Local Tourism Sites
Conference aside, there are tons of great things to do in the Puget Sound. This area’s diverse culture, history and geographic location offer something for everyone.
Visit the Space Needle, shop at the Pike Place Market, drink coffee at the original Starbucks, hang out at the Seattle Center, check out the beautiful Snoqualmie Falls, hike at Mt. Rainier or Mt. Baker, enjoy Washington’s fabulous wineries and distilleries, or discover Seattle’s unique neighborhoods. Save some dough and visit a bunch of great sites with the Seattle City Pass. Come early, bring the family, and enjoy everything the area has to offer.
Seattle’s top experiences are compiled for you and your family. All of these experiences are either a short drive or bus ride from the conference hotel. Catch the Sound Transit Express Route 550, leaves every 15 minutes, and head to the heart of downtown Seattle in less than a half hour. Once there, take buses throughout the heart of the city in the Seattle Free Ride Area. From the Westlake Center Shopping Center downtown, jump on the Monorail and take a quick ride over to the Seattle Center.
You can find a great one-day itinerary for Seattle here.
Seattle is a great, walkable city, so bring some comfortable shoes, and an umbrella, just in case! Seriously though, Seattle isn’t very rainy during the summer. Check out the real story on rain in Seattle here.
Seattle’s Pike Market
Pike Market is the quintessential shopping experience of downtown Seattle. Take some time to shop from the numerous local vendors and of course, check out the legendary fish tossing. While you are down at the market, you may want to swing to Pike Brewing Company for a quick drink or to the original Starbucks. Check out a great guide to the Pike Place Market.
For those who would prefer an organized tour, you can sink your teeth into a generous helping of intriguing tales and delicious food! The acclaimed Seattle Bites Food Tours takes you behind the scenes of the historic 100 plus year old Pike Place Market, internationally recognized as Americas best farmers market and the epicenter of Seattle’s lively food culture.
With just a quick walk from the Pike Market you can be down on the Puget Sound waterfront. You can enjoy the waterfront boardwalk, grab some seafood, or check out the Seattle Aquarium (on the Seattle City Pass). You can also take a cruise on the sound on an Argosy Cruise (also featured on the Seattle City Pass).
Seattle’s Underground Tour
Want to learn the dirty secrets about the origins of Seattle? Head to downtown Seattle and go down to Pioneer Square where you can head underground and see the city that modern Seattle was built on top of. Find out about the shady past of Seattle in a fun walking tour.
The Seattle Center is where you’ll find the iconic Space Needle as well as several other great museums. If you take the Sound Transit Express Route 550 from Bellevue and arrive at the Westlake Center Shopping Center in downtown Seattle, simply jump on the Monorail and take a quick ride over to the Seattle Center. You can go to the top of the Space Needle (on the Seattle City Pass), relive the glory days of some of rock and roll’s greatest legends at the Experience Music Project (on the Seattle City Pass), let your inner geek out at the Science Fiction Museum and Pacific Science Center (also on the Seattle City Pass), or take the family to see a play at the Seattle Children’s Theater.
Museum of Flight
A little way south of Seattle is the Museum of Flight. The museum features exhibits covering all phases of man’s pursuit of flight with an enormous exhibit of World War I and II aircraft. It is also a part of the Seattle City Pass
Seattle Art Museum
The Seattle Art Museum hosts the region’s finest collection of art, specializing in Asian and Native American art. You can visit the Seattle Art Museum Downtown, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, or simply walk through the Olympic Sculpture Park.
Bellevue Art Museum
A quick walk from the hotel is the Bellevue Art Museum. This museum features some great modern art installations as well as many special exhibitions.
Snoqualmie Falls is a breathtaking waterfall just about a half hour’s drive away from Bellevue. Bring the kids and go for a nice hike down to the base (and swing up to Snoqualmie Brewery for a beer afterwards).
Enjoy a baseball game at Safeco Field. Located on the South side of Seattle, this beautiful stadium is the home of the Mariners (and is conveniently located across the street from Pyramid Alehouse).
Soccer has taken over like wildfire in Seattle and the Sounders have some of the most devoted fans in the country. Go watch a game in Century Link Stadium and don’t forget to bring your scarf (and swing by Elysian Fields beforehand for a pint).
Wineries and Distilled Spirits
Washington has hundreds of fantastic wineries and Woodinville is just around the corner with dozens of up and coming wineries. Learn more about them and find out when tasting opportunities are available. There is also a blooming micro-distillery movement in the area. Get your spirit on at a local distillery.
Bellevue Square Shopping
Just outside of the conference hotel are the Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square shopping centers. You can spend hours shopping in the fine stores and also find some great food options as well.
Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, Westlake Center is a four-story, glass enclosed retail pavilion (with a Food Court on the Upper Level) offering a mix of national reputation retailers and a unique selection of the finest quality regional merchandise. The Center offers a high-energy, one-of-a-kind urban shopping environment.
Especially for Kids
KidsQuest Children’s Museum
Let the little ones get their hands dirty at the KidsQuest Children’s Museum. They have lots of hands-on exhibits where children can learn and have a great time doing it.
Remlinger Farms in Carnation is a functioning farm featuring a miniature petting zoo, small amusement park, and berry picking in the summer months.
Cougar Mountain Zoo
Let your kids see all of their favorite animals with the beautiful backdrop of Cougar Mountain in Issaquah. Take a short drive out of the city and enjoy the Cougar Mountain Zoo.
Woodland Park Zoo
If you are driving around in Seattle with the kids, make a trip up to the Woodland Park Zoo. This great zoo features over 300 exotic and native animals and is also one of the locations featured on the Seattle City Pass.
Nestled at the base of the Cascade Mountains, Bellevue is just a stone’s throw from some fantastic hiking. You can stay in the local area or head a little ways away to Mt. Rainier or Mt. Baker.