• Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewmalone/686888880/">Wake</a> by Andrew Malone


Belltown is Downtown's younger sibling, just north of Virginia Street (up to Denny Way) and stretching from Elliott Bay to 6th Avenue. Not so long ago, Belltown was home to some of the most unwanted real estate in the city. Today, Belltown is increasingly hip, with luxury condos, trendy restaurants, swanky bars, and a number of boutiques. (Most of the action happens between 1st and 4th Avenues and between Bell and Virginia Streets.) You can still find plenty of evidence of its edgy past—including a gallery exhibiting urban street art, a punk-rock vinyl shop, and a major indie rock music venue that was a cornerstone of the grunge scene—but today Belltown is almost unrecognizable to long-term residents. Except for the stunning Olympic Sculpture Park—which, especially on a gorgeous day, is not to be missed—the area doesn't have much in terms of traditional sights, but it's an interesting extension of Downtown. Though the number of homeless people in the neighborhood can be off-putting, Belltown is generally safe during the day and is very pleasant to explore.


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