With its ongoing construction (and a major Mercer Street overhaul set to begin this summer), South Lake Union still feels as if it’s in its infancy. But as summer events attest, this baby is ready to party.
South Lake Union
Cruise the Lake
Seeking nautical adventure on South Lake Union? You have your choice of two distinct options to float yer boat. First, there’s the Seattle Ferry Service’s Sunday Ice Cream Cruise aboard the M/V Fremont (seattleferryservice.com), which takes kids, families and root-beer floats on a tour of area floating homes and other sights. If you’re looking for something a little hotter (and rated R), try the Can Can Stowaways cruise series, which takes off from Eastlake and features burlesque dancers and all manner of cabaret thrills (206.652.0832, thecancan.com).
Lunch with a Side of Live Music
Grab lunch from one of the countless counters at Whole Foods and take in some midday sunshine during the Downtown Seattle Association’s Out to Lunch concerts (July 16, 23, 30 and August 6, noon–1:30 p.m., upper plaza of 2200 Westlake [above Whole Foods]; downtownseattle.com). Expanded from its previous perch on the Harbor Steps downtown, the series features performers like Glenn Phillips (from Toad the Wet Sprocket) on July 16 and the Legacy Quartet with Clarence Acox on July 23.
Walk Through History
History (and future) buffs will appreciate the Seattle Architecture Foundation’s two-hour walking tour of South Lake Union (June 5 and August 7, 10 a.m.; $15–$20; 860 Terry Ave. N; seattlearchitecture.org). The tour details the lake’s trading-post history and gives walkers an idea of how this emerging neighborhood is skyrocketing toward its destiny (which includes the new location for Flying Fish and, rumor has it, a new Tom Douglas restaurant in June 2011).
Every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. (beginning in late June) the Cascade Farmers’ Market (Pontius Avenue N across from Cascade Playground; cascadefarmersmarket.org) sells fresh produce. If you overbuy, rent a scooter from Scoot About (535 Westlake Ave. N; 206.407.3362; scootabout.biz) to ferry your food home in true European fashion.
What better way to spend the Fourth of July weekend than on the water? This year’s Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival (July 3–4, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Lake Union Park; cwb.org/2010-wooden-boat-festival) offers boat rides, races, demonstrations and the chance for kids to design a toy wooden boat—all free of charge—accompanied by a soundtrack of live music. And thanks to the efforts of Dave Ross, Tom Douglas and other concerned and generous citizens, the Lake Union Fireworks show has been saved (after almost disappearing from lack of corporate sponsorship). Pull up a picnic blanket on July 4 at South Lake Union Park (860 Terry Ave. N; seattle.gov/parks/) and let the spectacle begin. Later in the summer, the always packed South Lake Union Block Party (August 13, noon–11 p.m.; outside the South Lake Union Discovery Center, 101 Westlake Ave. N; slublockparty.com) features a rockin’ roster of music