Summer Guide 2010: Fremont

Fremont may have lost some of its quirkiness (hello, condos!), trading its crunchy heritage for a bu

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Fremont may have lost some of its quirkiness (hello, condos!), trading its crunchy heritage for a bustling, youthful nightlife scene. But purists can still count on a few eclectic summer staples. Take, for example, the second annual red, white & dead zombie block party, which includes a Guinness World Records attempt to make Seattle the Zombie Capital of the World (July 3; fremontoutdoormovies.com).

Dine Out(side)
Thirsty? Try the south-facing back deck of El Camino (607 N 35th St.; 206. 632.7303; elcaminorestaurant.com)—the perfect place to soothe a dry throat with a shot of premium tequila (a sampler offers half-shots of three varieties) or a margarita and a shrimp quesadilla. Be prepared for a long wait—and more than a few frat boys—on a weekend evening. For more upscale plein air fare, head to 35th Street Bistro (709 N 35th St; 206.547.9850; 35bistro.com), whose light, airy vibe makes it a très bien summer spot, even if you don’t get one of the coveted café tables outside.  

Party Down Outdoors
Fremont’s nightlife scene has become so rockin’ it’s been called the new Belltown. Party people from all over Seattle (and across the lake) head to this ’hood for the live music and (outdoor!) happy hours. Go old school at Nectar Lounge (412 N 36th St.; 206.632.2020; nectarlounge.com), known for its pulsing Prince vs. Michael nights and outdoor patio, or hit a live-music hotspot such as Tost (513 N 36th St.; 206.547.0240; tostlounge.com), which has a tiny but tasty back patio, or 9 Million in Unmarked Bills (3507 Fremont Place; 206.632.0880; 9m-unmarked.com), where cocktails are named after famous robbers and the triangular patio steals the last shafts of sunshine.

Quintessential Market Alert!
The Fremont Sunday Market (along 34th Street; fremontmarket.com/fremont) is basically what would happen if your favorite thrift store exploded all over the street. Dig for hidden treasure through tables and hanging racks of clothing and home furnishings. At one booth, it’s grandpa-chic shorts for a couple of bucks; at another, it’s a splashy, one-of-a-kind vintage summer frock.  

Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade
Summer in Seattle doesn’t truly start until we welcome the solstice with the family fun (and freak show) known as the Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade (fremontfair.org), taking place this year on June 19. Even first-timers have heard tell of the legendary outlandish floats, giant puppets, live music and, of course, naked bicyclists. If you’re planning to join the brigade this year, outfit yourself at Fremont’s brand-new bicycle boutique, Hub and Bespoke (513 N 36th St.; hubandbespoke.com), which sells bikes, gear and clothing…not that you’ll need any. Drag your couch (low slung, please, for the viewers behind you) and a picnic basket to the Fremont Outdoor Cinema (suggested donation $5; fremontoutdoormovies.com) for Saturday-night screenings of cult classics all summer long, including Ghostbusters on July 10 and Pretty in Pink on Aug. 8.

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