Capitol Hill is home to the literary institution the Hugo House and the indie film center Northwest Film Forum, as well as Seattle’s alternative magazine The Stranger. Locals and tourists flock to its many coffeehouses, green spaces, and, of course, its beloved Elliott Bay Book Company. See all that the Capitol Hill neighborhood has to offer with our walking guide below.
Located on the west slope of Capitol Hill is the Harvard-Belmont Landmark District, an area packed with Seattle’s most historic structures. The district housed Seattle’s leading financiers, entrepreneurs, and industrialists, including railroad builder H.C. Henry. Visitors of the district will enjoy the array of architectural designs such as the colonial, Tudor, and Victorian-style mansions. Primarily built in the first decade of the 20th century, the area was officially registered as a preservation site in 1980.
Afterward, head southwest to Seattle University, where visitors can explore some of the city’s best gardens. Though the university is clearly labeled to those who pass by, the campus hides behind large trees, bushes, and buildings. The small, private university is an intimate space with small patches of greenery tucked behind buildings and scattered throughout. The campus website provides a self-guided walking tour of the school’s lush gardens, such as the Shakespeare Garden that is rich with chamomile and features many of the botanicals referenced in his work and the Healing Garden that’s full of historically medicinal plant life.
This green wonderland is a Seattle must-see. Along with the gardens, the campus experiences a lot of traffic from architecture and art enthusiasts because of its church. Designed by acclaimed architect Steven Holl, the Chapel of St. Ignatius won the Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1998. The church is small, but it’s famous for its obscure shape and windows that warp the sunshine, creating bright, colored pools of light inside.