We asked for Seattle tips. We got over 250 comments. If you’re going to Seattle soon, read the 67 best comments in the “Staff” section on the original post. But if you just want a taste, read the best of the best below.
Each Monday on Hack Your City, we ask readers for your best tips on a city: driving tips, restaurant recs, things to do, and any other advice for visitors and locals. Then on Thursday, we present the best comments. We’re working our way around the U.S. and around the globe.
Seattleperson pitches the city beautifully:
When Americans look for a new place to live we all say the same things: I want to live in the city, but also in the country. I want to live by the ocean, but also in the mountains. Guys, great news, that place is Seattle.
- If you go to Pike Place, “park up by the Gates center and take the monorail to Westlake, and then walk down to Pike Place from there,” says many bells down. Or park near Battery, Wall, or Vine, says RyanJW. Or grab something at Target and you can park there for two hours, says PaulCypert.
- LizColeman links to a guide to Seattle’s worst intersections.
- SEAallday gives a full guide to chatting up the local sports fans. To start, “you can talk about how bad the Seahawks offensive line has been the past few years.”
- Rainyeveryday206 has an interesting way to make friends: “Best way I know is to play Magic cards at Starbucks mid-day on a weekday.”
- “The hardest part of adjusting to life in Seattle is the darkness,” says Serefina. Seattle is so far north that winter nights last from 4 to 9. “Invest in a SAD lamp and several pounds of vitamin D gummies, and console yourself with the fact that the summer sun stays out until 10 pm. The light WILL come back.”
- Knowing which streets have doppelgängers is always helpful. Manic Otti says, “There’s a difference between Pike St. and East Pike St. Go figure.”
Roguerolls explains the transit system:
There’s 3 systems to be aware of; Metro, Sound Transit and RapidRide. Metro covers King County, so this is Seattle and cities/towns around, Sound Transit will get you further around the Puget Sound to places like Everett and Tacoma, its also the one that covers the rails. RapidRide is a part of Metro, but uses fix routes and comes every 10 minutes. ORCA Card covers all 3, so you plan to make a lot of ground it maybe a good idea to purchase one, it will cost you $5+the amount you want to load onto it and can be purchased at most grocery stories (Safeway, QFC).
In another comment, roguerolls describes some of the best neighborhoods:
Fremont is a small area that considers itself “center of the universe” and revels in being quirky—this where the Troll under the Fremont bridge is, and a statue of Lenin.
Yes, Seattle is very white and some Asian particularly north of the ship canal. Think ScandoAsian which may explain the “Seattle Freeze” concept. We are a reserved, polite and friendly to an extent but not very direct…You are not really supposed to honk here.
- Boredthough likes MoPOP, the Museum of Pop Culture.
- Mantequilla says rent an electric hot tub boat.
- Card Kingdom, says anniezard, is “a giant board game store with an adjoining restaurant and bar with tables and lighting for playing your new games.”
- Skip the Space Needle, says nish80. “Columbia Tower goes much higher, is much cheaper, has nowhere near the amount of foot traffic, and it’s an easy walk from Pike Place Market.”
- Klondike Goldrush National Park, says RKD, “tells the story of how the goldrush put Seattle on the map.”
- “If you are a fan of Bruce Lee, check out the Wing Luke museum in Chinatown,” says Netrunner.
- “There are a TON of escape rooms,” says YeahRight, “some of them are the best in the country. Especially Cell Block 18.”
- A few readers recommend the University of Washington campus. The Artist Formerly Known As… loves the quad, the Suzzallo Library reading room, and “the atrium of the Allen Library, with all the ravens carrying about letters from all sorts of languages.”
The most overlooked affordable entertainment, says WestVirginiaSue, is Husky sports:
All are very affordable, $5 -$10 a ticket except football. I’ve enjoyed volleyball, gymnastics, m w soccer, baseball, softball, m w basketball and indoor track. Student plays at UW and Seattle U are affordable and excellent.
Find a hidden park, says LizColeman:
Seattle’s a great place for wandering, as there are lots of hidden little parks. If you go to Kerry Park (where the cover image was taken) leave the crowd behind and keep walking west along the road to the end, where you’ll find a tiny park with few visitors. The view of downtown’s not as great, but the view over the bay, the Sound, and the mountains is top notch. If you turn around, there’s a public garden hidden within a wall of hedges.
Go hike the Cascades, says AlpineBelle:
Looking for an easy hike for everyone in your family? Check out Coal Creek Trail, Franklin Falls, or simply take a stroll around Discovery Park, home of Fort Lawton, with astounding views of Puget Sound.
Or drive south to Mt. St. Helens, says steve.w.schow:
Try the Lakes Trail in the Mt. St. Helens area. The lake didn’t even exist until after the eruption. There is obviously lots of new growth, wildflowers, and the water is extremely blue/green. The best sights are the hillsides dotted with tree stumps…you can just imagine the entire area being pummeled with lava and ash and the trees getting swept away. Still kind of frozen in time almost 40 years later.
See the Museum of Flight, says CrossTraffic:
You can walk onto one of the 707 based Air Force One’s that carried Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ and Nixon, along with the first flight worthy 747 and the Concorde. You can also head up to Renton for the Boeing tour of the 737 and 787 assembly lines.
While you’re there, says DogRidingRodeoMonkey, “hit up Randy’s for a frozen in time greasy spoon breakfast.”
Here’s a chill way to spend an hour, from crunks:
If you wanna see some of the happiest dogs on a summer day, wander over to Magnusson Park and go to the off leash dog park. There’s a rocky beach on Lake Washington where you get to see hordes of dogs playing in the water.
Even when warning you off an attraction, taraas makes a great point:
Washington State Arboretum basically sucks. With all the nature around Seattle, you’re better off just leaving the town into the mountains, or the valley, or the ocean, or the Olympic State park. Arboretum is just stupid. I mean, it’d be awesome in the Great Plains, but it makes no sense in the PNW: just drive out of the city.
I want to present this commenter’s excitement fully intact:
And one last museum tip:
Eats and Drinks
- “If you want coffee, go to Victrola, Milstead, Herkimer, Seattle Coffee Works, or Porchlight,” says 1025dsgn.
- Skip the Italian, BBQ, Mexican, or French, says PlaystoomuchHALO. “Asian, fusion, and seafood are king out here.”
- Valoise recommends Ivar’s Salmon House, a restaurant that’s also a cedar replica of a Native American longhouse.
- “Eat at Long Provincial. Get the bún,” says Nathan E. Milos.
- If you still want Mexican, ZimmWisdom recommends Taqueria El Rinconcito and El Toreador.
- Gluten-free food and beer at Ghostfish Brewery, says many bells down. “Kid and dog friendly.” There’s also Capitol Cider, but the parking’s bad.
- Vegans should try the metal-themed Highline, says GGxGG, plus Vegan Haven, Wayward, Plum Bistro, and the Cookie Counter, says Phyzzi.
- Avoid the Pike Place crowds and go a block over to Post Alley, says steve.w.schow. “The Pink Door is an excellent stop. They put on a burlesque show at night. Not really my taste, but you can enjoy the giant indoor rope swing over lunch.”
- “Pasta at Spinasse was transcendent,” says Ticallion the Baptist. “Easily one of the top three pasta dishes I’ve ever had in my life.”
- “Piroshky Piroshky has fantastic pastries, both savory sweet ones,” says drsteinhaus.
- DJbeardo’s extensive guide includes this broad rec: “Any teriyaki shop in any strip mall next to any tanning parlor/hair salon/nail place. All the teriyaki is the same: bad for you, too sweet, next to a weirdly sad salad, and delicious!”
- Our own Virginia K. Smith suggests “Ezell’s for fried chicken so good that Oprah used to have it flown to Chicago.”
FieldofTears recommends over a dozen places, including the coffee shop’s coffee shop:
Slate Coffee Roasters. If you want to go full pretense, this is the place. They take coffee incredibly seriously, and it shows. For that, you pay financially, and with dignity as the baristas have been known to condescend wildly.
And we really shouldn’t encourage this behavior, but:
Come back Monday, when we cross the Pacific.
Quotes have been edited for clarity.