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Wednesday, June 18, 2008


posted by on June 18 at 12:50 PM

Hat tip to ECB for introducing me to the term for this close-to-home break I’m currently taking. And thanks to urban dictionary for providing an example of proper usage:

With the price of gas soaring, a staycation is what most Americans will experience during the summer of 2008.

I’ll be back next Wednesday, ready once again for all the knuckle bumps and chuckle heads that campaign 08 can provide. But until then…

Suggestions for (non-Capitol Hill) spots to enjoy the Seattle staycation life?

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I did this last week when plans to go to Las Vegas fell through and I had a lot of fun with the CityPass. It was fun to go to a bunch of museums and just take in the sights (and the tourists) (and, ok, the harried parents... go early).

And... I admit that had the weather been better, I would have probably taken a ride on The Ducks.

Posted by Chris B | June 18, 2008 1:00 PM

Wow, way to prove the Stranger staffer stereotype that none of you have even the faintest concept of Seattle/Washington outside of Capitol Hill.

But all snarkiness aside, what kinds of things do you like to do? Or are you pretty much open to anything?

Posted by Hernandez | June 18, 2008 1:08 PM
Posted by Jonathan Golob | June 18, 2008 1:09 PM

I hate this stupid diversionary CNN shit. There's still two wars, and all anyone cares about is how $4 gas affects their summer. John Cusack has a point that we're talking about war like the weather, and the weather (and price of gas) like war.

Posted by left coast | June 18, 2008 1:12 PM

You can renew your passport and check out what's going on in West Seattle.

Posted by boxofbirds | June 18, 2008 1:14 PM

I hear Tacoma is sensational.


Posted by Mr. Poe | June 18, 2008 1:16 PM

Actually Tacoma isn't so bad. Go get drunk at Magoos. See some art. Ride the free light rail. Hike Point Defiance.

Look at how dead downtown is after 6:00PM.


Posted by Sir Learnsalot | June 18, 2008 1:29 PM

Wait for a sunny day, get on a bike and tour the Olmstead park system. Bike maps here:

Posted by boyd main | June 18, 2008 1:29 PM

Ironically, it's just now they're tearing down all the "hometells".

Posted by Dougsf | June 18, 2008 1:32 PM

Banya 5 + the vodka bar next door = yes.

little pricey though.

Posted by Preston | June 18, 2008 1:33 PM

There's always the cheaper options of Greyhound and hitchhiking.

Posted by Dingo Rossi | June 18, 2008 1:35 PM

You asked, so here's my long winded reply.

Not knowing what you've already done in the city it's kind of hard to recommend stuff but I will say that the CityPass is a good deal. My son and I did a staycation last year before it was trendy and we got CityPasses. We pretended we were tourists, even making up where we were from, and visited the Science Center, the Zoo, and the Museum of Flight. I also think the Underground Tour is goofy and touristy and sorta fun.

On my side of the bridge you could bike or walk the Sammamish River Trail up to Red Hook Brewery or visit the wineries in Woodinville. You could bowl at Lucky Strike, Tech City, or the place in Eastgate. For true kitsch you could visit the Doll Museum. I hear you can rent boats on the Kirkland waterfront as well. And, the argosy boat tour of Lake Washington is another silly but fun tourist thing.

Tacoma does actually have some cool stuff, the Museum of Glass and the History Museum. Also Point Defiance is enjoyable.

Posted by PopTart | June 18, 2008 1:38 PM

Dealing with someone from Tacoma on craigslist:

"I live all the way in Tacooooma, can you hold it for me for twenty thousand years while I wait for my mom to come back from Arkansas? My boyfriend is in Iraq and my brother is in jail, but I totally need that printer cause I'm gonna start my own business here real soon and the price is something I can afford. Oh, is the price negotiable?"

Posted by Mr. Eop | June 18, 2008 1:47 PM

Stay at a really nice hotel downtown for a day or two. The money you save on gas by staying in town will cover a nicer room than you could afford otherwise, and you can avail yourself of room service, spa, pool, etc.

Get yourself a big sun hat and sunglasses to wear around downtown, even when it's raining, to get into "tourist mode."

Posted by Simac | June 18, 2008 2:08 PM

Go to the Fremont Fair/Parade.
Eat a delicious $4.99 at Kau Kau.
Get a ridiculously cheap ($29 an hour!) reflexology foot massage in the ID.
Go to the zoo and see the new flamingos.
Ride the Duck!
Take the Underground Tour.
Go to the Center for Wooden Boats and take a boat ride-- they're free on Sundays.
Take the Ice Cream Cruise.
Eat lunch at Agua Verde and then rent a kayak and explore the arboretum.
Ride the Burke Gilman up to the breweries, get drunk, ride back.
Treat yourself to a fancy-schmancy dinner and then spend a night in a downtown hotel, just for kicks.
Take the Ghost Tour!
Take one of the Seattle culinary tours.
Go to the "Seattle Museum of the Mysteries" on Broadway.
Listen to the chanting at St. Mark's.
Go to a Mariner's game.

Posted by Local | June 18, 2008 2:12 PM

@12, the bonsai exhibit and rhodedendron park near Federal Way is totally worth the detour, too.

Depending on how mobile you are (car or no?), Deception Pass and Whidbey Island is a great day-long getaway. Closer in, Discovery Park/Golden Gardens; biking on Vashon; Paulsbo for a kitschy taste of ye olde Northwest; architecture tours with Seattle Architecture Foundation - they're really good:

Posted by rb | June 18, 2008 2:12 PM

Or we could just build high-speed passenger rail lines like the rest of the world does and take the train to our vacations ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2008 2:15 PM

Nobody misses you.

Posted by Non | June 18, 2008 2:17 PM

Take a date to the Fun Forest and just be silly. Have a nice time off, Eli!

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | June 18, 2008 2:18 PM

Go chill in Kirkland, that has plenty going for it: nice parks, sweet library, lots of galleries, good food, a couple decent bars, easy bus access, $1.50 hot dogs at Costco.

Posted by Greg | June 18, 2008 2:23 PM

why doesn't dan just give all of you some miles

Posted by ouch | June 18, 2008 2:25 PM

Northwest Trek is pretty fun. I would also recommend going to the coast, which is always fun. A trip to long beach can revitalize the senses.

Posted by Original Monique | June 18, 2008 2:25 PM

(good replies, @15)

An easier way is just to buy a copy of a tourist guide book to Seattle and act as if you're a tourist. I used to do that when I lived in Vancouver BC for mini-breaks, and when I first moved to Seattle.

And get a tourist map - literally go to all the places you don't usually go - you'll have a great time!

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2008 2:29 PM

@20 - they'll be adding a passenger ferry ride to Kirkland soon, until then you can get there on a bus.

Pretend you're a tourist and ask questions of the bus passengers - "Wow! Look at those waves! Where I come from we don't cross long bridges like this ... how come you don't have light rail on your bridges?"

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2008 2:36 PM

Take the Ice Cream Cruise.

I've done this and, while the tour on Lake Union is very nice, the ice cream aspect of it is so paltry it's pretty much not worth mentioning. Think of a "chocolate" cruise where the chocolate portion is a fun size Hershey's bar.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 18, 2008 3:07 PM

Go stick your ball-bearings in the SLUT tracks. (Yes, that's a metaphor).

Posted by DOUG. | June 18, 2008 3:25 PM

Go to the zoo, but seriously, the flamingos aren't worth it. The baby gorilla, however, is worth every shrieking child you have to put up with in order to watch her careen around the exhibit.

Visit the aquarium and gawk at the four sea otters, then go get fish and chips, check out all the tourist-trap stuff on the water front, and then skip the huffing-and-puffing tourists heading back to the Market by going up the Harbor steps to SAM.

Make mimosas all day long and watch Battlestar Galactica DVDs.

Rent a convertible on a nice day and cruise Lake Washington Blvd to Seward Park with friends and picnic.

Hike to Red Town in the Issaquah Alps.

Hike to Franklin by Green River Gorge-- there's an old cemetary and a 1200' deep mine shaft you can spit (or pee) in.

Go to Northwest Trek early one day-- it's time for babies there!

Go to the Burke, go to MOHAI. Do all the touristy stuff you heard about but never got around to.

Posted by Jessica | June 18, 2008 4:29 PM

Anyone else wonder why they had to "put down" the Zebra that got too old?

I mean, in the wild, the lions would have eaten it ... seems the only humane thing would have been to set it free in the lion pens.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 18, 2008 4:40 PM

Eat a late breakfast and wander downtown Happy Hour joints from 3-8.

Go to West Seattle on a nice day, enjoy a park, then drink/eat in Georgetown on the way home.

Kubota Gardens is lovely and free.

Hop a ferry to Kingston & eat crepes.

Play pinball--anywhere.

Ferry to Bainbridge & reserve a tour at Bloedel Reserve--unbelievable gardens & private forest.

Visit SAM, or the new Wing Luke.

If raining/crappy out: Get a good book at Elliott Bay or the downtown library and read it in the lobby of a hotel bar surrounded by tourists.

Have fun!

Posted by MJ | June 18, 2008 10:13 PM

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