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April 2010 Email this to a friend


If you're thinking coffee shops and grunge music, you don't know the half of it.

By Staff reports

R Place, Seattle

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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 foot.

Ace Hotel (2423 1st Ave, Belltown; 206-448-4721) stylish, modern, informal, economy or deluxe, pets welcome.
Bacon Mansion (959 Broadway E; 800- 240-1864) large stately Edwardian B&B, rooms and suites, private entrance.
B&B on Broadway (722 Broadway E; 206-329-8933) beautiful grand Pacific Northwest house, walk to shops and restaurants.
Gaslight Inn (1727 15th; 206-325-3654) century-old house near gay area, kitchen facilities, apartments.
Homewood Suites Hilton (1011 Pike; 206- 682-8282) between downtown and Capitol Hill, hot breakfast, every comfort.
Hotel Max (620 Stewart; 866-833-6299) ultra-comfortable, iPod docks, erotic toys, art works, Asian restaurant.
Hotel Monaco (1101 Fourth Ave; 206- 621-1770) boutique hotel near Pike Place Market, rich decor, all amenities.
Renaissance (515 Madison; 206-583-0300) central high-rise, bar, restaurant, gym, hot tub, near gay village.
Vintage Park Hotel (1100 Fifth Ave; 206- 624-8000) Euro-style boutique, Italian restaurant, wine tasting, pet- friendly.

Bars & Clubs
CC Attles (1501 E Madison) strong drinks, good prices, older neighborhood crowd, two bars, video, pool, deck, pub food.
Changes (2103 N 45th St, Wallingford) prime rib to bar fare, karaoke nights and games.
Crescent (1413 E Olive) karaoke joint with over 20,000 songs, popular with locals, everyone welcome.
Cuff Complex (1533 13th, at Pine) Levi/leather crowd, three bars, games, leather store, food, patio, weekend dances.
Elite (1520 Olive Way) mostly men, longtime local favorite, pool, jukebox, sociable staff, strong pours.
The Lobby Bar (916 E Pike St) the latest gay lounge bar at this location just off Broadway, with food, cocktails and game nights.
Madison Pub (1315 E Madison) local watering hole, jukebox, dart games, wi-fi, sports on the TV, packed with a good mix of guys.
Martin's Off Madison (1413 14th Ave) piano bistro with romantic atmosphere, sandwiches, appetizers, seafood and steaks, extensive wine list, Sunday brunch.
Neighbours (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.
Purr (1518 11th Ave) cocktail lounge with Mexican dining, popular Monday and Tuesday karaoke nights, good place to warm up for the late clubs.
R 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.
Re-Bar (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.
Seattle Eagle (314 E Pike) leather guys, tight space prime for nightly cruising, raunchy patio action, pool table, busy underwear nights.
Wildrose Tavern (1021 E Pike) very popular women's bar and restaurant with pool table, dancing, live bands and spoken word performances.

Bleu Bistro (202 Broadway E) dark and intimate, booth seating, great sandwiches and drinks, charming servers.
Broadway Grill (314 Broadway E) gay- favored bar and restaurant, cute staff, sidewalk tables, open to 3am.
Dilettante (538 Broadway) cafe, gourmet chocolates, cake, sandwiches, brunch, martini bar.
La Cocina & Cantina (432 Broadway E) inexpensive Mexican-American buffets and entrees, good Margaritas, open to the street seating.
Honey Hole (703 E Pike) fresh meat or veggie sandwiches, soup, salads, draft beer, casual vibe.
Julia's on Broadway (300 Broadway E) breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks, fabulous street seating, drag burlesque and cabaret shows Fridays and Saturdays.
Madison Park Cafe (1807 42nd Ave E) award-winning neighborhood French bistro, good food and service, pleasant atmosphere inside by the fireplace or outside on their cobblestone courtyard.
Mediterranean Express (1417 Broadway) Middle- Eastern favorites, lunch, dinner, big portions, great prices, free parking and take-out too.
Pike 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.
Piroshki 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.
Rosebud 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.
Teatro Zinzanni (222 Mercer) five- course set dinners, three-hour shows of cirque, comedy and cabaret. Special Latin dance nights, plus Love, Chaos & Brunch Sundays.
Uncle Elizabeth's Cafe (1123 Pike) internet cafe with strong coffee, good soup and sandwiches, changing art exhibits, moderate prices, open late.
Watertown 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 access.
Basic 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.
Club 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.
Steamworks 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
Babeland (707 E Pike) sex and bondage toys, books, DVDs, massage and body oils, store and online sales.
Crypt (1516 11th Ave) leather garb and accessories, bondage and fetish gear, bedroom toys, DVDs, magazines.
Gay City Health Project (511 E Pike) multicultural gay men's health organization, HIV and STD tests.
Lifelong Thrift Store (1017 E Union) high-quality household items and clothing. Profits support AIDS groups.
Madison Market Natural Foods (1600 E Madison) organic foods, natural remedies and body care products.
Panache Clothing (225 Broadway E) big variety of good, inexpensive party clothes, shoes and accessories.
Travelers (501 E Pine) a taste of India with chai bar, cafe and grocery, incense, oils, spices, jewelry, clothes, fabrics, and crafts.
UnderU4Men (709 Broadway E) high-quality brand-name underwear, swimwear, fashions, toiletries.
Yoga Den (514 12th Ave) healing place for men and women, physical and meditative workshops, blend of yoga styles.

Getting here
Sea-Tac Airport has Metro bus 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

Pride Days
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.

Getting around
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 per trip, runs every 10 minutes from Seattle Center (location of the Space Needle) to Westlake Center Mall.

Top experiences
Float your boat. Water sports are a must here, whether it's sailing in Puget Sound or rafting the Rouge River.
Head to market. Seafood caught in local waters is a specialty, particularly around Pike Place Market.
Get a front-row seat. Grab a table at one of the sidewalk cafes on or near Broadway and enjoy the passing parade.
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 national forests.

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 Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, the largest gay arts event in the region. See their website Seattlequeerfilm.com for dates and venues to be announced.

Outdoor Adventures
Argosy Cruises (888-623-1445) nine vessels ply Puget Sound, depart from waterfront docks.
CAMP (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.
Rogue Adventures (800-336-1647) exclusively gay/lesbian rafting trips on Oregon's Rogue River, any age or skill level.
Triangle Recreation Camp (Camptrc.org) organizes gay camping trips in the Mount Baker National Forest, 68 miles north of Seattle.

Local media
Seattle Gay News, known as SGN, is among the best gay newspapers anywhere, with news, reviews, listings, arts and entertainment.
Stranger, a gay-friendly, informative and sometimes- feather-ruffling weekly alternative newspaper has listings for everything.

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