How do I make my trip to Seattle as cheap as possible?
March 24, 2004 12:38 AM   Subscribe

I'm thinking of going to Seattle for a weekend conference in late April, but if I do I'll be on an extreme budget. I've found the hostels through the web. Any other tips on how to make it as cheap as possible?

What's public transportation like? Can I get from the Green Tortoise Hostel to the Seattle Center? Alternately, if I drive from Portland instead of taking the train or bus, is it legal/safe to sleep in my car instead of renting a room?
posted by croutonsupafreak to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (12 answers total)
When I went ther a couple of years ago, I stayed at a hostel called something like the "Green Tortoise Hostel" that was very cheap, very secure, and very unlikely to make you die.
posted by interrobang at 12:51 AM on March 24, 2004

You can easily walk from the Green Tortoise to Seattle Center. Or take a bus -- that whole ride is probably in the ride free zone.

Downtown Seattle is a very walkable area -- you can reasonably walk from one end to the other, and see lots of interesting things along the way. Or hop on a bus if you get tired.
posted by xil at 12:52 AM on March 24, 2004

Damn, the cache on my computer makes me look like a dipshit.

I only had to go to one place when I was there, but the bus was about three blocks away from the hostel. I hope that helps in some way.
posted by interrobang at 12:53 AM on March 24, 2004

Unless it's changed lately, the ride free zone doesn't extend as far as Seattle Center... but you could take a bus up to the end of the zone and walk the rest of the way. You could walk the whole distance, but if you're going to be on your feet a lot you might try the free bus when you can. There are buses close to the hostel.

At the other end of the free ride zone is the International District (formerly called Chinatown) -- that's a fun place to visit. Stop in Uwajimaya for lots of good cheap food in the Asian Food Court.
posted by litlnemo at 4:38 AM on March 24, 2004

Croutonsupafreak, maybe one of the fine denizens of our city would allow you to couch surf?

I'll go ahead and offer, but I live a good half hour from downtown Seattle.

Public transportion in Seattle is adequate downtown, but if you want to leave the city and see something, it's not so good. Personally, I would bring your car. I have been known to sleep (off) in my car downtown without incident. Not sure of the legality but there are plenty of cubbyholes and well-lit streets where it could be done safely.
posted by vito90 at 6:23 AM on March 24, 2004

what does "sleep (off) in my car" mean?
posted by jeffhoward at 8:40 AM on March 24, 2004

umm...drank too much and had to "sleep it off" before driving...
posted by vito90 at 8:42 AM on March 24, 2004

You're going to the EMP conference? In any case, here's my advice:

1. send me your postal address and I'll send you my old bus coupons that I didnt' use before I moved
2. eat food in downtown Seattle [i.e. Pike Place Market, optimally, Chinatown also good] NOT Seattle Center. SC has some good places, but a lot of overpriced tourist crap.
3. there is a world imports [Pier One type, but not pier one] place on First ave north of downtown [maybe it's on Denny, anyone know what I am talking about] that used to have free coffee for shoppers.
4. Use this link to find busses that will take you where you want to go. I lived in Seattle for years without a car. Vito's right, it can be tough to get out of the city, but you don't need one in city and parking is expensive, esp where you will be.
5. Free/Cheap fun: Arboretum, downtown waterfront, canoe rentals by UW, Golden Gardens beach, joint cover night if you like loud drunken bands on weekends, Klondike Gold Rush Museum

It is NOT legal to sleep in your car, though it's not enforced terribly much. Parking at the end of Leary Street in Ballard [quickie bus ride to Seattle Center on the 15, 17, 18] seems to be what the sleep-in-car crowd does. You can't park overnight in city park parking lots. Seattle, like Portland, is not much of an all-night city. People pretty much hunker down when the bars close at 2. Late busses run all night, but really only once an hour between 2 and 5. They DO go downtown though. Might wanna drop a note on craigslist seattle and see if there's anyone who lives in town that could put you up, if you don't mind staying with strangers, or parking in their driveways.
posted by jessamyn at 10:55 AM on March 24, 2004

You might also consider taking a look at Global Freeloaders to find a couch / bed / cot and possibly some vittles that go along with that sort of arrangement.
posted by antifreez_ at 11:26 AM on March 24, 2004

Ack, not Leary, 24th street. Just south of 24th and Market on 24th was sleep-in-car haven when I was in Seattle.
posted by jessamyn at 12:21 PM on March 24, 2004

Response by poster: what does "sleep (off) in my car" mean?

It means park my car somewhere and spend the night in it. It's legal in Oregon and lots of rural places, but not everywhere.

Thanks for the tips, everyone. I'll have a closer link at Global Freeloaders after I get off work.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 2:02 PM on March 24, 2004

What are your normal activities? What are you trying to do cheaply? Have fun? Access the internet? Eat interersting meals? Will you be roaming around in the mornings or late at night?
posted by gluechunk at 4:13 PM on March 24, 2004

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