First Year Programs

One Bus Away Guide: Fremont

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. 

  • Meeting place: Suzzallo Library steps / The Statue of George Washington 

  • How to get there: Take the 31 or 32 bus from Roosevelt Way NE & NE 42nd St. Get off at N 35th St & Troll Ave N 

  • How o get back: Take the 31 or 32 bus from Fremont Ave NE & N 34th St. Get off at 11th Ave NE & NE 42nd St 

Come to Seattle's funkiest, most creative neighborhood – Fremont. You will be introduced to the world-famous Troll, hangout with the massive statue of Vladimir Lenin, and visit many unique shops, cafes, and restaurants. At one point, Fremont Bridge had a Writer-In-Residence, where a writer would work all summer perched above the Lake Washington Ship Canal. The ship canal project began in 1911 and was officially completed in 1924, connecting the Union Bay, the Montlake Cut, Portage Bay, Lake Union, the Fremont Cut, Salmon Bay, and Shilshole Bay, which is part of the sound.  

Tour Description: 

  1. Fremont Troll: In 1989, the city asked the Fremont Arts Council to launch an art competition to rehabilitate the area under the bridge, which was becoming a dumping ground and haven for drug dealers. Later that year a team led by sculptor Steve Badanes won the competition and was inspired by the folktale Billy Goat’s Gruff. It is made from rebar steel, wire and 2 tons of messy ferroconcrete, 18 feet tall with a shiny metal eye and crushing a Volkswagen Beetle in his left hand. 

  1. Lenin Statue: Weighing over 7 tons, the sculpture took ten years to complete and was installed in Poprad, Slovakia in 1988. It is believed to be the only representation portraying Lenin surrounded by guns and flames instead of holding a book or waving his hat. Lewis Carpenter was an American veteran teaching in Poprad, and he found the sculpture lying face down after it was toppled in the 1989 Revolution. Carpenter mortgaged his house to acquire the sculpture and brought it back to Issaquah. He died in 1994. His family now owns the statue. It is sited here temporarily for viewing and sale. 

  1. Fremont Rocket: In the spring of 1994 a team of engineers was assembled to rebuild the circa 1950's Cold War rocket fuselage from top to bottom in time for the summer solstice and the Liberation of Fremont. This time (another team having failed a few years earlier), specialists were called in to engineer the electronic features, structural details and design the new fins and nose cone. The Rocket bears the Fremont crest and motto, "De Libertas Quirkas"—which means "Freedom to be Peculiar." 

  1. Center of the Universe Sign: In 1991, Fremont Scientists determined the Center of the Universe to be at the intersection of 35th & Fremont Ave N. citing that the specific location of the center of the universe can be neither proven nor disproven. Sources claim that at this particular location, one feels slight gravitational pull and an urge to return again and again. Check it out for yourself! 

  1. Fremont Vintage Mall: The coolest vintage store in the center of the universe, featuring vintage/mid-century furniture, collectiles, antiques, records, art, clothing, memorabilia, accessories, local jewelry designers and much more. 

  1. Waiting for the Interurban: In 1979, sculptor Richard Beyer created Seattle's most popular interactive artwork. It commemorates the light rail Interurban line that used to connect downtown Seattle with all of its neighborhoods.  The Stone Passengers have hosted costumes, displays and "art attacks" celebrating everything from weddings, birthdays and congratulations, to popular causes and demonstrations.  Anyone can decorate them; the only rules are that there can be no commercial messages and you must clean up everything when you are done.  Rumor has it that the face on the dog is that of another local legend, Arman Napoleon Stepanian, the unofficial Mayor of Fremont in the early years and the "Christopher Columbus" of curbside recycling. The dog statue has a human face. It’s creepy and hilarious. 

More Fun Places to Explore: 

  • Fremont Sunday Market: The market hosts over 125 vendors who continue to delight the crowds and treasure hunters week after week with everything you can imagine and some things you can't - antiques, collectibles, bygones, retro, vintage and original clothing, estate sale treasures, tools, deluxe junk and the cream of regional garage sales. It occurs every Sunday throughout the year, rain or shine. 

  • Ophelia’s Books: A used book store with an impressive array of both popular and obscure titles on its shelves that used to have a resident cat.  

  • Gas Works Park: Southeast of Fremont, an urban park with great views of the Seattle skyline and popular sunset viewing spot. Accessible via the 31 or 32 bus, stopping at N 35th St & Wallingford Ave NE. 

Food to Try:  

  • Lazy Cow Bakery: Lazy Cow Bakery is a plant-based bakery located in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood. Part vegan bakery, part food pantry, and part community space, the space rooted is in ideas of liberation — for animals and people alike. 

  • Sea Wolf Bakers: This bakery is known for hand prepared fresh sourdough bread, croissants, and sweet pastries which rotate with the seasons. 

  • Fainting Goat Gelato: A local, organic gelato place.  

  • Aroom Coffee: An authentic Vietnamese coffee shop open daily from 8 AM - 5 PM run by a 26-year-old dreamer and her family and friends. 

  • Local Tide: What started as a pop-up in Pike Place Market three years ago is drawing long lines for dishes featuring the best in local seafood. The fish sandwiches are all excellent, while salads loaded with vegetables and grains and rice bowls with pork-and-fish patties and nuoc cham make for satisfying but light lunches.