Located south of downtown and Pioneer Square, the neighborhoods of Georgetown and West Seattle feel more detached, cut off from the city center by the glassy expanse of Elliott Bay and the boxy warehouse district of SoDo. Since transport connections to and from downtown are better than those between the neighborhoods themselves, they're often visited separately. Georgetown can be incorporated with a visit to the Museum of Flight, while West Seattle works as a pleasant summer weekend beach sortie.
Located 3 miles south of Seattle proper, Georgetown is an old neighborhood with a scrappy yet independent artistic sensibility that’s recently been deemed cool. Once you get here (regular buses from downtown take 25 minutes), navigation is easy. Most of Georgetown's pubs, hip bars, funky shops and restaurants are clustered on Airport Way S.
There are plenty of Seattleites who would more likely visit Hawaii than spend a day catching rays in West Seattle. But, although this island-like enclave might feel as if it’s halfway to Honolulu in the minds of many, it’s actually only – ahem – 15 minutes from downtown by water taxi. Not that everyone dismisses it. Indeed, among a certain type of Seattleite, West Seattle beckons like a proverbial Coney Island, courtesy of sandy Alki Beach, the city’s best excuse to get undressed in public and pretend you’re in California.
Spread over a hilly peninsula, the neighborhood spins on two hubs: the de facto downtown called 'the Junction' at the intersection of California Ave and SW Alaska St whose indie record store and one-in-a-million bakery alone are worth the visit, and the famous beach and its promenade. Free shuttles from the water-taxi dock connect with both.