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Soaking up the Seattle sun on the longest day of the year

Seattle has the nickname, "Rain City," but the Northwest city has one of the longest summer solstice days in the United States. This year, the city will see nearly 16 hours of daylight on the first day of summer, June 21. There are number of events around town to celebrate the day. Here is our itinerary sampling the best of the best on solstice in Seattle.

Early morning

Louisa Boren Park: With a panoramic perspective of Lake Washington, Capitol Hill, and the Cascade Mountains, this park has some of the best views in town. Naturally, then, it's a great place to greet the sun on the longest day of the year at 5:12 a.m. All told, the sun will be visible for 15 hours, 59 minutes, and 20 seconds appearance. You can say you were there for the beginning.

Seattle coffee: Beat the summer morning heat with an iced coffee from one of Seattle's most renowned coffee shops. While Starbucks may have its roots in this Pacific Northwest town, the Espresso Vivace Sidewalk Bar on Broadway (in Capitol Hill) has forged the way for caffeine fiends across the nation. Sip on some famous Seattle java for an energy boost to see you through the longest day of the year.



Lola: Next, brunch at Lola is a must. This morning hotspot dishes up made-to-order doughnuts, as well as a host of more elaborate concoctions for braver souls (try the octopus-and-poached-egg combo). For a kick-in-a-glass, throw back a Lola Mary cocktail with homemade jalapeno-infused vodka. Prefer a non-alcoholic jump-start? Sip on a Ginger Mint Spritzer instead.

Fremont Fair: After fueling up at brunch, ring in summer alongside jugglers, musicians, and artists aplenty at the quirky Fremont Fair near the corner of Fremont Avenue North and 35th Street. Starting on June 20, this 3-day event is famous for its eclectic solstice festivities, and comprises everything from live concerts and craft vendors to beer gardens and the largest collection of art cars in the northwest. Swing by and sway to music from live bands such as The Physics and The Flavr Blue.


Fremont Solstice Parade: Fremont proudly lives by the saying, “De Liberta Quirkas,” meaning “Freedom to be Peculiar,” and this annual parade dutifully represents this neighborhood motto. The quirky procession begins promptly at 3 p.m., and makes its way from 36th and Leary to Gasworks Park. Expect whimsical floats, wild ensembles, and questionable body paint (among other unforgettable attractions).

All-Star Softball Classic for Homeless Youth: If Cracker Jack and peanuts are more your thing, beeline to the bleachers at Safeco Field, where some of Seattle’s finest will be stepping up to plate to raise money for homeless kids across King County. Seattle Mariners Hall-of-Fame players Jay Buhner and Dan Wilson each will coach a team of stars, including radio hosts and celebrity chefs. The game was scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

Viewfinder Tip: Get a running start on summer in Seattle with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. The race starts June 21 at 7 a.m., at the Seattle Center downtown. 


Seattle International Dance Festival: Seattle residents embrace the outdoors but appreciate inside, too. As part of this festival, spectacular dancers will light up the stage at Raisbeck Performance Hall. The dance production commences at 7:30 p.m., and includes performers from Philadelphia and Bucharest, Romania.

Alki Beach Park: Another plan for evening on the summer solstice in Seattle is to grab a blanket, mosey over to Alki Beach Park in West Seattle, and stake out a spot on the shore to soak up the sunset. The sun finally will melt into the horizon at 9:11 p.m., leaving a cotton candy-colored skyline with magnificent views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound.

Beveridge Place Pub: For those not quite ready to retire after the sunset, cruise over to Beveridge Place for a nightcap. Dedicated to honoring the microbrew movement in the Pacific Northwest, this pub pours some of the finest craft beers in Washington. And although this watering hole doesn’t have a kitchen, you won’t go hungry, thanks to its Menu Book, a collection of take-out and delivery menus from local restaurants.

How do you like to celebrate the sunrise or sunset when you travel?

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