Despite the steep gradients, Capitol Hill is a great place to express your independence from foreign oil as you walk, bike or invade a friend’s fantastic apartment to enjoy the annual Lake Union fireworks. Here is updated round-up of where to get a view of the action and enjoy the 4th of July in the bestest way possible — with the good people of Capitol Hill at your side.
During the day, get your sunshine, free hot dogs and one of these at the 11th annual Cal Anderson Independence Day Picnic.
- This year’s newly rekindled fireworks show over Lake Union is slated to begin at 10:15 PM. In the past, you could tune into the simulcast on
97.3 FMWarm 106.9 FM. We recommend your own soundtrack of oohs and ahhs.
- The prime Capitol Hill-connected viewing zone stretches along our northwest edge above Eastlake.
- As much as it is un-American not to drive, do not try to park anywhere in the area. You will fail.
- The Lakeview overpass is usually closed to cars and pedestrians during the show. This map from last year hasn’t been checked for updates:
- SPD has made a special plea this year for one of the most popular western edge viewing spots:
[O]fficers need your help keeping the intersection of Belmont Ave and Bellevue Pl. E. clear for emergency vehicles. In recent years, the intersection has become a popular spot during 4th Festivities, which is problematic as it’s also a direct link between Lakeview and South Lake Union. Please help police keep the street clear this year.
- Also from SPD: “DO NOT CALL 911: to complain about noise from fireworks or the weather.”
- Instead of taking the high point and gumming up the roadway, wander down north of the Lakeview overpass:
More recently we discovered that Lakeview Boulevard E., just north of the Belmont-Eastlake I-5 overpass, is a great place to watch the distant Elliot Bay firework show and the in-your-face Lake Union show. There’s a wide sidewalk overlooking a steep slope down to I5 and the lake. A chain-link fence keeps you safe, but the blackberries growing in the fence can obstruct the view, so bring some gardening tools!
Am I spoiling it for myself by telling you? NO! it’s never been really crowded and I’d much rather have you walk down and enjoy the view than the turkeys who drive in at the last moment, double park, leave their smelly engines running and blare their choice of music for all to “enjoy”. Note: the firefighters who turn up and sit on top of their truck to enjoy the show are NOT in that category. They often get called away during the show, but also get treats brought to them by partygoers in adjacent houses. UPDATE: From 2012 — “So there’s now excellent viewing all along the fence, and no need to bring gardening tools”
More Capitol Hill viewpoints
- Nearby Bellevue Place Park
- Side streets off 10th Ave E like E Boston or E Lynn
- “There’s good views around the corner by the Roanoke. You can even cover your drinks with a coaster while you go watch the show and they’ll still be there when you get back. Also pong.”
- Various peek-a-boo views from the I-5 Shores area of the Hill
- On the east edge of the Hill around 22nd and Galer affords a view of various Eastside displays.
- Parks usually leaves fields like Bobby Morris lit through the night to discourage shenanigans that would damage the artificial sports grass.
- Personal fireworks are illegal in the City of Seattle
- Don’t call 911 to report fireworks
- And, no matter where you decide to watch from, remember these words of wisdom from the CHS comments: “The view here is stellar, but please don’t leave your trash all over my neighborhood when you’re done watching shit blow up.”