While this hipster haven doesn’t offer beach access or swimming pools, it’s still a highly desirable summer spot, thanks to a killer park and fountain, a tangibly youthful energy, restaurants with their patio doors flung open, nightlife that keeps on going and one of summer’s most anticipated music festivals.
Capitol Hill’s street fashion is some of the most fun in the city, and there is ample opportunity to watch the stylish passers-by while eating outdoors. Especially primo for people watching: sitting on the front deck at Café Presse (1117 12th Ave.; 206.709.7674; cafepresseseattle.com) with a cold Belgian beer and a plate of magnificent frites. Oddfellows Café (1525 10th Ave.; 206.325.0807; oddfellowscafe.com) has a sweet, enclosed back patio that seats six sets of two and gives the instant feeling of an afternoon outdoors in a Paris café. Delicious Poppy (622 Broadway E; 206.324.1108; poppyseattle.com) offers sidewalk seating and, by special request, a back patio option—the perfect place to share a veggie thali and sip a Turkish delight.
It may be one of the most bustling neighborhoods in Seattle, but Capitol Hill also provides one of the most superb spots to plop down and bask in the sunshine: Cal Anderson Park (1635 11th Ave.; calandersonpark.com)—named one of the 12 best American city parks by Forbes. With green space, ball fields, a playground and a fountain that screams to be splashed in, this is the place to be when the temps rise. While away a day or evening watching outdoor sports, with your choice of baseball, kickball, bike polo or dodge ball (yes, those are all games for grownups). And did we mention the park abuts Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream (917 E Pine St.; 206.708.7947; mollymoonicecream.com)? Brave the line and splurge on two scoops of honey lavender. Those seeking something a little more serene should head to beautiful Volunteer Park (15th Avenue E between Prospect and Galer streets) for rolling, grassy lawns, gigantic trees, unequaled picnicking and classic romance, courtesy of Shakespeare in the Park (Romeo and Juliet, July 9–10, August 12 & 14).
The Capitol Hill Block Party (capitolhill-blockparty.com) has grown from a quirky collection of local bands performing outdoors on makeshift stages to a huge draw with a major lineup (and lots and lots of fences cordoning off minors and non-payers). While at press time the lineup had yet to be set, last year’s fest included both up-and-coming local faves like The Dutchess and the Duke and great big stars like Built to Spill.
Originally Published in June 2010