Summer Guide 2012: On the Waterfront

Seattle's no Soap Lake when it comes to fun in the partially cloudy sun.

What makes summer in Seattle special? With a tip of the hat to Olympia beer, it's the water (and if you want to throw in mountains too, Rainier's got them covered). Here, unlike just about anywhere else in America, it's hard not to have a view of the sea, and shoreline property is so overabundant that you're liable to find the occasional dilapidated waterfront rambler with waves lapping at its crawl space, begging for a billionaire to give it the facelift it deserves.

Counting on Seattle to deliver cloudless 80-degree days with any sort of consistency is a fool's errand, so rather than tell you what beach to lay out on and not get a tan, our Summer Guide focuses on an active waterfront: where longshoremen like to drink (in Ballard and Tacoma), King County's dog-friendliest lakefront business district (Kirkland), pedestrian-propelled downtown waterfront and fountain tours (because fountains are technically waterfront too), and, of course, Bremerton—aka "the Pearl of the Peninsula."

We'd tell you to get wet, but the water, like the weather, is typically too cold. Yet that has its upside too: Here, shellfish can be consumed year-round, so naturally we list the best ways to suck 'em down. Hence, you should appreciate Seattle's summer for what it is, and take solace in the fact that you won't be spending too many days pounding a dirty 30 of Busch in 95-degree heat as the tumbleweeds roll by. That's what Soap Lake's for. 

Kirkland's Dog Days of Summer

Canines get VIP treatment in a a lakefront restaurant district.

By Erika Hobart

In Ballard, They Still Drink Like Fishermen

Gentrification hasn't entirely desalinated the old neighborhood.

By Keegan Hamilton

The Pup Room's Grizzled Greyhound Guzzlers

Fife is where Tacoma's longshoremen go to imbibe.

By Matt Driscoll

Go Tell It on the Fountains

Why is our famously rainy city so obsessed with jet-propelled water?

By Brian Miller

Duck Dodge: The Seattle Free Walking Tour

Why ride an amphibious tank when a pair of shoes will do?

By Gavin Borchert

Savoring Seattle's Shellfish

Four tasty reasons to be thankful for perpetually cold water.

By Naomi Bishop

The USS Turner Joy: Bremerton's Mini-Tonkin

The Pearl of the Peninsula's main attraction will transport you to Vietnam.

By Rick Anderson

We Know What You'll Do This Summer

Summer Events Calendar 2012

By SW Staff

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