Seattle life -> Seattle fun
Suggestions for fun while living in Seattle...
- 1 This is our idea of a good time.
- 2 meta-fun: other people's idea of a good time
- 3 fun how-to: where to go, when to go, and how to go
This is our idea of a good time.
Yeah, it rains lots in winter (hrm, and spring, etc.), but summer is beautiful, and there's a lot more to do here than just sip espresso. New in town? Short on ideas? Here are some of our ideas of a good time...
a good outdoorsy time
- Paddle a canoe out to the 520 bridge and make faces at the traffic-bound east side commuters (Keep an eye out for Great Blue Herons while you're there.)
- Like to bike? Seattle has a network of fabulous bike trails, lanes, and bike friendly routes. Check out the King County cycling homepage or the Cascade cycling club (the largest bike club in the world!). You can find area bikemaps for King County or Seattle metro (available free at the HUB bike shop). Of particular interest is the Burke Gilman trail, which passes by campus and extends for about 6 miles west and 10 miles north (where it joins up with the "mammoth" Samammish Trail that goes another 10 miles to Marymoor park). Also, you can get quite a kick from biking the 2 miles across Lake Washington on the I-90 bridge bike trail during rush hour (grin happily and wave at the cars as you pass them). For a wonderful, human sense of the trails, check out Robert Ashworth's "In the Slow Lane" page (though it may make you want to quit school and bike across the country). (Thanks for the info, Steve!)
- Feed your winter outdoor sport addiction at The Summit-at-Snoqualmie---great skiing, snowboarding, nordic, snowshoeing, hiking, etc.
- "Forcing home!" "No break!" "Up!!" Did you just understand that? You're in good company here, and Disc NW is a good place to start. (We play lots of other intramural sports in the department, too, including soccer, volleyball, and even inner-tube basketball.) More local sports information is available via Yahoo.
- Like to dive? Scuba, that is? Get your gear and head the underwater park in nearby Edmonds.
- Go climb a rock. There's a climbing rock by Husky Stadium, near the Waterfront Activities Center, and another at Marymoor Park (see below).
a good relaxing stroll
- Cheer on the salmon at the locks at Ballard (and don't miss the English gardens).
- See if you can catch a glimpse of the (yet unnamed) new baby Asian elephant at the Woodland Park Zoo. There's a Komodo dragon around there, too, and, yeah, we did get zoo.org. It's Seattle, after all.
- Check out Volunteer Park, which is home to a beautiful botanical gardens, the Seattle Asian Art Museum (where one of our own faculty got married), a water tower containing a retrospective of the Seattle park system (really fascinating stuff), an off-leash area (behind the museum), and lots more.
- Walk the trails at Discovery Park for some great views.
- Stroll the Japanese tea garden at the Arboretum.
- Marymoor Park, in Redmond on the north side of Lake Samammish, has a great off-leash area (for dogs, not you, Isaac), an outdoor climbing rock, an RC airfield, a community garden, a wetlands preservation/education area, sports fields, a museum, the Pacific Northwest's prime velodrome (that's a bicycle arena), horesback riding trails, access to the Samammish River Trail, and all sorts of special events.
- On a clear day, take a ferry ride to/from Bainbridge Island, where you can visit bookshops, antique stores, a winery and some nice restaurants in Winslow, all within walking distance from the ferry landing. Try to catch the sunset on the way back...spectacular.
- Miss your pet? Wish you had one? Volunteer to walk a dog at the animal shelter!
- Hang out at all the great dog parks and pretend that one of those pups running around is yours.
- Take your bike, skates, or sneakers to see and be seen at Green Lake.
a yummy time
- Sample tasty brews at the Red Hook brewery in Fremont, where they don't actually brew any more on location, but still have a pub and "Tasting Room".
- Settle down with a hot, creamy latte at the original Cafe Allegro. (Be warned that the new Allegro at the College Inn is a rather different experience---none of that homey, back-alley character.)
- If the Allegro doesn't suit you, head to Solstice or Capitol Hill's Coffee Messiah.
- Maybe not in March, but local blackberries are hiding everywhere and are mighty tasty. Keep your eyes peeled.
- The Ave. (as locals call University Way NE) offers a dizzying array of cheap eats.
- Call some friends for a BBQ at one of the many area parks, including Golden Gardens, Volunteer, Myrtle Edwards, Alki Beach...
- Chow down on great Mexican at Gorditos in Greenwood or Bimbo's Bitchin' Burrito Kitchen.
- Looking for eats late? The Hurricane Cafe is open 24 hours.
- Pub grub fans can head to favorites like the many regional McMenamins: McMenamins on Queen Anne Hill, Dad Watson's (Fremont), and Six Arms (Capitol Hill).
- Enjoy a legendary burger at Red Mill.
a good artsy time
- Catch a free evening recital at the music department, among the best music schools in the country.
- See a play brought to you by the drama school, among the best drama programs in country.
- The Moore Theater is a great venue for dance, jazz, musicals, and more.
- Browse the collection at the Seattle Art Museum, and catch some live music while you're there at Thursday After Hours.
- Groove to some classical (or baroque, romantic, modern, jazz or pops) tunes at the Seattle Symphony downtown. With a college ID, you're eligible for $10 last-minute tickets through the Campus Club program.
- The Experience Music Project might be the eyesore of our skyline but is a one-of-a-kind museum with the kind of music history your college profs don't have a clue about (not to mention a funkadelic ride and a running schedule of live gigs).
- Galleries abound in Seattle, especially in the Pioneer Square area. Make sure to check out the extra fun, including a unique art walk, every first Thursday of the month.
a good night out
- When summer comes, it's great to watch movies under the stars at Gasworks Park, Marymoor Park, or the Adobe lot in Fremont.
- Been a while since you had a good laugh? Improv group Unexpected Productions does TheatreSports, audience-led comedy improv, and another, Jet City Improv, performs right here in the U. District.
- Get out and dance! Whether it's folk, tango, swing or Lindy you dig, the Seattle dance scene is hard to beat.
- See a movie on the huge screen at the Cinerama downtown.
- Art film more your game? Non-profit theaters in the area include the Little Theater on Capitol Hill and the Grand Illusion on the Ave.
- For more theater/music options, check out Re-Bar, the Paramount, and the Seattle Fringe Festival.
- Unwind with pals and a drink or three at a neighborhood joint.
- Check out the local music scene at clubs like the Crocodile, Sit 'n' Spin, ARO.space, the Showbox, and the Moore Theater. The Stranger knows who's playing where.
- Seattle has a rich nightlife with something to satisfy almost everyone's taste.
- Polly Esther's: This is one franchise of the national chain of clubs known as Polly Esther's. They have disco, '80s, boogie, etc. One of the biggest "meat markets" in Seattle. The place will be incredibly packed on a Friday or Saturday night, so get ready to sweat and be ogled by many a person.
- The Last Supper Club: On the south end of Pioneer Square, this club offers a variety of music. The weekends are the most crowded times for this club which enforces a dress code. The music is often excellent and the people are very attractive. The crowd is generally in the early to mid 20s.
- Contour: On first just north of Pioneer Square. This club has a mellow atmosphere, much like the Baltic Room, but not as dark. The music here ranges from good to bad depending on the DJ and night. The crowd is probably a little older than the Last Supper Club more towards the mid to late 20s.
- The Pioneer Square Joint-Cover Clubs: This is the best way to visit a lot of clubs for a low price on the weekend. There are 9 clubs to visit all for $8 (or $5 on weekdays). If you don't like the music at one, hop on to the next. The average age at many of these clubs is probably around 22.
- Catwalk: This goth/industrial club is very cool and is generally not very crowded. This is always a good thing, especially if you're wearing leather, vinyl, or latex clothing. The music is good and the pricing reasonable. If you're lucky, you might catch a fetish show.
- The Baltic Room: This is almost into downtown, just before I-5 as you go down Pine from Capitol Hill. The bar has a very dark yet clean feel to it. Very cozy. Has different music on every night covering a wide variety of tastes like Indie Pop (Wednesdays), Brit Pop, Drum 'n' Bass (Tuesdays), Funk, and Downtempo.
- ARO.space: In an alley off Pike near Broadway. This club has undergone some recent ownership changes and may not be as good as it used to be, but formerly had two dance floors with a variety of music. Some great electronic music. NOTE: This has been closed and re-opened as Neumo's.
- Neighbours: One of the city's most popular gay clubs. Not necessarily because of the great music, but just because it's got a stronghold and seems to be able to remain there. Thursday nights ('80s night) has a more mixed crowd and a large contingent of CS grads who attend.
- The Wild Rose: One of the city's most well-known lesbian bars.
a curious time
- Bowl a few games at the HUB basement.
- See what the center of the universe looks like, in person. (Vladimir Lenin is known to hang out nearby, actually. I'm not making this up.) While you're in the neighborhood, pay homage to the Volkswagen-eating troll. Oh, and don't forget to introduce yourself to the bus people (just north of the Fremont bridge and a few blocks southwest of the troll) and Rapunzel (actually on the Fremont bridge).
- Hang out with the sea otters at the aquarium. (There's an IMAX theater nearby, too.)
- Marvel at how quickly the ninety seconds of novelty of the monorail wears away.
- You've probably only seen the top half of historic Pioneer Square (the south end of downtown). Check out the rest on the Underground Tour.
- Summer festivals abound in Seattle: Music lovers head to Bumbershoot and the Northwest Folklife Festival, those who think with their stomachs won't miss Bite of Seattle, and there's the always well-attended Hempfest...
more than a good shopping trip, but an adventure
- See, hear, taste what the local vendors at Pike Place Farmers Market have to offer. Make sure you don't get walloped by a low-flying salmon at Pike Place Fish Market, and keep your ears peeled for the street musicians.
- Broadway is one of the most interesting and exciting streets in Seattle. You'll encounter an eclectic group of people on this street and find an eclectic selection of stores (even more than on the Ave.). Mainly, there's a lot of shopping and a lot of food on this street. To get here, hop on Bus No. 7 or No. 9 and get off when it starts looking crowded and fun.
- Looking for your favorite brand of konnyaku? Uwajimaya in downtown's International District (also home to lots of great restaurants and a karaoke joint or two) is a huge Asian grocery store with lots more, from Hello Kitty waffle irons to a Kinokuniya bookstore with an incredible stock of imported books and periodicals.
- Used book browsing opportunities abound in Seattle. Recollection Books on the Ave. has a site featuring the Seattle Used Bookstore Guide.
- Pioneer Square's Elliott Bay Book Company is a Seattle institution and hosts readings, talks, and signings, as well as a nice cafe in the lower level.
- If you're the "outdoorsy" type, you can't skip REI, which features a climbing wall and numerous store events.
meta-fun: other people's idea of a good time
Seattle's got more than its share of web resources for curious tourists. Look for more ideas on these sites:
- MSN's seattle.citysearch.com
- Yahoo! Seattle
- Seattle Attractions - remarkably annoying interface, but good for aimless browsing, I suppose.
- Seattle Times Datebook entertainment guide - theater, music, literary events, movies, restaurants...
- Artguide Northwest events calendar
- Musi-Cal search for Seattle - live music calendar
- CuisineNet Seattle restaurant guide
fun how-to: where to go, when to go, and how to go
- MapBlast will map almost any address.
- The National Weather Service offers the latest Seattle forecast.
- Metro Online has bus schedules, route maps, routes to popular destinations, and more. Fare is $1.25 or $1.50 (as of Feb 2003), depending on the time of day, (remember to get a transfer!) but once you're registered, you can ride free with a U-Pass sticker on the back of your UW ID.