General Information - Not For Tourists Guide to Seattle (2016)

Not For Tourists Guide to Seattle (2016)

General Information ✵ Calendar of Events


Martin Luther King Jr. Day: March and rally to commemorate MLK, Jr. and advance what he fought for;

Children’s Film Festival Seattle: Films for kids and their families from all over the world;


Mardis Gras: Head to Pioneer Square, if that’s your scene.

Seattle Asian American Film Festival: Specialty showcase for Asian-American filmmakers nationwide;

Northwest Flower & Garden Show: Annual flora fest bringing together green thumbs of all abilities since 1989;


Seattle Moisture Festival: A twisted cabaret with the scope of vaudeville;

The Seattle Center Irish Festival: Celebrating true Irish heritage;


Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival: Martial arts, kites, and tea at Seattle Center;

Seattle Restaurant Week: Spring edition of twice yearly event featuring reduced-price three-course prix fixe menus at restaurants across the city;

Seattle Erotic Art Festival: Promotes freedom of sexuality, speech, and creativity;

Emerald City Comicon: Geek out at the largest gathering of comic book and pop culture fans in the Pacific NW;


Ballard Jazz Festival: Multi-day, multi-venue festival featuring internationally renowned jazz musicians and a Swedish pancake jazz brunch;

U District Street Fair: First of the big summer festivals, crowded with art and dripping with funnel cake grease;

Northwest Folklife Festival: Keeping traditional art and music alive;

Seattle International Film Festival: Massive month-long film fest;

Seattle Beer Week: A celebration of all things beer at tastings and events across the city;


Fremont Solstice Parade: The wildest art-solstice party in the city, with lots of naked people, for better or worse;

Seattle Pride: Series of events supporting LGBT community around anniversary of Stonewall riots;

Juneteenth: A celebration of freedom from slavery in Pratt Park;

Ballard Locks Summer Concerts and Events: Picnic every Saturday and Sunday at this free event, June through Labor Day. Just don’t eat the migrating salmon.


Seafair: A month-long celebration of the water, with loud fighter jets, noisy hydroplanes, and a milk carton derby;

Seafair Summer Fourth: Fireworks over Lake Union;

Wooden Boat Festival: Take a boat ride on Lake Union;

Bite of Seattle: A showcase for local culinary excellence;

Capitol Hill Block Party: Who’s who of Cap Hill rock culture—get on the guest list;

Ballard Seafood Fest: Weekend-long celebration of music, craftiness, seafood, and of course Ballard;

International District Dragon Fest: Here there be food and dragons at this Pan-Asian American party around the ID;

Seattle International Beerfest: Three-day keg party at Seattle Center;


Sunset Supper: Sip, taste, and sample at Pike Place Market for a good cause;

Hempfest: The protestival that evolved into a weekend of networking opportunities;

Arab Festival: Celebrating Arab culture with food, panels, music, dances, and demos;

Central Area Festival & Parade: Fostering community pride and cultural diversity in the Central Area;


Bumbershoot: The granddaddy of all Seattle festivals, with big stars and long lines;

Washington State Fair: Head south and Do the Puyallup—livestock, rides, rodeos;

Fremont Oktoberfest: Squeeze two weeks of beer into one bleary-eyed weekend;


St. Demetrios Greek Festival: Going strong since 1960. Eat, drink, and summon your inner Zorba in Montlake;

Earshot Jazz Festival: Bringing top jazzers to the Emerald City since 1989;

Seattle Restaurant Week: Fall edition of twice yearly event featuring reduced-price three-course prix fixe menus at restaurants across the city;

Turkfest: Indulge your senses with a strong dose of Turksih culture;


Seattle Marathon: Begins and ends at Seattle Center, via I-90, Seward Park, Lake Washington Blvd, and South Lake Union;


Christmas Ship Festival: Big boats in bright lights, and vice-versa.

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker: Tchaikovsky’s score with fun and inventive sets and costumes—the Maurice Sendak collaboration is a classic;

ACT A Christmas Carol: Bah humbug to you if you don’t go see this classic Seattle holiday show at least once;

General Information ✵ Dog Parks

General Information

Off-Leash Areas:


Seattleites aren’t just tree-huggers; they’re dog lovers, too. With the gorgeous backdrop that is the Emerald City, Seattle’s dog parks are a far cry from most of the drab, chain-link gravel pits you’ll find in other large cities. The 14 dog areas in Seattle are usually well maintained, spacious, and just as much fun for man as it is for his best friend. Of course, there are a few obvious rules to follow. Keep your dog on a leash outside of the off-leash area (duh), make sure he or she has had all of the proper shots and licensing, and please, for heaven’s sake, scoop the dang poop. The Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA) is a community of dog owners committed to everything dog-park, so check out their site ( or @seattlecola) for all you need to know. If you’re not a good little doggie owner, beware—you could be slapped with a stiff fine. Now, that’s ruff! (Ahem.)

Off-Leash Areas

Genesee Park (Map 40)

4316 S Genesee St

Genesee Park and Playfield is a broad, rough meadow stretching for about five blocks north from Genesee Street to Stan Sayres Memorial Park on Lake Washington Boulevard. There is a separate fully-fenced off-leash area, complete with a doggie drinking fountain (aw!). It’s gravelly and not all that interesting, but is flat and open—perfect for playing fetch.

Golden Gardens (Map 33)

8498 Seaview Pl NW

This waterfront park is huge, running alongside Puget Sound. There are hiking trails for a nice little walk, restored wetlands, sandy beaches, fishing, boating, picnic tables—you name it, Golden’s got it. The icing on the cake is the stunning view of the Olympics along the rugged coastline. Uphill to the east is a moderately-sized off-leash area for your doggie. Just be sure to bring your galoshes if there’s a hint of rain, as it can get extremely mucky.

I-5 Colonnade (Map 20)

Beneath I-5, south of E Howe St b/w Lakeview Blvd & Franklin Ave E

This is a weird, creepy park underneath roaring I-5 on Capitol Hill. It’s a huge, maze-like gravel pit with lots of chain-link fence, no open areas, and concrete blocks everywhere, their function mysterious. Not the best for fancy-free frolicking with your dog, but if you’re just taking Fido out to do his business, it works. There is however a cool mountain bike course under construction and an art installation by John Roloff.

Magnuson Park (Map 27)

7400 Sand Point Wy NE

The absolute creme de la creme of dog parks in Seattle. The park itself is 40 acres, with a whopping nine of them dedicated to an off-leash pooch area. It’s a veritable Disneyland for dogs, with several different scenic areas (dirt hills, grassy brush, mud pit), an exclusive shy/older dog pen, and a flat gravel area for fetch. The highlight is a long winding trail leading down to the shores of Lake Washington—Magnuson is the only dog park within city limits with water access. It’s also a great park for socializing with other owners.

Northacres Park (Map 34)

12718 1st Ave NE

Tucked away next to some athletic fields, this park is small but lots of fun. It’s an intimate maze-like affair with lots of short trails through dense, well-kept foliage. Small open areas spring up along the way with benches for a quick rest while your dog bounds through the brush.

Blue Dog Pond (Map 9)

Martin Luther King Jr Wy S & S Massachusetts

Dr. Jose Rizal Park (Map 8)

1008 12th Ave S

Denny Park (Map 2)

100 Dexter Ave N

Kinnear Park (Map 14)

899 W Olympic Pl

Magnolia Manor Park (Map 11)

3500 28th Ave W

Plymouth Pillars Park (Map 3)

Boren Ave b/w Pike St & Pine St

Regrade Park (Map 1)

2251 3rd Ave

Westcrest Park (Map 38)

8806 8th Ave SW

Woodland Park (Map 31)

W Greenlake Wy N

General Information ✵ For the Kids

Best Rainy Day Activities

Here are a several places to help you and your kids battle cabin fever and keep your sanity during those long, rainy months of winter.

International District: Yes, honey, those ducks are for eating.

Waterfront/Piers: Fish n’ chips! Seagulls! An arcade! Pirates!

Pacific Science Center: Giant insects.

Seattle Central Library: Holy cow, this place is huge!!!

Ballard Library: The roof is alive and growing!

Experience Music Project: Mommy, what’s that man doing to his guitar?

Burke Museum: Dinosaurs!

Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI): Learn about Seattle from its humble beginnings to its dotcom boasting present-day. Speculate about its future in the excellent Compass Cafe.

Seattle Center: A big, urban park with museums, food courts, and a huge fountain.

PlayDate SEA: This 8,500 square foot indoor playground is custom made for free-range children and the coffee-addicted parents who love them.

Seattle Children’s Museum: Kid-centered museum.

Seattle Aquarium: Pretty fish.

Woodlawn Park Zoo: Yes, it’s mostly outside, but those animals sure are cool.

The Best of the Best

Rock on, Dude

The Vera Project is a long-time all-ages music venue and teen-centered non-profit at the Seattle Center. Kids rock out to Seattle bands big and small while parents go to the opera. They also have volunteer projects for kids and host a variety of classes including breakdancing and punk rock.

Feed the Seagulls

Take your kids to Ivar’s on the pier, munch on fish and chips while watching the ferries come and go, then fend off the seagulls with those crusty, hard leftover bits at the bottom.

Ice Cream Cruise

Yeah, kids like ice cream. But what’s better than ice cream? Ice cream on a boat! Sip on a classic root beer float and enjoy the scenery. Departs hourly 11 am to 5 pm, every Sunday from South Lake Union Park next to MOHAI (

Learn to Build a Bike

Through Bike Works’ Earn-a-Bike program kids can learn how to fix and build a bike in an eight-week afterschool program. After earning enough hours, youths are eligible to pick out and fix up their own bike.

Give Them Gas

The giant iron wrought structures of Gasworks Park make this a great kid-friendly destination. Fly a kite at the top of the hill, watch the seaplanes land on Lake Union, or look for unrefined oil ooze out of the ground (and if you find some, please contact the authorities).


Did you see that? Was that a Whale? They say 90 orcas (once known by the killer nickname, killer whales) live in Puget Sound, so if you take a ferry ride you should see one, right? Wait! What’s that? Is that a whale? Maybe it’s a shark? Or a sturgeon? Can you see sturgeons from the ferries? Ride the ferries and find out.

Culture: Seattle Style

Quirky Fremont is a kid-like, permanently silly place. Start the tour off at 36th and Fremont Place at the Lenin Statue, and ponder the future of communism in Seattle. Head across the street towards the water a block to The Rocket, which traveled to the moon thirty-five times before retiring in 1986. From there, take a left to the other end of the block and you’ll be standing at the actual Center of the Universe. Pretty cool, huh? But don’t stand too long or you’ll cause an imbalance. Next, cross the street and head downhill until you see those people Waiting for the Interurban. They’ve been waiting so long, they’ve turned to stone. Head under the Aurora Bridge to find the infamous Fremont Troll. This troll wandered the thick forests of north Seattle, mercilessly devouring all those who dared to cross the water, until a group of kids turned him to stone in a grueling 22-day battle in 1950. Unfortunately, the troll destroyed their VW Bug in the process.

Let’s Go Sledding

It rarely snows in Seattle—bummer, eh? But when it does, boy is it fun. The entire city shuts down with the thought of three inches of snow businesses cut their hours, downtown office workers play hooky, buses take alternate routes, and best of all, schools close. Actually, that’s second best. The best part about snow in Seattle is that all these huge hills turn into giant, car-less sledding runs. Grab a cardboard box, wrap yourself in cellophane, and hit the slopes! Be sure to supervise the kids and have hot chocolate ready upon the return to home. If you don’t want to wait for Mother Nature to get freaky, hop on I-90 to the reliably snowy Summit at Snoqualmie, where they rent tubes every winter.

Shopping Essentials

Magic Mouse Toys (Map 7) aims for humans of all ages to discover or rediscover or continue to discover their love of toys—from Lego to die-cast cars to Playmobil to classics like puzzles and kites. Meanwhile, Archie McPhee (Map 24) sells all the greatest pleasures in life—rubber lizards, fake spider-in-ice, and boxing nun puppets; perfect for kids from two to 52. On a more educational tip, Top Ten Toys (Map 3, 30) takes the guesswork out of whether you might be perpetuating gender-normative roles when buying toys for your or someone else’s little one; here the entire store is the fibrous middle section of a big-box toy store—as such, it will restore your faith in the next generation. Similarly, Math N Stuff (Map 34) has proved to the world that there is in fact a market for a store devoted to math. Deciding between that and a Chains”R”Us, is clearly a no-brainer. You can’t get within two time zones of Sea-Tac without feeling the vortex tug of The Elliott Bay Book Company (Map 4), and true to form, it not only has a brilliant kids section but also offers children’s storytime every Saturday. Schmancy (Map 3) is a super quirky “toy shop,” more for the childish adult or the mature-minded child, but why not? Blue Highway Games (Map 13) is old school in a 20-sided die kind of way, and cool in a way that gives those who know what that means a safe space to indulge their many sides; think RPGs, board games, brainteasers, card games, jigsaw puzzles, and in-store game nights. And then there’s Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. (Map 30), the perfect place for budding astronauts and freeze-dried dessert aficionados; proceeds help support the Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas (, an organization devoted to fostering the written word as a vital tool of communication for young people.

General Information ✵ Hospitals



General Information ✵ Hotels

Sometimes you need a hotel room that’s a step up from Aurora Avenue. Maybe you’d like to offer your visiting Aunt Mildred something more comfy than your futon. Maybe it’s late and your condo on the Eastside seems intolerably far away. Maybe there are things you need to do in this hotel that you can’t do at home. Whatever your business, here are the options.

Obscenely Expensive

Ranking as the only AAA five-diamond hotel in the Pacific Northwest, the Fairmont Olympic (Map 3) is in a class by itself, though it’s not cheap. The terrifying grandeur of the lobby is worth a peek, even if you have neither means nor motive to stay there. Or, for an Italianate flair, try the Sorrento Hotel (Map 4), a bit more out of the way on First Hill. The Edgewater (Map 1) is a sort of posh Chelsea Hotel steeping with rock history involving the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and fish. Hotel Max (Map 2) doubles as an art gallery. The Arctic Club (Map 3) was a private retreat for those who struck it rich in Alaska’s Gold Rush. In 2008, Doubletree bought it but it retains the vintage hotel vibe. Hotel 1000 (Map 3) is perhaps so called because rooms go for around a grand (but at least they throw in free champagne at check-in). Kimpton Hotels are quirky and fun, great for treating yourself without feeling like a sell-out. In descending rate order: Hotel Monaco (Map 3), The Alexis Hotel (Map 3) and Hotel Vintage Park (Map 3). The Inn at the Market (Map 3) is an extremely popular boutique hotel located right in tourist central. And if you’re staying in Kirkland but want to feel like you’re somewhere better, try The Heathman (Map 48).

Indulgent, but Not Ostentatious

Downtown Seattle is glutted with boutique hotels who make their names on style and service. The Inn at El Gaucho (Map 1) evokes a retro, boys’ club glamour. Take a voyage of discovery to the Mayflower Park Hotel (Map 3), a vintage boutique with a cool bar to match. If you like a more hands-on accommodation, Pensione Nichols (Map 3) provides the tenuous experience that’s synonymous with B &Bs.

Avoid the Indignities of Motel 6

A fine choice north of Lake Union is the Watertown Hotel (Map 26) in the U District. In addition to providing a nice clean place at a reasonable price, they sweeten the deal with free lobby cupcakes. If a glamorous hotel experience just isn’t in the cards, your first choice should be Belltown’s Ace Hotel (Map 1). Though the cheapest rates require a shared bathroom, that bathroom is the height of modern design. The Moore Hotel (Map 3) offers immaculate, no-frills accommodation in a great location for downtown entertainment. The University Inn (Map 26) provides a budget experience that is perfectly adequate. The B &B experience at 9 Cranes Inn (Map 30) is rather reasonable and they don’t slack in either B department. The College Inn (Map 26) flirts with hostel territory, but if you don’t mind sharing a bathroom, you can have your very own bed and wash basin for far less than what you’d pay at some conventional hotels. The Georgetown Inn (Map 39) is a decent option within walking distance one of Seattle’s hippest strips. Both the Gaslight Inn (Map 4) and 11th Avenue Inn (Map 17) offer an economical and exceedingly pleasant way to experience Capitol Hill. Lest we leave out our backpacking friends, the best bunks are at the friendly and inauspicious Green Tortoise Hostel (Map 3).



General Information ✵ Landmarks

Seattle is a city of few monuments and has little in the way of epic architecture (the Central Library (Map 3) notwithstanding). When other American cities were stockpiling marble and granite, Seattle was still a muddy outpost with wooden sidewalks. Today, post-boom, there remains an unfinished feeling to the landscape. Our most iconic landmark, The Space Needle (Map 15), is largely ignored and sometimes reviled by Seattleites. Same goes for that useless hunk-o-metal better known as the Monorail (Map 15). On the other hand, Seattle possesses no shortage of humorous, weird, usually misguided displays of civic pride and identity.

Historic Seattle

An obvious place to start is the 100-plus-year-old Pike Place Market (Map 3). Beset though it is by tourists determined to see airborne fish, the market still has a lot to offer local residents. Smith Tower (Map 7) was the tallest building west of the Mississippi for nearly 50 years. Both the Paramount Theatre (Map 3) and 5th Avenue Theatre (Map 3) take visitors back to vaudeville days. The Seattle Asian Art Museum (Map 17) is a 1933 Art Deco wonder in the middle of Volunteer Park. To go back even further, the Birthplace of Seattle Monument (Map 35), an obelisk on Alki Point, marks the arrival of the first white folk in 1851.

Open Spaces

Though there have been a few missteps in the parks department—consider the scary, concrete wonderland of Freeway Park (Map 3)—the out-of-doors is what Seattle does best. From the untouched to the intricately landscaped, you are never far away from a patch of green in the Emerald City. For complete respite from the urban din, Discovery Park (Map 11) is the largest, and perhaps wildest, park within city limits. If it’s botany you’re after, Washington Arboretum (Map 22) on Union Bay contains an herbarium, horticulture center, the Japanese Garden (Map 19), and it’s accessible by kayak. The gardens at Woodland Park (Map 30) and the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Map 28) (a.k.a. the Ballard Locks) are gorgeous in season. Both Gas Works Park (Map 24) and Kerry Park (Map 14) afford postcard-worthy views of the skyline. Finally, Volunteer Park (Map 18) on the Hill is Seattle’s ultimate urban oasis.

Public Art

Despite Seattle’s reputation for lefty-leaning political attitudes, the existence of a mammoth statue of Vladimir Lenin (Map 24) in the heart of the Fremont neighborhood strikes most spectators as puzzling. Built in Slovakia and transported to the Emerald City after the fall of communism, this handsome piece now stands among Mexican restaurants, fashionable clothing boutiques, and other bastions of capitalism. Other public sculptures make for easier contextualization, such as Pioneer Square’s life-size bronze Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial (Map 7), Fremont’s six cast-aluminum Waiting for the Interurban (Map 24), and the Jimi Hendrix Statue (Map 4) on Capitol Hill. The alluring Bettie Page Mural (Map 31) makes commuting interesting for those stuck on I-5, while the Martin Luther King Jr. Mural (Map 5) inspires contemplation and reflection each time you stroll by.

Lowbrow Landmarks

With esoterica such as the mammoth, hippy-hating Fremont Troll (Map 24), Seattle’s oddball landmarks expose the real character of the city. Not even Wikipedia can explain the existence of Post Alley’s Gum Wall (Map 3) or the Wall of Death (Map 26), a sculpture that pays homage to, of all things, a motorcycle stunt. The pink pachyderms of the Elephant Carwash (Map 2) offer a comment on the historic value of neon. The Spooky Coke Machine (Map 17) is a thirst-quenching mystery. Georgetown’s Hat ‘n’ Boots (Map 39) is pure Americana—a roadside wonder built for a gas station now ensconced in a local park. As funky bars go, none is so well-steeped in grime and history as the Blue Moon Tavern (Map 25), a former haunt of beat poets and other counterculture figures.

General Information ✵ LGBT

Shortly after Stonewall’s major breakthrough in 1969, Seattle’s queer culture began to rally for its rights. Students of the University of Washington united to claim their existence and formed organizations. Political activists set up shop in Pioneer Square to protest discrimination. In 1973, the Seattle City Council passed the Fair Employment Practice Ordinance which protected gays and lesbians in the workforce. Eventually, 1977 gave birth to Gay Pride Week which paraded the streets of downtown and traveled up Capitol Hill’s slope, where LGBT culture currently reigns. Throughout years of struggles and victories, the women and men of sexual diversities built a strong community for one another. And to this day their efforts thrive in every proud, queer Seattleite.

Seattle’s rainy streets are willing and able to compassionately support you in many ways. Local newspapers and guides post listings of entertainment, organized groups, health centers, and gay-friendly synagogues. Community publications are distributed to coffee bars, restaurants, clubs, bookstores, and well, just about anywhere dry. Flip through pages and pages of gay adventures for any night or day (both if you get lucky). You can find dykes to dance with and cowboys to ride. Whatever floats your boat, plenty of information can easily be found.

For the most part you can feel safe to publicly express gay affection. Not too many straight citizens express hatred when men grasp hands and women passionately embrace. Also, if your gaydar is finely tuned (or you’re just obvious), then it’s almost certain to acknowledge family anywhere in the city. Even though the rainy city is a bit introverted, Seattle queers are not too shy to engage in friendly chats. Yes indeed, it’s a quaint little home for any ol’ chap or dyke. In fact, many queer southerners venture north to saddle up here.


Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA): Publishes annual guide & directory Directory of businesses and community organizations that are owned or operated by and/or are allies of the LGBT community ( or @GSBA)

Seattle Gay News: Local comprehensive LBGT-focused publication (206-324-4297, or @SeattleGayNews)

Arts and Culture

Rainbow City Performing Arts: 866-841-9139;

Seattle Men’s Chorus/Seattle Women’s Chorus: 319 12th Ave; 206-323-0750; or @SMC_Chorus or @SWC_Chorus

Sports and Recreation

Different Spokes Bicycling Club:

Emerald City Softball Association: or @SeattleSoftball

Orca Swim Team:

Seattle Frontrunners:

Seattle Tennis Alliance:

Team Seattle Gay Sports Network:

Social Groups/Organizations

BiNet Seattle:

Border Riders Motorcycle Club:

Gay Fathers’ Association of Seattle:

Mature Friends:

Northwest Bears:

Puddletown Squares:

Seattle Men in Leather:

Seattle Prime Timers:

Trikone-Northwest: South Asian Queer Community:

Political Groups/Activism

Equal Rights Washington: 206-324-2570;

Greater Seattle Business Association (GBSA): 206-363-9188, or @GSBA

Pride Foundation: 206-323-3318;

Seattle Out and Proud (Seattle Pride): 206-322-9561; or @SeattleOutProud

Religious/Spiritual Services

All Pilgrims Christian Church: 500 Broadway E; 206-322-0487;

Broadview Community United Church of Christ: 325 N 125th St; 206-363-8060;

Central Lutheran Church: 1710 11th Ave; 206-322-7500;

Dharma Buddies/Seattle Gay Buddhist Fellowship:

Dignity/Seattle: 206-659-5519;

Welcome Table (Disciples of Christ): 206-725-5067;

Emerald City Metropolitan Community Church: 206-325-2421;

Plymouth Congregational Church: 1217 6th Ave; 206-622-4865; or @PlymouthSeattle

Temple De Hirsch Sinai: 1511 E Pike St; 206-323-8486;

University Congregational United Church of Christ: 4515 16th Ave NE; 206-524-2322;

University Unitarian Church: 6556 35th Ave NE; 206-525-8400; or @UUC_Seattle

Wallingford United Methodist Church: 2115 N 42nd St; 206-547-6945;

Health Centers and Support Organizations

Northwest Network: Voice support & advocacy for bisexual, trans, lesbian & gay survivors of abuse & dating violence (206-568-7777 or

Seattle Area Support Groups and Community Center (SASG):

Gay City: Organizes events and activities for LGBTQ community & offers anonymous and confidential HIV/STD testing (206-860-6969 or

Ingersoll Gender Center: Service agency for the Transsexual, Transvestite, & Transgender community offering support groups, referrals to therapists, publications, and trainings (206-329-6651 or

Lifelong AIDS Alliance: Empowering people living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS and/or other chronic conditions to lead healthier lives (206-957-1600 or

PFLAG: Seattle Parents/Families/Friends of Lesbians and Gays (206-325-7724 or

Project Neon: Information group about crystal meth and the gay community (

Seattle Counseling Service: Mental Health counseling for the LGBT community (206-323-1768 or

Youth & Families

Camp Ten Trees: Youth camp for LGBTQ communities and their allies (206-288-9568 or

Diverse Harmony: Queer-straight alliance youth chorus (206-389-5858 or

General Information ✵ Libraries

If you still associate the library with rubber date stamps and dusty card catalogs, you haven’t made use of the Seattle Public Library lately. In keeping with our digital culture, the two-million-item catalog and hold system are easily accessed online ( From the safety of your home computer you can have books, CDs, and DVDs delivered to your local branch. (Think of it as Netflix for really patient people.) The website also gives library card holders access to a collection of databases including periodical searches, phone and postal directories, and otherwise pricey reference sources such as the Oxford English Dictionary. Patrons can download digital media online and subscribe to library-related podcasts. Many of the 26 branches offer free Wi-Fi, and internet access is available on library PCs with a limit of 90 minutes per patron per day. Audio books and large print editions can be found in most branches, but for a wider selection visit the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (Map 2).


General Information ✵ Media






11 KSTW (CW)


16 KONG (Independent/NBC)


22 KZJO (MyNetworkTV)


33 KWPX (Ion)

51 KUNS (Univision)

AM Stations

570 KVI


630 KCIS


710 KIRO

Sports (ESPN Radio)

770 KTTH


820 KGNW


850 KHHO


880 KIXI


950 KJR


1000 KOMO


1050 KBLE

Catholic (EWTN)

1090 KFNQ

Sports (CBS Sports Radio)

1150 KKNW

Alternative Talk

1210 KMIA S

panish Language

1250 KKDZ

Radio Disney

1300 KKOL


1360 KKMO

Spanish Language

1380 KRKO


1420 KRIZ

Urban Adult Contemporary

1460 KKAR


1490 KBRO

Spanish Language Sports (ESPN Deportes)

1520 KKXA


1540 KXPA


1590 KLFE


1620 KYIZ


1680 KNTA

Spanish Language Christian

FM Stations

88.5 KPLU

Public Radio/Jazz

89.5 KNHC S

eattle Public Schools Student-Run Station

89.9 KGRG

Green River Community College

90.3 KEXP

Eclectic Hipster

91.3 KBCS

Bellevue Community College

92.5 KQMV

Top 40

93.3 KUBE

R &B/Hip-Hop

94.1 KMPS C


94.9 KUOW

UW Public Radio

95.7 KJR

Classic Hits

96.5 KJAQ

Adult Contemporary

97.3 KIRO


98.1 KING


98.9 KLCK

Adult Contemporary

99.9 KISW


100.7 KKWF


101.5 KPLZ

Adult Contemporary

102.5 KZOK

Classic Rock

103.7 KHTP

Adult Contemporary

104.5 KLSW


105.3 KCMS


106.1 KBKS

Top 40

106.9 KRWM

Adult Contemporary

107.7 KNDD


Print Media

Ballard News-Tribune (206-708-1378, Ballard news.

Capitol Hill Times (206-461-1310, Capitol Hill and First Hill coverage.

City Arts (206-443-0445, Monthly art news.

City Living Seattle (206-461-1300, All the news from North Seattle.

Kirkland Reporter (425-822-9166, Kirkland news since 1978 (formerly the Kirkland Courier).

Madison Park Times (206-461-1300, News from Madison Park, Madison Valley, Madrona, and Leschi.

Queen Anne & Magnolia News (206-461-1291, Queen Anne & Magnolia local news.

Pike Place Market News (206-587-0351, Monthly news and gossip from the market.

Real Change (206-441-3247, Raising awareness about local homeless issues.

Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce (206-622-8272, Daily business news.

Seattle Gay News (206-324-4297, Free LGBT weekly.

Seattle Magazine (206-284-1750, Monthly lifestyle magazine.

Seattle Metropolitan (206-957-2234, Seattle lifestyle.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer (206-448-8030, Voice of the Northwest since 1863, online only since 2009.

Seattle Times (206-624-7323, Seattle’s main daily paper.

Seattle Weekly (206-623-0500, Free alternative weekly since 1976.

The Stranger (206-323-7101, Seattle’s best rag with entertaining political and arts news.

West Seattle Herald (206-708-1378, News from West Seattle and White Center.

General Information ✵ Police


General Information ✵ Zip Codes


General Information ✵ Post Offices


General Information ✵ Practical Information

Useful Contacts

Emergencies: 911

Police Department: 206-625-5011, or @SeattlePD

Fire Department: 206-386-1400, or @SeattleFire

King County Elections: 206-296-8683 or

King County Medic One: 206-296-8550

Seattle Mayor’s Office: 206-684-4000, or @OfficeofMayor

Animal Control: 206-386-7387 (206-386-PETS)

Websites or @HistoryLink: Online home of Washington state history and more. or @seattlepi: The great experiment that seeks to determine whether a print paper can transition to an online-only format. or @CurbedSeattle: Seattle nabe and real estate blog. or @EaterSeattle: In-depth Seattle food and drink. Official website of the City of Seattle; good resource for residents and visitors. Find a job, join a band, buy an armoire, or fall in love. The Slog is Seattle’s sharpest alternative newsweekly’s sharpest, most comprehensive blog. or @SeaTransitBlog: The deep dive into transit and land-use issues; for fans only. Search for happy hours in Seattle and drink all week. or @seattlefoodtrk: Hungry? Find any of our 100+ food trucks by neighborhood, day or cuisine. or @TheSeattleStar: Seattle culture and politics. or @3imaginarygirls: Seattle’s sparkly indie-pop press; local music news, reviews and commentary.

Essential Seattle Movies

Tugboat Annie (1933)

It Happened At The World’s Fair (1967)

Five Easy Pieces (1970)

Cinderella Liberty (1973)

McQ (1974)

WarGames (1983)

Streetwise (1984)

Trouble in Mind (1985)

Say Anything (1989)

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (1992)

Singles (1992)

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Hype! (1996)

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

The Ring (2002)

Police Beat (2005)

Battle in Seattle (2007)

Zoo (2007)

Humpday (2009)

Grassroots (2012)

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

We’re Number One!!!

When Northgate Mall opened in 1950 it became the first enclosed mall in the country.

The Washington State Ferry system is the largest in the USA.

The term “skid row” originated in Seattle, derived from the “skid road” that 19th-century loggers used to transport lumber through Pioneer Square—the area hit financial ruin during the Depression and the phrase became shorthand for any destitute neighborhood.

Bertha Landes became the first female mayor of a large American city when she won the Seattle mayoral race in 1926.

The first publicized photograph of a flying saucer was taken by a Lake City man in 1947.

The Wave, that crowd-sourced wacky-armed bit of “Woo!” during lulls in sporting events, was popularized by a UW cheerleader during a Husky football game in 1981.

Essential Seattle Songs

”Seattle the Peerless City”—Official Song since 1909

”Seattle Ain’t Bullshitting”—Sir Mix-A-Lot

”Posse on Broadway”—Sir Mix-A-Lot

”Seattle”—Public Image, Ltd.

”Seattle”—The Wailers

”Seattle”—Cop Shoot Cop

”Seattle” (from the Screen Gems TV Program Here Come the Brides)—Bobby Goldsboro, Perry Como, Connie Smith and others

”Seattle, WA”—Western Keys

”Seattle Hunch”—Jelly Roll Morton

”Seattle Was a Riot”—Anti-Flag

”Seattle Town”—Flatt & Scruggs

”Seattle Sonics Do It”—Luther Rabb

”Chief Seattle”—Gene Parsons

”Seattle Twist”—Rod McKuen

”Flight to Seattle”—DJ Magic Mike

”Seattle Shuffle”—Damo Suzuki’s Network

”Seattle to Chicago”—Woody Guthrie

”The Day Seattle Died”—Cold

”Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle”—Nirvana

”The Last One To Leave Seattle”—Waylon Jennings

”Sub Pop Rock City”—Soundgarden

”Viva! Sea-Tac”—Robyn Hitchcock

”Stranger”—The Presidents of the United States of America

”Nuke Seattle”—Quincy Punx

Essential Seattle Books

Sons of the Profit by William Speidel; entertaining and honest look at Seattle’s early history.

Buddy Does Seattle by Peter Bagge; classic slacker comics.

Eccentric Seattle: Pillars and Pariahs Who Made the City Not Such a Boring Place After All by J. Kingston Pierce; the mavericks and misfits who shaped our city.

Never Mind Nirvana: A Novel by Mark Lindquist; former grunge rocker turns lawyer and experiences angst.

Loser: The Real Seattle Music Story by Clark Humphrey; indispensable guide to the city’s rich rock and roll heritage.

The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant by Dan Savage; openly gay Stranger editor/sex advice columnist adopts a young boy, then writes about it.

J.P. Patches, Northwest Icon by Julius Pierpont Patches and Bryan Johnston; the story behind this beloved local kid’s TV star.

Skid Road: An Informal Portrait of Seattle by Murray Morgan; history of Seattle’s rough-and-tumble frontier days.

Waxwings: A Novel by Jonathon Raban; British-born UW prof finds his life falling apart in Seattle.

Madison House by Peter Donahue; novel about Seattle at the dawn of the 20th century.

Selling Seattle by James Lyons; academic exploration of Seattle’s impact on American culture.

I Sing the Body Electronic: A Year With Microsoft on the Multimedia Frontier by Fred Moody; a freelance writer goes inside the machine and lives to tell the tale.

The World of Chief Seattle: How Can One Sell the Air? by Warren Jefferson; all about the Suquamish tribe and the treaties that changed everything.

Rat City by Curt Colbert; mystery novel set in post-WWII Seattle.

Screaming Life by Charles Peterson; this is what Seattle rock looks like.

21 Dog Years: Doing Time @ by Mike Daisy; hilarious account of Amazon culture during the boom years.

Seattle Timeline

1805: Lewis and Clark explore the Pacific Northwest, including the future state of Washington.

1851: Midwestern settlers led by David and Arthur Denny arrive and begin populating the area that will one day become Seattle.

1869: City of Seattle is incorporated.

1872: Earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale shakes Seattle.

1878: Seattle’s first telephone service established.

1889: Great Seattle Fire destroys downtown.

1890: Bon Marche opens in Seattle as a dry goods store.

1891: Seattle University established.

1893: Transcontinental train line reaches Seattle.

1917: Boeing Airplane Company incorporated, and the Seattle Metropolitans hockey team wins Stanley Cup.

1919: Seattle General Strike begins; the first city-wide strike in the nation.

1928: Inventor/entrepreneur Don Ibsen spends the summer on Lake Washington trying to perfect water skis.

1933: Seattle Art Museum established.

1934: The Muzak corporation established.

1936: University of Washington rowing crew wins Olympic gold.

1938: World’s first pressurized airliner, the Boeing Model 307 Stratoliner is launched.

1940: World’s first floating bridge opens on Lake Washington.

1942: Jimi Hendrix born in Seattle.

1949: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport established. Also an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale shakes Seattle.

1954: Dick’s Drive-In serves its first hamburger.

1959: First documented sample of HIV-infected blood collected by University of Washington geneticist Dr. Arno Motulsky while working in the Congo.

1962: Seattle hosts the World’s Fair. Science Center, Space Needle, and Monorail are erected for the celebration. Elvis Presley shoots It Happened at the World’s Fair on location.

1965: Earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale shakes Seattle.

1970: Abortion legalized by state voters.

1979: Seattle SuperSonics win NBA Championship.

1980: Mount St. Helens erupts.

1983: Thirteen dead in the Wah Mee massacre in the International District.

1986: Microsoft goes public.

1991: Nirvana releases Nevermind, cementing Seattle’s growing reputation as Rock City USA.

1995: Mariners almost make it to the World Series. founded.

1994: Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain commits suicide, and major record companies start looking for “the next Seattle.”

1998: The US Government sues Microsoft for antitrust violations.

1999: The World Trade Organization holds conferences in Seattle, leading to clashes between protesters and policemen downtown.

2000: Kingdome imploded.

2001: Boeing moves corporate offices to Chicago. Earthquake hits measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale.

2003: Green River Killer pleads guilty to 48 murders.

2004: New Seattle Central Library opens to global fanfare. Storm win WNBA championship. Ichiro sets record for most hits in a season (262).

2005: Citywide monorail plan falls apart (again), and Seattleites resigned to riding the bus for the next 2,000 years.

2007: The ultimate urban bible is published (NFT Seattle).

2008: Ballard’s historic Sunset Bowl closes, hipster hearts irreparable.

2009: Light rail link to airport opens. No joke!

2009: Seattle Sounders FC begins play and immediately blows away MLS attendance records.

2010: Lusty Lady closes, changing downtown forever.

2013: Sounders get US Men’s Soccer captain Clint Dempsey from Tottenham for MLS record $9 million transfer fee.

2013: Washington becomes the first (or second, if you ask Colorado) state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

2014: Seahawks crush Peyton Manning and the Broncos on the way to franchise’s first Super Bowl.

2015: Seahawks miss out on second straight Super Bowl victory in waning moments of title game thanks to worst offensive play call of all time.