Fun in Seattle

Steve Jones, 2009-10-30

I know there are a number of people heading to Seattle this weekend for the PASS Summit next week. I am coming in on Monday, leaving Fri, and pretty much stuck with work all week.

However I know some of you are going to be in town early or late, and might be looking for things to do. I’d recommend that you take in some sights with other SQL people, getting in some networking while you’re seeing the sites. No sense is going alone, unless you’re with family.

Last year (2008), I took my son to Seattle early. We went 4 days before the conference and spent the time traveling around the city, taking in a few things. Some of the things we did were for kids, like the Science Museum, but some were for everyone. I’ll give you a few ideas if you have time.

The Underground Tour – I’d read about this, and my son was really interested, but I wasn’t sure it would be good. I was wrong. It was fun, and interesting. you can read about it, but basically it’s an hour walking around underground, literally below the sidewalks, in the lower downtown area. At one point there was a fire and floods, and when they rebuilt, they built the roads 20 feet higher, burying the first floor of some blocks downtown. Very cool. This is a long walk, but not an expensive cab ride from the convention center.

The Museum of Flight – Maybe you can get the light rail down here, but otherwise it’s south of Seattle. You’ll pass it on the west as you come up from the airport, and will see lots of parked planes, including a Concorde. Seattle is one of the places the flight industry grew up in the US and it’s got a great museum. You can even see the original Air Force 1 plane and walk around inside it and the Concorde.

The Space Needle – A worldwide landmark. Check it out. I’m not one for heights, but my son liked it. There is some interesting information on how it was built as well.

The Experience Music Project / Sci Fi Museum – I missed this for a few years. It was closed one year and it’s a bit of a hike from the convention center, but if you are going to the Space Needle, check it out. There is a lot of music history, especially from the Pacific Northwest, but the fun parts are demo rooms where you can try out various instruments, and even scratch a record or mix a song. Definitely a great place to spend a few hours.

And check out the sci-fi museum inside. It’s great for geeks, with memories of how science fiction has evolved over time and props from many movies.

The Seattle Seahawks – They’re out of town this weekend, but keep it in mind for future Summits. It’s a fun stadium, and a good crowd. We saw the Cardinals come in town last year. In line with that, if you are in Seattle in the spring or summer, check out the Mariners.

There’s more. including a fantastic arts center around the Space Needle. If you like theater, I’d check that out.





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