When I dream about cruising the PNW this summer, I often think of the neighborhoods close to the marinas where we often stay. Poulsbo. Port Townsend. Gig Harbor. That got me thinking some more about folks visiting our own little home sweet home here at Shilshole in Seattle. I've written in the past about the coffee shops nearby, two of them being on Sunset Hill, but there's more...
I wonder if our guest dock visitors know about the other businesses up on the hill? There's a mini-neighborhood up there with all kinds of fun stuff - Italian food, video rentals, ice cream, a barber, the Green Market grocery…and there's even a secret pedestrian shortcut (Ok, & a hill to walk up).
First, leave Shilshole marina, cross the street over to the nice bike/walking trail (the Burke-Gilman trail). Follow the trail south, behind Surf Ballard, and cross the railroad tracks. After crossing, look for a gravel path leading to a graffiti bridge. Head under that bridge (the other railroad tracks) and climb the staircase. You'll arrive halfway up the hill and be at the intersection of NW 64th and 37th.
Make sure to get a good look behind you after the staircase, this will help with the return trip! All you have to do now is head east up the hill (on 64th).
Once you make it you can check out Rain City Video, get coffee & ice cream at Walter's Cafe (a.k.a. The Scoop at Walter's), get a trim at the Sunset Hill Barber Shop, pick up some groceries at the Green Market, and have a nice breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Picolinos.
It's not much but it's quaint, a little bit undiscovered by visitors, and it's enough. If you're staying a night at the marina you should definitely head on up.
~Paul & Amber ETC