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A week in Seattle


nomad_grrl
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So, Wombat Warden and I will be crossing oceans and hemispheres in a couple of weeks to attend WorldCon (in Spokane, WA).  We’re spending a week in Seattle first and I thought I’d ask you fine people for recommendations of places we should go / things we should see / hobby/gaming shops where we should empty our wallets!

 

What shouldn't visitors to Seattle leave without seeing/doing? What should be avoided at all costs?

 

Thanks in advance.

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LittleBluberry is also from the Seattle area. If you're planning on exploring beyond the downtown area she might be a good person to ask.

 

Otherwise, I've quoted my reply below when Ub3rN3rd asked the same question a few weeks ago.

This was based on my own experiences when visiting Seattle.

 

 

 

Seattle, going to be there next weekend. My wife has a conference there and I'm flying up Friday. Will do some sightseeing and check out the city.

@LB - any suggestions on what to do/see/eat?

Ooo! Ooo! *Raises hand*

I've 2 or 3 suggestions for nerdy related sightseeing in Seattles downtown area.

- Golden Age Collectables, while not having gaming stuff, is a great store for nerds hidden deep within the bowels of Pikes Place Market. In fact the market itself is a multi level maze full of stores with hidden treasures. A great place to explore.

-Ye Olde Curiousity Shop on Seattles waterfront (near the giant Ferris wheel) is another great store full of... Curiousities. A bit creepy, a bit souveniery, but fun to explore.

-Seattles EMP Museum is just a short monorail ride from downtown Seattle. While the bulk of the museum consists of essentially a rock and roll museum, it also houses a scifi/fantasy museum that is currently featuring over 60 original costumes from the Star Wars movies.

That's all I got. :;):

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I love Seattle.  If you get a chance to go downtown during the day you can visit the famous Pike Place Market (it shuts down at 5 or 6 pm).  There are lots of little vendor stalls to explore, cafes and other shops in the area. If you're a groupie, the original Starbucks coffee is there, too. 

 

Fine dining opportunities abound downtown, especially if you like seafood. A walk along the waterfront in the evening is pleasant. Elliot's Oyster House is my favorite, ask for the dining room in back, not the fast food take-out counter.  There's a very nice aquarium on the waterfront, and the Seattle museum of art is a few short blocks away. 

 

Don't drive without a gps unit. There are few straight roads and you'll get turned around easily.  Give yourself plenty of time to arrive, especially during busy hours as traffic is horrible. There's a lake in the middle of the city and the bridges get jammed up. 

 

It rains a lot, but not heavily and not for long. You'll want a light waterproof jacket when you go out. 

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Well, first of all, you have to go to Card Kingdom! Best FLGS I've ever been in: big, well-lit, and they have lots of loaner games you can take to the restaurant next door (Cafe Mox) and play while you eat. Staff and customers alike are very friendly, and you can almost always find someone to play a game with you. (Especially if you play Magic, but all tabletop games are popular there.)
 
Dick's Drive-In is the local favorite burger chain, so I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend getting a Deluxe with fries and a chocolate shake. If you plan to have a more expensive meal, I recommend Ivar's Salmon House. It's a venerable Seattle institution, and make some excellent salmon, which we are known for. Elliot's is nice, but this is the wrong time of year for oysters, and it's been too hot for them this year especially (lots of bacteria and algae blooms, I'm told).
 
Skip the Space Needle; it's incredibly touristy and not worth the long line and steep admission fee. (It's mostly just cool to look at.) The Chihuly glass museum underneath is pretty neat if you're in that area, though. And as Darsc said, the EMP is pretty rad. (Actually, I'll second all of Darsc's suggestions.)
 
The Underground Tour bills itself as Seattle's "most unique attraction," and that's pretty accurate. After Seattle's old downtown burned down, they just built the new downtown 22 feet above the ruins, so there's a ton of cool stuff buried under the streets. Definitely worth checking out.

 

If you like museums, the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM), and the Burke Museum are all quite nice.

 

In terms of weather, I have to disagree with Inarah. It does drizzle daily for most of the year, but you'll be here in August, which is the most gorgeous time of year here. It's going to be warm (this summer has been unusually so) and dry, for the most part. A light jacket probably wouldn't hurt, just in case you get unlucky, but it really shouldn't be necessary.

 

If you're a soccer fan, the Reign are doing great this season, and the smaller attraction of women's sports means you get to sit way close to the action for relatively cheap.

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 You could always take a small side trip to go throw rocks at Microsoft... ::D:

 

We actually are going to Microsoft - a non-gaming friend works there and has offered to show us around - he might get fired if I start lobbing rocks and then I'd feel bad.

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I was stationed in the vicinity for a few years.

The Game Matrix is the game store from "The Gamers".  It's in Lakewood, about an hour south of Downtown Seattle.

http://www.thegamematrix.com/

 

If you're eating at Pike Place, Piroshky Piroshky offers high calorie Russian pastry.  Just look for the line down the block.  I recommend the smoked salmon variety.  Get dessert at Le Panier - the d'Orsay is chocolate pie of deserved renown.  The Pink Door offers more refined dining, with a particularly nice set of vegetarian offerings.

 

On driving Downtown :  Don't.  Seriously.  There's a lot of public transportation available, and you'll probably have to park at the Space Needle anyway.

 

Mount Si and Rattlesnake Ridge are both nice hiking trails that offer spectacular views.  Your best chance of seeing Bald Eagles in the wild is the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge - they like to hunt the waterfowl out there.

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Well if you're in Redmond and you like beer and/or wine, it's not far to Woodinville where several wineries/breweries are based plus a ton of tasting rooms. ::D:  Had to throw a plug in for my area, there's a zip-line at one of the wineries, I think.  Still not sure how that got approved, but it does get people's attention.  Hopefully your friend takes you to the visitor center at Microsoft, they do have some cool displays & stuff, or at least they used to. 

 

I've heard some people really love the Duck tours downtown, but if you've got a friend living here they probably know as much about Seattle as I do, since we spend waaaaaaay more time at Microsoft than we do in Seattle.  :;):  Oh, and I think MatrissaTheEnchantress is going to be at WorldCon, but you'd have to PM her since she's not on the forums much at the moment. 

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There's a reasonably chance that you shouldn't need rain gear right now actually. We've been having a dry spell (it actually doesn't rain much in July & August usually and it's been unusually dry). Bring light raingear, just in case, but most likely, you won't need it.

 

Also, unless you don't mind wasting all you moneys on parking fees and getting stuck in traffic, you might want to check out the public transport options and minimize your driving around the city. $32 for 4 hours of parking, are you effing nuts? I'm serious, that's an actual parking lot!

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This is an awesome collection of information.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

 

We never planned to drive in Seattle - trying to navigate an unfamiliar, busy city on the wrong side of the road is just asking for trouble!  Crossing the street in America on foot is a big enough headache.  Look left, then right.  Left, right.  I think?

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According to my sister;

 

1) Take a dinner cruise on the sound

2) Duck tours can be fun but the traffic is going to suck

3) Beach in west Seattle

4) Pizza at Pegasus

5) Fremont Troll for a quick photo op

6) Old Ballard for some shopping

7) Then out to Shilshoe for lunch or dinner

8) Beaches at Golden Gardens

9) Ready to walk it off - Greenlake is a 3 mile walk or run and has swimming as well

10) When you are hungry after Greenlake then Dukes or Greenland Bar and Grill

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