Together, the KAF Adventures guides are dedicated to helping others experience the thrills of climbing, mountaineering, ice climbing, and other outdoor escapades. Whether they're teaching beginners to rock climb during group lessons, imparting lifelong skills as private mountaineering guides, or leading international climbing trips, the guides help their students learn new skills and appreciate their surrounding environment. Yoga and backpacking hikes introduce hikers to wilderness vistas as they learn to channel their own breathing, and backcountry skiing and boarding guidance readies students to hit the slopes or speed through snowy department-store displays.
Boasting a new model for veterinary care, Urban Animal’s staff of animal lovers welcomes walk-ins and treats all pet owners with compassion. Offering services to fit their clients’ budgets big and small, they present everyone with a range of treatment options that vary in price.
Now a subsidiary of the Wing Luke Asian Museum, Chinatown Discovery Tours offers almost a dozen 90-minute tours of Seattle’s Chinatown each week. The pleasant outdoor strolls trace the arrival of the Chinese in the 19th century, their struggles and enduring culture. There’s no shortage of tidbits to pick up, thanks to Seattle’s expansive mix of Asian cultures, and some tours even include stop-offs at great and tasty Chinese restaurants. Others might include a visit to Hing Hay Park, with its terraced stairs and red brick square, or a walk through Uwajimaya, a pan-Asian food emporium and gift shop. On Saturdays, literary visitors can take the Bitter and Sweet tour, which pays respects to landmarks featured in the New York Times bestseller Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. That means stops at Canton Alley and the Panama Hotel, among other illuminating Seattle spots.
Presented as a gift to Seattle residents from Charles and Emma Frye, two philanthropic Seattleites, the Frye Art Museum in the First Hill neighborhood is lean and low when viewed from the street. The building’s stark mid-century concrete profile belies the rich collection of artwork and airy galleries held inside. Opened in 1952 as a home for the couple’s private collection of 232 paintings, entrance is free in perpetuity for Seattle residents. And while the Frye founding collection focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century paintings, visiting exhibitions have expanded this content and routinely feature contemporary artists such as Mark Mitchell, Joshua Kohl, Jason Hirata, Henry Darger and Helmi Juvonen, among others. The museum also hosts a gift shop and small cafe with outdoor seating in warm months, but is closed on Mondays.
Tucked inside an art deco building within Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park, the economically-sized Seattle Asian Art Museum showcases cultural artifacts from China, Japan, Korea and India. From silk screens to sculpture, scrolls to woodwork, the museum nods at history at every turn. It also includes a children’s room that lets little ones learn by doing and creating. Outside, Noguchi’s “Black Sun” sculpture lines a decorative pool within Volunteer Park, making for a wonderful photo vantage point that includes Seattle’s Space Needle in the background. Through the Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas, the museum even offers a Saturday lecture series on visual and literary arts topics. Bargain-hunters take note: The museum is free to all visitors the first Thursday of each month.