Just in time for summer! I’ve lived near Seattle my entire life, but just recently I have spent two years actually living in the city. Even though I consider myself a local, there is still so much that I don’t know about it. I still get lost in areas that I have been to more than a dozen times. I am still in awe every time I drive across I-5 and I look out over the water into the city. Seattle is considered a major city in our country, but yet it isn’t major to me. It’s not extra special, it’s not extraordinary, it’s just home. It is a city with 26 sub-neighborhoods that no one knows about. It is also the city that is widely known for incessant rain, but is underrated in terms of its well-known music scene. For the record, I hear it rains more in New York, but it just rains off and on here for a longer amount of time.
Here are my favorite places slash things to do in Seattle no matter what season it is rain or shine. I’ve also asked some of my friends for their opinions on places as well. I’ll try to make this as less cliche as possible.
Best Boutique: Sway and Cake
1631 Sixth Av, Downtown
(206) 624-2699, SwayAndCake.com
They have your usual array of designer jeans, but they also offer the latest trends and looks straight from the runway. You can expect high quality clothing at this boutique ranging from accessories to casual wear to the perfect dress for your night out on the town.
Best Happy Hour Food Menu: Wasabi Bistro
2311 2nd Ave Seattle, WA 98121
I have heard that Umi Sake House was better, but Wasabi Bistro will always always be my favorite. They are my ultimate go-to place when I need a sushi fix. Currently, they are closed for remodeling, but I highly recommend this restaurant for anyone who wants to have some of the best sushi in Seattle. (If not the best)
Happy Hour is everyday from 4-6pm and includes a special happy hour food menu where many of their items are half off. I suggest:
- Seattle Tempura Roll (It’s basically their special)
- Pork Gyoza
- Miso Soup (I feel it compliments all the food you’re eating and helps it settle better)
Off the happy hour:
- All nigiri sushi in general? (try the seared salmon, which isn’t listed on the menu, but you can still order it. It’s the best!)
- Grilled sockeye salmon w/ sweet soy glaze
- Gozilla Roll
- West Hollywood Roll
and for dessert: the chocolate lava cake or tempura ice cream in green tea or vanilla.
photo credit here
Best View: Kerry Viewpoint
This is the only spot in Seattle where you can look over the entire city and see absolutely everything! It’s beautiful during the day and at night. Located in Queen Anne, Kerry Viewpoint is the perfect setting for tourists, prom groups, and weddings.
Best Park: Cal Anderson Park
1635 11th Ave
Located just three blocks away from my school, this park is my favorite in terms of both distance and location. It is right in the heart of Capitol Hill and a prime spot for the summer during the day and in the evenings. It also definitely has some characteristics that other parks do not have such as the ginormous fountain, the kiddie pool for the little ones [I've decided that people of all ages are readers to this blog] the random DJ with all of his gear spinning beats by the tennis courts and the weekly dodgeball games that occur every Tuesday and Friday at 9PM.
Best Outdoor Museum: SAM Olympic Sculpture Park
2901 Western Avenue, Belltown
When I attended the opening day of the park back in January of 2007, not all of the installations had been completed just yet. I plan on making my second visit to the park this summer. While Cal Anderson is your typical idea of a park, the Olympic Sculpture Park allows you to venture outdoors for your art fix. The Seattle Art Museum is an incredible space, but in this park nothing is confined. You’re in Seattle and along with enjoying the view of the art, you get to take in that fresh air and the rest of the cityscape. This is also a great location for snapping photographs.
Best Gag Gift: The Erotic Bakery. [pun intended]
323 N. 45th St, Wallingford
(206) 545-6969, TheEroticBakery.com
You have no idea how difficult it was to choose a safe for work picture rather than a not safe for work picture. For one of my best friend’s 18th birthday, I decided to buy her a cake that she would never forget. I don’t think I should go into great detail discussing it, but I will tell you that the “Happy 18th Birthday Hannah” frosting was accompanied by a very large member. The Erotic Bakery does cakes, cupcakes, cookies, whatever and they are absolutely shameless. I still remember it like it was yesterday. Before leaving with my friend’s scandalous birthday cake, the sales girl at the counter asked me, “Would you like some extra cum? It’s only a dollar.” Bottle in hand and already in motion, I politely declined.
Best Hidden Finds: Thrift Shopping at: Atlas Clothing, Goodwill, Crossroads Trading Co. Red Light, Value Village.
Buying clothing at regular price is overrated. Buying clothing that has already been worn by someone else and resold again is awesome. Finding some amazing pieces at thrift stores will guarantee you that no one else will be wearing it at the same time as you. Thrifting means you get to mix in the old with the new and allows room for DIY. You don’t have to feel bad about altering your purchases because if you mess up – well you didn’t pay that much for it to begin with.
Most Fun to be Had: Capitol Hill Block Party 2010 – July 23-25
No words can describe how truly amazing this experience will be this year. Two years ago, I attended the festival with my best friends where we watched performances by Girl Talk and Vampire Weekend. We danced our asses off in the smelliest of smelly crowds, but we loved every second. If you’re looking for a great time, buy a one day ticket or a three-day ticket for $60 [that's a steal!] and watch some great performances by musicians including MGMT, Blue Scholars, Holy Fuck, Yeasayer, The Dead Weather, and many more. You do not want to miss this.
Best Dance Partner: Scarf Man
You will find him at every notable Seattle event. If he is not at a Seattle event, you are clearly wasting your time at a place you should not be at. If he is there, attempt to introduce yourself to him. I say attempt because my friends and I have decided that we have no idea where he has come from. He doesn’t understand what we’re saying and we do not understand him, but we both understand scarves. Just go with it.
Best Random: The Gum Wall on Post Alley
I just found out today that we aren’t the only city that has one. Bummer. Before you question why I have this on my list, I’d like to remind those of you that have seen this that not everyone has been to this special area. Believe it or not…it’s not widely known by everyone, but it is very cool! Admire up close, admire from afar, make disgusting faces, or participate.
Best Snacks: Molly Moon’s Ice Cream, Dicks Burgers, Cupcake Royale, Street Meat, Old Frozen Custard
You will never go hungry in Seattle. Never. *I should retract that statement…
Best Seattle Festival: Seattle Pride – June 27
This was a tough call especially because I adore Bumbershoot, Folk Life, and the Bite of Seattle, but hands down Seattle Pride. Everything is over the top and extravagant, but I guarantee that you will have an incredible time. The fashion is like you have never seen it before. The dancing. The music. The happiness. You can’t help, but smile at everything surrounding you.
I think we had better close this out with twelve different categories. I asked my friends to share some of their favorites as well so here are some of them below:
- Elliott Bay Book Company [Capitol Hill]
- Pho Than Brothers
- Honey Hole
- Cafe Presse
- Pike Street Fish Fry
- Rancho Bravo
To hang out:
- The Garage
- Alki Beach
Coffee fix other than Starbucks:
- Cafe Vita
While Seattle is a wonderful city, take the time to get to know all of it. Seattle is divided into a number of neighborhoods and each neighborhood has something different to offer. My favorite places are Fremont, Queen Anne, the University District, the International District, and of course my home, Capitol Hill. There are plenty of things that I have left out of this post because they were overly touristy or things that just slipped my mind, but feel free to do your own research as well. There is always something new to discover about Seattle and there are always things that people will enjoy more than others so don’t just take my word for it.