Queen Anne is one of the most varied neighborhoods in Seattle—it spans from busy Seattle Center to quiet and historic residential streets. The neighborhood is in fact named for the style of historic homes within its bounds (Queen Anne is a style of Victorian architecture from the late 1800s and early 1900s). Queen Anne is built on one of the highest hills in town and you can spot it from most surrounding areas not just for its hill, but also for the three television broadcast towers that sprout out of the hill.
Whether you want to delve into some local history or you just want to have fun and explore some major landmarks, Queen Anne has lots of things to do.
See the Skyline From Kerry Park
While Kerry Park isn’t the only park in Queen Anne, it should be high on anyone’s list for a visit. It’s all about the view. Kerry Park has one of the best views of the Seattle skyline in town. It’s a great spot for photographers new or experienced, or perfect for a conversation with someone paired with gorgeous scenery.
First and foremost, Seattle Center is located in Lower Queen Anne. There are plenty of individual attractions within Seattle Center, ranging from the touristy Space Needle to sitting by the International Fountain on a sunny day. During the holidays, Seattle Center is decked out in lights and decor and has special holiday happenings galore. All year round, but especially in warmer months, Seattle Center hosts festivals indoors and out with food, live music, or and vendor booths. KeyArena is part of Seattle Center as well and brings in some of the largest headliners in Seattle. All in all, while many come to Seattle Center with an agenda or event tickets, it’s also a lovely place for a stroll.
Both the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Opera perform at McCaw Hall, which is the perfect stop for artistic souls who seek to visit Queen Anne. But if ballet and opera aren't your thing, McCaw Hall also hosts other performers, speakers, and festivals. Watch its events calendar for a lecture series if you seek some learning in your life, or for wine and cheese festivals if you want to indulge in some tastings.
Check Out the Museums
Seattle Center is also home to a few museums worthy of special note. MoPOP stands for the Museum of Pop Culture, and in another life, it was also known as the Experience Music Project and then the EMP Museum. But today, it’s MoPOP and it has a far broader scope than merely music. Wander the exhibits and you’ll spot memorabilia from Star Trek, iconic movies, comic book series, as well as music history. Expect to see plenty about local performers like Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix, too. Special exhibits come through and bring even more pop culture goodness.
Pacific Science Center is another museum located in Seattle Center and is especially perfect for anyone with children in tow, but it’s fun for adults too. Exhibits include those on dinosaurs, mechanics, and how the human body works, and it's home to a butterfly house that’s pretty amazing. Also, don’t miss the IMAX theater, whether you’re there to see an educational film with the kids in 3D or the latest blockbuster (the theater doesn’t get all new films, but usually has one or two showing).
Like most of Seattle’s neighborhoods, Queen Anne has a shopping scene. Shops here aren’t big, major stores like you’ll find in downtown Seattle. Instead, you’ll find locally owned boutiques. Noteworthy stores include Stuhlberg’s, which sells home accessories and decor, baby items, and more. Queen Anne Kids is another shop with a focus on kids. Items include clothing and shoes, as well as toys and books you won’t find just anywhere. If you like games, then Blue Highway Games is a stop not to miss. The shop sells board games, Pokemon, Magic, and more, and it also hosts gaming events.
Eat Around Town
Seattle in general is a good place to be if you’re hungry or thirsty. Queen Anne is no exception. Restaurants here veer away from larger chains and are largely located along Queen Anne Avenue. Closer to Seattle Center, you’ll find iconic Dick’s Drive-In. If you’re hoping for non-American fare, look to Roti Cuisine of India, Shiki (sushi), Toulouse Petit (Cajun-Creole), Domani Pizzeria (Italian) or Mezcaleria Oaxaca (Mexican). For dessert, don’t miss Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream.
Climb the Hill
Queen Anne is located on the highest named hill in Seattle. You can trust that as a fact, or you can tackle it yourself by climbing up the various sets of stairs. Fun fact: there are about 100 sets of public stairs in the neighborhood! The stair sets range from little jaunts to serious staircases that top 500 stairs. The stair sets are so well loved there’s even a website where you can learn all about them, how many stairs are on each, as well as locations.
Learn About the Area's History
For history buffs, Queen Anne is a lovely neighborhood to wander. Even if you don’t delve into the history, you’ll spot Victorian-era homes and other historic architecture. If you want to dig deeper, the Queen Anne Historical Society has a list of landmarks, including bridges, churches, and businesses in the area. If you want to delve even deeper, you can attend one of their events.