I want to enjoy Seattle in September
August 26, 2014 8:50 AM   Subscribe

My first half marathon ever is in Seattle area. I'd like my trip to be amazing. Can you work your magic again?

I'm participating in the my first half marathon Blerch on Sat 9/20/14. This is also my first trip to Seattle. I'm traveling alone and I'll be there for 4 days.

I haven't picked a place to stay yet. I love to eat and want some really swell places to dine and enjoy a drink or two. Heads up about LGBT life in Seattle would be nice as well. Touristy is alright, but finding what makes Seattle tick would be better.

Do I need a jacket? I'm from the south and it is pretty warm down here until December.
posted by Classic Diner to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't know Seattle very well, but for your first half marathon, I would recommend finding somewhere within a few blocks of the start/finish, if you can, which might be too late at this point. The last thing you need to worry about the morning of your first half is traffic and/or transit delay.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:56 AM on August 26, 2014

As far as clothing, you want to keep one word in mind: layers. September can be all over the place - you might experience some nice 70s summer weather, or it might be in the 50s or 60s and pouring.
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:06 AM on August 26, 2014

I just looked up details for the race and saw that it takes place in Carnation, which is about 45 minutes drive away from Seattle.

I'm not sure if you had planned to rent a car, but I would definitely recommend it if you want to avoid a 90-120 minute public transit ride. Google Maps says "only" 90 minutes but I don't believe them. So take that into account.

So far as dress goes, it varies. It can be really nice and sunny in September or rainy and drizzly. It will probably feel cold to you, coming from the south, so I would recommend at least prepping for it to be chilly. Like skychashesdown says, layers are good.

In terms of understanding what makes Seattle tick, I think it would be a good idea to visit the various neighborhoods and not just the central downtown. To name a few: Volunteer Park's Botanical Garden and Asian Art Museum in Capital Hill (then head down to Broadway to get some food at any number of great hole in the wall places), the Hiram Chittenden locks in Ballard to see the salmon ladder and then down to Historic Ballard for even more good food (Hot Cakes comes to mind) and shopping at a bunch of neat little places. You can also hit the Fremont Troll and Fremont and then drop my Milstead Coffe Co (if coffee is your thing) to get the best-made coffee in the city (and it is the best, if you disagree I will cut you). Try Upper Queen Anne and its beautiful residential architecture (stop at Five Spot for a classic greasy spoon meal on their rotating menu) then head down to Kerry Park and enjoy a great view of the city and Eliot Bay. You can take the water taxi from downtown over to West Seattle and take a walk along Alki Beach for a completely different Seattle Experience.

There's a ton I'm leaving out but I think Seattle's vibrant neighborhoods are really what drive the city.

Drop me a memail if you have any followup questions. I'm sure you'll have a great time!
posted by Tevin at 9:24 AM on August 26, 2014

I note packet pickup is in Green Lake. When you pick up your packet, have a nice walk around Green Lake! It's beautiful, and very Seattle. One of my favorite places.

Are you staying in Seattle or Carnation? If you haven't already made reservations, be aware Carnation is 40 or so minutes from Seattle.

If there is any other event happening in Seattle or Bellevue/Kirkland/etc. that day, leave very early for your event (if you are staying in Seattle) as 520 won't be pretty if there are lots of people trying to get somewhere. As Tevin says, a bus ride will take hours.
posted by AllieTessKipp at 9:32 AM on August 26, 2014

I bought this staircase walking guide for my last trip to Seattle and loved it. I realize you might be a little sore from your race, but I've found that keeping your legs moving after a long run really helps with the stiffness and soreness. There are lots of walking guides for Seattle but I come from a very flat city and the staircases were so novel and interesting and the guided walks really let me get a good feel for the neighborhoods I visited. I stayed in Ballard at a little AirBnB condo and it was a good location for getting around the city.
posted by shornco at 10:12 AM on August 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

No worries about eating. We have an incredible range of wonderful restaurants. Trip Advisor and Yelp are both great sources for finding good food near where you are.

Re the LGBT scene, we have a vibrant, substantial population located all over the city, but one historically LGBT neighborhood you may want to check out is Capitol Hill. And FYI, Seattle Frontrunners is an organization of LGBT runners/walkers.

And as for clothes -- we are big on fleece and Gortex here, because both fabrics are light and layer well. REI is a local retailer and if you look at their website you'll get a very clear idea of Seattle style.

September is likely to be in the 60s and maybe low 70s, with some occasional rain.
posted by bearwife at 10:43 AM on August 26, 2014

Oh, and Carnation is nothing like Seattle -- it is a rural and rather conservative town that is a good drive out of Seattle. If I were you I'd stay downtown except for an overnight in Carnation for the night before the race.
posted by bearwife at 10:46 AM on August 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Places to eat in Seattle

Tamarind Tree
Dhalia Lounge (or any other of Tom Douglas's restaurants)
Din Tai Fung
Chiso Sushi
Pam's Kitchen
Lowell's in the Pike Place Market
Liberty or Smith's on Capitol Hill for cocktails
Fremont Sunday Market for people watching and shopping.
If it's still nice and you're not exhausted rent kayaks or paddleboards at Agua Verde or Urban Surf

Check out The Stranger to find out what music, arts, movies, events are happening while you're here.

Check out the Arts & Performance Quarterly for arty and performancy events going on.
posted by brookeb at 11:57 AM on August 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

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