I stumbled upon Alki by chance as I nosed through the Nature and Parks section of the Destination Guide. I’m attracted to places which offer a good teaser photo and an enticing description, and Alki’s entry does both, the description in particular reading:
Alki is a living, evolving project inspired by the Pacific Northwest. Fun activities and scenic spots to play and hang with friends. Wander the peaceful forest path, take in an amazing sunset at the beach. Home to Z&A Coffeehouse & Art Studio.
It’s a charming place to explore, and offers those looking for a venue where they can listen to good music, dance and have fun exploring, swimming, playing games or sailing.
Surrounded by tall mountains, the region is sort-of divided into two. The north side of the island comprises a rocky plateau, on which sits the Z&A Coffeehouse, and beside it the Z&A Gallery. The former is a two-storey structure, the coffeehouse occupying the lower, complete with dance floor, bar, alcove seating and so on, while upstairs is what is probably best described as an indoor garden under a curving glass roof.
The art gallery is smaller than the coffeehouse, and fronts onto a circular outdoor dance floor. There are four ways off of the plateau: the path initially used to reach it after arriving in the region; a teleporter to a space station music venue out in deep space; a wooden stairway leading down to another music stage nestled under the shadow of the plateau; and a rope slide which takes you right across the region to the south side.
The southern part of the region is given over to open countryside. Here paths wind through a varied landscape of rugged terrain, open stretches of water, trees, and even to a small beach, all of which is laid out in a way which makes full use of the available land area in a very natural way. Nor does it end there. Follow the paths down to the south-east side of the island and you’ll come across a little campsite, with a water slide nearby, and just beyond it, a barge offering individual and group games, or you can take a little sailboat out on the water (do be sure to keep well inside the buoys out on the water if you do!) or go for a swim.
There are other imaginative uses of the available space which make Alki a joy to explore. Take one wooden stairway down from the coffeehouse for example, and you’ll come to the Dragonfly Inn, sitting on its own little outcrop overlooking the water below. Further down the rocky face of the plateau, wooden cabins cling to its face, limpet-like. There are even a couple of houses sitting on stilts out in the bay. Whether these are intended as private residencies or not, I’ve no idea; both are currently unfurnished (one appears as if it might still be under construction). Also, keep your eyes open for the local birds as they flit around, particularly down by the waters of the region.
Music is offered every Tuesday and Friday at the Z&A Coffeehouse between 19:00-21:00 SLT, with a rotating choice of new indie, Goth rock, indie / alternative rock and pure punk through the Tuesdays of each month, and electro-darkwave every Friday.
Alki has been very creatively put together and offer much to see and do; if you’re looking for a place that offers a good mix of things to do, you might want to check it out.
- Alki SLurl (Rated: Moderate)