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View Full Version : Cool things to do in Seattle?


taz-t
11-15-2007, 12:17 AM
okay - so it's not Hong Kong. But what do you guys do for fun in Seattle?

I'm here until next Tuesday, but I finish with work midday Friday. Got a car but no bike and my hotel is downtown (Springhill Suites at Yale and Howell).

What's a can't miss and what's cool that only locals would know? Food? CX races this weekend?

thanks,
Taz

d_douglas
11-15-2007, 02:47 AM
Hey Taz - first off - the package is on its way.

I lived in Vancouver for years, so Seatlle was a destination when we wanted to escape Canada for a few days.

There is a great Thai restaurant called Tup Tim Thai (118 W Mercer St
Seattle (206) 281-8833) that had serious Kai Yang (barbequed chicken) that challenged the stuff I ate in Thailand when I was working there. Cheap, tacky but delicious.

There is also an amazing vegetarian restaurant called something like 'Sunflower' that is pretty high end, but worth it, if you want to splash out.

Pike Place Market is the obvious choice - touristy as hell, but a real landmark and very cool example of successful urbanism.

Steven Holl designed a pretty stunning Jesuit chapel for the University of Washington if you like architecture (I do): CHAPEL OF ST. IGNATIUS.

One more arch highlight: the Seattle Public Library. Like it or not, I think it is worth checking out, as Rem Koolhaas is one of the premiere architects in the world today. It is centrally located too, so its easy to get to.

On a lesser note, Frank Gehry designed the Experience Music Project near the Football stadium. He is over rated (IMO) but the museum has good exhibits from time to time.

One of my fave adventures was to go see Jimi Hendrix' grave in Renton. Very cool, as he is buried with NO fanfare whatsoever in a public cemetery. No Jim Morrison for this guy. The groundskeepers don't really like giving out coordinates, but if you are nice, they will - you would be amazed at how modest it is (I love Jimi!)

What about a Sonics game?

OH yeah - you can't miss Elliott Bay Cycles/Davidson Cycles - it is a great shop with seriously beautiful stuff in there. Davidson frames are stunning. It's right by Pike Place Market.

Have a blast - Seattle's a cool city.

Ray
11-15-2007, 05:24 AM
I lived in Vancouver for years, so Seatlle was a destination when we wanted to escape Canada for a few days.

That's funny, we lived in Seattle for years and Vancouver was our destination when we wanted to get away for a weekend.

Nothing to add on Seattle - haven't been in a couple of years. But the main point is that if you're staying downtown, you have most of it right there. Between Pike Place, Pioneer Square, and the Seattle Center, there's plenty to check out. A good pair of walking shoes and an umbrella should do you. Good Thai food everywhere too. If you want to go farther afield and use the car, Wallingford, Ballard, Fremont, and the U District are cool neighborhoods to check out - each one almost like a small town with a hopping main street. (Edit - forgot Capital Hill - another interesting neighborhood, particularly if you like gay bars.) Those four are fairly close together so an easy afternoon trip. I actually find Bellevue's downtown is pretty interesting too, but mostly in the "hey that used to be a little suburb, how'd they get a city out of it?" sort of way. And probably only interesting to me because I was a planner there when a lot of it was happening.

Have fun - its a great city.

-Ray

J.Greene
11-15-2007, 05:46 AM
Get some mac and cheese at the artisanal cheese place in the market. It's as good as bacon atmo. It's so seriously good.

I really enjoyed the Experience Music project up by the space needle.

JG

TimD
11-15-2007, 06:06 AM
There's a loop around Mt. Rainier that looks like it could be fun.

http://www.redmondcyclingclub.org/RAMROD/RAMROD_2007_Course_Map.html

Russell
11-15-2007, 06:59 AM
It's been a while since I've last visited, but the Crocodile Cafe was a cool place to listen to music. I don't know if it has gotten too trendy now or what. Not sure what neighborhood it is in; Belltown (sic) ?

Birddog
11-15-2007, 08:08 AM
If you want to get out of town, drive up to Anacortes and catch the ferry out to the San Juans. Turn around on San Juan island. Leave your car and just go as a pedestrian. Have a few brews at one of the joints near the ferry dock while waiting for the next ferry. Nearby up toward Bellingham is the Chuckanut Drive, very pretty. Stop by the roadside oyster bar for fresh oysters. Near Anacortes is the small touristy town of LaConner. The Lighthouse restaurant is decent to very good and inexpensive. On your return, drive down Whidby Island and be sure to check out Deception Pass. It's pretty amazing when the tide is moving. Take the ferry from Poulsbo to Mukilteo (I think) and return to Seattle. Long day trip, but very interesting. Maybe Jimcav will invite you over to see his bikes, he's up there somewhere.

Another interesting neighborhood is the Queen Ann district, many eateries there, not too touristy. Personally, I always go to Ivar's (pier 54?) next to the Fire Boat Station at least once. It's a tradition since I was a kid and that was a long time ago. Have a bowl of chowder.



Birddog

Ozz
11-15-2007, 08:17 AM
...Take the ferry from Poulsbo to Mukilteo (I think) and return to Seattle....
Clinton to Mukilteo.....I grew up about 1/2 mile from the Mukilteo Ferry Landing....

Good suggestions so far....sorry about the crappy weather scheduled for the next week.

What do you like to do? Eat, shop, ride, sight-see?

Noonan
11-15-2007, 08:37 AM
Best secret food in Seattle: the salami sandwich at Salumi. The place is very popular for lunch. Near Pioneer Square, it's open 11-4 Tu-Fri; there's a line stringing out the door a half hour after it opens. I frequently take out of towners there and then we go around the corner and eat at Waterfall Park. The park is nearly invisible, but it's the coolest place in town. Check it out. Also, the shrimp po-boy at the New Orleans on First Ave. is not to be missed. For six bux you get an awesome sandwich, salad, red beans and rice, and cornbread. Best deal in town.

Side note: the chapel mentioned in an earlier post is at Seattle University, not U/W.

Oh yeah - take a walk around Green Lake.

Have fun!

dave thompson
11-15-2007, 08:58 AM
The first thing I do when I make my semi-annual trip to Seattle is head to Shuckers, a great little restaurant at the Four Seasons hotel in downtown, for Oysters! 14 varieties of fresh, local oysters.

Eat seafood, many good restaurants that serve local seafoods, of which there is plenty. The old Seattle saying: "When the tide is out, dinner is served" is quite true.

Take a ferry, any ferry. A very nice experience, though the ferry through the San Juan Islands is the best.

J.Greene
11-15-2007, 09:20 AM
The first thing I do when I make my semi-annual trip to Seattle is head to Shuckers, a great little restaurant at the Four Seasons hotel in downtown, for Oysters! 14 varieties of fresh, local oysters.


Are NW oyesters a year round affair? I have always enjoyed FL oysters but the PNW takes oysters to a new level.

JG

jimcav
11-15-2007, 09:32 AM
I think you should ride the ferry--the view is great! easy to just go to bainbridge, there are 2 small but decent shops--walk off the ferry, go left on winslow, classic cycles is on the right side of the road--in the back they have lots of cool old steel race bikes. just a block or so farther down winslow go left on madison, then left on the next street (starts with a "b"), BI cycles is on the left--a seven dealer, they have a serotta heart of steel i the window.
grab cofee and head back. if you WALK on the ferry is free to seattle, and $6.40 or such to Bainbridge. otherwise it is 14-15 each way for the car.
if you can get to the locks the salmon are going through this time of year--neat to see them.
I'd also hit the international district for Dim Sum, etc. I don't get to seattle often, but think the pike market, pioneer square is great. the museum has a cool little trendy eatery called taste. the museum is something i have not gotten around to.
did you bring cycling shoes and all? PM me if you want to come over and ride (and can fit a 56)
jim

dave thompson
11-15-2007, 10:07 AM
Are NW oyesters a year round affair? I have always enjoyed FL oysters but the PNW takes oysters to a new level.

JG
Yes, usually. Rarely some of the oyster beds are shut down because of red tide or pollution, but not often.

My favorites are Wescott Bay oysters. When I used to live in Seattle we would take our boat over to and anchor in Roche Harbor at San Juan Island and then dinghy to the oyster farm at Wescott Bay for a dozen or so yearlings. Talk about fresh and you can hand-pick each oyster! Dang I miss those days. http://www.westcottbay.com/

vaxn8r
11-15-2007, 10:25 AM
Go out to Carnation and ride through the dairy farms.

or...

drive out to Snoqualmie Falls Lodge and eat waffles.

J.Greene
11-15-2007, 10:39 AM
Yes, usually. Rarely some of the oyster beds are shut down because of red tide or pollution, but not often.

My favorites are Wescott Bay oysters. When I used to live in Seattle we would take our boat over to and anchor in Roche Harbor at San Juan Island and then dinghy to the oyster farm at Wescott Bay for a dozen or so yearlings. Talk about fresh and you can hand-pick each oyster! Dang I miss those days. http://www.westcottbay.com/

I rode my bike right by there on the way to Roche Harbour in August. The crab shack in Friday Harbour has a great deck to enjoy freshly grilled oysters and cold beer. I suspect November is not as nice as August :beer:

Our best oysters come in Months that end in R.

JG

Ozz
11-15-2007, 11:05 AM
If you want to check out a bike shop...try Il Vecchio (http://www.ilvecchio.com/) in Leschi. Lots of cool stuff (Pegoretti, Derosa, Landsahark, Singer, etc). Jan Heine has been there the last couple times I stopped by. It is not open on Sunday, and not until 10 or 11 on Saturday.....and then only if George feels like it.

There is a decent deli next door and a Starbucks across the street. It is a pretty popular meeting / rest stop for cyclists...

For fine dining try: Harvest Vine (http://www.harvestvine.com/index.php)

My favorite....but there are plenty of other great restaurants around.

Belltown has lots of bars and clubs...I haven't hung out there in 10+ years so I am not current.

The top of Queen Anne can be fun. The 5 Spot Cafe is good and has a nice handmade margherita (no mix). The Hilltop Ale House is good too.

You can easily kill an afternoon at the market - for mexican food try El Puerco Lloron. If you make it over to Bellevue, it has a sister restaurant called La Cocina del Puerco on Main street. Also in Bellevue, across the street from Gregg's cycles is Casa D Taqueria.

For downtown espresso, go to Monorail Espresso. Walk up, cash only, it's where the bike messengers hang. For espresso near Seattle Center / Queen Anne, try Uptown Espresso.

Kidd Valley has the best hamburgers....although I have heard Red Mill does a good job too.

If you are in Pioneer Square at lunchtime, Salumi is not to be missed. Make it a point to go there. Rearrange your schedule if you have to. Be prepared to stand in line and share the table. Unless you are early, you will most likely need to get the food to go.
Let me know if you want more ideas.

Sasha18
11-15-2007, 12:47 PM
-No. 1 - Take the ferry to Bainbridge.
-Go to Elliot Bay Bicycles. Home of Davidson.
-Go to Fremont, see the bridge, the troll, the rocket, and eat dinner at the 35th street Bistro (if you have a decent per diem) or the Brouwer's Cafe if you like beer.
-Run around Green Lake (if you want exercise).
-Walk around Pioneer Square during the day. The old buildings are great.

I have other suggestions, but that's a good start.

Sasha18
11-15-2007, 12:49 PM
Oh yeah, there's a thing called thirty for thirty going on right now. 30 restaurants, with a $30 menu for three courses. I would choose Flying Fish if you're from out of town and want seafood.

CaliFly
11-15-2007, 12:58 PM
Go get breakfast at Piroshky Piroshky across the street from Pike Place...have soup and sandwich at Three Girls Bakers just down the way. Dinner at any Thai place.

Thank me later. ;)

erikbrooks
11-15-2007, 01:04 PM
There are 2 cross races this weekend.

Seattle cross info is at http://www.seattlecyclocross.com/

Saturday race is in Bellingham, about 90 minutes north.
Sunday race is the state championships in Bremerton, a ferry ride away - maybe an hour to get there.

I'm doing the series races, so haven't done either of these venues before. The last one in Bellingham was very well received, and I'll get round to doing one there before long.

I will do the Sunday race. I've been driving alone to the races, and have room in my car if you'd care to spend the day and ring my cowbell. If you can fit my mtn bike (large), you could race it if you like.

Volant
11-15-2007, 01:55 PM
okay - so it's not Hong Kong. But what do you guys do for fun in Seattle?

I'm here until next Tuesday, but I finish with work midday Friday. Got a car but no bike and my hotel is downtown (Springhill Suites at Yale and Howell).

What's a can't miss and what's cool that only locals would know? Food? CX races this weekend?

thanks,
Taz

Taz,
This is a little back atch'ya, but what's there to do in Hong Kong?! I've been there 15 times and never found a reason to visit (job kept shoving me there). Of couse, I'd only spend a day or two before moving on to ShenZhen (good bargains at the Lo Wu train station) or somewhere else on the mainland. What am I missing?

Fixed
11-15-2007, 01:56 PM
ride your fix and drink coffee imho bro
cheers



that works for me almost anywhere

rwsaunders
11-15-2007, 03:01 PM
Hit Pike Place Market for sure...weekends draw the wild children there.
As corny as it sounds, the Space Needle is cool on a clear day.
Take the monorail from the Needle to downtown.
Take a ferry ride in the Puget Sound if time permits.
Any of the museums are fun, as in any other large metro area.
The Seattle Public Library is a bit of an architectural gem.
Climb the wall at REI headquarters.
Drink the local coffee...Tully's.

The list goes on.

erikbrooks
11-15-2007, 04:33 PM
The Seattle Public Library is a bit of an architectural gem.


I love the library system, but the new flagship is not so hot if you're there to locate a specific book. OTOH, I don't need to - I use the libraries web access to locate my book and reserve it, then when I get an email telling me it's waiting, I can just step inside the building (across the street from my office), grab it, and check it out.

Opinions vary about the building. An architect I chatted with at a party agreed that usability of the building isn't good, but argued that it's got lots of locals more interested in the library system as a whole, and that's probably a good thing.

Now, the REI flagship store - that's one I DO like - and I think it should be on the list of places to visit if you like two or more of the multiple sports they support, like I do.

rwsaunders
11-15-2007, 04:42 PM
Go get breakfast at Piroshky Piroshky across the street from Pike Place...have soup and sandwich at Three Girls Bakers just down the way. Dinner at any Thai place.

Thank me later. ;)

+1 on Piroshky. Especially if you like Russian girls and pastry. :cool:

Orin
11-15-2007, 04:54 PM
There's a loop around Mt. Rainier that looks like it could be fun.

http://www.redmondcyclingclub.org/RAMROD/RAMROD_2007_Course_Map.html

That's the 2007 route which was just a set of out and backs on the east side of Mt Rainier. The road to Sunrise is now closed for the winter.

You can't do the traditional loop at the moment either, the pass is closed: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/passes/PassInformation.aspx#cayuselink


Orin.

taz-t
11-16-2007, 10:47 AM
Lots of great suggestions - thanks everyone. My office is across from the library (Fourth and Madison). Will probably try to get down to Pike Place or Pioneer when my session wraps up this afternoon.

May try to PM a couple of you that are local about the weekend.

- taz

J.Greene
11-16-2007, 10:48 AM
Lots of great suggestions - thanks everyone. My office is across from the library (Fourth and Madison). Will probably try to get down to Pike Place or Pioneer when my session wraps up this afternoon.

May try to PM a couple of you that are local about the weekend.

- taz

Think Mac n Chese at Beechers in the market It's on the street. You will thank me I swear.

JG

julia
11-16-2007, 11:04 AM
Lots of great suggestions - thanks everyone. My office is across from the library (Fourth and Madison). Will probably try to get down to Pike Place or Pioneer when my session wraps up this afternoon.

May try to PM a couple of you that are local about the weekend.

- taz

speaking of "architectural gems", there's always hampsten towers. if you like that sort of thing. . .

taz-t, pretty classic winter weather we're sportin for you here, hope you have a great weekend. if you're in pioneer square for sure check out salumi, elliott bay books, and zeitgeist coffee round the corner. greg kucera gallery is the best in town, they have a fantastic chuck close show right now, i think it's still up. one block over is collins pub at 2nd & james for a good beer selection and good food. it's my 'hood - or one of em. pm if you like!

taz-t
12-01-2007, 01:01 PM
thanks to *everyone* for all the great suggestions - big ups to Erik for letting me tag along with him to the cx state championships.

So to recap:

Pioneer park: got to Zeitgeist and Elliott Bay Books (great bookstore). B&N and Borders have killed the independents in Atlanta. Missed Salumi, not open on Mondays but the Bicycle Alliance was right next door - so got to meet and chat with Kent Peterson.

Pike Market: pastries from Piroshki, Piroshki, mac & cheese at Beechers, Chicken soup and sandwich at Three Sisters. All excellent, soup was better than the sandwich. Also dropped in Elliott Bay Bicycles. Bob Freeman has a cool vintage collection displayed in the shop and nice to see where my Davidson originated. Also Pink Door restaurant (thanks JG) and Pike Street Wine Shop. Picked up some nice Oregon pinots, but fyi, they can't ship to GA or NC so be prepared to check it in your luggage.

EMP - okay but a little disappointing since they've uninstalled the Jimi Hendrix exhibit. Too foggy for the Space Needle. Found a cool restaurant in Belltown - Restaurant Zoe and also a decent pizza at Via Tribunali.

Il Vecchio was closed Monday but with my nose pressed up against the glass I could see a couple of Pegs - a Luigino and maybe a BLE along with several Landsharks. Lakefront looks like a cool cycling route.

Ferry ride back from the CX races in Bremerton.

Overall - very impressed with the city and overwhelmed with the bike support and culture. Much different compared to the Southeast. Next time my bike goes with me.

- taz

rwsaunders
12-01-2007, 02:03 PM
It was nice of you to post your feedback.

big shanty
12-02-2007, 05:27 AM
I'm in Portland for the weekend (from Seattle). Portland doesn't even feel like a North American city to me. Seattle is great, but Portland is a truly civilized place. A real commitment to (quality) urban planning. Portland is spectacular.

Ray
12-02-2007, 06:41 AM
I'm in Portland for the weekend (from Seattle). Portland doesn't even feel like a North American city to me. Seattle is great, but Portland is a truly civilized place. A real commitment to (quality) urban planning. Portland is spectacular.
Seattle was like that 25-30 years ago before the boom and the skyscrapers all went up in the '80s. Its still really nice, but I agree with you about Portland - they got it right.

-Ray

rwsaunders
12-02-2007, 08:51 AM
Seattle = Mid-town Manhattan
Portland = Greenwich Village