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If you're thinking coffee shops and grunge music, you don't know the half of it.
NOTE: This is an archive article. For an updated and expanded Seattle article click DailyXtraTravel
With a towering skyline set against
a backdrop of spectacular mountain
peaks, Seattle is one of those cities
recognizable at a glance. Its
urban pleasures rival those of most
cities. There's the symphony, many
theaters, opera and ballet companies,
and a lively club and jazz scene.
Outdoors activities such as biking,
hiking, skiing, camping and boating
are popular, and many locals head out of
town on weekends and holidays.
Capitol Hill around Broadway, Pine and
Pike streets is where most gay
bars and businesses are located. Here
you'll find plenty of coffee
shops and restaurants, many with
sidewalk tables. To the north,
Volunteer Park is full of strollers,
Frisbee players and those seeking a quiet place to
read. Everything on
the hill is within walking
distance, so park the car and explore on
Hotel (2423 1st Ave, Belltown;
206-448-4721) stylish, modern,
informal, economy or deluxe, pets
Mansion (959 Broadway E; 800-
240-1864) large stately
Edwardian B&B, rooms and suites,
on Broadway (722 Broadway E;
grand Pacific Northwest house, walk to
shops and restaurants.
Inn (1727 15th; 206-325-3654)
century-old house near
gay area, kitchen facilities,
Suites Hilton (1011 Pike; 206-
downtown and Capitol Hill, hot
breakfast, every comfort.
Max (620 Stewart; 866-833-6299)
docks, erotic toys, art works, Asian
Monaco (1101 Fourth Ave; 206-
621-1770) boutique hotel near
Pike Place Market, rich decor, all
(515 Madison; 206-583-0300) central
restaurant, gym, hot tub, near gay
Park Hotel (1100 Fifth Ave; 206-
624-8000) Euro-style boutique,
Italian restaurant, wine tasting, pet-
Bars & Clubs
Attles (1501 E Madison) strong
drinks, good prices, older
neighborhood crowd, two bars, video,
pool, deck, pub food.
(2103 N 45th St, Wallingford) prime rib
to bar fare,
karaoke nights and games.
(1413 E Olive) karaoke joint with over
popular with locals, everyone
Complex (1533 13th, at Pine)
Levi/leather crowd, three
bars, games, leather store, food, patio,
(1520 Olive Way) mostly men, longtime
pool, jukebox, sociable staff, strong
The Lobby Bar (916 E Pike St) the latest gay lounge bar at this location just off Broadway, with food, cocktails and game nights.
Pub (1315 E Madison) local
watering hole, jukebox, dart games,
wi-fi, sports on the TV, packed with a good mix of guys.
Off Madison (1413 14th Ave)
piano bistro with romantic
atmosphere, sandwiches, appetizers, seafood and steaks, extensive wine
list, Sunday brunch.
(1509 Broadway, alley entrance) long-time big dance club with go-go boys, famed DJs and guest performers, Latin Sundays, Friday and Saturday after-hours until 4am, 18-plus after 2am.
Pony (1221 E Madison St) nouveau dive bar with mixed hip young crowd, mini dance floor, edgy music, good sound and lights, quirky videos.
(1518 11th Ave) cocktail lounge with Mexican dining, popular Monday and Tuesday karaoke nights, good place to warm up for the late clubs.
Place (619 E Pine) multi-level
club, hot DJs, Tuesday go-go boy dance trials, Wednesday wet underwear contests, Thursday amateur
strip-offs, Saturday cabaret shows.
(1114 Howell, off Boren) theater and
dance performances, live music, mixed and easy-going young and queer dance crowd of all colors, shapes and sizes.
Eagle (314 E Pike) leather guys, tight space prime for nightly cruising, raunchy patio action, pool table, busy underwear nights.
Tavern (1021 E Pike) very
popular women's bar and restaurant with pool table, dancing, live bands and spoken word performances.
Bistro (202 Broadway E) dark and
intimate, booth seating, great
sandwiches and drinks, charming
Grill (314 Broadway E) gay-
favored bar and restaurant,
cute staff, sidewalk tables, open to
(538 Broadway) cafe, gourmet chocolates,
sandwiches, brunch, martini bar.
Cocina & Cantina (432
Broadway E) inexpensive
Mexican-American buffets and entrees, good Margaritas, open to the street seating.
Hole (703 E Pike) fresh meat or
veggie sandwiches, soup,
salads, draft beer, casual vibe.
on Broadway (300 Broadway E)
breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks, fabulous street seating, drag burlesque and cabaret shows Fridays and Saturdays.
Park Cafe (1807 42nd Ave E)
French bistro, good food and service, pleasant atmosphere inside by the fireplace or outside on their cobblestone courtyard.
Express (1417 Broadway) Middle-
Eastern favorites, lunch, dinner, big portions, great prices, free parking and take-out too.
Place Market (Western Ave, off
Pike) baked goods, wine,
fresh and prepared food, flowers, books, antiques, arts and crafts. Waterfront vistas and street performers encourage plenty of folk to come strolling.
on Third (710 3rd Ave) scrumptious Russian vegetable, cheese or
meat turnovers, fruit and poppy seed
pastries, borscht. Moved from popular old Broadway shop, they also have 1219 Madison location.
Cafe (719 E Pike) contemporary American cuisine in casual atmosphere, weekend brunch, three-course prix-fixe specials Sundays through Wednesdays, meatloaf Thursday specials, wine and cocktails, comfy-couch lounge and rear garden patio.
Zinzanni (222 Mercer) five-
course set dinners, three-hour
shows of cirque, comedy and cabaret. Special Latin dance nights, plus Love, Chaos & Brunch Sundays.
Elizabeth's Cafe (1123 Pike)
internet cafe with strong coffee, good soup and sandwiches, changing art exhibits, moderate prices, open
Coffee (550 12th Ave)
vegetarian-friendly menu, full
bar, inside/outside seating, free wi-
fi access, open from 6:30am weekdays, and open late ('til whenever) Saturdays and Sundays.
Saunas & sex clubs
Seattle has three private 18-plus men's clubs with lockers, rooms, showers,
multi-channel porn videos and internet
Plumbing (1505 10th) men's play
space, maze, sling, glory holes, busiest after the bars close, and always open. Win cash prizes at contests like Best Cocksuckers, or take a star role in private erotic photo sessions.
Z (1117 Pike St) large facility with mixed crowd, sauna, maze,
slings, glory holes, movies, video games, $5 monthly memberships; also special leather nights each 2nd Thursday.
Seattle (1520 Summit Ave) immaculate sauna from the US/Canadian chain with hot local men. Special nights include Thursday dark parties, hard core men and music for Edge Fridays, and bear parties every 4th Saturday. Always open offering one-shot to VIP rates.
Shopping & services
(707 E Pike) sex and bondage toys,
books, DVDs, massage and
body oils, store and online sales.
(1516 11th Ave) leather garb and
and fetish gear, bedroom toys, DVDs,
City Health Project (511 E Pike)
multicultural gay men's
health organization, HIV and STD
Thrift Store (1017 E Union)
items and clothing. Profits support AIDS
Market Natural Foods (1600 E
Madison) organic foods,
natural remedies and body care
Clothing (225 Broadway E) big variety of good, inexpensive party clothes, shoes and accessories.
(501 E Pine) a taste of India with chai bar, cafe and grocery, incense, oils,
spices, jewelry, clothes, fabrics,
(709 Broadway E) high-quality brand-name
swimwear, fashions, toiletries.
Den (514 12th Ave) healing place
for men and women, physical
meditative workshops, blend of yoga
service from door 2, at the south end of
the baggage claim area,
running downtown for $2.50. Sounder commuter rail
service operates from King Street Station Seattle north to Everett, and south to Tacoma Dome Station, with airport connections from Tukwila Station. Light rail connections from Westlake, through Pioneer Square, to Tukwila and SeaTac Airport take just 37 minutes
Events of over two months culminate on the last weekend of June with the
Capitol Hill Pride Festival, a five-block street party in the gayborhood, Saturday June 26th, 2010. The
Parade, down 4th Avenue, kicks off at 11am, June 27, 2010.
Following that, the Pridefest 2010 party will take place at the Seattle
Center with food and drinks, dancing and on-stage entertainment.
See Seattlepride.org and Capitolhillpridefestival.net for details.
King County Metro
Transit has buses, trolleys,
streetcars and a water
taxi to get you around. Weekend or
holiday passes are $4. A free bus
running from Belltown to Pioneer Square
stops at the waterfront, Pike Place
Market, and the Seattle
Aquarium. The Monorail, at $2
runs every 10 minutes from Seattle
Center (location of the Space
Needle) to Westlake Center
Float your boat. Water sports are a must here, whether it's sailing in
Puget Sound or rafting the Rouge
Head to market. Seafood caught in local
waters is a specialty,
particularly around Pike Place
Get a front-row seat. Grab a table at
one of the sidewalk cafes on or
near Broadway and enjoy the passing
Support the arts. This is one of the
best cities for live music, so
don't pass up a chance to see a local
band. The annual summertime Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival is one of the
best of it's kind, anywhere.
Camp it up. Plenty of gay groups pitch
their tents in the nearby
Three Dollar Bill Cinema presents ongoing film screenings that include shorts at the April/May Erotic Arts Festival; also
Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival on May 13-16, 2010.
Each October they present the
Lesbian & Gay Film
Festival, the largest gay arts event in the region. See their website Seattlequeerfilm.com for dates and venues to be announced.
Cruises (888-623-1445) nine
vessels ply Puget Sound, depart
(253-216-3997) gay, bisexual,
transgender men's camping and cabin
retreat in Gifford Pinchot National
Forest with a big Labor Day Weekend bash, September 3-6, 2010.
exclusively gay/lesbian rafting trips
on Oregon's Rogue River, any age or
Recreation Camp (Camptrc.org)
organizes gay camping trips in the Mount Baker National Forest, 68 miles north of Seattle.
Gay News, known as SGN, is among
the best gay newspapers
anywhere, with news, reviews, listings,
arts and entertainment.
gay-friendly, informative and sometimes-
weekly alternative newspaper has
listings for everything.