Walking Lower Queen Anne

Packed with restaurants, bars, and retail, Lower Queen Anne is a fun urban area for a walk.

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Start at Roy St & 5th Ave. There is plenty of parking around Seattle Center as well as several bus routes that will take you close to our starting point, including the 3, 4, 16, and 30. Several other buses will take you to other points along our walking route: the 1, 2, 8, 13, 15, and 18.

Many of the streets we’ll be walking along are fairly busy with vehicle traffic, but are comfortable to walk along thanks to wide sidewalks that are insulated from traffic by trees and street parking.

On the northwest corner of this intersection is Silver Platters records, one of the music stores in the area. Walk westward along the north side or Roy St. The left side of the street is well shaded, but passes alongside a large parking garage and a parking lot. On the north side of the street are several restaurants, including a few Asian eateries.

Continue past 1st Ave N and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, built in 1940. On your right is Counterbalance Park, which has several places to sit. At night, the park’s walls are colorfully lit.

Counterbalance Park

Counterbalance Park, opened in 2008

Turn left across Roy St along Queen Anne Ave N. You’ll pass the MarQueen Hotel, built in 1918. On the opposite side of the street is Monkey Love Rubber Stamps, a local business with paper, envelopes, and, of course, stamps.

Continue south along Queen Anne Ave N for 5 blocks. You’ll pass local music store Underdawg Records on your left along with a few eateries and bars. After passing Republican St, storefronts and restaurants are replaced with offices and apartment windows in a variety of building types.

Uptown Theater

Uptown Theater

Turn left on Thomas St. Walk for a block along Thomas St and turn left on 1st Ave N. Continue walking north along 1st Ave N, passing KeyArena and Seattle Center on your right. The former home to the Seattle Supersonics, KeyArena is still the home to the Seattle Storm WNBA team.

Continue north for a few blocks and cross Mercer St and turn left along Mercer. You’ll pass Easy Street Records, which has a good collection of vinyl records.

Continue west along Mercer St, past several more eateries and bars, and turn left at 2nd Ave W (not to be confused with 2nd Ave N, five blocks east). The KFC/Taco Bell on this corner is perhaps the only national chain restaurant in this neighborhood (other than Taco Del Mar, which is based in Seattle).

Continue south for a block and turn left at W Republican St. This area is much quieter than the retail-intensive streets we’ve been on. You’ll pass Safeway at the next block, one of several large supermarkets in the neighborhood.

At the next block, Queen Anne Ave N, turn left and pass by the AMC Loews Uptown 3 theater. Turn right at Mercer St and continue for several blocks. After crossing 1st Ave N, the streetscape will quiet down and vehicle traffic will speed up. Soon you’ll be walking by Seattle Center, including McCaw Hall and SIFF Cinema. Mercer St sees a lot of traffic, but the sidewalk here is wide and comfortable, though the streetscape of building in Seattle Center is somewhat lacking. On the left side of the street is Teatro Zinzanni, which has been described as “the Moulin Rouge meets Cirque du Soleil,” with food cooked by local celebrity chef Tom Douglas. Turn left and cross Mercer at 5th Ave N to return to our starting point at 5th Ave N and Roy St.

highlights: restaurants, bars, retail, diversity of building types and ages
lowlights: heavy vehicle traffic, not much green space, can be crowded especially if there is an event at Seattle Center


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