During the first week of college introductions and new friendships, everyone will, inevitably, ask you a variation of the same question:
“So, where are you from?”
“Where’s home for you?”
I have grown to understand that it can be a rarity to meet someone who is familiar with the suburban areas of Seattle. Sammamish, the place I call home, is a little town nestled in the hills about half an hour away from Capitol Hill.
However, if I were to say "Sammamish" in response to either of the above questions, it would be met with blank stares and an apathetic, “Oh, that’s cool.”
Simply because most students are from cities across the country, answering “Oh, I’m from around here, actually!” with a smile is received with much more enthusiasm and understanding. This, however, implies that I am familiar with the city and have spent my childhood exploring the vibrant streets of downtown Seattle, which is not the case.
In reality, I am just as unfamiliar with the city as my peers who are from across the country; I have experienced steep growth curve as I learned to navigate Seattle and explore the adjacent neighborhoods to Capitol Hill. Throughout the past quarter, however, I have found some pretty incredible places that are even more extraordinary under the comforting blanket of the starry sky. Here are 6 of the best places around Seattle to visit late at night that you need to check out ASAP.
1. Gasworks Park
When the sun comes out, this well-known spot can be found teeming with Vitamin-D deficient Washingtonians lounging on the grassy hills and soaking up the warm sunbeams. However, most people don’t know is that it is even more spectacular at nighttime – bring your Patagonia fleece, a puffy jacket, and someone to hold your hand as the magnificent Seattle Skyline reflects across the water. It’s only a short walk to the top of the hill where there are several benches to sit down on and spend some quality time together with someone important to you.
2. Frankie and Jo's
This little vegan ice cream store is my all-time favorite place to satisfy late-night sweet tooth cravings. A short walk away from Seattle University, Frankie and Jo’s is on par (if not better, but don’t kill me for saying that) with Molly Moon’s and has about half the wait time for a taste of pure deliciousness. It’s open until 11 PM every day, so there’s no excuse not to take a quick study break and have the most mind-blowing-plant-based-spiritual-ice-cream experience of your life.
3. Seacrest Park Cove 1 and 2
Just a short trip across the I-5 North, this cute park is the perfect end to a peaceful drive along the waterside. It’s closed to the public from 11:30-4AM but when it’s open, you can park and walk along Harbor Avenue bundled up in your warmest jacket & scarf while the chilly breeze from the Puget Sound whips across your cheeks. The incredible view of the Seattle Skyline makes it a perfect place for a first-date or for a nighttime walk with your best friend – make sure to bring good music for the drive and some fleece-lined gloves!
iHop. A stressed-out college students’ heaven. Open for 24 hours on East Madison Street, golden, sizzling hash browns and life-giving hot chocolate await to satiate your 3 AM cravings and soothe the crippling pain of student debt. Too real? Sorry. iHop is where it’s at. Seriously.
5. Bhy Kracke Park
This gorgeous lookout spot is nestled in the heart of residential Queen Anne, making it a perfect spot to drive to when you need to get some fresh air and a new perspective of the city. The serene park is the perfect place to sit and listen to the tranquil noises of Seattle – you can even enjoy the brightly lit skyline from the warmth of your car!6. Sweet Iron
Finally, this friendly neighborhood waffle eatery is always staffed with the friendliest human beings who always seem to know exactly the right kind of waffle to indulge you in. Open until midnight on Friday/Saturday and nine o'clock Monday through Thursday, this local business with a plethora of sweet and savory Belgium waffles to choose from is a must visit after dusk.