For this special summer section, we asked an array of notable locals what they are looking forward to getting out and going/seeing/doing. 

Hon. Pramila Jayapal, Congresswoman 

As the Representative for Washington’s Seventh District, Jayapal serves as Seattle’s Congresswoman and the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. But what does Jayapal do when back from D.C., hanging out in West Seattle with her husband Steve and their labradoodle Otis? She told us she loves “Seattle’s diversity, natural beauty, progressive values, and willingness to always stand with those who call our community home.” Below are her top seven picks for this summer in her hometown.

Take a Washington State Ferry 

The Washington State Ferries are one of the most efficient and gorgeous modes of public transportation, and they offer endless possibilities with just a half-hour ferry ride. You get to experience the sparkling waters of the Puget Sound, snow-capped mountain vistas, and see the city skyline, all while exploring cute islands that are so nearby. This is quintessential Seattle.

Kayak/canoe to explore Seattle

A great easy loop is to kayak around the Arboretum (rentals at UW Waterfront Activities Center), and you can even stop in at the end for a delicious Mexican meal at Aqua Verde Paddle Club! Or simply kayak around Lake Union on a beautiful day.

Visit Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center

This center and museum is historic for how it came to be — through the activism of Native people who staged a nonviolent takeover and occupation of the land in 1970. It now houses a fabulous art collection and a great gift shop in a building that incorporates many Native elements in its architecture. 

Walk through the Farmers Markets (University District and Columbia City are two of my favorites).

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Seattle is all about sustainable agriculture, local farming, healthy foods, and community — the Farmers Markets highlight all of this and are a beautiful example of community, small businesses, and local farmers.

Visit Wing Luke Asian Museum

Too many people don’t know the huge role that Asian Americans play in Seattle’s history, from painful exclusion to resilient community building and activism. This Museum, centered in the heart of Seattle’s International District, is a great starting point for exploration and includes tremendous community-centered and guided exhibits that help you to place yourself in the past, the present, and the future.

Walk along the Seattle Waterfront

This is a very fun (sometimes very crowded!) walk with lots of shops, great seafood (try oysters or crab cakes at Elliott’s or grab fish and chips at one of the stands along the way), and the Aquarium. If you want a nice long walk, you can follow the waterfront all the way through Myrtle Edwards Park and see the outdoor Sculpture Park exhibits as well. This is one of my favorite walks because you get a little of everything and end with a gorgeous park with beautiful views.

Climb the Fremont Troll and explore the other public art in Fremont 

The Troll symbolizes the quirkiness that is Seattle! This is a huge multimedia public artwork that lurks under the Aurora bridge, clutching a real VW beetle. It is fabulous for kids and adults alike to climb all over. You can also go check out the other public art in Fremont that includes the Waiting for the Interurban that is always decorated for some holiday or another.