Things to See and Do in Seattle with Your New Friends

The 2012 SQLPass Summit will be in Seattle from November 6-9. As a local Northwesterner (I now live in Portland, OR), here is some information to help visitors.

If you’re new to the Summit, it’s a great time to meet people, and the experience is even better if you explore Seattle with new friends in the evening. So one way or another, look into some things you might want to see and do, it will come in useful while you’re in town.

With minor exceptions, I’ve only listed things which are pretty convenient to downtown and are easy to reach without a car. Neighborhood names are listed for each place and a corresponding neighborhood map is below.

Let me know if you have questions! Happy to help.

Ride Light Rail to Your Hotel

If you’re staying downtown, you can probably take a quick ride from SeaTac Airport to your hotel on Light Rail for $2.50. Check  out how!

Getting Around

Don’t be afraid to ride the bus in Seattle- this section has links to help figure it out, including links to learn about the new train from the airport.


There are a lot of chain retail stores downtown which you can visit back at home, but we have a few places that are truly out of the ordinary.

Coffee n Chocolate n Donuts

Let’s face it: these are the truly important things in life.

We have a lot of donuts, delicious chocolate, and more local coffee houses than you can imagine. I’ve listed my favorites, but this is just the beginning. Check all the independents out and pick your favorite.


It’s the most important meal of the day, after all.

Healthy Stuff

After eating all those donuts and staying out late at the bar, this is what you need- juice bars, a good walk, and yoga.

Live Music

It’s not all grunge these days. We have a fun live music scene.

Pool, Games, and Unspeakable Karaoke

Yep. There’s karaoke. Not my fault.

Tours and Smart Stuff

For the writers: Hugo House. For the readers: The Central Library. For the curious: a few tours.

Dinner n Drinx

We can has good food. Here are some of my favorites, many of which are on the cheap.

The Parks Dept

Seattle has so many wonderful parks. All free. Here’s a few.

Neighborhood Map (reference for the links above)

The conference will be held at the Washington State Convention & Trace Center, which is in the Downtown neighborhood at 800 Convention Place, Seattle, WA 98101.

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  • @NULLgarity

    Wow – very nice lists. Thanks for putting them together!

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  • @JeridAhrens

    This was awesome, thanks for all the GREAT information. Now I just need to talk my boss into sending me to PASS this year!

  • Aashish Thakker

    This is great information! I will be attending the 2011 Summit and this is my first time to a SQL PASS Summit AND to Seattle so I am very thankful for the wonderful information you have provided!

  • Roger Noble

    Awesome list thanks Kendra! I almost died last year due to lack of healthy food (and too much Beer), so I’ll definitely check out the hippies :)

  • Ken Trock

    Thanks for the primer on the light rail system. As I recall from last year the event itself did a good job of keeping us busy.

    • Kendra Little

      That means you did things right!

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  • SQLCowboyUP

    We’re going to try to stay with my mother in Olympia this time. Last year we stayed at the main hotel and used the wonderful public transportation everywhere.

    Now if I can figure out how to get from my mom’s house to Seattle! Not as easy as one would think 😉

  • Tom

    Great post! Long live Ballard!

  • Shopping

    Thank you soo much for this information Kendra, I have a little question, do you know something about Premium Outlets in Seattle? I here a lot about this place, it is near to the convention center?

    • Kendra Little

      I believe Seattle Premium Outlets is up in Tulalip– that’s about 40 miles north of Seattle:

      So no, not close. There are lots of retail stores downtown, but the closest thing to an outlet is probably Nordstrom Rack.

      There is a new GIANT City Target store that’s gone into downtown Seattle recently. I should probably list that as a new best bet for a quick one stop clothes/toiletries source if luggage is delayed or lost by an airline.

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