Seattle is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States, yet its cost of living is 49% higher than the national average, due in no small part to housing. So, if you will be studying on the University of Washington’s gorgeous campus this summer, you are probably both excited and apprehensive, especially if you will be living in UW off campus housing. As a student on a budget, you may be wondering how you are going to stretch your pennies while you still enjoy the nature, culture, and sights around you. The good news is that we have put together a few tips on how you can have fun in Seattle without breaking the bank. As the locals know, it’s all about staying in the right areas, avoiding the pricier restaurants, and taking advantage of affordable (and even free) entertainment.
Believe it or not, you can find some surprisingly great deals for University of Washington’s summer housing. UW off campus housing can be very affordable. Studio apartments start between $900-$1,200 and come fully furnished – all you have to do is bring your clothes and other personal items to make the place feel like home. If you want to level up and stay in even better UW graduate housing, you can get a furnished 2-bedroom apartment. Sharing it with a roommate will make your rental costs start at $1,300 per person, and you will have more space to spread out. Some of the more popular places for UW off campus housing include the University District, which has an awesome Farmer’s Market on Sundays as well as an art gallery and museum; Downtown Seattle, which has the Seattle Aquarium, shops, and restaurants; West Seattle, known for its beaches and forests; and Ballard, which has outdoor events and fewer crowds.
Next on your list of priorities will be food. If the university’s dining hall isn’t grabbing you, you have plenty of options. Seattle has a well-deserved reputation for having great restaurants, but to steer clear of the ones that are a bit expensive, you can fill up at little side cafes and street stands. Especially popular are biscuits and honey at Bok a Bok, some pizza at Hot Mama’s Pizza, quesadillas at Tacos Chukis, and dumplings at Dough Zone. If you like to cook, then you’re about to be in heaven. The Pike Place Market has fresh produce and fish as does the University District Farmers Market, which only sells food. Just remember to show up early to get the best selection. Many outdoor markets are open rain or shine.
When you need to take a break from studying, there are a lot of fun, free things to do in Seattle. The entire area is a nature lover’s paradise. You can jog through Lincoln Park, where you might spot herons or seals; admire Seattle’s skyline as you stroll through Kerry Park; or set out to explore any of the 485 parks across the city. Seattle also has a thriving art and museum scene. On the first Thursday of the month, you can get into museums for free, including the Museum of History. Also a lot of fun are the Art Walks, which are also free and offer a great chance to experience a different side of Seattle. Don’t forget to get outside the city – if you drive two hours or less, you’ll have your pick of mountains for hiking, including the majestic Mount Rainier.
In the end, Seattle is as expensive – or as affordable – as you make it. There will always be incredible restaurants and shops with prohibitive prices, but if you do a little research, ask around and listen to the locals, and get to know the city, your summer in Seattle will be memorable for the right reasons: fantastic scenery, reasonable UW off campus housing, delicious food, and great entertainment around every corner.
Tripalink creates co-living communities and student housing opportunities across the United States. We simplify the apartment search to reduce the cost of living, create beautiful homes, and help both students and young professionals find a community in their city. For more information about Tripalink and co-living, please see www.tripalink.com.