Fremont knows how to have fun. Artistic and offbeat, this little neighbourhood in Seattle boasts a community that prides itself on all things peculiar. From unusual public sculptures to quirky signboards that may or may not tell the right information, you will be hard-pressed to see a dull moment here. Here are just six out of many reasons why Fremont, Seattle should be your next travel destination.
1. The Fremont Bridge
Image: Dave Sizer
This cobalt drawbridge, which dates back to 1917 and sits between the Fremont and Queen Anne neighbourhoods, is an unexpected host of art displays. The expanding exhibition of sorts includes a neon Rapunzel installation looking out from one of the control towers, and a digital bicycle counter (the first one in Seattle).
2. The Fremont Fair
Image: Jude Freeman
Every June, a carnival-styled festival known as the Fremont Fair brings this section of Seattle to life. Celebrating the “freedom to be peculiar” (or “Delibertus Quirkus”, the district’s unofficial motto), this annual affair traditionally sees a colourful flock of customised vehicles – they call them “art cars” – that have been painted on and embellished with themed ornaments, each with a distinct style of its own.
3. The Gas Works Park
Image: Wildcat Dunny
It used to be the site of a gas plant. Now, it serves as a spot for dog-walkers, kite-fliers, and picnic-lovers to seek some tranquillity. Situated in front of Lake Union, Gas Works Park boasts an artificial hill, and a play barn for children with parts of the plant incorporated into its design. Most of the towering steel structures are fenced off, but they certainly make for a one-of-a-kind backdrop to the green landscape.
4. The Fremont Troll
Image: Roshan Vyas
Fremont is known for its wealth of public art, one of which hides under the Aurora Bridge. It is the infamous Fremont Troll, a giant 18-feet tall sculpture created in 1990, depicting a one-eyed monster with a Volkswagen Beetle in hand. Other sculptures worthy of note in the district include a bronze statue of a Russian communist leader, and a sculptural piece called “Waiting for the Interurban”, featuring six figures and a dog, which is often dressed and decorated by local residents.
5. The Fremont Sunday Market
An antique suitcase filled with hand-me-downs, a messy display of eerie-looking dolls, and a mouth-watering kebab food station. These are a few things you might see at the Fremont Sunday Market. With eclectic offerings and a bustling vibe attracting throngs of visitors, this outdoor street market is where you’ll find most locals congregated at on Sundays.
6. The Centre of the Universe
This quirky neighbourhood claims to be the “centre of the universe”. Whether or not geographically accurate, it’s become one of the many permanent epithets of Fremont, manifested in a multicoloured, comical signpost with directions to places as absurd as the Milky Way. There’s even a sign that says “Noogie, Top of Head”.
Discover more of Fremont’s delightful eccentricities in person with a stay at the pet-friendly Pan Pacific Seattle, a 10-minute drive from the neighbourhood.