The Order Muppet of Out Abroad, Ky Ventura, is off to Peru. Her days are filled with Incan adventures, beer sampling, jungle hiking, finding nuggety places to sleep, ceviche, making monkey friends and
learning inappropriate words at language school. Meanwhile, I’m holding down the gay fort Stateside. Normally I’d be in a cloud of travel envy, but right now I’m summering the shit out of this place and well, Seattle is a mighty fine place to celebrate summer.
Everyone knows we have garbage winters. Seattle’s a soggy, dark, dreary place from about November to March. And even after that we’re still sporting rain jackets and complaining loudly through May. During all that time we’re clinging to one thought: days overloaded with sunshine. Pacific Northwest summers aren’t terribly hot (we rarely break 90 degrees). We have virtually no humidity. And they’re mosquito-free. As our badass local meteorologist (heck yes we’ve got one and his weather blog is of the sexy/smart sort) Cliff Mass puts it in a recent post: “Seattle is a meteorological heaven during the summer months.” We couldn’t agree more.
Our summers are the secret to why we live here (well, that and jobs). And we only have one rule for this splendid season: get outside. So, visitors to Seattle: Here’s how to summer like the locals.
Slow your roll. Seattle summers feel endless. Maybe it’s all the delicious beer. Or all the boats. Or the fact that our days last longer than any of the other lower 48 states. In June the sun doesn’t set until 10ish. So take it slow. You’ve got time. Ignore your phone. Pick an activity or two and see where it takes you.
Take in the view. Skip the Space Needle and head to the poor man’s Space Needle in Capitol Hill: Volunteer Park water tower. It’s free and you’ll get a 360 degree view of the city in all its sunshiny glory. Or venture north to Gas Works Park for lazy views of boats and Seattle skyline.
Head to the water. Options abound. If you’re boat-less, get on the water via stand up paddle boards or kayaks. Agua Verde Cafe and Paddle club in the University District rents them by the hour. Or get your gay on at the grassy Madison Beach Park on Lake Washington at Seattle’s only gay beach. Look for the preening speedo warrior men and women holding hands. It’s our kind of place.
Beach it out: Take the poor man’s yacht and head directly to Alki Beach in West Seattle via the water taxi from Pier 50 downtown to Seacrest Park. You’ll see the Pacific Northwest take on beach time plus a kickass view of Seattle. Or head north for the evening at Golden Gardens. Bonfires and sunsets over sail boats and mountains make for a cheap and easy date. On your way there, grab a legendary Paseo sandwich for a party in your mouth (or a picnic on the beach). Later, tell a local you had Paseo. They’ll be mad with envy but totally proud of you.
Skies out, thighs out: Bust out those thighs of steel and your tiny shorts. We have a wicked bike trail, the Burke Gilman Trail (BGT), that winds along the lake and leads you outside of town to wineries and a brewery. This is the perfect option for travelers who like to work for their summer libations. The BGT may be the flattest trail in a city known for soul-crushing hills. Rent bikes at Recycled Cycles in the U-District and head northeast on the BGT towards Red Hook Brewery.
Get your munchies and drink on outside. A list of Seattle’s 25 best restaurant and bar patios just came out. Consult it liberally. Drinking is always more delicious outside.
Listen to KEXP. Sure you’ve probably got your summer mix. But KEXP is our local station and it’s one big musical party for those that like their summer music to go beyond the summer anthem. With programs like El Sonido, a Monday night show that highlights the best music from Latin America, Shake the Shack, WoPop, plus plenty of local music, this station is way better than your iPod on shuffle.
And find all the recommendations above in one tidy place on our Summer Like A Boss in Seattle Google map.
This article originally appeared on Out Abroad, a fierce lesbian travel website for globally adventurous women. Procrastinate your day away with more travel stories at www.outabroad.com.