As the self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe,” this artsy neighborhood on the north shore of the Lake Washington Ship Canal thrives with its bohemian vibe and quirky claims to fame. Here visitors may encounter a supersize troll dwelling under the Aurora Bridge and topiaries taking on the form of dinosaurs.
Meal choices include locally sourced sandwiches from Homegrown and steaming bowls of pho at Lucky’s Pho. Revel continually bustles thanks to innovative Korean-fusion dishes, as does Uneeda Burger, where patties can be topped with bacon and a fried egg upon request. Hit up Restaurant Roux for satisfying French Creole eats or Kaosamai, where curry and noodle dishes reign supreme.
Beneath the Fremont Rocket, a towering piece of public art on the corner of North 35th Street and Evanston Avenue North, Burnt Sugar stocks tempting accessories, from handbags to cowboy boots. Load up on Seattle-centric graphic T-shirts at Destee-Nation, and find whimsical handmade gifts at Portage Bay Goods. Fashionistas adore boutiques like Les Amis and Show Pony, both great picks for unique styles from local designers.
The Burke-Gilman Trail winds through Fremont, providing scenic, waterside strolls or bike rides toward Ballard (westward) or Gas Works Park (eastward). On 34th Street, the vibrant Fremont Sunday Market fills the area with artwork and tasty eats from local vendors. Sweets-craving visitors should definitely put a tour of Theo Chocolate at the top of their list. After the sun sets, musicians rock out at High Dive and Fremont Abbey Arts Center, a champion of homegrown talent. And, of course, there’s the annual Fremont Fair and the infamous Solstice Parade (June 20), during which cyclists don their birthday suits for a body-painted bike ride. —Corinne Whiting