What's there to do in Seattle?

I have to spend some time in Seattle. What kinds of places should I see? Restaurants? Bars? Attractions? Shopping?

As a side note:
Is there a grunge museum? Why does the radio stations seem locked to 1995?

The best radio station in Seattle is KNHC.

Go to Capitol Hill for some fun during the day. Also, the U district.

Can you provide a little more info about your interests, when and how long you’ll be here, and your target price ranges?

I don’t know of a grunge museum per se, but there is the ugly-ass Experience Music Project. For radio, check out KEXP.

Where are you from, because if there’s not a lot of Natural Beauty where you live, you’ll want to check it out up here.* I recommend consulting a map and just driving at random into a forest or a mountain range. If you get up north, Highway 20 is a remarkably beautiful stretch of road between the western part and the Cascade range.

If you’re doing touristy stuff in the city itself, save your time and skip the Space Needle / Seattle Center, but don’t miss Pike Place Market. Hopefully you can cook, so you can indulge yourself in the finest seafood and vegetables there.

A ferry ride out to Bainbridge Island would be a great side trip, if ferries and islands are relatively new to you.
*Most of my friends are from SoCal, and are easily impressed with green and wet things. But friends from the eastern U.S. are not necessarily so impressed by mere greenery. However, the climate is technically Marine Rainforest, which is unique in this country to the Pacific Northwest. I was amazed by all the ferns and stuff for the first several years I lived here.

Sweet fancy Moses!!! Ferns?!! Ferry rides!!! Tell me there’s more to the city!!

If it helps, I’m a 31 year old, youngish looking professional who lives in Manhattan. I’m on a corporate expense account that includes a rented Pontiac Grand Am so money isn’t much of an issue. When I’m home in NYC, typcially I go out to restaurants and/or bars and lounges with my buddies.

Basically, I’m looking for some cheesy touristy stuff to do during the day and some fun bars or clubs at night.

I have a feeling, however, I am going to have to settle into a routine of flying back and forth to NYC every weekend.

…pick up a copy of the Stranger www.thestranger.com - they have restaurant reviews, show listings, etc…
And there’s a place called Gelatiamo kitty-corner to the symphony that has great desserts and (duh) gelato.

I can’t afford to do a lot of nightlife, so I can’t tell you too much about that. A lot of the clubs in Pioneer Square (south end of downtown, just north of the stadiums) have a joint cover charge plan, so a lot of people spend their weekend nights down there jumping from bar to bar.

During the day, you could check out the Experience Music Project previously mentioned, as well as the Science Fiction Museum in the same building near the base of the Space Needle. Across 5th Avenue from there, you can take an amphibious Duck tour of the city and surrounding waterways. Also down in Pioneer Square, there is the great Underground tour, exploring the old city below the sidewalk level. It departs from Doc Maynard’s bar, right next to the pergola of Pioneer Square itself (on 1st Avenue at Yesler).

Also, if you’re in town on Tuesday evening, you can come join the SDMB team at the George & Dragon Pub’s trivia night. Here’s the thread related to that. http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=5087352

Thanks but I’m kind of leary about meeting people from the internet. The whole point of a quasi-anonymous message board is to speak you mind without worrying about repercussions. Last thing I want is to get punched in the head because someone didn’t like a comment I made about George Bush last year.

Ah, you have ferries in NYC, don’t you, and ferns in your fern bars, I’ve heard. You’ll love Seattle: the clubs, hotels, rent-a-cars, and youngish looking professionals are exactly like the ones you’re used to.

As aurelian says, The Stranger will tell you everything you need to know. It’s like the Village Voice, except cool. New issue every Wednesday night. Easiest to find (besides online) on Capitol Hill and in the U District.

Enjoy your stay.

You can’t get any cheesier than the Ride the Ducks tour. It departs right across the street from the Experience Music Project.

Speaking of the EMP, a science fiction museum takes up part of its space now. It just opened a few months ago.

I agree that The Stranger is a good place to check out what’s happening. Also The Weekly. Both papers are free and you can find them all over the place. You can also see them online. The events section at craigslist might have other things you’d like to see and do.

Well, if it was a comment in favor of GW, you might get a few comments in opposition. Seattle is very non-Republican–Our congressman is Jim McDermott, after all. But head-punching is definitely out. It’s just a night of fun and intellectual showing-off.

You might just want to fly back every weekend, sorry.

Seattle isn’t one of the cities that is (or is trying to be) a mini-NY. There kind of is a club scene, but not really. We’re not very good at hard core fashion/shopping/etc. (I read one description that said Seattle wasn’t just unfashionable, it would be aggressively anti-fashion - if it weren’t for the fact that Seattle doesn’t really do “aggressive” - it’s not our style.) It’s not that we’re stuck in 1995 (& I’d say 1993) it’s that we’ve always been there and in the mid-nineties, for some reason, the world decided we were cool and decided to join us for a short time.

We’re between two mountain ranges, on the border of a rainforest, and surrounded by an obscene amount of unpolluted water. We tend to take advantage of it. So, in the summer, hiking, camping, biking, mountain climbing, rock climbing, mountain biking, boating, kayaking, diving, or even just enjoying the sun. We have more outdoor festivals than any other city in the country - even in the rain. During the winter, skiing, snowboarding, (and of course camping for those who really just can’t get enough of it.)

Tomorrow (Sun) is the Capitol Hill block party, you may find something you like there… it should be appropriately touristy - this Thursday is first Thursday in Pioneer Square (the galleries are open (we like glass) & so are the Pioneer Square nightclubs)… there are the obvious exceptionally touristy things, you’ll see them on the duck tour.

I lived in Boston for six years and just spent 2 months in Philly without succumbing to a Duck Tour and I’m not about to start now, dammit!!

Saltire - My point is that I’m sure I’ve made enough offensive comments here that I’m sure SOMEONE would be willing to punch me in the head should they meet me in real life.

Anyhow, I found what I needed to know. I ended up in Pioneer Square and that seems to have a shitload of clubs and bars of varying types. After many drinks, I ended up hanging out with a couple of hot 30 something girls until about 4 am (don’t worry, nothing happend…stupid bridal party) so all in all it was a pretty good time. Apparently being from New York and not dressing like a freakin reject from a Pearl Jam concert goes a long way to meeting girls here.

Oh yeah and the Space Needle and Sci Fi museum were nice too.

I guess after tomorrow it’s back to my routine of counting airplane parts and team dinners. I should give those girls a call though (even though one is getting married and the other has a couple of kids). They seemed like they knew a bunch of cool places to hang out.

I love Seattle and the surrounding area…thereisso much to do! Pike Place, Alaskan Ave., etc. The restaurants are fabulous!
But, on my trips to the Olympic Peninsula…I never saw people at the beaches! Is the water too cold for swimming?

That’s part of it. In addition, there is a pretty fierce undertow in many places, and if you got caught in one, by the time you came up you would be a) halfway to Japan, and b) dead.

Of course, the fact that you were in, like, Meat Market Central for the frat boys and suburbanites may also have helped. But if that’s the kind of scene you like, then hey, knock yerself out.

Yeah…that’s pretty much exactly what I am looking for. Why? Is there something wrong with that?

It’s my experience that people who didn’t like the “frat” scene in college weren’t doing anything particularly interesting as a substitute.

Well, I think it’s godawful boring myself, but different strokes etc.

For example, Seattle has one of the best–if not the best–independent music scenes in the country these days, so if you were looking for notable things to do, that’d be toward the top of my list of recommendations. But you’re probably not going to find much good music around Pioneer Square. (There will always be exceptions, of course, but in general the good new stuff is elsewhere.)

And remember, Seattle tends to be pretty casual. That person who’s dressing “like a freakin reject from a Pearl Jam concert” could well be one of the lead designers on a billion-dollar software product, or one of the better musicians in the country.

If you are looking for something fairly touristy, I would recommend the Underground Seattle tour. I had an exchange student from the Czech Republic stay with me for a summer and that was one of her choices of things to do. The tour guides are truly what make the tour worth the admission, they are quite funny.