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Sarah’s Guidebook

Sarah

Sarah’s Guidebook

Neighborhoods
These are some of my favorite neighborhoods, each is walkable with plenty to explore
Capitol Hill is funky and fast-paced, with an endless number of cool blocks to explore and, unfortunately, a limited number of parking spaces. During the day, shopping and people-watching is a big draw. Nightlife is hopping with clubs, bars, and music venues, and you’ll often find coffee shops that moonlight as cocktail lounges. Individuality and fashion statements are encouraged, and there always seems to be some sort of block party or community forum to encourage residents and visitors to mix and mingle. Points of interest include Volunteer Park (which has the Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle Asian Art Museum [closed for renovations until late 2019] and Bruce Lee’s grave site), Neumos, the Elliott Bay Book Company and the Jimi Hendrix Statue.
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Capitol Hill
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Capitol Hill is funky and fast-paced, with an endless number of cool blocks to explore and, unfortunately, a limited number of parking spaces. During the day, shopping and people-watching is a big draw. Nightlife is hopping with clubs, bars, and music venues, and you’ll often find coffee shops that moonlight as cocktail lounges. Individuality and fashion statements are encouraged, and there always seems to be some sort of block party or community forum to encourage residents and visitors to mix and mingle. Points of interest include Volunteer Park (which has the Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle Asian Art Museum [closed for renovations until late 2019] and Bruce Lee’s grave site), Neumos, the Elliott Bay Book Company and the Jimi Hendrix Statue.
Fremont is always hopping. It hosts plenty of festivals and events for all ages and lifestyles, including the Summer Solstice Parade (a colorful Mardi Gras-style parade with the famous rogue band of nekkid bicyclists), Oktoberfest, Outdoor Movies and First Friday Artwalk to name a few. Each Sunday, bargain hunters flock to the Fremont Sunday Street Market – a flea market / farmer’s market style gathering with food vendors. In Fremont, you can take a tour of a chocolate factory (Theo's), distillery, and brewery – all within easy reach of one another! You can also grab an amazing sandwich at Paseos, eat a freshly made pie at Pie, slurp a bowl of Pho at Lucky’s, or sit down for creative Mexican cuisine and a killer margarita at el Camino. The creative vibe is still alive and well here, with great galleries, boutiques, an excellent statuary and garden shop, and a couple of antique stores. Don't forget to say hi to the Troll, checking out what is accessorizing the Interurban sculpture , or blasting off the Rocket.
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Fremont
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Fremont is always hopping. It hosts plenty of festivals and events for all ages and lifestyles, including the Summer Solstice Parade (a colorful Mardi Gras-style parade with the famous rogue band of nekkid bicyclists), Oktoberfest, Outdoor Movies and First Friday Artwalk to name a few. Each Sunday, bargain hunters flock to the Fremont Sunday Street Market – a flea market / farmer’s market style gathering with food vendors. In Fremont, you can take a tour of a chocolate factory (Theo's), distillery, and brewery – all within easy reach of one another! You can also grab an amazing sandwich at Paseos, eat a freshly made pie at Pie, slurp a bowl of Pho at Lucky’s, or sit down for creative Mexican cuisine and a killer margarita at el Camino. The creative vibe is still alive and well here, with great galleries, boutiques, an excellent statuary and garden shop, and a couple of antique stores. Don't forget to say hi to the Troll, checking out what is accessorizing the Interurban sculpture , or blasting off the Rocket.
Because of its wide variety of residents, Ballard has a very unique personality. You’ve got the let’s-go-out-for-happy-hour crowd, the early-morning-market crowd, the trendy-shop-and-salon crowd, and the late-night-debauchery crowd. You can see it all in one spot–Ballard Avenue. This street was once the commercial district, but now houses about a gazillion restaurants, shops, bars, and art spaces. One of Ballard’s most-visited attractions is the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, which were built in 1917. Engineering buffs will enjoy the well-orchestrated mechanics of it all, and dreamers can imagine sunning themselves on the huge yachts that pass through. You can also go to the underwater observatory and watch the salmon swimming up the fish ladder on their way to Lake Washington and beyond. In the summer months, Golden Gardens Park is a major destination. It’s one of the few sandy beaches in Seattle, and you’ll find beach volleyball courts, kite flyers, sand castles, and barbecue pits. Sunday during the year, the Ballard Farmer’s Market is open for business. Ballard Avenue is closed down to make room for local growers and vendors, plus a variety of artists selling their wares, from jewelry to furniture. This is one of the few year-round markets in the city, and well worth a lazy Sunday stroll.
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Ballard
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Because of its wide variety of residents, Ballard has a very unique personality. You’ve got the let’s-go-out-for-happy-hour crowd, the early-morning-market crowd, the trendy-shop-and-salon crowd, and the late-night-debauchery crowd. You can see it all in one spot–Ballard Avenue. This street was once the commercial district, but now houses about a gazillion restaurants, shops, bars, and art spaces. One of Ballard’s most-visited attractions is the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, which were built in 1917. Engineering buffs will enjoy the well-orchestrated mechanics of it all, and dreamers can imagine sunning themselves on the huge yachts that pass through. You can also go to the underwater observatory and watch the salmon swimming up the fish ladder on their way to Lake Washington and beyond. In the summer months, Golden Gardens Park is a major destination. It’s one of the few sandy beaches in Seattle, and you’ll find beach volleyball courts, kite flyers, sand castles, and barbecue pits. Sunday during the year, the Ballard Farmer’s Market is open for business. Ballard Avenue is closed down to make room for local growers and vendors, plus a variety of artists selling their wares, from jewelry to furniture. This is one of the few year-round markets in the city, and well worth a lazy Sunday stroll.
Belltown has a bit of everything: vibrant party and concert scene, lots of bars and restaurants, and cool shops and galleries, sprinkled with cold condo towers and a few seedy pockets. The main ‘strip’ of Belltown is 1st Avenue, running parallel to the waterfront and on into downtown. Along this street, you’ll find a gaggle of places to stop: art galleries, clothing stores, home furnishing shops, jewelers, salons, and of course places to eat and drink. Some of the classic venues are The 5 Point Café, The Crocodile (closed for a while, but back by demand of live-music-lovers), and the very vintage Cinerama movie theater. Newer, highly popular additions include Dahlia Lounge, List (an Italian lounge), and Bathtub Gin & Co., a delightful speakeasy tucked in an alley. For a little fresh air, scope out the Olympic Sculpture Park to enjoy the many art installations by local artists, not to mention the view of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains beyond.
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Belltown
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Belltown has a bit of everything: vibrant party and concert scene, lots of bars and restaurants, and cool shops and galleries, sprinkled with cold condo towers and a few seedy pockets. The main ‘strip’ of Belltown is 1st Avenue, running parallel to the waterfront and on into downtown. Along this street, you’ll find a gaggle of places to stop: art galleries, clothing stores, home furnishing shops, jewelers, salons, and of course places to eat and drink. Some of the classic venues are The 5 Point Café, The Crocodile (closed for a while, but back by demand of live-music-lovers), and the very vintage Cinerama movie theater. Newer, highly popular additions include Dahlia Lounge, List (an Italian lounge), and Bathtub Gin & Co., a delightful speakeasy tucked in an alley. For a little fresh air, scope out the Olympic Sculpture Park to enjoy the many art installations by local artists, not to mention the view of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains beyond.
Where to Eat (Mostly Local)
I highly recommend all restaurants listed. All are within walking distance unless otherwise noted.
Excellent ‘Eurasian’ food. Fit for foodies
Cook Weaver
806 E Roy St
Excellent ‘Eurasian’ food. Fit for foodies
Local favorite, menu is a crowd-pleaser
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Single Shot
611 Summit Avenue East
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Local favorite, menu is a crowd-pleaser
Interesting Indian fusion. Try the eggplant fries!
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Poppy
622 Broadway East
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Interesting Indian fusion. Try the eggplant fries!
Closest dive bar, serves a decent fried chicken burger
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Bait Shop
606 Broadway East
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Closest dive bar, serves a decent fried chicken burger
Best cocktail bar in Seattle.
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Canon
928 12th Avenue
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Best cocktail bar in Seattle.
Local favorite with comfort food. Order the grilled cheese sandwich.
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Harry's Fine Foods
601 Bellevue Ave E
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Local favorite with comfort food. Order the grilled cheese sandwich.
Best local brunch scene, has outdoor seating in summer.
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Tallulah's
550 19th Avenue East
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Best local brunch scene, has outdoor seating in summer.
Great Italian food. Reservations required.
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Spinasse
1531 14th Avenue
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Great Italian food. Reservations required.
Ice cream favorite. Always a line up, but worth it.
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Salt & Straw
714 E Pike St
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Ice cream favorite. Always a line up, but worth it.
Excellent Thai food, quality ingredients
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Manao Thai Street Eats
1222 East Pine Street
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Excellent Thai food, quality ingredients
A favorite of locavores, constantly changing menu.
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Sitka & Spruce
1531 Melrose Avenue
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A favorite of locavores, constantly changing menu.
Local favorite, like a cross between a farmhouse and community kitchen. Not great if you’re in a hurry :)
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Volunteer Park Cafe
1501 17th Avenue East
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Local favorite, like a cross between a farmhouse and community kitchen. Not great if you’re in a hurry :)
Steakhouse with a twist. No vegetarians allowed.
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Bateau
1040 E Union St
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Steakhouse with a twist. No vegetarians allowed.
Funky sushi place. Great specialty rolls and the menu is as long as a Russian novel.
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Momiji
1522 12th Avenue
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Funky sushi place. Great specialty rolls and the menu is as long as a Russian novel.
Popular bakery with sandwiches, breads and pastries. Great for breakfast.
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Macrina Bakery & Cafe
746 19th Ave E
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Popular bakery with sandwiches, breads and pastries. Great for breakfast.
They serve perfect fried chicken dinners and are also popular for brunch.
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The Wandering Goose
403 15th Avenue East
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They serve perfect fried chicken dinners and are also popular for brunch.
One of best sushi places in Seattle. [A bit of a walk, so take an Uber]
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Nishino
3130 E Madison St
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One of best sushi places in Seattle. [A bit of a walk, so take an Uber]
Malaysian food. Excellent.
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Kedai Makan
1802 Bellevue Avenue East
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Malaysian food. Excellent.
Good Mexican, great rooftop patio
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Mezcaleria Oaxaca
422 East Pine Street
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Good Mexican, great rooftop patio
Great Vietnamese-French fusion restaurant.
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Stateside
300 East Pike Street
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Great Vietnamese-French fusion restaurant.
Japanese. Seasonal prix-fixe menu. Expensive but worth it.
Adana
1449 E Pine St
Japanese. Seasonal prix-fixe menu. Expensive but worth it.
Delicious Thai, streamlined menu
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Little Uncle
1523 East Madison Street
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Delicious Thai, streamlined menu
Sleek, middle eastern food.
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Mamnoon
1508 Melrose Avenue
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Sleek, middle eastern food.
Good food, great rooftop
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Terra Plata
1501 Melrose Avenue
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Good food, great rooftop
Cool vibe, focus on local ingredients, great raw bar
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Lark Restaurant
952 East Seneca Street
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Cool vibe, focus on local ingredients, great raw bar
Gastropub, decor is heavy on taxidermy. Best mac n cheese.
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Smith
332 15th Avenue East
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Gastropub, decor is heavy on taxidermy. Best mac n cheese.
Northern Italian, focus on local ingredients. This is a dining experience, so bring your $$$ and an appetite.
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Altura
617 Broadway East
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Northern Italian, focus on local ingredients. This is a dining experience, so bring your $$$ and an appetite.
Brewery that allows you to bring dogs, children, your own food, board games, and your own (non-alcoholic) drinks. Awesome and a great place to kill time if it’s raining.
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Optimism Brewing Company
1158 Broadway
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Brewery that allows you to bring dogs, children, your own food, board games, and your own (non-alcoholic) drinks. Awesome and a great place to kill time if it’s raining.
Popular gay bar. Has disco ball.
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Pony
1221 East Madison Street
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Popular gay bar. Has disco ball.
Flagship coffee shop has bakery, craft distillery and gift shop.
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Starbucks
1124 Pike Street
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Flagship coffee shop has bakery, craft distillery and gift shop.
Izakaya restaurant with very funky vibe
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SUIKA Seattle
611 Pine Street
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Izakaya restaurant with very funky vibe
Burlesque shows in a dinner theater setting. Great night out, acceptable food and often hilarious shows. Advance reservations recommended.
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The Pink Door
1919 Post Alley
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Burlesque shows in a dinner theater setting. Great night out, acceptable food and often hilarious shows. Advance reservations recommended.
Great sandwiches and cafe food. In a bookstore featuring technical books. No booze.
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Ada's Technical Books and Cafe
425 15th Avenue East
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Great sandwiches and cafe food. In a bookstore featuring technical books. No booze.
Closest coffee shop. Sit outside and watch the world stroll by.
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Joe Bar
810 East Roy Street
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Closest coffee shop. Sit outside and watch the world stroll by.
Great pizzas and other Roman food. Crowd pleaser.
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Rione XIII
401 15th Avenue East
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Great pizzas and other Roman food. Crowd pleaser.
Dive-y pizza joint with excellent pizza. Very committed to a late-90’s theme.
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Dino's Tomato Pie
1524 E Olive Way
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Dive-y pizza joint with excellent pizza. Very committed to a late-90’s theme.
Breakfast and lunch spot in the heart of Capitol Hill.
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Oddfellows Café + Bar
1525 10th Avenue
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Breakfast and lunch spot in the heart of Capitol Hill.
Great place to eat oysters by South Lake Union. [Too far to walk, take an Uber or bike or boat to get there]
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Westward
2501 North Northlake Way
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Great place to eat oysters by South Lake Union. [Too far to walk, take an Uber or bike or boat to get there]
Dive bar that serves sushi. Somehow works, great for late night dining.
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Liberty
517 15th Avenue East
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Dive bar that serves sushi. Somehow works, great for late night dining.
Jazz bar/restaurant. Check their website to see who’s in town.
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Dimitriou's Jazz Alley
2033 6th Avenue
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Jazz bar/restaurant. Check their website to see who’s in town.
Sightseeing
A few things to do if you haven’t already made plans.
Only a block away, you can wander the park, take a picnic, visit the conservatory, climb the water tower to see the view, and take the kiddies to splash in the wading pool.
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Volunteer Park
1247 15th Avenue East
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Only a block away, you can wander the park, take a picnic, visit the conservatory, climb the water tower to see the view, and take the kiddies to splash in the wading pool.
Incredible museum showing Chihuly’s glass works. You can often also see glass-blowing demonstrations
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Chihuly Garden and Glass
305 Harrison St
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Incredible museum showing Chihuly’s glass works. You can often also see glass-blowing demonstrations
Must see. Food, fish, restaurants and strange specialty shops (like a magic shop). It’s bigger than you imagine, so consider taking a formal tour.
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Pike Place Market
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Must see. Food, fish, restaurants and strange specialty shops (like a magic shop). It’s bigger than you imagine, so consider taking a formal tour.
Funnest museum, for kids and adults alike.
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Muzeum populární kultury
325 5th Avenue North
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Funnest museum, for kids and adults alike.
Seattle’s main art museum. It’s okay.
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Seattle Art Museum
1300 1st Avenue
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Seattle’s main art museum. It’s okay.
Outdoor sculpture garden with works by Richard Serra and Roxy Paine. Nice views of Puget Sound.
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Olympic Sculpture Park
2901 Western Avenue
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Outdoor sculpture garden with works by Richard Serra and Roxy Paine. Nice views of Puget Sound.
Cool to see how the locks work, especially for kids. Worth a visit if you’re planning to be nearby. Free.
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Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks
3015 Northwest 54th Street
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Cool to see how the locks work, especially for kids. Worth a visit if you’re planning to be nearby. Free.
Fun, silly tour of Seattle’s first city (Seattle was rebuilt on the ashes of the origins after a 31-block fire in 1889)
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Bill Speidel's Underground Tour
614 1st Avenue
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Fun, silly tour of Seattle’s first city (Seattle was rebuilt on the ashes of the origins after a 31-block fire in 1889)
Beautiful botanical gardens with walking path. There’s also a Japanese garden at one end, which has an entry fee.
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Washington Park Arboretum UW Botanic Gardens
2300 Arboretum Drive East
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Beautiful botanical gardens with walking path. There’s also a Japanese garden at one end, which has an entry fee.
Packed lake with joggers, kayaks, volleyball, etc. Great for picnics, kids, long runs. Can rent stand-up paddle boards and kayaks.
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Green Lake Park
7201 East Green Lake Drive North
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Packed lake with joggers, kayaks, volleyball, etc. Great for picnics, kids, long runs. Can rent stand-up paddle boards and kayaks.
Steampunk park with a decommissioned gas works right on Lake Union. Good for picnics and kite-flying. Great place to watch the sun set.
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Gas Works Park
2101 North Northlake Way
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Steampunk park with a decommissioned gas works right on Lake Union. Good for picnics and kite-flying. Great place to watch the sun set.
Art museum with late-19th century Munich school artists.
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Fryeovo muzeum umění
704 Terry Avenue
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Art museum with late-19th century Munich school artists.
Kenmore Air (seaplanes) has sightseeing flights, as well as flights to the San Juan islands. Take a trip!
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Kenmore Air
950 Westlake Avenue North
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Kenmore Air (seaplanes) has sightseeing flights, as well as flights to the San Juan islands. Take a trip!
It’s a troll. Under a bridge.
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Fremontský troll
Troll Avenue North
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It’s a troll. Under a bridge.
It’s a wall with gum on it. Strangely fascinating.
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Gum Wall
1428 Post Alley
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It’s a wall with gum on it. Strangely fascinating.
They rent electric boats by the hour. Book online. Rent one on a sunny day and toodle around Lake Union!
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The Electric Boat Company
2046 Westlake Avenue North
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They rent electric boats by the hour. Book online. Rent one on a sunny day and toodle around Lake Union!
Take a tour of Boeing’s production facility. Go on a weekday when you can see actual employees at work.
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Boeing Future of Flight​ Museum​
8415 Paine Field Boulevard
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Take a tour of Boeing’s production facility. Go on a weekday when you can see actual employees at work.
Woodinville is a mini wine district with over 50 wineries. Walk or bike between tasting rooms. Chateau Ste Michelle is only one of many, but it’s got a faux castle and a good summer concert series. Only 30 mins from Seattle (Uber will take you)
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Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
14111 Northeast 145th Street
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Woodinville is a mini wine district with over 50 wineries. Walk or bike between tasting rooms. Chateau Ste Michelle is only one of many, but it’s got a faux castle and a good summer concert series. Only 30 mins from Seattle (Uber will take you)
Great outdoor shopping center. Has everything, plus good food options.
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University Village
2623 NE University Village St
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Great outdoor shopping center. Has everything, plus good food options.
Shop! Eclectic shop with local and international designers alike.
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Totokaelo
1523 10th Avenue
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Shop! Eclectic shop with local and international designers alike.
Great book store. A classic.
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The Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 10th Avenue
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Great book store. A classic.
Art gallery with focus on urban pop-culture
Roq La Rue Gallery
532 1st Avenue South
Art gallery with focus on urban pop-culture
Shop! Great place with lesser-known designers. Affordable.
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Glasswing Shop
1525 Melrose Avenue
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Shop! Great place with lesser-known designers. Affordable.
Maybe you’ve seen this one already.
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Space Needle
400 Broad St
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Maybe you’ve seen this one already.