Planless in Seattle
November 3, 2019 6:53 PM   Subscribe

What should I do with a possibly rainy Saturday in Seattle next weekend?

I'm going to be in Seattle for a conference this week. After, I'll have Saturday morning, afternoon and very early evening to spend in the city until I head back home around 6pm.

This isn't my first trip to Seattle. Previous trips have included visits to Pike Place Market, Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum, and MoPOP. One year a friend took me to a bunch of breweries in Fremont. Last year I went to Gobble Up Seattle.

I'll be staying in a hotel downtown, and plan to store my luggage at the hotel until I have to head for the train station. I'll probably try to stay near downtown, but I've got an Orca card, so if there's something close to transit that's quick & easy to get to from downtown, that's cool too!
posted by burntflowers to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
the seattle history museum
posted by brujita at 7:10 PM on November 3, 2019

The Sounders FC are in - and hosting - the MLS Cup the day after you leave, on Sunday.

I'm sure if you wander around Pioneer Square on Saturday, you'll see a LOT of Sounders fans and supporters partying it up the day before. Especially in the soccer bars, like Temple.
posted by spinifex23 at 7:16 PM on November 3, 2019

Walk on to a ferry - Bainbridge is easiest - listen to the noise at the front of the car deck, walk around the top deck in the rain, walk to town on the other end to eat. Maybe read a geological history of the PNW on the trip.
posted by clew at 7:24 PM on November 3, 2019 [6 favorites]

Best answer: The Northwest Chocolate Festival is going on next weekend, if you want to walk around indoors sampling chocolates from all over.
posted by cdefgfeadgagfe at 8:02 PM on November 3, 2019

Perhaps you've already done it while visiting the breweries, but a public art scavenger hunt in Fremont was the highlight of my most recent rainy visit. (Along with walking the lake shore and visiting the gasworks park.)
posted by eotvos at 8:30 PM on November 3, 2019

Best answer: The Underground Tour is my go-to. It's substantially, you know, walking in preserved areas of the underground city, but does have some walking bits on the surface streets. It's a history tour of the founding of Seattle, complete with some very strange growing pains which account for why it is that the streets as they are now are between 6 and 20 feet higher than the old sidewalks in the Pioneer Square neighborhood. Tour starts in Doc Maynard's, a bar in Pioneer Square, and ends beneath same.

The Pacific Science Center (which you can reach via bus or monorail from downtown) has the Tropical Butterfly House (incl in regular admission), wherein 80F temperature and 80% humidity, along with bright lights, simulate the lush tropics from whence the butterflies there came, originally. They arrive as chrysalides, and there's a neat case that displays them while they complete their metamorphosis. If you don't want them to land on you, don't wear bright colors. If you do, then do so. You're not allowed to touch them, but there's no harm in them landing on you. And, you know, consider what you're wearing and how much you can strip down to an appropriate level of clothing while in there, followed by layering back up for the wet and 45-55F weather we'll most likely be having, unless it's clear and colder.
posted by Sunburnt at 8:30 PM on November 3, 2019

If you know Pioneer square, then you're right at the Seattle Underground's doorstep.  It's a hoot.  Also downtown is the Seattle Aquarium.   It's pretty nice in its own right, but to me the best bit is that they have otters, which are even cuter in person than in videos.

You're not too far from the Elliott Bay trail either, which if the drizzle is mild enough will give you a nice long walk along a waterfront with no buildings, since the park winds its way along the water's edge..  The Orca card will easily get you to Discovery Park as well, 500 acres of park in the city which has its own amazing views and a lovely 3 mile loop hike—easily doable in sneakers—that'll give you a nice dose of PNW nature.

Also the SAM is right downtown, but I too recommend a ferry ride out to Bainbridge if you haven't before.  Not much to do out there, but when you're not from the area, the ferry ride itself is pretty damn charming.

Heading up Pike and PIne gets you to Capitol HIll.  Volunteer Park up on top has a great water tower you can climb, and a lovely conservatory to wander through.  I'm from Florida originally, so it's nice to know I can get a dose of warm weather plants I know already, and my Spanish moss fix when I need one. Lots of great shops and restaurants on 15th at the top of Capitol Hill as well.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 8:37 PM on November 3, 2019

Haha. I knew the Underground tour would pop up before I had a chance to hit 'post.' Seriously, if you've not done it, it's great.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 8:37 PM on November 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

You could do worse than taking the 2/13 towards Queen Anne to the Highland Dr. stop, having Kerry Park to yourself, and then stopping at Koku for a rooibos latte and extremely well-priced Japanese comfort food.
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:53 PM on November 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Burke Museum on the UW Campus just re-opened and has gotten rave reviews. Easy to access via light rail too. But honestly, clew is right about a day trip to Bainbridge. The Bainbridge Art Museum has a solid collection and is free. Bruciato has amazing pizza and no trip to Bainbridge would be complete without a visit to Mora Ice Cream for a scoop of Dulce de Leche with Shaved Chocolate Ice Cream.
posted by lois1950 at 12:04 AM on November 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Frye Art Museum is up the hill from downtown. It has sometimes blown me away with its exhibits. It looks like there will be a 3 pm dance performance on Saturday to do with Donald Byrd’s exhibit. Free!
posted by argybarg at 6:28 AM on November 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also, Elliott Bay Book Company is one of the world’s great bookstores.
posted by argybarg at 6:30 AM on November 4, 2019

Best answer: If you’re into indie comics/illustration at all, the Short Run Comix and Arts festival is on this Saturday at the Seattle Center.
posted by wsquared at 6:56 AM on November 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

The monorail has finally joined the ORCA system! and you should definitely take it to Seattle Center for Short Run—so many fun things to see if you’re into printing, books, comics, art. Stop in the new digs for KEXP and get some espresso from my favorite local roaster, Kuma, if you drink coffee too! They’re occupying the La Marzocco cafe, which manages to be both spacious and cozy, all month. (Short Run might be happening in the cafe too, but there could still be seating).
posted by zinful at 8:16 AM on November 4, 2019

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