Outdoor Adventures

Actively Northwest Neighborhood: Hidden Workouts in Capitol Hill and Eastlake

Updated May 6, 2019

With the explosion of downtown construction in Seattle, the Capitol Hill and Eastlake neighborhoods are in serious expansion mode. But even while these neighborhoods grow and evolve, there are still a few dependable spots to escape to. Here are our favorite spots in Capitol Hill and Eastlake for getting active.

The Workout: Howe Street Stair Climb

Capitol Hill and EastlakeThere are plenty of stairs in Seattle, but with 13 flights (and 388 total steps), the Howe Street stairway is the mother of them all.

Park at the corner of Eastlake and Howe Street, at the I-5 Colonnade. You’ll see the stairs start right under the freeway. Warm up as you make your way to Lakeview and then, once you cross Lakeview, go for it — all the way up to 10th Street. To make a good loop, you can take a right and head down the Blaine Street stairs.

For a heart-pounding stair workout, try one of these circuits:

  • Circuit 1: Do a steady jog up the stairs to Broadway, and then walk the last few flights from Broadway to 10th Avenue. Run or walk back down the Blaine Street stairs.
  • Circuit 2: Walk all flights, but skip every other step so that you’re lunging up the stairs.
  • Circuit 3: Jog all 13 flights, taking a breather on Broadway if you need one, before continuing up the last few flights to 10th.
  • Circuit 4: Walk all flights and then single-step on the way down as a cool-down.

Disclaimer: Whichever option you choose, your calves will be screaming the next day.

The Training Run: Lake Union Loop

Capitol Hill and EastlakeIf you’re getting tired of the Greenlake crowds and want to add some mileage to your run, then the 6-mile Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop is a must-try. It’s also the perfect walk for out-of-town guests to take in the sights of Seattle. Park anywhere along the loop and make your way along the path, where you’ll take in everything from the Burke-Gilman Trail to Gasworks Park — not to mention getting a peek at the iconic houseboats on Eastlake.

Play Some Pick-Up: Volunteer Park

Capitol Hill and EastlakeTucked away from downtown Capitol Hill, Volunteer Park is a Seattle gem. Filled with outdoor tennis courts, expansive lawns and stunning views of the city, the park is the perfect place to spend a rain-free Saturday afternoon. Toss a Frisbee, bring along a soccer ball or simply go for a stroll. Before you head out, be sure to check out the water tower, a central feature in the park, for a great view of the city.

On colder, rainier days, you can check out the rare plants housed in the Volunteer Park Conservatory or spend a few hours at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

Urban Walkabout: Interlaken Boulevard

Capitol Hill and EastlakeWhen we asked Seattle Marathon runners what their favorite part of the race was, Interlaken Boulevard was the hands-down favorite. On this hidden road in Capitol Hill, lined by towering trees and partly protected from car traffic, you’ll be transported away from the city and into a wooded wonderland. Explore the road, but also try popping onto one of the many short trails within Interlaken Park.

Where are your favorite places to escape to in Capitol Hill and Eastlake? Let us know in the comments below.