Congress of Cities and Beyond: All that Seattle Has to Offer

The Congress of Cities (CoC) this year will be jam-packed with knowledge building and training opportunities, mobile workshops, networking events and much more.  But those who have never been to Seattle may be wondering what there is to do during lunch and in the evenings.

Here are a few suggestions on how to make the most of the Emerald City!

The bustling Pike Place Market, only blocks from the convention center where the CoC will be held, is Seattle’s most-visited tourist destination.  Just off the waterfront in the heart of downtown, the nation’s oldest, continually-operating farmers market is filled with independent vendors selling farm-fresh goods and artisanal products.  Highlights include bakeries and coffee shops (including the original Starbucks), Rachel, the bronze piggy bank at the Market’s entrance, the famous fish-throwers at Pike Place Fish Company and the rows and rows of organic produce and freshly-picked flowers.

Seattle also has a vibrant waterfront.  At the north end is Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park, a former contaminated brownfield that is now home to an expansive park filled with large, contemporary sculptures.  Just south of there is the famed Seattle Aquarium. 

From there, hop aboard Seattle’s Great Wheel, an enormous Ferris wheel that extends nearly 40 feet beyond the end of Pier 57. It’s the largest observation wheel on the west coast, standing 175 feet tall. The historic waterfront piers are also home to several novelty shops, seafood restaurants and gaming arcades.

At the south end of downtown are some of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods — the landmark districts of Pioneer Square and Chinatown/International District.  Pioneer Square is filled with art galleries, cafés, sports bars, nightclubs and the free Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Museum, while Chinatown/ID is home to a diverse array of restaurants, urban gardens and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific Experience.  The architecture alone makes these historic neighborhoods worth visiting.

For the history buffs in the crowd there is the newly-opened Museum of History and Industry on the banks of Lake Union.  The museum focuses on Pacific Northwest history, highlighting Seattle’s role in technological innovation and education.  It’s accessible by the Seattle Streetcar line, also located just a few blocks from the convention center.  On the way back, hop off the streetcar and have a meal at one of the many great restaurants in the South Lake Union neighborhood.

Northeast of downtown is the Capitol Hill neighborhood, home to one of the city’s most prominent nightlife districts. This neighborhood always makes for an entertaining after-dinner stop.

For more information about all there is to do in Seattle, including the Space Needle, the Experience Music Project, and so much more, check out Visit Seattle.  Whether you’re interested in architecture, shopping, sightseeing, hiking, exploring or just relaxing, Seattle has it all.

Register for the 2013 Congress of Cities in Seattle!