Founded in November 1861, just 10 years after the creation of Washington Territory, the prestigious UW now occupies 693 hilly acres that were originally cleared for the festival grounds of Seattle’s Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in 1909. Supporting a 40,000-member student body that’s as eclectic as the architectural mix on campus, the institution has garnered a reputation internationally for its undergraduate and postgraduate curriculums in biomedical research, ethnomusicology, computer science, and literature. Wide open quads, cherry blossoms in spring, and landscaping provides a relaxing counterpoint to the constant buzz of advanced learning.


Henry Art Gallery

Meany Theater

  • 4001 University Way NE

  • 206 543 4880

Burke Museum

  • 206 543 5590

University Book Store

  • 4326 University Way NE

  • 9am–9pm Mon–Fri, 10am–7pm Sat, noon– 5pm Sun

The Ave

The main commercial artery serving the U District is University Way NE, called “The Ave”, which is all about youth culture. It’s lined with coffee shops, music stores, clothiers, as well as bookstores that have lasted generations, and restaurants serving reasonably priced food from every culture imaginable. In 2003, in a grand effort to beautify the street, the city widened side-walks, and enhanced law enforcement, adding some sparkle to what had been suffering neglect for years.

University of Washington

University campus

There’s no shortage of eateries on “The Ave”. For pub grub and the best micro-brew in the U District, try (206 545 4509).

Nothing beats a meal and drinks at (206 545 8570). Rent kayaks bound for Lakes Washington and Union, via the Ship Canal. Get there early for lunch or dinner to avoid the lines.

A walk around the University campus especially during spring is definitely a worthwhile experience.

Top 10 Sights
  1. The Hub

    The main student union building is known as “The Hub” due to its central position on campus. It’s information central, as well as a venue for visiting performers.

  2. Red Square

    Named for the inlaid brick pavers underfoot, the huge Square lies between Meany Theater, Kane Hall, and the Suzzallo Library. It’s also known for hosting impromptu midnight concerts by musicians seeking free expression.

  3. Henry Art Gallery

    Founded in 1927, this was the first public art gallery in Washington, which quadrupled its size in 1997 to make room for larger, adventurous, modern exhibits and collections and to enhance collaborative educational programs. It also has a bookstore and a café.

  4. Husky Stadium

    At the base of Capitol Hill’s northeastern tip, the up-market community of Montlake abuts the Arboretum and the Ship Canal . Just across the Canal, the university’s huge Husky Stadium, the home of the top-rated UW Huskies, dominates the view.

  5. Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science

    In 2003, the University’s computer sciences department moved into a $72 million facility named after one of the two founders of Microsoft.

  6. Meany Theater

    The shining glory of professional performance arts on campus, the theater hosts performers of all disciplines from all over the globe. It also supports the school’s drama, music, dance, and experimental digital media curriculums.

  7. Suzzallo Library

    Once known as “the soul of the University,” the library is the crowning glory of the Neo-Gothic style on campus. The astounding vaulted ceiling rises 65-ft (20-m) above the second floor reading room. It also offers classes on research and technology skills.

  8. Burke Museum

    The state’s official museum for natural and cultural history is a jewel of the campus. Its collection includes a number of Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest coastal Native American art. The museum also organizes specialized tours and a summer discovery camp for children.

  9. Medicinal Herb Garden

    Escape for a captivating spell on 2 acres of land where several hundred species flourish and herbal scents abound. It also features a Drug Plant Garden planted in 1911.

  10. University Book Store

    The main branch of the bookstore rivals the best in independent and larger chain book vendors for sheer selection and informed staff.

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