Alive at all hours of the day, the University district is a neighborhood filled with feisty young student who attend the nearby University of Washington. Aside from the cool clothing boutiques and the delicious restaurants, there is more to the University District, or the U District as it is also known, than a bunch of stores catering towards college students. 35,000 local residents and thousands more students flow through the U District on any given day, so there is a constant beat on the main drags of this part of Seattle.
The main streets in the University district are University Way and Roosevelt. The edge of the University of Washington campus up around 15th to 20th are the east and northern borders of this Seattle neighborhood. You can help keep your orientation by keeping in mind the borders of the U District. To the west, I-5 is where it ends, and to the south the ship canal is the border. Aside from the campus, Safeco headquarters is the tallest building in the University District. Visible from most streets in the U District, this building helps you orient yourself with its central location at the intersection of NE 45th St and Brooklyn Avenue NE.
On the edge of Union Bay is an arboretum situated on 230 acres. Meandering pathways through colorful, fragrant gardens and Japanese maple forests make this a lovely place to unwind and breathe in nature's bouquet. You can enjoy a tour which takes place at 1:00 on Sundays. Arrive at that time at the Donald Graham Visitors Center if you"d like to tour the Arboretum, which is managed by the University of Washington. The Frye Art Museum, one of the great museums in Seattle, is also located on campus.
There is more to the U district than the campus and college life. The annual U District Streetfair has signaled the start of the Seattle festival season for the past 35 years. 50,000 or more people fill the streets to wander through the booths, filled with great food and interesting crafts. There is also live theatre, street entertainment and performers such as comedians and jugglers, and two massive music stages. This is a fun and free way to enjoy a day in the sun. Non-stop entertainment and people watching make this one of the most interesting aspects of the University district. For the year 2006, the U Districts Streetfair is going to be held on May 20th from 10 am to 7pm, and from 10 am to 6 pm on Sunday the 21st.
Due to the shopping center that has sprung up on the other side of the University of Washington campus, the University District has had a decrease in the amount of shoppers, but many students still swear by the funky used clothing and specialty shops. The frequent bus service that goes through the U district can take you to any part of Seattle you want to go, but with so many great shops and places to eat and drink, you might find it difficult to leave.