Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Stuff to do in Seattle

Since the PAX veggie party seems very likely to happen, we should start think about what we want to do besides going to Pax for a day. Trivia Night has already been suggested, as well as Pike Place Market and camping in Olympics National Park. So I thought I would take this chance to list out some of the other attractions that I think are worth visiting while you guys are here. This is divided into Activity types and ranked by my personal like if I've been there. Obviously we can't do all of them and I might have missed some also so feel free to remove or add to the list etc.

PAX- Penny Arcade Expo, the largest gamer convention hosted by the Penny Arcade, it is 3 days of gaming craziness. I figure we only have to go for a day, preferrably Saturday since that is the day with the concerts, or maybe Sunday depends on when the guitar hero tournament happens ;) Duration: 1 day, Cost $25 for one day or $45 for 3 day, Catnip Rank: ***

Trivia at Celtic Bayou : this happens Monday night at 8pm, the famed battleground of Snoopy and I. There seems to be alot of interest in a Veggie victory. So people wanting to join will have to leave on Tuesday. Duration: 2 hours, Cost: food and drink Catnip rank: ***

Experience Music Project - This is a MUST SEE for all rockstar wanna be's. It is in my opinion the most interesting museum in Seattle. In their own words: "EMP is a one-of-a-kind music museum combining interactive and interpretive exhibits to tell the story of the creative, innovative and rebellious expression that defines American popular music. Featuring a world-class collection of artifacts, unique architecture by Frank O. Gehry, state-of-the-art technology, and exciting interactive presentations, EMP will encourage visitors of all ages and backgrounds to experience the power and joy of music in its many forms. " . Not the mention the building looks like giant messed up guitar. You also get the Science Fiction museum for free. Duration: 2-3 hours, Cost: $15 Catnip Rank: ***

Museum of Flight: This is a pretty good museum if you like airplanes. They have a pretty extensive collection since we are the founding place of Boeing. I was pretty impressed with it. They also have an old Air Force One for you to look inside. I am not very into airplanes so it was not too exciting, but still a good museum. Duration: 2-3 hours, Cost: $14, Catnip Rank: **
Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour. this is the museum at the Boeing Headquarters. I have never been there but besides seeing alll the latest in airplane design technology, you get to tour part of the Boeoing plant and see airplanes being assembled. cost: $15 Catnip rank:??

Museum of Glass: I decided not to list the art museum cause I figure there wont' be much interest. But I always wanted to go to this one. the NW has a pretty strong tradition in Glass Blowing and this museum is suppose to have some pretty cool stuff and a live glass blowing workshop. It might be a cool thing to do if there is free time, cost: $10, Catnip Rank: ??

Seattle Underground Tour: A hilarious guided walking tour in Downtown Seattle that explains to you the history of Seattle city and some of the major events it has gone through. It walks underneath the city where the old streets used to be. Duration 1 hours, cost: $14, Catnip Rank: **

Seattle Harbor Cruise: this is a boat tour that takes you around Elliott Bay in Downtown Seattle. It is also guided and pretty fun thing to do on a sunny day. It lasts about an hour. cost: $18.61 Catnip rank: ** Alternatively, we can do the Locks tour which is 2.5 hours and about 30 bucks. that one is also pretty interesting.

Olympics National Park: I have never been so can't really expound on its goodness but I figure it can't be bad, I mean it is a national park. I still suggest if we go, we just do a day trip. camping really is alot of work and takes up alot of time. :) Duration: 1 day, cost: $15 per car. Catnip rank: ??

Mount Rainier: This is another national park, it is about the same distance as to Olympics. Mount Rainier is an active volcano although it really hasn't done anything for years. You can see the peak of this mountain from Seattle city. It has many hiking trails etc. Although the weather would have to be nice, I have been there times when I am the bottom of the mountain and I can't see the freakin mountain at all. Duration: 1 day, cost: $15 per car, Catnip rank: **

Snoqualmie Falls: This has the advantage of being the closest to my house. It is only 15 minutes drive. It also has a nice hike down to the bottom of the fall. The fall is 270 feet tall. Velius has been to this one so I guess it is not as interesting now. Duration: 2 hours, cost: free, Catnip Rank: *

General Attractions:
Space Needle: You know, symbol of Seattle blahblah, I guess if you are a first timer you have to see this. It has a nice rotating restaurant up on top and the elevator is on the outside so you can see the way up. I've been to this place many times already. Another option is to go up at night or at dusk to watch the sunset. that is actually pretty nice. Duration: 1 hour, cost: $15 Catnip Rank: *

Pike Place Market - A kind of flea market in the middle of Seattle Downtown. It has that fish tossing thing Ender was talking about. It is pretty fun place to visit all the random shops and just walk around. Although I've seen them toss fish and it really wasn't that exciting I thought. They basically toss it from one side of the stand to the others. so maybe not get your hopes up too much haha. Duration: 1 hour, cost: free, Catnip Rank: **

Pioneer Square: it is kind of the historical center of Seattle with many old buildings and galleries. It also has a bunch of clubs for night life. A fun place to walk around. The underground tour starts here also. Duration 1 hour, cost: free, Catnip Rank: *

Alki Beach: A beautiful beach strip near Downtown. Good for walks and such. It is 2.5 miles long. it is famous for being the beach where they filmed a part of Sleepless in Seattle. Duration 3 hours, cost: free, Catnip Rank: ??

Wild Waves Enchanted Village: Seems some Veggies are big rollercoaster enthusiasts. Wildwaves is a theme park featuring Timberhawk- largest rollercoaster in Washington made completely out of wood. Duration: 1 day, cost: $35 catnip Rank: ??

Other options:
Vancouver BC: Vancouver is about 3 hours away so a day trip is possible.

chateau ste michelle : Washington's oldest winery. They offer tour and wine tasting. not sure if Veggies are into Wine or not. but it is really close to Seattle. cost: $5 Catnip Rank: ?? Snoopy says only go if you love wine and haven't been to Napa Valley =D

Microsoft: Someone mentioned a tour, I suppose we can walk around the campus lol. But you guys should go visit the company store, I get good discounts.

Ok, here are the major stuff I can think of right now. besides these, there are alot of places to walk since Seattle is surrounded by water so every direction has nice views. This is alot of stuff of course, I suggest one day at PAX, one day for downtown stuff (EMP needle, tours etc) and maybe half a day for a museum or two, and one day for an drive out(either park, wild waves or vancouver), ok discuss away


Kungfucius said...

Nice list you compiled there! (even has rollercoasters!) :) Anyways, seeing the various options that we have, I'm thinking that a Thursday (Aug 23) to Tuesday (Aug 28) trip will probably be the best so we can get a sample of everything Seattle has to offer. Any thoughts?

Tochi said...

Thanks for compiling the list! There is so much to do in Seattle... I'm quite excited. Unfortunately, given my scheduling constraints, I would likely have to leave on Sunday (Aug 26) - hopefully catch a red eye flight out, to maximize my stay. Just curious, is it common for people to rent bicycles to ride along the waterfront? I won't mind doing that to explore some of the beaches and shore areas you mentioned.

If I may ask my lady a favour, do you mind commenting a little on the fine cuisines that Seattle has to offer? After all, 民以食為天! :)

Ender said...

Dangit, if there are any NHL questions on trivia night, we are screwed.

Catnip's rough outline sounds pretty good. I'm more in favor of a wilderness hiking experience instead of a water cruise for our "outdoorsy" activity. How many times have you (and maybe Velius if he did it too) gone on that underground Seattle tour, Catnip? The EMP sounds really cool; what's the Sci-Fi museum like though?

moonfleck said...

Answers for Tochi,

Yes, alot of people bike everywhere here. We have a bike trail that is 14 miles long that goes around the city. However, Seattle is very Hilly (think San Francisco) so might not be quite a leisure ride. Since I don't bike myself I dont' know about renting them but I can ask around

As for food, there is a Chinatown here with decent Chinese food, not as good as in CA or Vancouver or even Houston in my opinion but decent. so that is a yes for dimsum haha. As for American food, Seattle is famous for Salmon, Oysters and other seafood.

Answer for Ender
I've only gone on the underground tour once with Velius, when Velius was here last time, we did Needle, Snoqualmie Fall, Underground Tour and Harbor Cruise. The Sci Fi museum is a pretty good compilation of the history of Sci Fi genre. It has artifacts like old books and tv shows. It is not that big though so I only mentioned it in passing.

Ender said...

I'm pretty much ready to make reservations I think. So are we all inline for arriving Thursday morning (I'm looking at 10:00 am arrival time in Seattle) and early departure on Tuesday (except for Tochi, who needs to leave Monday)?

Still haven't heard from Grapes. Hopefully the answer will not be "Bunky says no."

Kungfucius said...

Just to confirm that Velius is serious about trivia night, he called me today for a trivia answer to a tennis question during his trivia preparation over lunch :)

Tochi said...

Some friends and I are mulching on the idea of a 3 days, 2 nights camping trip on the weekend of Aug 18-20. Current plan is to camp the first night @ Kalaloch beach on the Pacific coast. How often do you get to sleep beside the ocean? The second night would probably be at a campsite in some forest. The three day trip would essentially be a drive around the entire Olympic National Park, including exploration of all three unique ecosystems there.

We are going to book the campsites very soon, since most of the good ones are gone already! If this camping trip works out, I'll likely arrive in Seattle on Friday 17th, camp Sat 18th to Mon 20th. Work on 21st/22nd. Thursday to Sunday for PAX and other fun. :)

Was speaking with Ender, and if enough people are interested in the trip, maybe everyone can come on Fri 17th to Sun 26th. 5 working days off, which is just 1 more day than the current Thurs 23rd to Tues 28th plan. Trivia night would be on 20th instead of 27th.

Ender said...

We must have a Microsoft tour somewhere in the mix! Catnip, are you allowed to take us inside (as long as you are escorting us)?

Tochi said...

I would love to go on a tour of M$ as well. One cannot experience Seattle without experiencing M$. :)

moonfleck said...

wow, Tochi is really crazy about camping :)

yes, MS can be toured, although seriously it is just a bunch of office buildings lol. We can tour

Tochi said...

hehe. I haven't been camping in a while, so I do not want to let a golden opportunity like this slip by. :)

Just to address the issues raised by several concerned parties.

1. Bad weather. Weather isn't usually a big issue. I was camping once in pouring rain... half the people ended up sleeping in the cars. Since our campsite was on a slope, we dug a small trench under the tent to let the water flow. At points in the night, it felt like a river was flowing through the middle of the tent. That was quite a memorable experience.

The campsites are about $20 per night. If the weather turns out to be too severe, I'll just forfeit the $40. Not a small sum, but a gamble I'm willing to take.

2. Regarding camping being hard to plan, I'll take care of most of the planning from Toronto! Just find a sleeping bag and a tent, and bring some marshmallows, and you're all set!

I have a feeling this "camping" trip is more of a road trip than camping. We travel great distances by car, but given 3 days, we should be able to get in some good hiking, swimming, etc.

On a totally different note, just to make sure everyone is on the same page, the M$ tour includes a tour of BillyG's mansion and estate, right?

moonfleck said...

Um.. that would be a no on BillyG's mansion tour lol.

Tochi said...

What?!? I demand a refund! lol