There are a lot of different reasons to go to a conference. One of them is the availability of fun and interesting things for you to do when you take a break from the Conference sessions. We love Seattle and we know you’ll love it too. If you’re the type who likes to do some exploring, you’ll find a wealth of interesting activities within a short walk or ride from the conference center. Simply grab your phone for a self-guided walking tour or take advantage of The Westin concierge who can provide you with detailed information about just about everything there is to do in the Seattle area.
Located in the center of Seattle, you have easy access to restaurants, tourist activities, and shopping. The neighborhoods surrounding the city center provide a vibrant art and cultural scene.
Easy Ground Transportation
The city has a great range of transportation including free downtown bus service, passenger ferries to the islands, a streetcar to Lake Union, the monorail to the Space Needle, and plentiful taxis. Seattle is also a very walkable city with safe streets and friendly people.
- The Seattle Map and Walks app is free and offers a lot of great information about things to do in the area.
The conference venue is The Westin. It is right in the center of Seattle.
Along the waterfront, you can find restaurants like Anthony’s and Ivar’s. Harbor tours depart from this area. The public passenger ferry to Bainbridge Island offers excellent views of the city and Puget Sound for about six bucks. The Seattle Great Wheel has great views.
Pike Place Market
Just south on Alaska Way from the conference center you will find elevator and stair access up to Pike Place Market. This historic area features hundreds of small shops and eateries. Come early to the market and enjoy pastries from Le Panier or grab a drink from local shops like Espresso Vivace or Storyville Coffee. The market also hosts the famous fish and produce markets.
The Space Needle and the EMP
Take the historic monorail to the Seattle landmark Space Needle for incredible views of Puget Sound and the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. On a clear day you can see as far as the Canadian and Oregon borders. Adjacent to the Needle is the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP). In addition to the main exhibits, there are always special attractions.
North of Pike Place Market is the Belltown neighborhood. There are many bars and restaurants located along First and Second Avenues. The Olympic Sculpture Park is here as well. South from Pike Place Market is Pioneer Square. This is the oldest commercial area in Seattle. The area is made up of historic buildings that are now home to shops, restaurants, and the Underground Tour. In the evening, many of the restaurants feature live bands. Another popular area for nightlife is Capitol Hill. The restaurants and clubs are mostly found between Pine and Pike and Broadway and 13th.
Dining and the Arts
Great restaurants nearby include Assaggio, Lola, and Palace Kitchen. The Westlake Center Mall is four blocks away and has a Subway, Taco del Mar, PF Chang’s, a Food Court, four levels of shops, and the monorail station. A great bar for classic cocktails is Oliver’s in the Mayflower Park Hotel at 4th & Olive.
The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) collections include an emphasis on Northwest and Native American art. The Performing Arts within walking distance of the conference hotel include the Seattle Opera and the Seattle Symphony.
Beyond the city center are many interesting activities including cruises, visits to the Museum of Flight, the Bloedel Reserve, and a tour of Lake Washington. If you have more time and the weather cooperates, watch spawning steelhead salmon make their way through the Ballard Locks, take a day trip to Victoria in Canada, or explore Mt. St. Helen’s National Volcanic Monument. Skiing often lasts into April in the Cascades. Hiking is almost always possible in the Hoh Rain Forest and beaches of Olympic National Park.