Capitol Hill

Seattle's Wishing Tree

Wishing Tree

We here at Rain or Shine Guides don't consider ourselves particularly superstitious although we also don't make it a habit of walking under ladders or opening umbrellas indoors. And while deep down we do know it's all a bit silly, we'll go out of our way if it means a little extra luck and good fortune. So when we heard about a wishing tree in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, we figured we should take our chances and go check it out. And boy is this wishing tree done right!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the concept, it's basically what is sounds like: a tree that grants wishes. People tie their hopes and dreams in some format onto the tree and BAM the tree God grants it. Or the tree fairy? Or maybe it's a Grandma like in Disney's version of Pocahontas? We aren't exactly sure.

Capitol Hill home owner, Jane Hamel, has created her very own adorable wishing tree for Seattle to enjoy, complete with seats made out of tree stumps, a bench and table, and a jar of markers and cards for writing your wishes. After creating your wish, place your card in the gold jar and she will take the card and laminate it and add it to the tree. This keeps all of the wishes protected from Seattle's rainy weather. The tree has thousands of cards hanging on it in six different languages. Some wishes are funny, some are sad. As for our wish, we can't tell you..but it might have been food related.

Wishing Tree

Wishing trees tend to spring up all around Seattle, but the Capitol Hill location is the only one that seems to stick. We heard about a wishing tree at Carkeek Park. It was painted red, and while we did find the red tree (above the salmon slide), there were no wishes tied to it. We also heard about one on the Ship Canal Trail, but, sadly, we were unable to locate it. If you know about any other wishing trees around town, please leave a note in the comments! You can find the Capitol Hill tree at 1251 21st Ave. E. (cross street is Galer), and if you want to make an afternoon out of it, the tree is located very close to Volunteer Park. We encourage you to go, write down your heart's desire, and see your wish come true*.

Seattle's Wishing Tree
Seattle's Wishing Tree
Wishing Tree
Seattle's Wishing Tree
Wishing Tree
Wishing Tree
Wish

* Rain or Shines Guides is not responsible for failed wishes, including, but not limited to winning lottery numbers, new Teslas, and weird family members skipping out on Christmas. 

Seattle Vacation in 48 Hours

We would like to start this post by saying you cannot do Seattle in 48 hours, you can barely do one neighborhood in that time, but realistically not everyone has time to spend months here exploring every nook and cranny. This post is for people who are coming to Seattle for a weekend and need to hit up only the best of the best. 

Friday

You will probably be arriving in Seattle in the late afternoon. We are going to immediately throw you a curve ball and send you up to Capitol Hill. This is one of the best neighborhoods in Seattle for a number of reasons, and you can't miss it. First check out Melrose Market, maybe have a few oysters at Taylor Shellfish Company to keep you until dinner. Then head over to Elliott Bay Book Company, the #1 bookstore in Seattle, to browse their amazing selection with awesome staff to help you find your next favorite book.

After this you can go check out the Jimmy Hendrix statue (air guitar is encouraged). Now you've earned dinner! Here are three options you can pick from depending on what floats your boat: Stateside,  Trove, or Tavolata. Finish the night off with a drink at Unicorn, the wackiest bar in Capitol Hill. 

The Unicorn's decorations are only outshone by their crazy cocktails.

The Unicorn's decorations are only outshone by their crazy cocktails.

Friday's hotspots

Friday's hotspots

Saturday

Rise and shine and put your walking shoes on! Get to world-famous Pike Place Market at 9:00 AM before it gets swamped. Grab a crumpet at The Crumpet Shop and then start exploring. Check out Pike Place Fish (hint: when someone buys a fish they do the famous fish toss), the gorgeous flowers stalls, and grab free samples from many of the shops, including our favorites Ellenos Yogurt and Britt's Pickles. If you grab any food (hint: Piroshky Piroshky or Pike Place Chowder) and want a quiet place to enjoy it we recommend the Urban Garden. It's a bit tricky to find (located down the hallway to the left of Don and Joe's Meats), but a great secret of the market. 

Cute pig welcomes you to the Urban Garden in Pike Place Market

Cute pig welcomes you to the Urban Garden in Pike Place Market

After you have thoroughly explored the market take the short walk down to Seattle's waterfront. The best stretch is between the Seattle Aquarium and Ivar's Acres of Clams. You can take in all the street artists, beautiful views of the Puget Sound, ride the Seattle Wheel, and get some food if you are hungry again. We have details all the best waterfront spots in this post

Miner's Landing and the Seattle Wheel 

Miner's Landing and the Seattle Wheel 

Once you have worked up an appetite grab the water taxi located at Pier 50 ($4.50 one way) and take a short 5 minute boat ride across Puget Sound to get to our favorite seafood restaurant, Salty's, for your quintessential PNW dinner. This place has a fun atmosphere and killer views of the city skyline. Plus the food will make your life complete. 

Saturday's route

Saturday's route

Sunday

Sleep in a little today and then grab a coffee at one of Seattle's MANY coffee shops. Once you have caffeine in hand head over to the Olympic Sculpture Park. This is an extension of the Seattle Art Museum and is a beautiful place to spend the morning. Start at the top (entrance at the corner of Broad St. and Western Ave.) and then wind your way down the main path to the waterfront where you will find the park's newest sculpture (and our personal favorite), Echo. 

Sculptures that double as benches in the Olympic Sculpture Park

Sculptures that double as benches in the Olympic Sculpture Park

From here you can make your way over to Seattle Center, which is a short walk. This park is the most popular in Seattle because of that giant needle people come to see. We recommend getting the joint ticket deal to visit the Space Needle and the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit because Chihuly is a mad genius (we did an entire post on this place here). Or if you are here around lunch you can get a free ticket to the Space Needle viewing deck if you eat at SkyCity, the rotating restaurant at the top of the Needle (spend a minimum of $25/guest).

spaceneedle
One of the many spectacular Chihuly pieces in Seattle Center

One of the many spectacular Chihuly pieces in Seattle Center

We also love the EMP in Seattle Center. The EMP's exhibits pay tribute to all types of entertainment (think Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix, horror and fantasy films, and the Seahawks) and is well worth the $22 ticket price. 

If you haven't already, grab a quick lunch. Seattle Center's Armory building has lots of options so everyone in the group should be happy. Sometimes there are some pretty delicious food carts hanging out in the area too. You can then take your food and enjoy it by the International Fountain and listen to the music. 

From here head up Queen Anne hill to Kerry Park (you can walk, but be warned, the hill is gnarly). This park has arguably the best views of Seattle and the Space Needle. There also happens to be a delicious ice cream at Molly Moon's just up the street from it, so if you want to make a pit stop on your way we support that decision. 

The views from Kerry Park are phenomenal.

The views from Kerry Park are phenomenal.

Take your photos, eat your ice cream. That's a wrap. Your 48 hours in Seattle is complete and you hit up all the best things! 

Sunday's route 

Sunday's route 

Sam's Tavern and the Famous Bloody Mary

Sam's Bloody Mary in all her glory

Sam's Bloody Mary in all her glory

Bloody Marys. God's gift to brunch and hangovers. Also, it's a drink that tastes good with food...in it. Have we ever mentioned how much we love food?

Ya. We thought so. 

Enter Sam's Tavern.

There is this little spot in Capitol Hill that is a little grimey, but in a good way, and serves up awesome burgers with friendly service. You can find a moose head, Mrs. Pacman, and a Henry mural in their spot and they have Happy Hour $1 cans of Rainier. Could this place be any more Seattle? 

Oh, did we also mention Sam's Tavern is run by the son of the creators of Red Robin? He probably had to learn to grill a perfect burger before he was allowed to learn how to read. 

The chili also gets our vote.

The chili also gets our vote.

#PNW

#PNW

The Henry mural is hidden in the back of the bar!

The Henry mural is hidden in the back of the bar!

Don't be intimidated...you got this.

Don't be intimidated...you got this.

The sign of any good dive bar is dolla dolla bills as decorations.

The sign of any good dive bar is dolla dolla bills as decorations.

Steepest Street in Seattle

If you are a local you are familiar with the joy of Seattle streets and if you are visiting and plan on renting a car, let's just say you were warned. It can be overwhelming to try and navigate our crazy shaped neighborhoods, but it is also something that gives Seattle some of its charm. 

A while back we were doing some research and found out the steepest street in Seattle is E. Roy St. in Capitol Hill Between 25th and 26th Ave. E. We obviously had to go check it out seeing as this is something right up our alley, a quirky, little-known spot in the city. With a 26% slope it becomes pretty hilarious/terrifying to visit. Once you arrive it is so fun to look at all the houses built on this massive hill and imagine how awesome these residents' calf muscles must be. 

If you want some other things to do when you go check it out we also recommend the Haunted Coke Machine (written about on the blog here) or grabbing a bite to eat at Cafe Flora or for a sweet snack Hello Robin (Mackles'more and Birthday Cake are our favs).