A Travellerspoint blog

University District

Am I on the wrong side of the tracks?

rain 60 °F

I have neglected exploring the University District area of Seattle in part because every time I pass through the area, I am taken aback by the filth, but also, it just feels unsafe. I went to college in Bellingham and yes there are areas of this college town that are a little dirty (i.e. Railroad Ave. and Texas St.) BUT, the campus and surrounding areas feel safe, at least to me.

The University District, home to the University of Washington, is a varied landscape. The campus is lush, green, and oh so squeaky clean. But take a step off the campus into the surrounding streets and suddenly you are swept up in an environment full of grime, filth, chained up shop fronts, and much to my horror, college students and homeless people (or maybe both?) passed out on the sidewalk from too much to drink the night before.

I started my journey through the University District at the Farmer’s Market which takes place every Saturday all year. Here I browsed the dozens of stalls offering flowers, fresh baked bread, cheese, and a variety of confections. Musicians performed on either end of the market and children danced to the sounds of banjos and fiddles. The atmosphere was cheery, festive, and warm.


After sampling my fill of home cooked and grown delicacies I made my way to the University of Washington Campus. The buildings are stunning, with elegant architecture and bold brick. Being a Saturday, no students roamed the grounds but I spotted groups of tourists and a newly wed couple tromping through the rain.


To finish up my tour of the University District I headed to Araya’s Vegetarian Place. Eager to get my fill at a Thai buffet, I practically ran to their doorstep (or maybe I was just running from the begging homeless people who were stalking me?!). Araya’s is THE vegetarian restaurant in the U District. With a lunch buffet and a menu of hundreds of items, you could easily spend every afternoon here and never eat the same thing twice. I had my fill, then ate everything off my hubby’s plate, and left feeling very full and happy.

In the end, the University District was quite enjoyable, there are many great places to explore and dozens of amazing places to eat, just avoid tripping on folks who passed out on the sidewalk and don't make eye contact with anyone holding a cardboard sign.

Posted by Jennylynn 19:10 Archived in USA Tagged educational

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