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10 Things to See and Do in Capitol Hill, Seattle
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10 Things to See and Do in Capitol Hill, Seattle

Picture of Sarah Lantz
Updated: 9 February 2017
The Capitol Hill neighborhood hosts many events every year, including the Capitol Hill Block Party in July and Seattle PrideFest in June. But even when there doesn’t seem to be much officially happening in Capitol Hill, you’ll find plenty to do – from visiting parks to listening to live music at some of Seattle’s most iconic and popular venues. Here we’ve named just some awesome things to do in Seattle’s coolest neighborhood.
Seattle Asian Art Museum
Seattle Asian Art Museum | © Nick Johnson/Flickr
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Seattle Asian Art Museum

Located in the middle of Volunteer Park, Seattle Asian Art Museum may be small, but has plenty of fantastic exhibits worth exploring, including an ongoing exhibit of colored vases by Al Weiwei. The permanent collection has a fair balance of ancient and modern art, and the museum itself offers a beautiful view of Volunteer Park.

Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E Prospect St Seattle, WA USA +1 206-654-3100

Conservatory at Volunteer Park
Conservatory at Volunteer Park | © Haycutter/Flickr
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Volunteer Park

Volunteer Park is a 43.8-acre park in the center of Seattle. It is home to a beautiful glass, Victorian-style conservatory divided into five display houses: bromeliads, ferns, palms, cacti and succulents. The park also has a wading pool, perfect for a hot summer’s day to beat the heat, as well as several beautiful sculptures throughout the park, including Isamu Noguchi’s Black Sun near the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Ave E Seattle, WA USA +1 206-684-4075

Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden | © sea turtle/flickr
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Japanese Garden

An elegant and tranquil garden in the center of the Washington Park Arboretum, the garden is home to koi carp, Japanese maples, and beautiful formal garden designs. Spanning 3.5 acres, the Japanese Garden is a quiet place to sit and think or walk through for a moment of solitude. Designed and constructed in 1960 by Juki Iida, the project included transporting 500 granite boulders from the Cascade Mountains ranging from 1,000 pounds to 11 tons. The garden also features a Shoseian teahouse donated by the city of Tokyo.

Japanese Garden, 1075 Lake Washington Blvd E Seattle, WA USA +1 206-684-4725

Washington Park Arboretum
Washington Park Arboretum | © magnoid/Flickr
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Washington Park Arboretum

230 acres of park nestled in Capitol Hill by Lake Washington, Washington Park Arboretum is managed cooperatively by the University of Washington and the City of Seattle. You can find all sorts of plants and trees, from lindens to larches to true ashes. Travel through Cascadia, Australia, China, Chile and New Zealand all in a day by visiting the 12-acre Pacific Connections Garden, which tracks plants along the Pacific Rim, including alpine bottlebrush, which you’d find in Australia in the peatlands of Mt. Kosciusco.

Washington Park Arboretum, 2300 Arboretum Dr E Seattle, WA USA +1 206-543-8800

The Egyptian Theatre

Cinema, Movie Theater
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Movie tickets from SIFF Cinema Egyptian | © Cindy Shebley / Flickr

The Egyptian Theatre

A one-screen theater, Egyptian Theatre features foreign language cinema, independent films, restored classics, and documentaries. It was built in 1915 originally as a Masonic temple with a main auditorium and smaller auditorium. In the 1970s, the Masons used the main auditorium as a wrestling arena to raise money, and in the 1980s, it was used for the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) and became a theater, redecorated in an Ancient Egyptian-inspired interior design. The Egyptian Theatre continues to host SIFF, the largest film festival in North America.

The Egyptian Theatre, 805 E Pine St Seattle, WA USA +1 206-720-4560

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Lakeview Cemetery
Lakeview Cemetery | © Gina Kurtz/Flickr
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Lakeview Cemetery

Also located in Volunteer Park is the Lakeview Cemetery, where the martial artist and actor Bruce Lee and his son are buried, as well as the daughter of Chief Seattle Princess Angeline. The cemetery was founded in 1872 as a Masonic cemetery, and it also includes the Nisei War Memorial Monument dedicated to Japanese American veterans in 1949. It’s worth a visit while walking around Volunteer Park, and has some spectacular views of the Seattle skyline.

Lakeview Cemetery, 1554 15th Ave E Seattle, WA USA +1 206-322-1582

alt-J at The Crocodile
alt-J at The Crocodile | © KEXP/Flickr
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The Crocodile

An iconic Seattle music venue since 1991, The Crocodile in Capitol Hill has hosted bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and R.E.M. Today it attracts a range of artists from genres of hip hop to electronic to folk. Artists and bands to play at The Crocodile include Macklemore, Neon Indian, Bombay Bicycle Club, Zola Jesus, and The Head and The Heart. The Back Bar is a cozy place where it serves hot pizza and cold beer and hosts intimate, sweaty local shows when there’s no one playing at the showroom.

The Crocodile, 2200 2nd Ave Seattle, WA USA +1 206-441-4618

Low at Neumo's
Low at Neumo’s | © Mike Baehr/Flickr
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Neumo’s Crystal Ball Reading Room

A music venue that hosts all sorts of musicians and bands playing genres from indie rock to hip hop to metal, Neumo’s has hosted a variety of artists at its venue, including Muse, M83, Vampire Weekend, Adele, Iron and Wine, and Crystal Castles. The historic Moe’s Mo Roc ‘n Café, which Neumo’s is a reopening of, was the scene where Neil Diamond launched his collaboration with Pearl Jam with a debut of their Mirror Ball album. Moe’s had attracted many bands including Bush, Oasis, and Goo Goo Doll and a free Radiohead concert that created legendary riots.

Neumo’s Crystal Ball Reading Room, 925 E Pike St Seattle, WA USA +1 206-709-9442

The Elliott Bay Book Company
The Elliott Bay Book Company | © brewbooks/Flickr

The Elliott Bay Book Company

Bookstore
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Elliott Bay: Seattle's legendary independent bookstore | © N i c o l a / Flickr

The Elliott Bay Book Company

Seattle’s rainy, cloudy weather makes many crave two things: a warm cup of coffee and a good book to read. A favorite bookstore of Seattle since 1973, The Elliott Bay Book Company is an independent, family-owned bookstore complete with a cafe for reading and sipping hot drinks. The bookstore writes its own reviews of books, and you’ll find labels underneath the shelves that recommend books for the indecisive. It’s a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.

The Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave Seattle, WA USA +1 206-624-6600

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Mon - Thu:
10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat:
10:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sun:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Inside Spin Cycle
Inside Spin Cycle | © Homini:)/Flickr
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Spin Cycle

A trip to Seattle is incomplete without a stop at a record store. Selling vinyls, cassette tapes, games, and movies, this is the place to get hard copies of all your favorite media. If you like to window shop and browse stores on a whim, Spin Cycle will keep you occupied. It has got an impressive collection of classic punk rock albums and other vinyls, used DVDs and Blu-rays, and a wide variety of games for all sorts of consoles. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly and can help you find the most obscure films, music, and other sorts of media if you’re try to track down something nostalgic.

Spin Cycle, 321 Broadway E Seattle, WA USA +1 206-971-0267