Seattle, like every city, has a core and the suburbs. Everything having to with the conference is located on the University of Washington Campus. The campus is very walkable - you can get from any one point to any other point in 20 minutes or less on foot. Almost everyone's hotels are located around the edge of the campus, and if you are in the dorms you are on campus. Campus is located in the University district, and there are lots of restaurants and other things right there.
But the rest of Settle has so much more to offer. Capital Hill, for example, one light-rail stop away, is full of amazing restaurants and bars. Belltown, which is another stop and a short walk away, has most of the clubs. Pike Place Market, the location of the famous fish market (but has oh, so much more, including a brand new brew-pub) is also in that area.
I love this city. I hope you will have a chance to get out and explore it while you are here at ACAT!
Solar Eclipse on Aug 21
While Seattle is not on the path of totality we will experience a partial eclipse with over 92% of the Sun blocked, still an impressive event. On August 21, the maximum of the eclipse will be at 10:20 a.m. and it will end at 11:38 a.m. The first 110 registration guests will receive a pair of eclipse glasses - and it would be most appreciated if you would share with others! Here is the URL link to the safety tips provided by NASA. If you'd like to make a pinhole camera, check this out. Enjoy this truly astounding celestial event!
If you are going to the University for your hotel or conference, there are several methods
- Light-Rail for $2.50 will take you to the university stadium. From there it is about a 10 or 15 minute walk to most people's hotels.
- Shared Shuttle Service. For about $25-$30 this will drop you off at your hotel door step, in a van shared with other riders. You may have to wait some amount of time before a van is filled with people.
- Lyft or Uber: these are ride services. You'll need to have the app installed on your phone and your payment setup before hand. They are basically a taxi service, and it will run you about $30 to get to the university. Pick up point is in the airport garage (they have a designated area for it). Follow the signs once you are in the air port garage.
- Taxi: There are, of course, taxi's waiting at all hours of the day in the day. Just follow the signs. Will run, with tip, about $50 to the university.
The public transportation system here is good (as opposed to Paris or NYC where it is great). The light-rail, freshly opened at the University, spans the airport all the way to the university.
Google and Bing mapping programs both have the complete Seattle transportation system loaded into them. Feel free to use their driving directions to guide you.
The light rail, in particular, can get you all the way from the airport to the university. When you arrive at the airport, follow signs for the light-rail (it *is* a bit of a walk). Everything is served by elevators, so even if you have a bag you should have no trouble. The trip takes about 40 minutes or so from the airport to the University Station (end of the line).
Should you buy an Orca card? If you plan to do plenty of traveling on bus and light rail, then yes. But if you are only going to and from the University then I'd say just buy a one-way card.
Seattle is a high-tech city, so we have all options.
- Taxi. Orange Cab (206-522-8800)
- Ride Services: We have Lyft and Uber and probably some others I'm not familiar with.
- Car share services: Car2go, ReachNow, and ZipCar are all operating in the city
Parking is an extreme sport in central Seattle. Hopefully your hotel has a spot or two. The campus has plenty, about a 5 minute walk from the conference center, and it costs $15/day.
Things To Do
Besides attend ACAT talks, of course!
- The UW Summer In Seattle web page has a few of the more common sites around town.
- The Underground Tour - Seattle's history, walking tour, one level down.
- The Museum of Flight. We have a Concorde, an old Air Force 1, and the Space Shuttle Trainer.
Where to Eat
Ok. This is tough. Seattle has more restaurants per capita, it feels like, than almost any other city. That said, to sort through and explore, use Yelp for low to mid-range, and Travel Advisor for mid to upper range. Below are listed a few areas of Seattle and where you can find good food. Many restaurants are left off here not because they aren't good, just because we've not had time to get around to them yet!
University area eateries are mostly aimed towards students.
- Café Solstice - coffee shop that also serves wine and beer, decent wifi, good sandwiches. Right up the block from the conference center. Great place to work the evening away. There is one in Capital Hill as well.
- Shultzy's - Bar and eatery. You want sausages? This is where you should go. All meat all the time. They also have a good beer selection.
- The Ave - the street running up University Way (Solstice and Shultzy's are both on this street) has lots and lots of small places - use Yelp to explore. There are some finds back in here.
- University Village - A mall. Yeah, we know. But you'll find decent restaurants in here - and they can seat larges numbers of peoples. There is also a Molly Moon's, some of the best artisanal ice cream in Seattle. It is a bit of a walk: from the conference center expect about 25 minutes or so.
This is one of the current hot spots for dining in Seattle right now. Places tend to be more expensive up here, sadly. But the food can be rather amazing. A short bus ride (or one stop on the light rail) from the conference center. These places are all good. And reserve ahead of time - Seattle likes to eat out. Fortunately, if you don't, you'll land in the middle of lots of other places.
- Poppy - Tapas with an Indian influence. Very good cocktails. Some members of the organizing team use this as a birthday dinner location. Honey plantain fry's!
- Monsoon - Vietnamese, fusion.
- Volenteer Park Café - American, but the location is pretty stunning.
- La Spiga - An Italian standby. Fresh pasta.
- Marjorie - The plantains! Oi! Fantastic space, especially if it is a warm evening.
- Bateau - Ok. This place. They have a farm out on Bainbridge island. They "grow" their own cattle. And then they use it. All of it. In the restaurant. Want a non-standard cut? This is the place. And it tastes amazing.
- Plum Bistro - might be Seattle's most famous vegetarian restaurant. Go!
- Pike/Pine corridor - heavy bar activity here, along with some of Seattle's most famous dive bars. And on weekends the place is teaming with people - they often shut down the streets to traffic. Lots of places to explore in here.'
- Molly Moon's - Ok. Ice cream. Pretty much the best in Seattle. There is one place in Portland that is better, apparently, and they will open a branch up here in Seattle soon. But not yet. So. If you like ice cream. Go here.
- Broadway - explore the street. Lots of good places - like Witness, which has amazing cocktails and appi's.
Two stops via light rail or a bus ride. The heart of this is where you'll find most dance clubs. We've not been clubbing in a while, so we'll hold off on recommendations there. But...
- Local 360 - Everything is sourced from within 360 miles of the restaurant. Big plates with just the right flavoring. And on a busy corner in the middle of everything.
- Shiro's - Traditional Sushi. Two seating's per night, no reservation. Line is usually around the block. Was recognized as the top traditional sushi spot in Seattle until the head chef left. Still up there near the top.
- Wasabi Bistro - It is clear they fired their decorator half way through their last renovation. But for a modern take on sushi that still remains mostly true to tradition this place can't be beat.
- Pike Place Market - Yes, it is a tourist trap. But it is one that many locals go to. Lots of great food places as well. And lots of bars that have a storied Seattle history. Also, they just added a new extension so lots of new restaurants and bars to explore. Make sure you visit more than the top level floor!
- Pintxo - Tapas, Basque. Tiny. With amazing cocktails. Highly recommended. Upstairs in the same building is a super-hipster "ish" cocktail bar - they make amazing drinks with about 20 ingredients.
- Bathtub Gin - Small non-descript door along a back alley next to a parking lot leads to four dimly lit floors... and a bar with more than 100 varieties of gin.