cover

Staying in a vacation rental in Seattle is a great way to experience the city. You can accommodate your whole family without cramming everyone into a single room or spending money on multiple rooms and enjoy comforts like couches, kitchens and patios. However, before you commit to a property, there are a few things you should consider.

Ideal Location

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

As is the case with finding a home in your own city, location is everything. Where you base yourself dictates the cost of your vacation, what kinds of activity options you have during your downtime, and it can even affect the overall mood of your vacation. Click here to browse though a complete neighborhood guide, and keep reading for our top suggestions.

Central Seattle

If you want to stay close to all the action, your best get is to book a vacation rental in Central Seattle. To start, check out Downtown or Capitol Hill. Both these areas are packed with things to do, all within walking distance. Downtown, you’ll find the famous Pike Place Market and the Seattle Art Museum. Capitol Hill, on the other hand, is a trendy neighborhood with various boutiques, cocktail lounges and coffee shops that are full of life from day to night. Another great area to stay on the west side of Capitol Hill is South Lake Union. There, you can find a spacious rental by the water.

North Seattle

This part of Seattle is best suited for families traveling together. Two family-friendly neighborhoods include Windermere on the northeast side, and Westlake on the northwest side. Windermere is a residential area that’s further north from downtown. The neighborhood is extremely safe and quiet, with gorgeous homes, making it a perfect place for families to stay. Additionally, Westlake is — you guessed it — west of Lake Union. You’ll find a variety of apartments and homes to rent, with easy access to the downtown area via bus or car. On a nice day, you can even head over to the lake and rent a boat for a fun day out on Lake Union.

Proximity to Public Transportation, Major Roads and Shopping

Jose Luis Stephens/Shutterstock

Once you’ve chosen a neighborhood, it’s time to get into the specifics. When looking at different vacation rental properties, pay attention to where they are situated in the area. Seattle’s public transportation is excellent, and staying near a bus stop or Monorail station can save lots of time when you set off to various attractions around the city. If you plan on driving while you’re in town, find out which major road connections are in the area.

The I-5 is famously packed going into the city, especially during rush hour, so you may want to choose routes that are less popular with commuters. Shopping options are also important, especially if you don’t want to drive. Having your own kitchen is one of the best parts of staying in a vacation home, but you don’t want to spend your precious hours hauling heavy groceries back to your rental.

Rental Policies

Artazum/Shutterstock

Whether you’re on the lookout for a Seattle luxury vacation rental or you’re booking a budget trip, rental policies can have a huge effect on your stay. Most owners set out rules about pets, smoking, payments, cancellations, minimum stay, guest ages and damage deposits, and paying attention to these prevents surprises from happening during your vacation. If you’re renting an apartment or home in a residential area, there may also be policies on quiet hours and use of common areas.

Parking Options



Seattle is notorious for its shortage of parking, and depending where you are, it may be hard to find public parking. If you’re looking at a vacation apartment, check to see if the property has parking spaces available. Even if you have your heart set on staying in a house, double check to see if there’s a driveway or street parking where you can keep your car. If you’re traveling as a group and have more than one car, also ask if there are enough spaces to accommodate everyone.

Timing Preference

Doraemonz32/Shutterstock

If you haven’t booked a ticket or your vacation time yet, you should also think about when you want to go on your Washington adventure. In terms of weather, summer is the best time to visit Seattle. The city gets rainy most of the year, but things are drier in June, July and August. The weather is a mixed bag in May and September, but there are still lots of nice days to go around. March, April and May tend to be more affordable, so those are good months to travel if you’re on a budget.