The highest of Seattle’s seven hills, Queen Anne offers spectacular views in every direction—one of many reasons to scale its heights in the summertime.
Sip a sublime absinthe-spiked Rye-se & Shine cocktail, snack on farro fries and people watch on the sweet sun patio of newcomer Emmer&Rye (1825 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206.282.0680; emmerandrye.com). Or, blocks away, quaff sparkling sake and nosh on a salmon-encircled Seattle roll at one of the sidewalk tables at reliable favorite Chinoise (12 Boston St.; 206.284.6671; chinoisecafe.com/qahome.htm). A bit south, on Galer Street, snag one of the south-facing, sun-drenched Adirondack chairs at Caffè Fiore (224 W Galer St.; 206.282.1441; caffefiore.com), sink into an organic macchiato and don’t sweat that you can’t see your laptop screen for the glare. If it’s Friday, grab a Meyer lemon ice cream bar from the roving Parfait organic ice cream truck (parfait-icecream.com), which parks in front of Caffè Fiore from 4 to 7 p.m.
One of the most iconic views of the city and the Sound can be found at Queen Anne’s Kerry Park (211 W Highland Drive). But if you feel cramped by tourists gaping at the Space Needle as if it’s still 1962 (when it debuted at the World’s Fair), walk west a few blocks for the breathtaking view of the Olympic Mountains at tiny Marshall Park (Seventh Avenue W and W Highland Drive), or step into the sanctity of nearby Parsons Garden (Seventh Avenue W and W Highland Drive), a secluded gem surrounded by flowering trees. If it’s solitude you seek, a lesser-known park on the east side of Queen Anne, Bhy Kracke (no, it’s not a drug dealer’s den—it’s pronounced “by cracky” and was named for a local citizen) is vista-rific as it wends its way up Queen Anne’s steep slope. Bring a map—it’s less popular because it’s a little hard to find (1215 Fifth Ave. N).
Hands down, the best reason to hit Magnolia on a sunny day is Discovery Park. Take a hike, hang out on the bluffs, have a picnic or bask on the beach—it really doesn’t matter what you do. Discovery in the sunshine makes the memory of living through all those rainy months fade away. For another way to bliss out, Magnolia style, grab a slice of Seattle Pie Company’s Desserted Island Pie, made with raspberries, marionberries, strawberries and apples (3111 W McGraw St.; 206.217.4743; seattlepiecompany.com). Just don’t lose consciousness entirely or you might miss spotting the local celebs who call this ’hood home, including Kathi Goertzen and Ron Reagan Jr.
Originally Published In June 2010