Seattle is no different from any other major city, there’s the must-see spots that everyone flocks to, and for good reason - they are quirky, unique, places and activities that really capture the essence of the city (i.e. Pike Place Market and fish flying through the air, the Fremont Troll tucked away under the Aurora Bridge, and of course the Ducks…) But Seattle certainly wouldn’t be the place it is without its hidden gems on the fringes. From the amazing music scene (props to KEXP for cultivating a space for up and coming artists) food scene (yes, the seafood and oysters are as good as proclaimed) hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and rock climbing, all within an hour drive (and of course trail running). There are endless places to be explored.
Naturally we want to celebrate Seattle, but we also want to celebrate the places less traveled. The spots we find ourselves running to on the long sunny days of Spring and Summer.
Because with summer comes adventure, and with adventure comes new secret spots to discover. Here are some of our favorites.
Frankie & Jo’s - Ballard
In a city full of vegan options, this one actually tastes like Ice-cream. Not to mention it beats out a good portion of classic ice cream options. This is coming from someone who will gladly take dairy in her ice-cream. I could dedicate a whole separate blog just to their waffle cone and the immense amount of joy it brings me.
Magnuson Park Docks
Not only does Magnuson have awesome running trails, a dirt track perfect for 800m repeats, and an epic dog park, it’s also water front. Doing a hard workout on the track and the jumping off the docks into Lake Washington it a summer run must.
Ballard’s (Real) Secret Beach
Before getting to the very popular Golden Gardens Beach, you can turn off a little early and find a tiny sand path sandwiched in between two boat houses and restaurants. Walk down that unsuspecting path and voilà! you are at a beach overlooking the sound with just two other people. Not to be confused with the actual Secret Beach that’s a little past Golden Gardens.
Fremont Canal and Fremont Bridge
Out of all the bike trail sections in Seattle this is one is by far one of my favorites. There’s a dirt side path that's perfect for running right along the edge of the canal. You can let your mind easily wander by watching the boats passing through, or rowers if it’s early in the morning. The Fremont Bridge built which can be seen from the path was built in 1917 and is one of the most-drawn bridges in America - fun fact for tourists, and a terrible reality for locals, as it can easily add 20 extra unplanned minutes to a commute.
The Ballard Locks
Obviously the locks at the Ballard locks are the main attraction, as everyone loves to huddle around and watch the boats transition from salt water to fresh water. But, the park around the locks is also worthy of exploring with its beautiful gardens and walking paths.
Capitol Hill Rainbow Crosswalk
11 of these crosswalks are scattered throughout the neighborhood of Capitol Hill to celebrate LGBTQ Pride. These spots were actually chosen by community members who pinpointed them as sites where assaults based on sexual orientation had taken place.
Sonic Boom Records – Ballard
You may have heard of Easy Street Records in West Seattle (also worth checking out) but local record shops are a staple throughout Seattle. Each neighborhood has one, if not two or three just for good measure. One time an artist I was going to see perform at Neptune did a record signing and acoustic show at Sonic Boom in the afternoon before his evening performance - now that's a sign of a good record store.
Theo Cholocate - Fremont
A local chocolatier that makes insanely rich and delicious chocolate, and also responsibly sources their Cacao. You can even tour the chocolate factory for $10 or walk into the shop and snag some free samples (a post-run tradition for SPU XC the Monday following qualifying for nationals).
We want to see the secret spots of your city! Give us the inside scoop on your go-to places using #secretcityspots.