What to do on a one-week work trip to Seattle?
June 4, 2022 6:45 PM   Subscribe

I’m interning at a company and they’re flying me out to Seattle for ~1 week. I’ll be in Seattle from June 17-26, though flying in late at night on the 17th and leaving in the afternoon on the 26th. During the workday I’ll be fairly busy, but the afternoons and evenings should be free! On the 25th, I’m getting a loaded metro card to use for the day but other than that I think I’ll need to arrange my own transportation.

Some other little details/requests:
- I’ll be meeting other interns for the first time in person and would love to make friends - so activities that would be good for casual acquaintances but that I could also enjoy by myself would be great! I’m an introvert so I anticipate wanting some time to do something alone every day so I can recharge, while still exploring the city.
- Whenever I travel to a new city, I like to check out a local bookstore and thrift store as a way to step out of the tourist path a bit — so if you have recommendations of bookstores or thrift stores please let me know!
- I’d also appreciate recommendations of restaurants to try; I’m an ovo-lacto-vegetarian. I’ll be staying in a hotel (don’t know which one yet), and will need to cover breakfast and dinner for myself.
- Other things I enjoy doing: walking in parks, museums, checking out cute boutiques, etc. I’m not too interested in bars but if there’s any places that have good cocktails and/or mocktails I’d be interested!

Thank you for all of the recommendations!! :)
posted by cruel summer to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (19 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
If you're staying downtown, you can eat at or order from Veggie Grill downtown, or Loving Hut in Chinatown/International District. They are both completely vegan, so everything on the menus will be stuff you can eat.

It's not a trendy thrift store, but the Goodwill on Lane Street is the largest in the US and second largest in the world.

The obvious downtown thing to do is the Pike Place Market. It's not just a tourist destination but an actual working market where locals also shop.
posted by QuakerMel at 7:22 PM on June 4, 2022 [4 favorites]

If you are someone who wears clothes (mostly women's clothes) in sizes 14 or greater, check out Two Big Blondes in the Central District for a great selection.
posted by QuakerMel at 7:23 PM on June 4, 2022

Elliot Bay Book Company is our local bookstore and located in the wildly eclectic Capitol Hill neighborhood. Also near is Frye Art Museum. Small and intimate, packed with art.
Seattle Art Museum is just a stone's throw from Pike Place Market and north of the Market is the outdoor Olympic Sculpture Park. Do go to the lower levels of Pike Place Market, all the stores are fun to explore.
If you decide to visit the International District, visit Uwajimaya, the Japanese grocery store. Its huge and it has a large Kinokuniya, a Japanese bookstore/stationary/HelloKitty etc gifts.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 7:45 PM on June 4, 2022 [7 favorites]

Eggs and Plants! The falafel and sabich I can vouch for. Is as ovo-veg as you might guess.
posted by away for regrooving at 7:47 PM on June 4, 2022

Try to go to Golden Gardens, or Alki beach at Sunset…

And the Ballard Goodwill is an excellent stop.
posted by Windopaene at 8:28 PM on June 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

Archie McPhee Is fun to wander around with friends.
posted by nickggully at 8:37 PM on June 4, 2022 [5 favorites]

Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill, just Northeast of downtown. It has the Asian Art Museum (in an art deco building which was the gangster's mansion in the Alan Rudolph film Trouble In Mind), and the Conservatory with a lot of exotic plants. The park has great views of the city, especially if you climb the water tower --- it's free, the "poor person's Space Needle".

Frm the park, you can walk through the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood with a lot of old mansions to Ada's Technical Books.
posted by JonJacky at 8:59 PM on June 4, 2022 [6 favorites]

A walking tour of Capitol Hill is a great thing to do if the weather is nice. Start at Volunteer, hit the Asian Art Museum (recently expanded and super interesting), then walk south along 15th for that neat little neighborhood (formerly mine), then cut west to Broadway and continue south to Pike/Pine, lots of shops and bars and restaurants there. Elliott Bay is right there too.

The Frye is great but that might be its own little afternoon trip.

Museum of Museums is apparently extremely cool, I haven't been but my friends love it.

Queen Sheba at Broadway and John is great Ethiopian food that's mostly vegan and all good. Practically everywhere on the hill has veg options of everything.

Hope the weather clears up before you get here, we're getting record rain! Argh!!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 9:55 PM on June 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

+1 to Ada's Technical Books. I also enjoyed the (literally) underground tour when I was there, but that's definitely touristy. Might fit the bill in terms of mass appeal/easy to do with aquantinces/general conversation starter.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 10:24 PM on June 4, 2022 [2 favorites]

For book stores: the aforementioned Elliot Bay Book Company is great but if you're looking for a more chaotic used book store vibe I'd check out Twice Sold Tales up the street in Capitol Hill (bonus, has cats!) and Ophelia's in Fremont. Also another +1 to Ada's.

For transportation: there's the link light rail and a pretty good (for the US, at least) bus network. The easiest way to use it is to get an Orca card, which you can buy and refill at any light rail station, or get in the mail. If you're staying downtown, there's probably a direct train or bus to where you want to go. Google Maps transit directions work pretty well.

For parks: honestly it's hard to go wrong picking a large park at random but I especially like Olympic Sculpture Park and the connected parks north of it (Centennial and Elliot Bay Parks). If you have a nice day on the weekend I highly recommend taking the West Seattle Water Taxi and walking to Alki Beach from there. It takes the Orca card.
posted by davidest at 10:42 PM on June 4, 2022 [3 favorites]

Rachel’s Ginger Beer - they have a few locations including one in Pike Place Market - has excellent flavors like pink guava and spicy pineapple in addition to a very good classic and spicy rendition of ginger beer. At least some of their locations will also throw in a shot if you want it, but they’re lovely without. It’s also available to go.

If some of the interns you will be meeting up with are under the age of 21, be aware that Seattle has extremely strict laws that require bar/restaurants to clearly segregate the two areas or kick out all under-21s after 10 pm. For me, an intern a decade ago in Seattle, that meant the only place I could find where I was welcome after 10 pm was the Cheesecake Factory and one weird restaurant in Capitol Hill. I hope this is better now and/or you won’t need to worry about it with your group, but… bleh.
posted by A Blue Moon at 11:39 PM on June 4, 2022

The Farmers markets are fun to walk through, some are held during the week if your weekend is busy.
posted by ljesse at 12:05 PM on June 5, 2022

A good late night restaurant in Chinatown is Honey Court. They have a few good ovo-lacto veggie dishes; I always get the Buddha's Feast.

They're open until 1am, at least.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:30 PM on June 5, 2022

Fremont Sunday Market and also poke your head in to nearby Dusty Strings and see if you can get an employee to demo a dulcimer or something for you. However, when I just went to the Dusty Strings website, it said there would be a closure that weekend for the Fremont Solstice Parade. That area also used to have a ton of antique and record stores; maybe still does but haven't been in a little while.

Also nearby the Theo Chocolate Factory tour was always fun and full of chocolate.
posted by msbrauer at 1:46 PM on June 5, 2022

If you are downtown, in the past I have enjoyed exploring the nooks and crannies of the downtown branch of the Seattle Public Library (which some people hate) and Freeway Park.
posted by baseballpajamas at 3:37 PM on June 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

My top recommendation for Seattle visitors is a round trip on the Bainbridge Island ferry. The trip is 35 minutes one way, and the views of downtown Seattle, Puget Sound and the islands are unbeatable.

A bunch of great shops and restaurants are just blocks from the Bainbridge terminal, so you can explore a little bit and then catch the ferry back to Seattle.
posted by lumpy at 4:08 PM on June 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

There’s a fantastic vegan burger etc. place a short bus ride from downtown, Galaxy Rune. They make their own vegan beef, chicken, and pulled pork.

The Fremont Troll is nearby, which a lot of folks like to go see.
posted by lem at 8:23 AM on June 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

For great cocktails/mocktails, check out L'Oursin. The food there is also wonderful, check the menu to see if it will work with your needs.
posted by lousywiththespirit at 9:50 AM on June 6, 2022

Get high and visit the Chihuly Museum by the Space Needle and some other museums. First part optional, I guess.
posted by troywestfield at 12:57 PM on June 8, 2022

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