Recreation and leisure

Arts and Culture

The Seattle area is rich in arts, culture, and heritage. You can participate in a diverse series of film festivals, attend the ballet, listen to the symphony, explore the local music scene, or visit one of the many farmers markets, some of which are open year round. Check local publications like The Stranger, The Seattle Weekly, or Seattle Met for more information about local culture and events.

Some of our favorites include:


The Seattle area has a very wide selection of dining options at all price points. Options may be found at: The Stranger, SeattleWeekly, and Seattle Met. Listed below are a few favorite restaurants close to campus.

Outdoor Activities

The Pacific Northwest is known for its natural beauty and its quick, easy access to outdoor recreation. Surrounded by forests, water, and mountains, the area is full of opportunities for outdoor fun in all seasons. There is an extensive network of state and national parks within a short drive of Seattle that offer everything from short afternoon walks to multi-day hiking and camping trips.

A few of our favorite area parks include:

Student discounts

Take advantage of your student status while you’re here, as well. You can visit the Waterfront Activities Center on the UW Seattle campus, and rent kayaks, canoes and rowboats. Climbing fans can get a student discount at the Seattle Bouldering Project, and those who enjoy hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and all other Pacific Northwest pastimes, should check out The Mountaineers.

In winter you can take advantage of the region’s places to ski, snowboard, or snowshoe. Summer is a great time to rent a stand-up paddleboard, try windsurfing, or relax on a sailboat at one of the many waterfront areas, including Lake Washington, Lake Union, or Puget Sound. If you are a runner/walker, there are lots of local events ranging from 5Ks to marathons every month of the year including some right from the UW Bothell campus.

Bicycling is popular not only for transportation but also recreation. Washington State is recognized as the nation’s number one “Bicycle Friendly State” by the League of American Bicyclists for the fourth year in a row, and Seattle is regularly near the top of bike friendly city lists. There are numerous bicycle paths and trails throughout the area and in many of the parks. There is direct access to the UW Bothell campus from the Sammamish River Trail via the Burke-Gilman Trail which extends for 18.8 miles through neighborhoods just north of Seattle and the surrounding cities and towns. Learn more about bicycle trails and maps for King County.