Monday, July 07, 2008

Seattle: Ride the Ducks?

There are so many things to do in Seattle, the question is, will you have time to see all that there is to do? The 2008 NACAC National Conference will be packed with great sessions, phenomenal keynote speakers – I’m beside myself with excitement that you will all get to hear Sherman Alexie speak – and receptions that you don’t want to miss.

Mike McKeon, as always, has written some wonderful blog postings that are far more detailed and “insider” than I can ever try to match, but over the last few days, I have thought of a few other things worth mentioning:

The Ride the Ducks of Seattle Tour seems to be a big hit here. Yes, if you live in other cities, you may have seen these amphibious vehicles, but there is lots of water for this tour and you’ll get your monies worth here. I’ve never done it myself (though I’ve given a friendly Seattle wave as they have passed by), but when my girls are older, we just may give it a go.

I feel as though we should have mentioned in all of our posts about the microbrewery and coffee scene in Seattle. If you are typically a mass produced beer drinker, be warned that our microbrews aren’t for the faint of heart, nor is our more locally roasted coffee. Looking for a good cup of Folgers or a Bud Light? It can be done, but challenge yourself to see what all the fuss is about and give our homegrown tastes as try!

Fremont: Seattle has many great neighborhoods with their own unique style. Fremont is a great place to wander and happens to be alongside the ship canal – and has laid claim to being The Center of the Universe. You can walk or rent a bike and ride the trail out to the Ballard Locks (truly worth seeing if you have the time) or stroll through the many shops and restaurants that make up this area of Seattle.

Fremont lost some of its charm to condo development, but where else can you pass by a seven ton statue of Vladimir Lenin on your way to see the Fremont Troll?

When I lived in Fremont, I discovered Lighthouse Coffee – arguably the BEST coffee in Seattle in my opinion. What would a Seattle neighborhood be without its pubs? Some of the best are here – Hales Brewery (give the stout float a try – seriously – beer, ice cream and chocolate brownies…a heavenly combination), Dad Watsons (a Portland-based McMenamins pub), The Dubliner, a great Irish pub, and the Red Door. Did we mention that Seattle is non-smoking in its establishments? It makes for an even better pub environment.

The Red Hook Brewery’s original site was in Fremont and has since grown to the Woodinville plant. The original building is now the Theo Chocolate Factory – I can verify that the building now says “chocolate” after driving by this week, and have heard that it is one of Oprah’s favorite things.

There are many great restaurants from Thai (which seem to be on every corner), to pub fare and Greek. A music fan? Check out Dusty Strings. In spite of losing some of its charm to the inevitable urban development, Fremont will always be one of the greatest Seattle neighborhoods.

Downtown Seattle has many great attractions – the tour of Safeco Field, The Owl and Thistle Irish Pub – an easy walk from the downtown hotels and a whole lot of fun- and if you are a Grey’s Anatomy fan, see the helicopter pad on top of Fisher’s Plaza (look down if you are atop the Space Needle). Don’t worry about seeing the Experience Music Project (EMP) since our conference social will be here on Saturday night, September 27.

Todd Abbott was the social chair for PNACAC conferences for years—for good reason—and when teamed with Mike McKeon, I for one, cannot wait to attend. Both know how to have a good time with good food and drink!

Ann Nault
Meadowdale High School
Lynnwood, WA

Send us comments on this posting.