What do a troll, a drawbridge, a rocket, and a dinosaur have in common? They can all be found in Seattle’s Fremont area, of course! Fondly called the “Center of the Universe” by locals, this bohemian neighborhood has a little bit of everything. From lovely parks and hiking trails to eclectic eateries and hip bars, Fremont begs to be explored.
Visiting the gigantic Fremont Troll and the towering Fremont Rocket – two of Fremont’s most famous landmarks – is a must. Join the locals for a hike, bike, or jog on the canalside Burke-Gilman Trail and take in some beautiful scenery. Love strolling around markets and finding treasures? Don’t miss the Fremont Sunday Market, where you’re bound to find something special.
If giant trolls, suspended rockets, and off-the-wall street artists are right up your alley, you’ll love this alternative corner of the world. Explore wacky, weird, and wonderful Fremont to the max with this complete guide for what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay!
Looking for more ideas for your trip? Check out our Seattle Travel Guide for more recommendations on when to visit, where to go & what to do!
What to see & do in Fremont, Seattle
Tucked under the Aurora Bridge (as any self-respecting troll should be!) in Troll’s Knoll Park, the Fremont Troll is one of Seattle’s most famous landmarks. This huge, scary, car-crushing bruiser was created by sculptor Steve Badanes who won an art competition for his efforts.
The 18-foot-high Fremont Troll sculpture was designed to deter antisocial behavior under the bridge; however, now, the only action under the bridge is photography. Get there early to get some great shots of the fearsome behemoth grasping a full Volkswagen Beetle!
Take a stroll around Troll’s Knoll Park after visiting the Fremont Troll. It’s a lovely green space with trees and grassy lawns that are perfect for a picnic.
Fremont Sunday Street Market
If you’re in Fremont on a Sunday, don’t miss the Fremont Sunday Market. This busy European market is a neighborhood favorite and draws crowds of shoppers, come rain or shine.
Established in 1900, the Fremont Sunday Market has over 125 vendors. You’ll find all sorts of goodies, from antiques and collectibles to furniture and vintage clothing.
Grab a coffee and handmade pastry to snack on while you browse the outdoor stalls. Head to the indoor market to find a treasure among the antiques for sale or buy a classic pair of vintage jeans. When you’ve built up an appetite, enjoy lunch from one of the many food trucks at the market.
Fremont Canal Park
For a leisurely stroll through a peaceful park, Fremont Canal Park is a great option. Set along the Lake Washington Ship Canal, the park is a lovely spot for relaxing and watching the ships sail by. Summer sees the park hosting the Fremont Solstice Fair with arts, crafts, food, music, and a vibrant parade.
The paved Burke-Gilman Trail runs through Fremont Canal Park. You’ll find plenty of benches along the trail to sit and soak up the views.
Be sure to check out the full-size topiary replicas of brontosaurus mama and her baby at the foot of Phinney Avenue. If the kids are with you, take a bag of crumbs to feed the ducks.
Looking for a scenic route for your daily run? Try the Burke–Gilman Trail, Fremont’s most popular pedestrian path. Local walkers, runners, and cyclists use the 27-mile multi-use recreational trail. It’s a lovely way to soak up the Fremont neighborhood.
If you prefer to explore on two wheels, rent a bike and work “the Burke,” soaking up the beautiful scenery along the way. You’ll see a mélange of biker species that make up Seattle’s teeming cycling community, from Lycra warriors to bike messengers. Part of the King County Regional Trail System, the trail has inspired locals to ride instead of drive.
Whether you’re riding or running, remember to follow trail etiquette and relax rather than race.
Fremont Peak Park
If you’re into cosmological events and myths, head to Fremont Peak Park for a unique experience. Set on a hillside in upper Fremont, the half-acre park has spectacular views of Puget Sound. But there’s so much more to this quirky park than the vistas. Fremont Peak Park brings art and landscape together to represent the mythological story of the Minotaur.
A “silver thread” metal ribbon winds alongside the main path from the entrance of Fremont Peak Park to the view terrace. This represents the spool of thread Ariadne gave Theseus to mark his way through the labyrinth to slay the Minotaur. You’ll find concrete walls that symbolize the labyrinth and frame pretty gardens.
Make your way to the viewing terrace where the seating boulders are paid out as the constellation Corona Borealis. Check out the moon paving on the terrace that references solar and lunar cycles. If it’s all too deep for you, simply take a stroll around and enjoy the incredible views.
Fremont Vintage Mall
Bric-a-brac, knick-knacks, and some pretty cool vintage clothing are among the treasures at the Fremont Vintage Mall. Based on Fremont Avenue and open daily, this classic thrift mall overflows with antiques and collectibles.
Scope out the vintage gems from antique home décor and mid-century furniture to clothing, records, and art. Perhaps a retro chair for the lounge or a stylish leather handbag from the 20s? And, of course, being in Fremont, you’ll find some quirky items like double-headed troll dolls and a giant strawberry clock.
Take your time exploring the Fremont Vintage Mall—you never know what you might find!
Woodland Park Rose Garden
Stop and smell the roses—both figuratively and literally—at the Woodland Park Rose Garden. One of the coolest places to visit in Seattle, this delightful park is home to over 200 species of exquisite roses and other flora. It’s one of only two dozen certified American Rose Test Gardens and is well worth a visit if you love a beautiful rose.
Enjoy a gentle stroll around the Woodland Park Rose Garden and admire the roses and rose hybrids. The garden also features beautifully shaped shrubs and sculpted hedges, juniper trees, and grassy lawns.
Test your senses in the sensory garden filled with tactile and aromatic plants. Tinkling water features and tranquil ponds add a peaceful ambiance. It’s a great spot to enjoy a picnic lunch after a visit to the Woodland Park Zoo next door.
Where to eat & drink
Fremont’s creative spirit shines through in its eateries, cafés, and bars. You’ll find an array of wonderful places to wine and dine here!
For fantastic farm-to-fork fare in a laid-back environment, head to Eve Fremont. Focusing on food that’s good for the body, environment, and palate, Eve Fremont offers a delicious range of organic and super-fresh food. Try the signature hot bowl of raw and steamed veggies over rice with lemon tahini.
Craving tacos and frozen margaritas? El Camino is a winner with a colorful deck for alfresco dining and a superb range of tequilas. Burritos, enchiladas, tacos, and tortillas – you’ll find it all here! Order the Chili Relleno Burrito and keep the margaritas flowing.
Brouwer’s Café is where you go to overindulge in Belgian fries and steins of beer. The heavy stone walls and ghoulish gargoyles make it feel like a castle dungeon that you actually want to be in. Sip one of the 64 craft beers on draft, 400 bottles of beer, or an exceptional Scotch whiskey. Smother the bourbon dragon sauce on everything you order!
Go back in time to the days of Prohibition at The BackDoor. Vintage chandeliers, liquor bottle-lined bookcases, and plush décor. The list of classic cocktails is excellent but ask the barmen to mix you something special. The food is average, but the ambiance and heavy-handed drinks make up for it.
The aptly named Triangle Spirits (based in a historic triangle building) is a great spot for weekend brunch. Relax in a shabby-chic setting and enjoy classic Americana food and fun cocktails. The gourmet burgers and fried chicken are well worth the calories.
You might have stumbled across Schilling Cider House at your local bar or supermarket. This easygoing tasting room has some own hard ciders, other popular brands, and a not-so-gentle spiked apple juice to-go. They don’t serve food, so it’s a good spot for a pre- or post-dinner drink.
There’s no better spot for day drinking than Fremont Brewing’s Urban Beer Garden. Grab a table and knock back pints of their sublime Lush IPA and Randalls. They don’t serve food, but you can order in.
Where to stay
Staybridge Suites Seattle – Fremont, an IHG Hotel
Overlooking South Lake Union, Staybridge Suites Seattle is an excellent choice if you’re looking for convenience and comfort. The hotel has modern studios with all the amenities you’ll need for a hassle-free stay. Full kitchens are great for self-catering, and pull-out sofas offer room for extra guests. Enjoy a barbeque in the garden and unwind in the whirlpool tub.