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9 Great Seattle Airbnbs to Rent for a Truly Local Stay

By Lora Shinn

Apr 16, 2021

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Measuring just 180 square feet, this compact property is parked in the heart of West Seattle.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Measuring just 180 square feet, this compact property is parked in the heart of West Seattle.

Live like a local in the Emerald City with these home-away-from-home Airbnbs in neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to Ballard.

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Dive into the authentic side of Seattle by overlooking the city’s big-name hotels—which are largely concentrated in the downtown area—in favor of an apartment-based stay in one of its diverse neighborhoods. They all come chockablock with locals’ favorite restaurants, boutiques, bookstores, cafés, and bars.

Indeed, it’s Airbnb to the rescue in the Emerald City, with robust rental options listed in walkable neighborhoods where you can ditch the car and hit the pavement, in spots like West Seattle, Capitol Hill, Ballard, or the University District (aka the U District). Or for something unique to Seattle, you might consider a yacht stay (Airbnb has plenty of those listings, too). Accordingly, here are nine Seattle Airbnb standouts that we absolutely love:

1. Trendy Tiny House (pictured above)

  • Neighborhood: West Seattle
  • Sleeps: Up to 3 guests
  • Book Now: From $130 per night, airbnb.com

Nicknamed “Tipsy,” this tiny home—measuring a mere 180 square feet—was constructed from reclaimed wood and hand-built by a licensed architect. While small on size, it doesn’t lack in amenities, which include a shower-equipped bathroom, mini-kitchen with a fridge and induction oven, and a queen-size bed in the ladder-accessible loft. It’s located within the West Seattle Junction area, home to a weekend farmers’ market, awning-capped storefronts, independent eateries (like vinyl shop/breakfast joint Easy Street Records), and more. 

Get your R&R in at this Greenwood-based Airbnb, with its Zen-inspired offerings that include a private garden retreat, authentic Finnish sauna, and saltwater hot tub.

2. Spa Retreat with Sauna and Hot Tub

  • Neighborhood: Greenwood
  • Sleeps: Up to 4 guests
  • Book Now: From $205 per night, airbnb.com

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Hygge it up in this uniquely soothing stay that’s influenced by both Scandinavian and Japanese design. The two-bedroom abode—designated as a higher-standard Airbnb Plus property—offers an authentic Finnish sauna and saltwater hot tub, along with a private garden retreat. The full kitchen and four-person dining table afford an alternative to eating in one of Greenwood’s proliferation of inventive restaurants and breweries.

This cozy one-bedroom apartment can be your home-away-from-home in Capitol Hill, Seattle’s traditionally LGBTQ+ district.

3. Relaxed Apartment with Rooftop City Views

  • Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
  • Sleeps: Up to 4 guests
  • Book Now: From $79 per night, airbnb.com

This one-bedroom Airbnb Plus is located just a few blocks from the quieter, restaurant- and café-dotted 15th Avenue portion of Capitol Hill, and less than a 20-minute walk away from the heart of Seattle’s bustling, traditionally LGBTQ+ district, which brims with bookstores, diners, and hip nightlife spots. Before you head out for the evening, take a bottle of wine up to the roof deck to enjoy sunset views of the Space Needle and downtown.

This midcentury modern A-frame house was designed by architect Wendell Lovett and comes tucked into Seattle’s quiet Matthews Beach neighborhood.

4. Architectural Retreat with Lego Kitchen

  • Neighborhood: Matthews Beach
  • Sleeps: Up to 6 guests
  • Book Now: From $372 per night, airbnb.com

Don Draper would feel perfectly at home at this midcentury modern abode, an A-frame house designed by the late Pacific Northwest architect Wendell Lovett and located in the quiet Matthews Beach neighborhood. There’s plenty of room for groups (of up to six guests) to spread out amid four bedrooms, a loft space (with an additional queen bed), and an open-plan living/dining/kitchen area. Swank touches like a jetted tub and towel warmers might make it tough to leave, but should you peel yourself away, the prominent University of Washington and Seattle’s youthful U District are just a 25-minute bike ride away, along the Burke-Gilman Trail

Enjoy snacks and drinks in this Ballard cottage’s kitchen.

5. Charming Pacific Northwest Guesthouse

  • Neighborhood: Ballard
  • Sleeps: Up to 2 guests
  • Book Now: From $160 per night, airbnb.com

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This cozy cottage is located on a quiet tree-lined street in a residential part of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. Step outside for a 30-minute stroll to Golden Gardens Park, a city beach boasting views of sailboats on Puget Sound’s Olympic Mountains–flanked Shilshole Bay. In downtown Ballard, around 12 blocks south, you can also catch a movie at an indie theater, visit the Nordic Museum, shop for vinyl, or go for a bar crawl along cobblestoned streets. Back at this Airbnb Plus, you can enjoy amenities that previous guests rave about in the reviews like a gas fireplace in the living room, a welcome basket stocked with snacks and drinks, and a pillow menu with soft, medium, and firm options.

This 78-foot-long, 80-year-old yacht has been restored to a luxury standard as a floating hotel option for Airbnb guests.

6. Restored Historic Yacht

  • Neighborhood: Eastlake
  • Sleeps: Up to 8 guests
  • Book Now: From $452 per night, airbnb.com

For a floating hotel option, try the gorgeous Linmar, a 78-foot-long, 80-year-old yacht that’s been restored to a luxury standard. The cozy, light-filled space features a glossy mahogany interior, a master stateroom with private bath, and three additional bedrooms (including one that features bunk beds). There are also two salons, a full kitchen, and an exquisite porthole-enhanced dining room with seating for eight. The still-functioning yacht (which is occasionally booked for private cruises) is moored for Airbnb guests on Seattle’s Lake Union, in the Eastlake neighborhood, which offers a decent selection of restaurants and bars and is just a quick car ride to downtown Seattle attractions. 

The sunlight-drenched kitchen at this Capitol Hill home is a great alternative for when you want to cook up your farmers’ market finds.

7. Capitol Hill Home One Block off Broadway

  • Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
  • Sleeps: Up to 5 guests
  • Book Now: From $228 per night, airbnb.com

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Taking over the whole main floor of this updated 1902 Dutch colonial–style home, this Airbnb Plus has access to a private patio and is just a five-minute walk from Volunteer Park. If your goal is to eat and drink your way through Capitol Hill, you can’t beat this location one block off restaurant- and shop-lined Broadway. With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, there’s plenty of room for a family or a small group of friends to spread out in and get comfortable during their time in Seattle.

Pair urban adventure with the feel of a rural-flavored getaway, via this unusual yurt-based stay.

8. Urban Yurt Glamping

  • Neighborhood: West Seattle
  • Sleeps: Up to 4 guests
  • Book Now: From $99 per night, airbnb.com

The Pacific Northwest is a popular camping destination, so who says Seattle has to be any different? This yurt-based stay pairs urban adventure with the sense of a rural-flavored getaway. Snuggle into a queen-size canopy bed with a solar-powered bathroom and mini-kitchen nearby, while the gas-log fireplace warms up the soft-sided yurt at night. Located in West Seattle’s village-like North Admiral district, the yurt is within a 20-minute walk of grocery stores and a movie theater, ferry rides to downtown Seattle, and spectacular sunsets at Alki Beach.

Bunk down in the historic Pioneer Square quarter at this loft rental, offering antique wood furnishings, exposed-brick walls, a Persian rug, and soaring ceilings.

9. Historic Loft Hideaway

  • Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
  • Sleeps: Up to 4 guests
  • Book Now: From $151 per night, airbnb.com

Antique wood furnishings, exposed-brick walls, a Persian rug, and high ceilings welcome renters to this well-located loft rental within the historic Pioneer Square quarter. Home to art galleries and an old train station, Pioneer Square is an easy 20-minute walk to downtown, too. Tip: The unit’s full kitchen and six-person dining table make this stay perfect for bringing back foodie finds from downtown’s Pike Place Market.

This article was originally published on December 5, 2018; it was updated on April 16, 2021, with current information.

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