First Year Programs

One Bus Away Guide: Beacon Hill

Learn how to use the Seattle Transit system and your U-PASS on a tour of one of Seattle's iconic neighborhoods. Have issues or questions? Call or text us at 206-207-5564.  

The U-PASS is a bus pass plus more. Loaded right onto the Husky Card, the U-PASS provides members with unlimited rides on regional buses, commuter trains, light rail and water taxis as well as full fare coverage on vanpools. 

  • How to get there: Take the light rail from the U District or University of Washington station - Ride Southbound (to Angle Lake) & get off at Beacon Hill
  • How to get back: Take the light rail from Beacon Hill - Ride Northbound (to Northgate) & get off at U District or University of Washington station!

Beacon Hill is a diverse neighborhood situated in the heart of Seattle. Through the 20th century to the present, Beacon Hill has welcomed immigrants from all over the world - people from Italy, Serbia,  Japan, Vietnam, Somalia, and many other countries have made their homes here. It is a vibrant neighborhood full of culture, good eats, and community green spaces. 

The space has indigenous roots. We acknowledge that Beacon Hill and its greenspaces are on stolen Coast Salish land, specifically the ancestral land of the Duwamish. Due to historic racial redlining, the city was one of the few places in Seattle that persons of color could own land, so it has become one of the most diverse communities in Seattle. 

Tour Description:

  1. Garden House (Turner-Koepf House): Originally built in 1886, this is the oldest house in the Beacon Hill area. It is listed on both the Washington Heritage Register and the National Register of Historic Buildings. This 4,420-square foot building served as a hub for community activities for decades!
  2. La Esperanza Mercado y Carniceria: Mexican grocery store & butcher shop. With a focus on Latin American products this shop has welcoming and helpful staff to satisfy your Latino taste bud desires. The products range from candy to spices. This location also has a variety of street vendors famous for their tamales and snacks. 
  3. El Centro de la Raza’s: “We unite all people because together we are powerful.” This organization strives to support its name. They unify the community to organize, empower, and defend human rights for marginalized populations. From family services to financial empowerment- they have Beacon Hill’s back. 
  4. The Station: A Black and Latino run coffee shop/cafe and de facto community stronghold since 2010. This business whips up excellent locally sourced coffee while advocating for their community! They also host block parties & other community events.
  5. Beacon Hill Branch- The Seattle Public Library: This branch of the Seattle Public Library is probably one of the most diverse. All signage is written in an abundance of different languages and the space is filled with conversations between non-English speakers. Here you can see Public art that represents the neighborhood like The Dream Ship: Beacon Hill Discovery
  6. Beacon Food Forest: Adjacent to Jefferson park- this is a community garden project using a land management system that recreates the symbiotic relationships between plants, animals, and insects. This program is a public-serving response to Beacon Hill’s struggle with access to affordable, local, and organic produce so it’s open harvest!
  7. Jefferson Park: the sixth largest park in the city, offers unparalleled views of the Duwamish River, the city and the Olympic Mountains. The Olmsted inspired path system flanked by trees offers a wonderful respite from city life along with many active opportunities. This park is home to a historic golf course, tennis courts, skateboard park, sunset viewing, and more. 
  8. Fou Lee Market: This Asian market selects quality products at the best prices so their community can get the best value for their money. Authentic items like noodles, rice, seafood, and produce are imported from Thailand, Japan, China, Vietnam, Lao, India, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Singapore, and Taiwan. 

More Fun Places to Explore:

  1. Dr. Jose Rizal Park: A great place to catch the sunset from with superb views of south Downtown and Elliott Bay. This park has a dog off-leash area, picnic tables, and restrooms. It’s a bit further North than the other parts of the tour which is why it is included here. 
  2. Daejeon Park: This park is named for Seattle’s sister city in Korea. It features a Korean style pagoda and open space. A beautiful photo opportunity especially as the seasons change. 
  3. Cheasty Greenspace: Cheasty is a community based volunteer organization devoted to bringing Cheasty Greenspace, the largest wooded parkland in the area back to its natural glory. They work to clean up litter, remove invasive plants, and plant native trees back to increase the communities access to nature and recreation!

Food to Try:

  • Bar del Corso: Wood-fired pizza and Italian small plates. If you love or have heard of The Pink Door (a famous Italian cuisine in Pike Place Market)- Seattle locals call this even better but you’ll have to see for yourself!
  • Homer: Mediterranean flavors in crunchy context. Run by Chef Logan Cox who can redefine roast chicken as something new and exciting. These dishes will leave you craving more! 
  • MILK DRUNK: Fried chicken and ice cream restaurant. Connected to Homer- this place makes grabbing a delicious snack to-go easy! A delicious spot for American comfort food like chicken sandwiches & soft serve ice cream! 
  • Musang: Soulful Filipino food from Melissa Miranda. This restaurant is inspired by her childhood memories and educating others about the yummy cuisine & flavors of Filipino culture. 
  • Golden Daisy Restaurant: An authentic Dim Sum & Chinese barbeque restaurant. It’s right by the light rail and they’re big on take-out! Grab a yummy bite before you head out of the neighborhood!