First Hike of 2010–Queen Anne Loop

Queen Anne hill, north of the Seattle downtown area, was named in the 1880s for the many houses built there in the Queen Anne style. Some of those homes, more than 100 years old, still exist, but most of the hill is now covered with more modest single family homes, apartments, and condominiums. It’s still a very desirable place to live, close to downtown with good bus service and Queen Anne Avenue, the “high street” of the hill, providing every kind of amenity one could desire: doctors and dentists; supermarkets; restaurants from fine dining to fast food; stores for clothing, toys, and books; coffee and tea shops; salons for tanning, hair styling and yoga; and in the blocks adjacent to the avenue, a public library, a public swimming pool, and many parks and playgrounds.

For our first hike of the year, from Gas Works Park on Lake Union to the top of Queen Anne hill, we took a slightly different, shorter route than we had done in the past, when we went to the top by way of  Galer Street, through a series of overpasses and stairways. This time we went up the steep Fulton Street stairs at the south end of the Fremont Bridge, then made our way west and south, up, up, up to Queen Anne Avenue where we made a welcome pit stop at my son’s house. (No one was home, but we had permission.) It was too early for lunch so we wandered around the top of the hill as far south as Highland Drive, admiring the stunning homes and pausing at the Betty Bowen Overlook to look across the Sound and at Kerry Park to look down on the city. Lunch at the 5 Spot, then all the way down Queen Anne Avenue to return to the Fremont Bridge. We rewarded ourselves with a visit to Theo Chocolates for samples.

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