In and Around Seattle
Things to Do While You Are In Seattle (Besides Attending the Conference)
Conferences are generally rated for the quality of what happens in the meeting rooms. But what about when you’re not sitting in a presentation or engaged in a discussion with colleagues and you want to have a little fun? Thanks to the terrific work of our volunteer host committee, we’ve assembled this list of fun things to do in the great city of Seattle — places to eat or relax over cocktails, sites to see and other events and menus to check out. There’s even a special sneak preview, for conference attendees only, of a new documentary film. For you first timers who need help getting around, you’ll also find directions on how to get to the Grand Hyatt, the site of our conference. We’ll be updating this list periodically so please check back soon – and send your own Seattle recommendations if you have them!
Getting To the Conference Hotel
Grand Hyatt Seattle
721 Pine Street
(206) 774 1234
If you are arriving by air and staying at the Grand Hyatt or nearby hotels, you might consider taking light rail from Sea-Tac to downtown Seattle. The SoundTransit guide contains information on how to get from the airport to the Westlake Station stop, which is four blocks from the Grand Hyatt.
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HOST COMMITTE PICKS OF THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Willow Russell, communications manager, Social Venture Partners, compiled the list below with additional help from other members of the host committee.
Olympic Sculpture Park
This is a great spot, especially at sunset if the weather is clear. The park is full giant abstract sculptures, and overlooks the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. There’s also a lovely walking and biking path along the water.
Ferry to Bainbridge Island
Wander down to the waterfront and catch the ferry to Bainbridge Island and one of its lovely waterfront towns. It’s only $7.00 round trip and you get beautiful views of the Seattle skyline, and the surrounding mountains. If you get to the ferry early stop in at the nearby Ye Olde Curiosity Shop.
Pike Place Market
Yes, it’s touristy but it really is worth a visit for people who have not been. It’s always bustling with people and vendors shouting and handing out samples. You might even catch a flying fish show.
This little spot on the corner of 1st and Virginia has fine food, but mostly it’s a great corner to have a drink and watch people walk by.
Hoof it up the hill (on Pike or Pine) and wander down Broadway to explore a wide array of funky shops, restaurants, cafes, movie theaters, and bars. The Elliott Bay Bookstore is always a favorite.
Seattle Art Museum
The SAM has a great permanent collection and often boasts interesting traveling exhibits. Located on 1st and University, it’s just a short walk from the Hyatt.
This place has yummy Mexican food and margaritas, but even better, they rent kayaks and you can paddle around Lake Union. It’s in the U-District, which is easily accessible by bus or cab.
Catch the #17 or #18 bus (or a cab) from 3rd Ave and Pike St to Ballard Ave. There are tons of great restaurants and little shops to peruse. Plus, you can take a 15 minute walk down to the Ballard Locks to watch the boats pass or wander through the botanical gardens.
Ballard Farmers Market
If you go to Ballard on Sunday check out the Farmers Market. It’s always full of musicians, organic produce and yummy faire. The long line for Veraci’s wood-fired pizza is always worth the wait!
Trolls and Whiskey
Seattle’s Volkswagen crushing troll resides under the Aurora Bridge near Fremont, which just a bus or cab ride away from downtown. Fremont is also full of great shops, restaurants, and an excellent distillery. Mischief has a tiny and beautifully eclectic tasting room, serving up local whiskey, gin and vodka.
Theo Chocolate Tour
Just up the street from the distillery you can tour Seattle’s first organic and fair-trade chocolate factory. The tour guides are lively, fun, and ply you with chocolate throughout your visit. The tours fill up fast, so make a reservation or simply stop by and sample their amazing array of chocolate bars.
Lake Union Park
Take the streetcar from downtown and enjoy views of Lake Union. You’ll also be close to South Lake Union neighborhood, which is also good for wandering and looking at Amazon.com employees.
These highlights were compiled by Willow Russell, communications manager, Social Venture Partners with additional help from other members of the host committee.
Want to plan an evening dine-around? Or just a casual night out with a few friends? Check out this dining guide, which we’ve shamelessly borrowed (with a big thank you) from Funders’ Network, which recently held its annual conference in Seattle.
Check out this listing of theater, music, readings and other events taking place in the Seattle area during the week of the conference. Our thanks to the Host Committee – Joy Portella and Cynthia Scheiderer, in particular – for compiling the list.
Rooftop Reception, Thursday, October 11th, 6:30 pm – 9 pm at the offices of host committee member, Philip Shaw of Golden Lasso, located at 1520 Bellevue Avenue #200.
Stop in for a drink, say hello to friends, have some fancy bites and enjoy one heck of a view. Then, you can pick from among a wide range of nearby dining and other evening options in and around Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, a vibrant restaurant and arts district. If you need recommendations, just ask one of Golden Lasso’s foodies and aficionados of fun where to go and what to do.
Join us for a sneak preview of a new documentary from Participant Media and Magnolia Pictures. A Place At The Table, examines the hunger crisis through the lens of three people who are struggling with food insecurity. Co-Director Kristi Jacobson will speak briefly afterward about the power of storytelling to galvanize people to action and also answer your questions. If you want to attend, please send an RSVP so we can put your name on the guest list. (If you decide later you want to come, be sure to wear your conference name badge for admission.) A tip of the hat to DB Productions for making the screening possible.
Thank you, Seattle Host Committee, for all of your generous help!
Mary Grace Roske
Social Venture Partners
Philip Swanstrom Shaw
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation