In flusher times, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel's five-diamond, 3,000-foot penthouse suite, equipped with a king-size bed, Jacuzzi, grand piano, dining table for 16, and decorative

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Best In-City Escape: North Seattle

Ravenna Trails

In flusher times, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel's five-diamond, 3,000-foot penthouse suite, equipped with a king-size bed, Jacuzzi, grand piano, dining table for 16, and decorative fireplace might have been our pick for best urban escape, but times are hard. Instead, why not try the 4.5-mile oasis that is the Ravenna Trails? Most people stumble upon them on their way to Green Lake or the U District, and then usually ask, "Why haven't I been here before?" With 100-foot native cedars and firs towering above, it's easy to forget the Ave is just a few blocks away. Mossy surroundings, a slithering Ravenna Creek, and padded trails underfoot bring to mind the 1992 film FernGully: The Last Rain Forest. Sadly, the film's plot doesn't stray too far from Ravenna Park's own history: Back in 1887, when William W. Beck owned the place, 400-foot old-growth trees prevailed, but after the city of Seattle bought the land in 1911, all the wooden giants disappeared. Today things are on the rise, and the Trails' Ravenna neighbors fiercely protect and preserve their little Eden.—Chantal Anderson

 
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