seattle sodo

Actively Northwest Neighborhood: Seattle’s SoDo

The industrial area south of downtown Seattle, better known as SoDo, is filled with hidden gems to explore. More than fast-food-chain restaurants and massive warehouses, SoDo is home to great places to shop for outdoor gear, try a thrilling new sport, or try one of the few gluten-free beers available on the market.

Learn a New Sport

Looking to try a new sport that’s out of the norm? Emerald City Trapeze Arts is the place to go. Here you’ll undertake flying trapeze, aerial arts, and circus classes. It’s also great if you want to host a unique birthday party or corporate event. Students learn from world-class instructors and practice in a 20,000-square-foot space with a full-sized flying trapeze rig and a professional theatrical performance stage.

There’s also Kaf Adventures, which specializes in teaching a range of adventurous activities, like rock climbing, mountaineering, and adventure travel. They also rent gear if you’re knowledgeable in your sport and need to borrow items like avalanche transceivers or crampons.

Shop for Great Gear

An array of great shops specializing in outdoor gear call SoDo home, including Outdoor Emporium, a huge warehouse full of sporting goods for activities like camping and fishing. Outdoor Research and Filson also have stores in SoDo, as does Alchemy Goods, which designs bike bags, wallets, and other gear from recycled bike tire tubes.

If you’re in the mood for a project, head to Second Use Building Materials or Earthwise Architectural Salvage, both of which sell reclaimed wood and a wide variety of other building materials. Get inspired by random findings, or finally undertake that project you found on Pinterest.

Drink Gluten-Free Beer

Seattle’s first—and still only—gluten-free brewery is found in SoDo. At Ghostfish Brewing, wheat gets replaced by millet, buckwheat, and brown rice for surprisingly full-bodied brews that stand up well to barley-based competitors. The brewers have released a wide variety of beer, so anyone going gluten-free doesn’t have to give up their favorite stout or IPA. And there’s gluten-free pizza available if you get hungry. It all makes for a great place to relax and fuel up at the end of a day of activity, whether in SoDo or elsewhere.

Catch Pokemon in Sodo

If you’re looking to get your daily steps and play Pokemon Go, SoDo happens to be a great neighborhood for a nice stroll through Pokestops (and the establishments we outlined above). With its industrial heritage and location next to Puget Sound, SoDo should offer you a nice mix of water and electric type Pokemon. SoDo’s northern edge is also home to Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field, two popular hotspots for catching ‘mons.

This walking route in SoDo is about three miles in length and would take a walker going non-stop about an hour to finish, so plan for extra time if you’re making stops to catch Pokemon.

You’ll begin at a Pokestop just west of Safeco near the intersection of East Frontage Road South and South Atlantic Street. From there, walk east down Atlantic and continue on the street as it turns into Edgar Martinez Drive South. You’ll catch a Pokestop at the intersection with Occidental Avenue South, then turn right (south) on Occidental. Continue south and cut right (west) one block to 1st Avenue South by South Massachusetts and walk south down 1st. You’ll pass by Filson and Outdoor Research Retail Store, perfect opportunities for a break and to check out some great outdoors gear. Continue south down 1st until South Tracy Street, where you’ll turn right (west) to catch a Pokestop. Turn left (south) onto Utah Avenue South where you’ll find a few more Pokestops.

Cut left back to 1st and turn north for another Pokestop, then turn south and walk to the intersection with South Lander Street where you’ll find another Pokestop. Turn left (east) down Lander and walk to 4th Avenue South to find a Pokestop.

From here, you can either finish or continue on our route to check out the remaining establishments on our list. Continue east on Lander until 6th Avenue South, where you’ll find Emerald City Trapeze Arts. Then turn south onto 6th and you’ll walk near Kaf Adventures and Second Use Building Materials. Continue south until South Spokane Street, where you’ll turn right (west) and continue walking until 4th Avenue South. Turn right (north) onto 4th, where you’ll pass Earthwise, then continue north until South Horton Street, where you’ll turn left (west) and then go down a number of blocks. Turn right (north) onto 1st and walk a few blocks until you reach the end of the route at Ghostfish Brewing. Reward yourself for a journey well-traveled with a refreshing gluten-free beer.

Have any tips for enjoying a day in SoDo? We’d love to hear them. Share them with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

Image of SoDo courtesy of ArtBrom via Flickr.

Megan Hill

Megan Hill is a freelance food, outdoors, and travel writer living in Seattle. She writes for a wide variety of print and online publications, including Edible Seattle, Eater Seattle, and Northwest Travel & Life. You can read more from her at and follow her on Twitter @MeganHillWriter