Set aside time for a meander through 50-acre Volunteer Park (1247 15th Ave E), with its remarkable views of the city skyline and the Olympic Mountains in the distance—climb the historic water tower for the best perspective. Amid the park’s greenery, you’ll also find the stately, beautifully expanded Seattle Asian Art Museum (1400 E Prospect St) and the flora-filled Volunteer Park Conservatory (1400 E Galer St), with its nearly 3,500 glass panels and sections devoted to palms, cacti, bromeliads, and other tropical species. Closer to the bustling dining and retail scene of the Pike and Pine corridor, you can relax across the street at Cal Anderson Park (1635 11th Ave), which is named after Washington State’s first openly gay legislator. At the north end of the park, be sure to view the moving and beautifully designed AIDS Memorial Pathway (920 E Barbara Bailey Way), with its striking public artworks.
Full of life, color, and an incredible culinary scene, Capitol Hill has been an LGBTQ+ countercultural hub since the 1950s. In the ’90s, it became the epicenter of the grunge movement—Kurt Cobain hung out regularly at Linda’s Tavern (707 E Pine St). Today, you’ll see the neighborhood’s welcoming, progressive personality on display in its rainbow crosswalks and lively nightspots, like the speakeasy-style craft cocktail bar Foreign National (300 E Pike St) and the long-running lesbian bar, Wildrose (1021 E Pike St). For a fantastic meal, sample exceptional modern Middle Eastern fare at chic Mamnoon (1508 Melrose Ave) and fine Italian cuisine at Tavolàta Capitol Hill (501 E Pike St), which is set in a restored 1920s car dealership. Coffee lovers can visit the first-of-its-kind Starbucks Reserve Roastery (1124 Pike St), or drop by one of the neighborhood’s several esteemed independent roasters, among them Victrola Coffee Roasters (310 E Pike St) and Analog Coffee (235 Summit Ave E).
Capitol Hill’s embrace of creativity extends to its many boutiques, bookstores, and other shops. Lovers of all things literary can peruse the shelves at the Elliott Bay Book Company (1521 Tenth Ave) or pick up unique housewares and urbane gifts and jewelry at Station 7 (400 15th Ave E). Whatever your tastes, sparkling gems lie around every corner in this lively district.
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