When visiting Seattle, it's nice to get out and explore some of the lesser known neighborhoods. One such neighborhood stands out as a truly unique area. It may be lesser known to non-locals, but to everyone else, it's known as “The Center of the Universe.”
The Fremont neighborhood is known for its year-round unexpected entertainment, funky parades, great restaurants and bars, the Fremont troll, the controversial 7-ton statue of Vladimir Lenin, and the locally famous sculpture of people “Waiting for the Interurban” (created by the same sculpture who made the famous and controversial Big Catch Plaza) whose figures are sporadically dressed to celebrate events and festivals.
The Fremont troll is an 18-foot tall statue located under the George Washington Memorial Bridge and is seen grasping a Volkswagen Beetle. The figure was sculpted for a competition the Fremont Arts Council held in 1990 to restore the area underneath the bridge. It is now one of Fremont’s most famous sights - and can be seen in Hollywood movies such as “10 things I Hate About You” and “Love Happens.”
Another fun thing to do while strolling around the area is attend the Fremont Sunday Market which takes place every Sunday throughout the year, rain or shine, with a variety of vendors selling fresh produce, crepes, oven-baked slices of homemade pizza jewelry, flowers and much more. You can also visit the Fremont Brewing Company or stroll along the Burke-Gilman Trail up to Gasworks Park on Lake Union for a great view of Seattle’s skyline and the "Sleepless in Seattle" houseboat.
When it comes to festivals, Fremont is known for being funky and extraordinary, for instance the annual Solstice Parade features dressed up dancers, musicians, a variety of colorful floats and the body painted cyclists that lead the parade every June.
In July, the Red, White and Dead Zombie Walk has participants dress up as the undead while they walk from Fremont to the Seattle Center.
Hailed among the top 10 places to celebrate Oktoberfest worldwide, the Fremont Oktoberfest runs the biggest beer garden in the Northwest with more than 100 microbrews and craft beers, Prost! This event provides authentic entertainment by Seattle bands and has the best cure for the inevitable hangover – the Oktoberfest 5K run/walk!
Lastly, Fremont has been known for its outdoor movies during warm summer months over the past 20 years. Movies that are shown range from All-American drive-in to old-timers. Movie watchers have the opportunity to snack on delicious food provided by Seattle’s iconic food trucks.
Speaking of food, there are great places in Fremont to grab a bite to eat, such as the Backdoor at Roxy’s, a delightful speakeasy bar that has chandeliers, mirrors, and statuettes and is stocked with house-infused liquors. Their style of food is “barbeque diner,” which serves small plates, sliders, and oyster shooters.
Homegrown is a sustainable sandwich shop that uses fresh ingredients in their gourmet sandwiches, soups, and salads. Some of their sandwiches are old favorites like turkey, bacon, and avocado but they also like to jazz things up with their Rueben Revised and Seasonal Squash + Snap Pea Pesto. Yum!
Uneeda Burger is a casual burger joint that has delicious food in addition to an extensive wine and craft-brewed beer selection. The ingredients are locally sourced and the drink options compliment the food menu. Some of their signature burgers include caramelized onions, bleu cheese, charred peppers, roasted chili relish, and black truffle salt!
Simply Desserts is a must “go and eat” because they have been rated one of the best bakeries in the Pacific Northwest for over twenty years! Using all natural ingredients to make old-fashioned American desserts, your taste buds will be very satisfied with one of their unique desserts.
Lastly, Theo Chocolate is the first Organic and Fair Trade fair for Life Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Factory in North America! Take a tour and be entertained about the story of cocoa and experience the transformation from “bean to bar.” Samples are included!
For those who like to learn more about their destination with a tour, hop on Ride the Ducks for a tour by land and by boat. The tour guides have energetic personalities so be ready for some fun and excitement! It is suited for all ages and gives you a tour of Seattle’s most popular attractions.
Note: Ride the Ducks has a pick-up station located directly at the Westlake Center. If you are traveling via the Link Light Rail from Seattle Southside, (Sea-Tac Airport, Angle Lake, or Tukwila International Boulevard) you can ride to the Westlake station and easily get to your tour!
Another option, the Fremont Tour, is a walking tour that educates about the arts and history of the Fremont neighborhood. The tour guide dresses up in costume and uses props, making this experience very playful and amusing.
For more information about events in Fremont, visit http://fremont.com/events/