive bars in Seattle, to high class wine and cocktail bars, replete with Seattle’s art community boasting about how the city will regain its iconic status that defined the nineties for the Pacific NW. Live music permeates Pike St as you head east, Jazz emanates from the basements of speakeasy-type establishments and local and touring hard rock rattles the windows of the Comet Tavern. Across the street is Neumos, one of Seattle premier medium sized venues, attracting regional and national acts of all kinds. Bring ear plugs to Neumos.
Definitely more sleepy than its other Hipster counterparts, First Hill is gorgeous and convenient, if a bit a overpriced (an 800 square foot studio will run you about 850 a month), but lacking none of the amenities of its neighbors, and boasting a much more central location, you could do much worse than to live in this nabe.