One day, getting to the U-District from Downtown will be a breeze—but until the Light Rail line is completed, getting here requires a car or a bus ride. Driving is technically the easiest solution; unless you hit traffic, taking I–5 north to 45th Street takes only 10 minutes from Downtown. However, driving around the area can be a headache, and parking is hard to come by, especially on weekends.
The bus takes longer—45 minutes depending on the route—but it has its perks. The number 43 bus, which you can catch Downtown along Pike Street, takes a pleasant route through Capitol Hill, over the Montlake Bridge, and stops on the western side of the campus in front of the Henry Art Gallery.
Getting around the U-District is fairly easy. The major action happens on "The Ave" (University Way NE), between 42nd and 50th streets. Getting to the other northern neighborhoods of Wallingford, Fremont, and Ballard is easy, too. The only thing not convenient is the University Village shopping center, which is a long walk.