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Explore Seattle – Things to Do

Check out for a complete list of things to do while in town for NAMPC! City pass tickets are also available here if interested.

Wing Luke Museum (Courtesy of Lindsay Kennedy)Seattle Aquarium (Courtesy of Seattle Aquarium)


  • Burke Museum (University District) – Natural history museum with an emphasis on the legacy and knowledge of Indigenous peoples. General admission starts at $10.
  • Chihuly Garden and Glass (Lower Queen Ave) – Located under the shadow of the Space Needle, this is a museum showcasing the glass works of Dale Chihuly. Includes 100-foot-long installation, outdoor garden, café and more. General admission starts at $26.
  • Museum of History and Industry (South Lake Union) – Engaging museum on the history of the region, with a focus on the many innovations of Seattle. General admission starts at $19.95.
  • Museum of Pop Culture (Lower Queen Anne) – Or called MoPOP, this is a whimsical and interactive museum with exhibits on everything from music to science fiction. General admission starts at $26.
  • Seattle Art Museum (Downtown) – The Pacific Northwest’s largest art museum has a comprehensive permanent collection and rotating exhibits from around the world. It is also the venue for our Opening Reception! General admission starts at $19.95.
  • The Seattle Aquarium (Pier 59 on the Elliott Bay waterfront) – The Seattle Aquarium is the ninth largest aquarium in the U.S. by attendance and among the top five paid visitor attractions in the Puget Sound region. Tickets for adults are $29.95.
  • Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Chinatown International District) – Museum with thoughtful exhibits that connect the history, cultures, and art of the Asian Pacific American community. General admission starts at $17.
  • Frye Museum (First Hill) – Seattle's only free museum! Contains a small but rich showcase of contemporary art. Exhibitions are constantly rotated, with the current demonstration being the Bench Mark, an exploration of architecture through space, function, and purpose; created as a Partnership for Youth exhibition.
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  • Central Saloon (Pioneer Square) – Known as one of the oldest bars in the city, offers a small selection of draft beers and pub food.  It was also influential back in the early days of Grunge.
  • Columbia City Theater (Columbia City) – Oldest vaudeville theater in Seattle with a focus on rock, hip-hop, burlesque, and jazz.
  • Nectar Lounge (Fremont) – Seattle’s largest indoor/outdoor live music venue with music from all genres.
  • Neumos (Capitol Hill) – Live music venue that offers Indie rock, plus hip-hop, country and other genres.
  • The Crocodile (Belltown) – Standing-room only venue with hip-hop, rock, punk, and electronic shows. A landmark for the grunge scene of Seattle—past acts include Nirvana and Death Cab for Cutie, before they became international sensations.
  • The Highway 99 Blues Club (By the Seattle Aquarium and Pier 59) – Housed in a 1909 brick building, venue offers top local blues bands, plus touring national acts.
  • The Royal Room (Rainier Ave) – A music venue with Jazz and southern influence.
  • The Showbox (Downtown) – Founded in 1939, this Seattle venue hosts big names regularly like Death Cab for Cutie, Lorde, and Iggy Pop. Across the street from Pike Place Market.
  • The Sunset Tavern (Ballard) – Smaller venue with affordable covers of local bands. From alt-country, comedy, to rock, venue offers a different show every night.
  • Tractor Tavern (Ballard) – Casual brick-walled venue with folk, bluegrass, alt-country, and indie shows.
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Public Art

  • Drumheller Fountain (on the University of Washington campus) – Also known as the Frosh Pond, offers a picturesque view of Mt. Rainer, and the chance to tour the University of Washington campus.
  • Fountain of Creation (Dupen Fountain) – The bronze and stone water garden incorporate three sculpture forms, surrounded by rugged rocks rising from the bottom of a large square basin.
  • Kerry Park (Changing Form) (Kerry Park) – The park's landmark steel sculpture, "Changing Form”, offers open geometric structure for an iconic view of the Seattle skyline.
  • Olympic Sculpture Park (Western Avenue) – A nine-acre outdoor sculpture museum and beach. Described as peaceful and a great place to stroll and catch a view of Elliott Bay.
  • “Waiting for The Interurban” (Fremont) – One of the most popular pieces of public art. The sculpture is dressed up by Fremont locals who change its outfit according to the season.
  • Seattle Wall Murals
    • SoDo Track – 29 modern art murals along a two-mile stretch in the city’s industrial district.
    • Richmark Label – A label-printing company housed in one of the most brightly painted buildings in the city.
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  • 12th Ave Arts (Capitol Hill) – Eclectic and inventive shows created by a rotating roster of producers.
  • Seattle Children’s Theatre (Lower Queen Anne) – Second-largest resident theater for young audiences in North America. Will be showing The Velveteen Rabbit during the conference dates, with tickets starting at $20.
  • ACT – A Contemporary Theatre (Downtown) – The theatre is housed in a beautiful and historic building showing large-scale productions.
  • Jewelbox Theater at the Rendezvous (Belltown) – An allegedly haunted vintage theater built in 1927. They host music, comedy, film, theater, and burlesque shows. 
  • Neptune Theatre (University District) – A whimsical venue that hosts a variety of events, including dance and music performances, film screenings, and arts education.
  • Paramount Theatre (Pine Street) – A vintage 2,807-seat performing arts venue and an official City of Seattle landmark.
  • Seattle Repertory Theatre (Lower Queen Anne) – Intimate and friendly theatre showing both original works and revivals.
  • The Moore Theatre (Pike Place) – Oldest still active theater in Seattle, hosts a mix of theatrical productions, musical concerts of many varieties, and lectures.
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Restaurants & Eateries

  • Bar Melusine (Union Street) – Local French-Atlantic fusion with a casual, modern atmosphere.
  • Biscuit Bitch (Pioneer Square) – Over the counter, southern breakfast spot.
  • Café Munir (Ballard) – Lebanese restaurant, especially popular for its Sunday night Chef’s Special at $25 a person for a three-course meal.
  • Copal (Pioneer Square) – A casual Mexican restaurant with beautiful tile backdrop.
  • Crumble & Flake (Capitol Hill) – Small local bakery with Tarte Flambée, Cherry Almond Chocolate Croissants, and cream puffs.
  • Delancey (Whittier Heights) – Trendy, woodfire pizzeria.
  • General Porpoise Doughnuts (Union Street) – Offers seasonal flavors. A bit pricey but charming.
  • Geraldine’s Counter (Columbia Park) – Traditional, American breakfast counter.
  • Jebena Café (Victory Heights) – Local, hole-in-the-wall, Ethiopian restaurant with tasty authentic food.
  • Joule (Wallingford) – New, award-winning restaurant serving Korean fusion food for both brunch and dinner.
  • Katsu Burger (Georgetown) – American burger joint with a Japanese twist.
  • Kedai Makan (Bellevue Ave) – Malaysian street food stand.
  • Kurt Farm Shop (Capitol Hill) – Provided by Kurt Farms, the store offers local cheese and ice cream with unique flavors like lemon verbena.
  • Lady Yum (Belltown) – Macaron and wine bar. $1 macaroons during happy hour.
  • Le Panier(Pike place) – A classic French bakery and coffee shop.
  • Marination Ma Kai (Seacrest Park) – Food truck style, Hawaiian-Korean cuisine.
  • Maximilien (Pike Place) – Classic French shop with a panorama view overlooking the water.
  • Mee Sum Pastry (University District) – Quick stop Chinese stand with sweet dough wraps and savory curry.
  • Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream (multiple locations) – Considered some of Seattle’s best ice cream, scooping up flavors such as Scout Mint and Balsamic Strawberry.
  • Paseo Caribbean (Fremont) – Sandwich shop, specializing in Caribbean-style roast pork sandwich.
  • Pike Place Chowder (Pike Place) – Local seafood counter-styled café. Known for being local, affordable.
  • Porkchop & Co. (Ballard) – Locally sourced, casual American spot known for its brunch.
  • Rachel’s Ginger Beer (multiple locations) – Casual eatery with the biggest range of ginger beer flavors you’ve ever encountered, available in soft-serve float form.
  • Radiator Whiskey (Pike place) – Rustic-chic restaurant, with southern comfort food. Frequented by locals. Reviews recommend making reservations.
  • Tamarind Tree Restaurant (Pioneer Square) – Up-scale Vietnamese restaurant and cocktail lounge.
  • Terra Plata (Capitol Hill) – Stylish Spanish/American fusion diner with rooftop.
  • The Independent Pizzeria (Madison Park) – Wood fire, craft pizza located right on the water.
  • The Walrus and the Carpenter (Ballard) – Rustic, American oyster bar.
  • Un Bien (Ballard) – Casual Caribbean sandwich shop with large portions and flavorful food.
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Instagram and Selfie Hotspots

  • Capitol Hill Rainbow Crosswalks – Rainbow crosswalks covering six intersections of Pike/Pine between 11th Ave and Broadway, painted as a symbol of Pride.
  • Columbia Tower Skyview Observatory – Located on the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle, the Sky View Observatory offers 360-degree panoramic view includes Mt. Rainier, Bellevue, the Cascade Mountains, Mt. Baker, Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains, the Space Needle and the city of Seattle. General admission tickets are $20.
  • Fremont Troll – A 18-foot stone troll that lives under a bridge in the Fremont section of town.
  • Gasworks Park – This 19.1-acre public park is home of a conservation site of old industrial, gas plant being absorbed by nature. With a beautiful view of the city, come see the contrast between industry and nature.
  • Great Gum Wall of Seattle – Located at Post Alley under Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle, see one of the germiest walls of the city.
  • Kubota Garden – A 20-acre Japanese garden tucked away in the Rainier Beach neighborhood. Known to have most Instagram potential during the fall when the leaves change colors.
  • Pike Place Market – A public market looking over the Elliott Bay waterfront. It once functioned as a farmer’s market in the 1900s. It now serves as a community of independent vendors.
  • Space Needle – Seattle’s most famous landmark. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, today the building serves as an observation tower with an iconic view of the city. General admission tickets range from $32.50 to $37.50. City pass tickets available here.
  • Suzzallo Graduate Reading Room – Part of University of Washington but open to the public, the library features beautiful oak study rooms and a 65-foot ceiling, reminiscent of Hogwarts. The library is designated as a silent study area but worth a peek.
  • The Freeway Park – Bridging over Interstate 5, this post-War park offers abstract topography, created from smooth concrete.
  • The Waterfall Garden – A 22-foot, man-made waterfall hidden within Occidental Square Park, located on the site where the first United Parcel Service headquarters started in 1907.
  • Volunteer Park (Black Sun) – Created in 1969 by artist Isamu Noguchi, the sculpture is dubbed the “Black Sun because the shape appears to move with the sun. The park is across the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
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Picture credits:
Wing Luke Museum (Photo by Lindsay Kennedy)
Seattle Aquarium (Photo by Seattle Aquarium)
The Sunset Tavern (Photo by Ron Harrell)
Changing Form at Kerry Park (Photo by Seattle Parks and Recreation)
SoDo Track mural by Andrew Hem (2017) (Photo by @wiseknave)
ACT Theatre (Photo by Dawn Schaefer)
Paramount Theatre (Photo by Christopher Nelson)
Copal (Photo by Eric Fisher)
The Walrus and the Carpenter (Photo by Aaron Leitz)
Pike Place (Photo by Alan Alabastro)
Kubota Garden (Photo by Seattle Parks and Recreation)