October 17

Shake It Up

Do something different on your next date night or get-together with friends.

South Lake Union is constantly evolving and changing, meaning there’s always something new to do. Break from the usual dinner-and-a-movie routine when you’re planning your next outing, and take advantage of some of the out-of-the-box activities this dynamic neighborhood has to offer.

Make a Splash

Just a twenty minute walk from downtown, the glimmering waters of Lake Union provide a peaceful oasis perfect for relaxing with friends or connecting with that special someone. Take to the waters with Argosy Cruise Wine Tasting (1200 Westlake Ave N; argosycruises.com), where you can sip, sail, and sightsee. Water lovers will revel in the panoramic views of the marinas, Gas Works Park, and the Union Bay Natural Area on this 1.5 hour cruise, while oenophiles can kick back and savor flavors from featured American wineries. If you’re looking to splurge, treat yourself to an evening cruise with Lake Union Charters (various docks; lakeunioncharters.com), where you can glide along the calm waters, try your hand at the wheel, and end the night watching the sun set wrapped up in a cozy blanket.

Explore the Unknown

Outdoor fanatics can tour the neighborhood Seattle-style with a bike ride on the Cheshiahud Loop (seattle.gov/parks/cheshiahud-lake-union-loop), a six-mile path around Lake Union with scenic views of the water and surrounding urban neighborhoods alike. Make a day of it by stopping at the one of the 35 pocket parks along the path (pack some snacks for a picnic on the sandy beach or grassy shore of Gasworks Park and Lake Union Park, respectively). Need some wheels? Use the Lime app (download at li.me) to locate and rent an electric bike for a cheap and accessible spin.

Get Creative

Step back in time with a show at Dimitrioiu’s Jazz Alley (2033 Sixth Ave; jazzalley.com), where audiences dressed to the nines flock for decadent meals and the smooth sounds of some of the biggest names in jazz. As one of the longest-running jazz clubs in the country, Dimitrioiu’s is a Seattle institution with a finger on the pulse of both the local and international jazz scene, bringing in some of the hottest talent—from heartfelt singers to masterful saxophonists—for more than 30 years. Take in the music over savored bites of melt-in-your-mouth Angus steak atop cloud-like whipped potatoes, or tantalizing tastes of wild king salmon drizzled in lemon-honey vinaigrette. The jazz club, known for its intimate atmosphere and superb accoustics, boasts prime seats (all are within 50 feet of the performers) and and excellent views, whether you’re sipping a cocktail on the balcony or dining at one of the stage-side candlelit tables.

Keep it Playful

Ignite your inner-child with an evening at Flatstick Pub (609 Westlake Ave N; flatstickpub.com), where you can try your hand at duffleboard—the pub’s unique mashup of skeeball and shuffleboard—or perfect your mini-golf swing. Putt your way through elevation changes and around whimsical statues—including a 12-foot Sasquatch—or enjoy the open atmosphere and large booths that accommodate groups of all sizes. There are 36 rotating beers and ciders on tap, best paired with a piping hot slice from chef Ethan Stowell’s menu of brick-oven-baked pizzas.

You can hone your shuffleboard skills at Brave Horse Tavern (310 Terry Ave N; bravehorsetavern.com) or Henry’s Tavern SLU (501 Fairview Ave N; henrystavern.com), but if a battle of wits is more your speed, challenge your friends to trivia instead. Hosted by Geeks Who Drink on Monday and Tuesday nights, respectively, the questions range from celebrity fun-facts and music to wordplay.

Relax and Rejuvenate

Treat yourself—and a friend—to a spa day at Banya 5 (217 Ninth Ave N; banya5.com), where you can unwind in the dry sauna and soak in pools that range from a muscle-relaxing 104 degrees to an invigorating 45-degree dip. If you’re looking for the full-service experience, indulge in a deep-tissue massage, coconut shea wrap, or custom facial. Need a breather? Reconvene in the tea lounge to sip soothing herbal blends and play complimentary board games.

Story by Emily Boynton and photographs by Nicki Sewell, Argosy Cruises, and Olivia Brent.

At The Center

SLU is the geographical center of Seattle