1. Seattle Is Home To The Real Super Mario
Source: Flickr user Tom Newby
It’s true, that adorable little plumber we all grew up loving calls Seattle (actually a suburb just to the north) home. But he isn’t actually a plumber in real life. The inspiration for Mario came from one Mario Segale, a real estate magnate and one-time landlord to Nintendo of America (NOA) in the early 1980s.
The company was struggling financially at the time. After an angry visit to the warehouse demanding past-due rent, Nintendo President Minoru Arakawa noted some semblance between the real life landlord and the pixelated plumber created by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Thus, the nickname was born and stuck.
2. Finding This Emerald City Speakeasy Is Anything But…Well... Easy
Source: Knee High Stocking Co. via Facebook
But it does deal in booze, and plenty of it. The Knee High Stocking Co. is a prohibition-era themed speakeasy in Capital Hill. It’s easy to overlook, obscured by a normal-looking apartment entrance and no real visible signage.
Text ahead for reservations and upon arrival, ring the doorbell to gain access to some of the tastiest Moscow Mules, Ramos Gin Fizzes, and other classic cocktails from eras bygone.
3. The Hottest, Weirdest Museum You’ve Ever Seen Is...Steve’s House?
Steve’s Weird House is a private museum housed in—you guessed it—Steve’s house! It is equal parts freak show, art gallery, historical museum, and library.
The home is literally wall to wall, floor to ceiling, with ancient and bizarre relics. They include conjoined twin animals, medicinal specimens, antique embalming tools, autographed books, garden statuary, and more.
Prepare to be creeped out and awed all at once…That is, if you can get a tour.
4. No One Can Solve The Mystery Of The Unending Vending Machine
Source: Wiki user Another Believer
There is a mystery coke machine near the corner of Broadway and John Street. It’s an old relic, reminiscent of the ’70s, and no one knows who owns it or, more eerily, who keeps refilling it. But sure enough the machine stays full. There is even a mystery button which, for 55 cents, dispenses various flavors of pop, including Fanta Pineapple and Cherry Coke.
5. This Phoenix Rises Every Night In Seattle
Source: Phoenix Jones via Facebook
Seattle has its very own crime-fighting badass, Phoenix Jones, fearless leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement. Jones and his crew of superhero sidekicks don full body costumes to avoid being mistaken for criminals as they assist in crime prevention, which includes chasing car thieves and breaking up bar brawls.
Jones wears a skin-tight black and gold number, including a full-face rubber mask. The mask stays on, even when Jones is in the hospital nursing very real wounds earned in the line of superhero duty.
6. The Trees Have A Taste For Metal Here
A ways down a small, nondescript trail, tucked away on Vashon Island there sits an old rusty bicycle. In a tree. No one seems to really know how a this bicycle ended up stuck inside the giant Douglas fir tree, like a half-digest meal, but theories abound.
A Tri-Cities sheriff claims he owned the bike as a small boy and didn’t like it, so he abandoned it to the woods, but that still doesn’t quite explain it’s current situation.
7. There Is A Biking Scene For The NSFW Crowd
Source: Solstice Cyclists via Facebook
Seattle is home to more than a few “clothing-optional” bike rides throughout the year. The World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) Seattle is the local organizer of several World Naked Bike Ride-affiliated events, including the Seattle Daylight Ride, Gardens Everywhere Bike Parade, and the WNBR Seattle Night Ride/Cyclonudista Luminata, to name just a few.
Most of the rides are scheduled during summer months, presumably to prevent cold weather shrivel. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…
8. X Marks The Spot Of Seattle’s Secret Beach
Source: Flickr user aarmono
Seattle has several beautiful beaches but there’s just one problem—in the short summer months when the weather is just perfect, they get overrun but the masses. But there exists a secret beach, only accessible at low tide by a paddle craft or dingy. It’s located just off the Shilshole Marina breakwater. Shh, don’t tell anyone else.
9. A Festival That Gives New Meaning To The Phrase “Hump Day”
Source: Flickr user Zavez
Seattle boasts an amateur-produced porn festival called, appropriately, Hump! which features homemade porn videos before a live audience and then the videos are rated. There is an award ceremony and then the videos are all burned onsite by Dan Savage, author and HUMP! Master of Ceremonies.
10. Allow Us To Point You To The Wall of Death
Source: Flickr user George Fox Evangelical Seminary
Underneath University Bridge lies a permanent art installation called the Wall of Death. It includes the cylindrical structures used in motorcycle stunts, as well as metal chairs from which to view said stunts.
This area used to be a hotspot for skateboarders but after a few collisions and injuries, there are now parking barriers and other obstacles to prevent would-be stuntmen.
11. These Unusual Homes Will Float Your Boat
Source: Flickr user tdlucas5000
Seattle is actually home to the largest houseboat community in the world, outside of Asia. There are approximately 500 floating around the Puget Sound. The houseboats offer a spectacular view of the waters surrounding Seattle and are themselves a sight to see, with varying architectural design and cool interior elements. But the docks are all on private property so most people don’t get the chance to see what 500 houseboats floating on water actually looks like.
However, for one day a year, a dozen or so houseboats open up their doors to the public as part of a fundraiser hosted by the Floating Homes Association. It’s definitely an opportunity not to be missed.
12. We’re Not Putin You On, There Really Is A Lenin Statue In Seattle
Source: Flickr user Brandon Carson
Well at least it is in Fremont, where there stands a 16-foot bronze statue of none other than Vladimir Ilyich Lenin himself, looking all kinds of fierce in mid-stride, surrounded by guns and flames.
The statue was commissioned by the Soviet and Czechoslovak governments. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, it was brought to the U.S. by Lewis Carpenter, of Issaquah, who mortgaged his home to do so. It is currently owned by Carpenter’s family, and it is for sale, in case you are interested.
13. These Are Some Pretty Big Shoes To Fill
Source: Flickr user Seattle Municipal Archives
The Godzilla-sized hat and boots were commissioned to be part of a western-themed gas station in Georgetown. The gas station has since fizzled out over the years but the hat n’ boots are still larger than life. The mammoth western-wear duo has since been moved to Oxbow Park. The hat is 44 feet wide and the boots stand 22 feet tall. In other words, these boots made for walking
Did we miss anything? Tell us your favorite secret spot in Seattle in the comments below!