Top 10 Things to Do in Capitol Hill WA

Anyone who had been to the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle will tell you that it is one of , if not the most, vibrant and colorful parts of the city. Located less than half a mile east of downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill is situated at the top of a steep hill (I know, big shocker there, right?).

Even though Capitol Hill is less than a mile away from the waterfront and downtown Seattle, it might as well seem a world away from such tourist attractions as the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and the waterfront area. Capitol Hill is known as a haven for artists, musicians, and many other people that “drum to their own beat”. It is truly a neighborhood that morphs dramatically depending on the time of day you are there.

By day, Capitol Hill is a busy, bustling extension of downtown Seattle, full of professionals with a very strong “business vibe”. It’s not uncommon to see high-end cars driving the streets, making glorious noises between the buildings that line the streets. Add to that a huge army of healthcare workers, due the numerous hospitals and clinics that are spread throughout “The Hill” and a large number of students as well (Capitol Hill is home to Seattle University, Seattle Central Community College, and numerous smaller private schools). It’s a diverse, but relatively tame crowd.

Flash forward to the evening, and once the sun goes down, the Capitol Hill neighborhood pulls a complete 180 degrees. Gone is the day time power-suit business crowd. Gone are the students and many of the health care workers. In their place come artists, musicians and so many of the colorful people who make Capitol Hill what it really is. It would also be remiss not to mention that Capitol Hill is one of the most LGBT friendly neighborhoods in the United States, which adds even more to the great diversity of the neighborhood.

So, with all this said, lets highlight 20 great things to do in Capitol Hill, whether you’re there by day or whether you’re there for the great nightlife!

1. Explore Volunteer Park: This beautiful 48 acre park is a green oasis in the otherwise urban jungle that is downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill. Visitors here can walk the paths, enjoy the amazing greenery and landscaping, and even climb to the top of a cool, old and funky water tower. The views at the top of the tower are spectacular, and this is a highly recommended activity if visiting Capitol Hill by day!

2. Explore Broadway: The “main street” that runs through Capitol Hill, it’s got a ton to offer whether by day or by night. On the north end, check out Dick’s for Seattle’s equivalent of In & Out. Cheap and delicious burgers, fries and shakes make Dicks an absolute Seattle institution, and the Capitol Hill location is almost always vibrant and full of people, no matter what time of day you are there. Further south along Broadway is The Garage. What used to be an old service shop has been transformed into an amazing bowling alley and pool hall. It’s a great place to hang out with friends, go for a drink or even out on a date.


3. Into cars? Check out the Ferrari dealership on 12th and East Madison. Through the clear glass windows, you can check out the latest supercars to come out of Maranello, Italy. Even better, this dealership has a recent Ferrari Formula 1 car on display. There aren’t a lot of other places on the planet where you can walk down the street of a major city and glance through a window to see a Formula 1 car looking back at you through the window! During the day, you’ll frequently hear high revving V8’s and V12’s on the streets of Capitol Hill. The echoing sounds from the buildings are an aural treat for sure!

4. Eat Food! While I don’t have any one specific suggestion for this one, I can say that Capitol Hill houses some of the most amazing restaurants with some of the most amazing chefs in Seattle. The number of great bars and restaurants in Capitol Hill could keep you happy and fed for months. To highlight a few of my favorites, I’d recommend Odd Fellows, Canon, Big Mario’s Pizza and the newly opened Paseo’s. Depending on what type of food you’re in the mood for, Capitol Hill has something for everyone! Sticking with the theme of “2 different neighborhoods”, Capitol Hill has everything from 5 star dining from world renown chefs all the way to some of the shadiest looking hole in the wall restaurants (but with amazing food!) that you will find in the city!

5. Check out the Starbucks Roastery: Sure, you’ve probably been to a million Starbucks, and perhaps you’ve even been to the original Starbucks location in Pike Place Market. However, I’d wager that you’ve never been to a Starbucks quite like the Roasters on Pike Street on Capitol Hill. It’s almost like a wine bar meets a coffee shop meets a lounge. Whether you want to try some amazing coffee, stop for a drink, or conduct business in some of the supremely comfortable couches, the Starbucks Roastery is a great place and definitely worth checking out if you’re spending any time in Capitol Hill!

6. Shop Until You Drop: As I mentioned earlier, Capitol Hill is home to an amazing, eclectic and eccentric group of artists. This means that lining almost every street in the heart of Capitol Hill are shops that specialize in unique art, books, photo’s, and music. Check out the Elliott Bay Bookstore, Blick Art Supplies, or any of the numerous unique boutique stores that line Pike and Pine street. Just be sure that you limit you spending for the day, otherwise you’ll likely leave Capitol Hill feeling like you just spent a long weekend in Las Vegas!

7. Walk the Campus at Seattle University: Located right in the heart of Capitol Hill, Seattle University is a great place to get out for a walk on a sunny day. The campus itself isn’t overly large, but the landscaping is beautiful and worth touring by foot.

8. Watch a Show at Neumos: Neumos is one of the most well known and most beloved music venues in all of Seattle. It’s not uncommon to see a line wrapped all the way around the block with people who have been waiting in line all night to get tickets to the show their favorite artist is playing there. Neumos has a wide variety of musicians that come through, and it’s almost always a packed house!

9. Rock out with Jimmy Hendrix: Located on Broadway in Capitol Hill is one of the most iconic and popular statues in the city of Seattle. It’s a statue of Jimmy Hendrix rocking out on his guitar. It’s definitely worth getting your picture taken with one of the greatest guitar players in history, and one of the brightest bright spots in Seattle music, which is saying a lot considering Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Peal Jam also came out of Seattle!

10. Enjoy an AMAZING Massage at Emerald City Spinal Care: That’s right, I’m highlighting Emerald City Spinal Care because if you’re going to explore Capitol Hill to its fullest, you’re going to want to make sure your body is up to the challenge. Emerald City Spinal Care offers therapeutic massage with our 2 great massage therapists, and even better, we accept most insurance plans! So before you hit the sights of Capitol Hill, give yourself the gift of health with a great massage by one of our supremely talented massage therapists!

There it is, your top 10 things to do in Capitol Hill. We hope you enjoy these suggestions, and have a great time when visiting Seattle and Capitol Hill! Learn more about how we came about!


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Seattle, WA 98122
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