Although we’ve been to Capitol Hill on a few occasions, we haven’t spent an entire day there getting to know the neighborhood.
A few recent experiences include:
- Meeting friends at Canon for an incredible cocktail
- Taking family and friends to Hello, Robin for a delicious, made-to-order ice cream sandwich
- Enjoying breakfast at Volunteer Park Cafe
- Celebrating birthdays at Optimism Brewery
- Picking up some author-signed editions at Elliott Bay Book Company
Over the past month we were able to tackle a few new Capitol Hill experiences that I would definitely recommend. In addition to what I’ve already mentioned, I would add morning coffee at the Starbucks Roastery, dinner at Stateside, and an independent film at the unique SIFF Cinema Egyptian theater to the list of experiences you might want to investigate while exploring Capitol Hill.
If you’re into plants, I would also recommend the Volunteer Park Conservatory. We came across the conservatory during a different expedition to Volunteer Park, and my husband and I both looked at each other with the same thought– my parents would love it! They know more about plants than anyone I know, and I mentally added it to the list of things to do the next time they visited.
We spent several hours during their recent visit exploring the conservatory, which has five display houses filled with trees, ferns and flowers.
The building itself is incredibly interesting and dates back to 1912. Our admission included some handouts about the Friends of the Conservatory, who saved the structure in the 1980s and continue to support its restoration and preservation today.
The first room we entered was filled with interesting plants, including a variety of orchids, many of which I had never seen before. They came in all shapes and sizes, and I was particularly drawn to a maroon spider orchid whose petals overlapped all along the stem.
The room to our right featured displays of brightly colored flowers– I loved the tulips as well as a bright purple daisy-like flower that my brief Google search suggests might have been a Brachyglottis Hectoris.
There was an entire room dedicated to succulents and cacti, which I really enjoyed.
It’s amazing to me how many different sizes and varieties of cacti there are, and the succulents ranged from tiny, delicate, colorful plants to gigantic, dark green spiked leaves plants the size of bushes.
The final rooms we entered included a multitude of ferns and bromeliads, as well as these crazy plants hanging from the ceiling with bright teal leaves.
Brian took some awesome macro shots in the final rooms that I have to include–I think they would make a really neat framed photo series!
After our time in the conservatory we walked across Volunteer Park to the water tower so we could climb up to the observation deck. The weather wasn’t great–it was gray and cloudy– but we could still make out the Olympic Mountains and some of the Cascades.
We spent some time at the top reading the information plaques about the history of Volunteer Park and Capitol Hill. There were several other people up there as well, and we all made our way around the tower, viewing the surrounding area from every possible angle.
Although we (once again) only spent a few hours on Capitol Hill this visit, we added some new things to the list of experiences we would recommend. I don’t know when we’ll be able to dedicate an entire day to checking out all of the shops, restaurants and activities I keep adding to my list, but suffice it to say that for whatever period of time we find ourselves on Capitol Hill, we will always have plenty to discover.