This is the second of four profiles of Seattle neighborhoods that are somewhat off the beaten track (i.e., Downtown and Pioneer Square will not be featured, sorry guys!). Due to extensive coverage of Georgetown here, here and here, we will let the neighborhood chill for the time being. The first profile was of the International District.
A small, mostly residential community overlooking Lake Washington, Madrona does not often top the lists of tourist sites in Seattle – especially since it’s easy to get sidetracked by Capitol Hill’s many entertainments while en route. But those Localists who persevere and make it all the way to Madrona’s nexus at 34th Ave E & E Union St are well-rewarded for their efforts. Recommended transportation includes King County Metro‘s (of course) Route 2 Bus or, even better on a sunny day, a bicycle and/or sneakers.
See: Take in a contemporary dance performance at Spectrum Dance Theater, located within Madrona Park on J.C. Olmsted‘s Lake Washington Boulevard. While the company’s goal of bringing “dance of the highest merit to a diverse audience composed of people from different social, cultural, ethnic and economic backgrounds” means that performances can take place all over the city, upcoming events will showcase Spectrum’s Academy Ensemble dancers in training for professional dance careers.
Do: Certainly Madrona Park itself is worth a visit, offering incomparable views of Mount Rainier to the south, Bellevue to the east, and the Cascade Mountains beyond.
But to get there, consider taking the road less traveled, through the Madrona Woods. One of the trailheads (see trail map pdf here) begins at 38th Ave & E Marion St and from there you can wind your way down the lush green slope, past dogwalkers and joggers. You may emerge feeling like you’ve just explored an old-growth forest, tucked away like a secret to be discovered by the select few (and, well, maybe The New York Times sometimes, too).
Eat: Whether you dine on gourmet comfort food at newly-opened Restaurant Bea or have a Turkish feast at Bistro Turkuaz, make sure you stop in beforehand at Bottlehouse for a drink and a snack. With northwest beers – and even wine! – on tap, Bottlehouse features a resident Cheesemonger, super sunny patio, and an ultra-stylish interior. It is an ideal place to relax and work up a dinner-worthy appetite. After dinner, stop in at Seattle favorite Cupcake Royale, where owner and good citizen Jody Hall serves adorable, seasonally-inspired cupcake flavors – now with vegan and gluten-free options too. If, like me, you tend to overindulge at mealtime, Cupcake Royale’s babycakes have got your number!