My Favorite Off-Campus Study Spots

Winter Quarter has begun, and it feels like we’ve been back for weeks. With the low temperatures, I never feel like leaving my room. Unfortunately, I can’t always stay focused sitting at my small desk for hours on end. Sometimes a change in scenery helps me stay motivated. Thus came the idea that I would share with you all my top five favorite places to study off campus. Don’t worry, they’re all fairly close by. (Nothing over a short walk or bus ride.)

  1. 1. Oddfellows Café (inside Elliot Bay Bookstore)

    This café is probably one of the first real coffeeshops I ever tried in Seattle. It’s located about 10 minutes off campus inside the Elliot Bay Bookstore. The seating area is against the right, back wall of the store and has individual and large tables for whichever suits your study habitat. The atmosphere is very homey and cozy, and when I’m not studying, I still come here to curl up with a good book and even better coffee. Usually the people around are also working and it’s motivating to be surrounded by good work energy.

  2. 2. Seattle Public Library

    I am a lover of books, and this library is much more than just a library. It’s a glass, architectural beauty from the outside, and just as captivating inside. This masterpiece is located downtown on 4th avenue. It is a little bit of a longer walk, about 25 minutes, or if you’re in a hurry, busses 2, 3, and 4 can get you there in about 15 minutes. There’s 11 stories to this building with plenty of tables and quiet places to study, as well as areas that overlook the city, since it is mostly all glass. On top of that, getting a library card is absolutely free!

  3. 3. 40th Floor, Columbia Tower (Starbucks)

    This has been my little secret study area for quite some time. I’m sure lots of you know the tallest building in Seattle is the Columbia tower at 76 stories high. It’s a good tourist destination for some if you want to go to the top floor and check out the sunset or the city from a viewpoint. However, that costs money, and as a college student, I try my best to save where I can. What you may not know is that there is actually a Starbucks in this building on the 40th, which is free and accessible to all. There are a handful of tables inside, some with views of the city. I usually bring my own coffee and settle at one of these tables for a few hours. It is a little bit busier than other locations, so it can be distracting for some. Even if you decide not to go with your homework, I still recommend checking it out.

  4. 4. Semillon Bakery

    A recent discovery of mine I’ve fallen in love with is Semillon Bakery. This bakery/café is located on the end of campus, right across from the Fine Arts buildings. It’s quite a small space, but there’s windows all around which let in plenty of natural light. The people who work here are extremely kind and welcoming. I really appreciate the simplicity of this place and the fact that since it’s pretty lowkey, I can stay concentrated and get a lot of work done. Not only is the ambience of this café my favorite, but the baked goods are to die for. If I’m having a day where I treat myself, I always order a croissant or an apple turnover.

  5. 5. Cherry Street Coffee

    If I’m feeling more on the lazy side, but I still want to get out of my room, this is my go-to spot! Cherry Street coffee is right next to the Douglas apartments, not even a few minutes’ walk off campus. I love this café, especially in the summer since they have outdoor seats and I can enjoy a nice caffeinated drink while people watching, and of course, getting some of my work done. If you’re just trying to dip your toes into finding a new study location, I would definitely recommend this place first.

If you couldn’t tell, I am quite the Seattleite and have a special space in my heart for coffee shops. I hope that some of these recommendations are helpful and are places that you all will check out. Good luck to all of you with your Winter Quarter!