Rachael Jones

Attendees Love Seattle

Seattle offers endless pre and post options, with something for everyone.

The Emerald City is not only unparalleled for its selection of conference and hotel options, but it is also a prime destination for those in search of unforgettable food and drink experiences and awe-inspiring natural spaces. Whether before, during, or after your official stay—with your team or on your own—don’t miss the chance to take your exploration of the city and its surroundings to another level.

A white Argosy Cruises tour boat filled with people wearing colorful shirts fills the foreground. The blue waters of Puget Sound separate the boat from the city skyline against a blue sky. Argosy Cruises Ian G Dagnall / Alamy

CITY SIGHTS FROM SEA & AIR

Much of the city can be explored by water, thanks to boating companies that cater to the individual desires of groups large and small. Argosy Cruises tours around Lake Union and Elliott Bay offer a full-service bar with snacks. Smaller groups may appreciate the intimate experience of The Electric Boat Company—try their Clueless in Seattle scavenger hunt or a historic tour of Lake Union. Why stay on land or water when you could fly? Soar over the city on a scenic seaplane tour with Kenmore Air or take flight to the nearby San Juan Islands.

Julia Manchik

LOCAL FLAVOR

Appreciate the buzz around Seattle’s coffee reputation at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, where you can experience the art and science of coffee perfection through a guided tour and tasting. Sample the city’s culinary wonders on a chef-led tour of Pike Place Market with Eat Seattle, take a cooking class at Chef Tom Douglas’s Hot Stove Society, or sign up for Atrium Kitchen’s Chopped-inspired team-building cook-offs. A trip to the Pacific Northwest wouldn’t be complete without trying beer from some of Seattle’s 250 breweries.

WINE COUNTRY

Washington is the second-largest producer of wine in the country, with over 1,000 wineries calling the state home. Experience the bounty of Washington wines through an array of tastings and tours, made easy thanks to in-city options and excursions departing from downtown. In Seattle, visit House of Smith Jet City Winery and Browne Family Vineyards, or pair your flight with art galleries and lunch on a Bon Vivant Wine Tour. Nearby in Woodinville—just a 30-minute drive from downtown—discover more than 115 wineries and tasting rooms, making a day trip an easy add-on. Or journey to sun-drenched Walla Walla—voted America’s best wine region by USA Today—and explore the expansive Washington Wine Country, including lush Yakima Valley, in the state’s southeastern corner.

A view of Mount Rainier from Crystal Mountain Resort Cory O'Born

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

Just north of downtown, Discovery Park provides nearly 12 miles of walking trails and waterfront views. For a guided tour to some of the region’s most enchanting sites, Customized Tours offers outings to locales like Bavarian-themed Leavenworth and Skagit Valley’s springtime Tulip Festival. Evergreen Escapes and Tours Northwest lead your team on all-inclusive hiking or kayaking excursions with pickup and drop-off at downtown hotels, and Seattle Mountain Bike Tours runs exhilarating rides through forested mountain tracks. Enjoy snowy adventures or wildflower-filled meadows just 1.5-2.5 hours away at the Summit at Snoqualmie, Stevens Pass, and Crystal Mountain. Plus, three national parks in Washington State house majestic peaks, ancient forests, secluded lakes, and more. Better still, each is easily accessible and only a few hours from Seattle.

Shania Shepherd Cloudbreak Performance Photo: Mike R. Mitchell

CREATIVE CITY

Seattle has a reputation as one of the greatest arts cities in the world—after all, this is the home of music legends like Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, and Pearl Jam. Here, dancers, artists, musicians, and writers showcase their craft in new and unexpected ways. Seattle Symphony plays the classics and puts adventurous twists on famous soundtracks. Museumsgalleries, and nontraditional spaces showcase art from old masters to modern. Pacific Northwest Ballet embraces boundary-pushing choreographers for new dance expressions en pointe. And there are more than 80 clubs and venues in the city presenting live music and theater on a regular basis. Attendees can choose anything from a sizzling jazz trio to a captivating theater production—all within walking distance of their downtown hotel.

The Seattle Center Monorail on the tracks coming out of the Museum of Pop Culture. shutterstock

AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL

Seattle Center is at the heart of this dynamic city. From the top of the Space Needle, soak up a 360-degree view, gaze 500 feet down through the revolving glass floor, and enjoy a meal at the Loupe Lounge. Connect with the music legends who came to define Seattle by exploring relics from Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and others at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), which also hosts exhibits on hip hop, science fiction, and video games. Complete with LED lighting and 274 water jets synchronized to music, the futuristic International Fountain—designed, along with many of the buildings onsite, for the 1962 World’s Fair—is a centerpiece of Seattle Center and the perfect place to stop and relax. And there’s more: A whole new universe awaits at Chihuly Garden and Glass, where Dale Chihuly’s mesmerizing glass-blown creations transform eight galleries into surreal immersive landscapes, including an outdoor garden where sculptures are woven into nature. Begin or end your outing at the Armory, where an array of delectable food options, from lamb kebabs to local chocolate fudge, are sure to hit the spot. Best of all, getting to these iconic destinations is easy and fun, thanks to the Seattle Center Monorail, a tram that speeds over the streets and connects the Seattle Center campus to the downtown core in just two minutes.

The Seattle Great Wheel on Pier 57 jets out into the blue waters of Elliott Bay with the Seattle skyline on the left. Ellie Logan

ALONG THE WATERFRONT

Every year, Seattle attracts millions of visitors from all over the world, many of them arriving to cruise on one of the almost 300 departures from the Port of Seattle. No matter where your city journey begins, the waterfront offers up some of Seattle’s most iconic experiences. Take viewing to new heights on The Seattle Great Wheel and gaze out over the majestic Puget Sound and Olympic mountains from 175 feet in the air. Nearby, the Seattle Aquarium invites you to marvel at nearly 400 different species of sea creatures. Scale the zig-zagging staircase to Pike Place Market and get lost in the multi-story labyrinth of crafts, flower stalls, and eateries, or grab a snack—think creamy clam chowder or smoked salmon on a stick—and enjoy it on the patio while taking in views of Puget Sound. Take a detour through Post Alley and dine at the famous Pink Door, where PNW-inspired Italian food meets unbeatable entertainment, or order a float from hometown standout Rachel’s Ginger Beer. Down the street on First Ave at the Seattle Art Museum, wander through contemporary global art collections and the Native American galleries showcasing Northwest Coast art, or head back up the waterfront for a stroll through the outdoor Olympic Sculpture Park, which features 20 sculptures made by some of the most influential contemporary artists, including Alexander Calder and Louise Bourgeois.

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