Photo: Kristen Marie Photography


Seattle has been a top destination among LGBTQ travelers for years, with an openly gay mayor (Ed Murray), a home state that had marriage equality in 2012, and a no. 5 Gallup ranking for the largest percentage of LGBTQ residents among the nation’s major metro areas.


Lionhead | John Granen

Lionhead | John Granen

Within easy walking distance of downtown, Capitol Hill is the Seattle neighborhood most strongly identified with LGBTQ folks, but this enclave of venerable old homes, tree-lined streets, and bustling commerce is remarkably eclectic. It’s favored by all sorts of people, from those who love strolling through verdant Volunteer Park (1247 15th Ave E) and taking in views of the downtown skyline to indie-spirited shoppers who can’t get enough of the neighborhood’s diverting clothing boutiques, home-furnishing stores, and craft food and drinks emporia. It’s also one of the hottest culinary destinations in the city—and some of its most extolled eateries are helmed by members of the LGBTQ community, including Tamara Murphy’s farm-to-table Terra Plata (1501 Melrose Ave; and Jerry Traunfeld’s Sichuan restaurant Lionhead (618 Broadway Ave E;

The neighborhood even has its very own LGBT Visitor Center (614 Broadway Ave) inside the lobby of First Security Bank—during the bank’s regular weekday hours, it’s staffed by volunteers from the Greater Seattle Business Alliance (*, which supports and promotes LGBTQ-friendly businesses.

Although Capitol Hill may be the gay epicenter of the city, members of the LGBTQ community live, work, and play throughout Seattle. In picturesque West Seattle (page 72), for example, you’ll always find a friendly bunch congregating at the easygoing and aptly named neighborhood gay bar, OutWest (5401 California Ave SW; In South Lake Union (see page 61), at the north end of downtown, the truly underground basement music club Kremwerk (1809 Minor Ave, Ste 10; reels in LGBTQ revelers and their friends by hosting “Queer Hip-Hop” and “FomoHomo camp” parties. And in plenty of other hip and dynamic districts—Ballard, Queen Anne, Phinney Ridge, Georgetown, Wallingford—you’ll find a slew of gay-friendly businesses and residents.

*Visit Seattle Partner

Photo: Kristen Marie Photography


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