Volunteer Park

Volunteer Park is one of those neighborhoods you wander through just to gawk. Not just at the gorgeous homes and lawns, but at the massive old trees, the street lamps, the old brick. Not to mention the supreme people watching you can get in at the park–families with kids, dog walkers, joggers, fencers, performers, yogis, whatever your poison, you’ll find it here. That’s what makes this neighborhood so dang awesome–on the surface it looks manicured at stately, perhaps bordering on stuffy (like, seriously, how often have those windows been opened in the last few decades?), but then you get a full dose of the Capitol Hill magic.

Because Capitol Hill is quintessentially just ever so slightly (and sometimes way more than slightly) to the left of normal. Volunteer Park and the hood surrounding it showcases this perfectly.

A mansion outside Volunteer Park, Seattle, and the park itself

(Rosie Gaynor photo)

Dwellings: majestic old Victorians jostle for space with craftsman single family homes and two and three story vintage and mid-century apartments and condo buildings.

Dwellers: those quintessential Capitol Hill lovers–those who love the old bones of the ‘hood, are smitten with it’s slightly off-kilterness. Folks who love the Volunteer Park neighborhood love to people watch, soaking up rays on the grassy lawns with laid-back ease.


  • Volunteer Park Cafe: technically this little jewel is located in the East Capitol Hill microhood but we couldn’t resist mentioning it here. It’s the cutest little cafe with sidewalk dining, fresh, local and seasonal eats and charming personality. Come here on a Saturday morning for a coffee and a pastry or family style “chef’s whim” Sunday Supper.
  • Check out the Volunteer Park Piano! Haven’t heard about the Piano in the Parks? It’s a super-cool collaboration between several arts and music organizations to help people discover our local parks, particularly because, as any Seattle-ite knows, there’s plenty of  music and performance to be had in the parks!
  • Speaking of performance–check out the Seattle Outdoor Theatre Festival–going strong since 2001.

Does this akimbo neighborhood speak to you? Read more about the spectacular park here!