Design in Seattle

I am going to be in Seattle, Seaside and Portland for the first week in August and wanted some ideas from designers as to “what NOT to miss.”

Any suggestions on sites to see, food to eat, designs to check out are welcomed! :slight_smile:

Also, do any design firms out west welcome other designers to tour facilities and network? If anyone wants to grab a brew let me know!



Check out the Library. Its beautiful. is well curated
Walk down to Melrose Market down Pine Street. Get oysters at Taylor’s and checkout the little stores there. Then head over to Starbucks reserve one block away for one of their new flagship stores. Sit at the side counter and get a coffee made with a Clover.

When your at Pikes Place eat here.

Gasworks is a great photo Op. Gas Works Park - Wikipedia

Icecream tour is a fun way to get on the lake.

Those are all great ideas. Thanks a lot Emmanuel!

Good suggestions above! What sort of activities are you into? There’s lots to do outdoors around the area, if you’re visiting in the good season :slight_smile:

The new Starbucks flagship store is worth the visit, if not just for the clover :slight_smile: There’s also a pizza joint (by Tom Douglas, I think?) in there. But since you’ll be on Capitol Hill, there’s plenty of other good eats. Mamnoon and Trove are two that are less than a block away. For burgers, try lil’ woodies.

I would spend some time to check out a few of the museums. For “DONT MISS” I’d sugggest Seattle Art Museum, and possibly the Frye. Then there’s the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer park (next to a really neat glasshouse, if you’re into plants) with a ton of inspiring works from a huge range of time. Don’t miss their collection of snuff vessels, if you do go. The carving is amazing. For architecture, the Central Library by Koolhaus mentioned above is amazing. GO INSIDE! I learn something new about the space every time I visit. Also on the list of places I’d force friends to see is the Bullet Center, really neat if you’re into green buildings. It’s LEED platinum and also one of the first “Living Building” participants.

Lots of great beer in the area. That could be a whole other post, but if I had to stay in Seattle / Ballard, I would suggest staying away from Downtown. If you’re into cocktails, I’d say make reservations a coupe days in advance for needle and thread. You won’t be disappointed. If you’re up for trying lots of different beers in one place, check out Chucks Hop Shop. Or go up to Ballard to explore Fremont Brewery, Urban Family, or Peddlers. I’d join gladly join in a for a drink! It’s rare to meet ID folks. I mostly run into UI/UX and software development types.
Speaking of which, there are a few firms that seem pretty friendly. I’d say scour your LinkedIn for any way to visit Carbon (and ask for a demo of the new Occulus Rift) or General Assembly.

For nature, I’d recommend making use of some of the great parks in the area. Seward park is one of my favorites, it’s a peninsula on Lake Washington that contains the largest strand of old-growth forest left in the city. Discovery park is huge and has lots of different topography to explore. Golden Gardens is pretty accessible as well. If you want to get a little farther out, get a ride to North Bend and check out Mt Si for a nice day hike.

I find myself hosting friends pretty often, and I can’t say I’ve ever had a dull or boring day. I love Seattle, and I hope you enjoy your visit!

And seriously, lets grab a drink.


I’m traveling with my girlfriend and my parents. We all really like the outdoors, but also want to get a good feel for the city of Seattle and the culture there. So we are planning on going to the Sounders v Whitecaps game on Sunday night, hit up the Spaceneedle, fish market and possibly some Scuba Diving as well. We are traveling to Seaside after a few days to relax at the beach with a possibility of driving into Portland for a day trip. I’m the only designer between the four of us, but I will certainly be dragging them to see some architecture :slight_smile:

I’ve heard that Hoh Rainforest is a must see, but is also a bit out of the way…gonna be hard to pick a choose everything.

Thanks for all of the ideas, I’m down for a brew as well. Keep em comin!


Sounds great. There’s something for everyone in (and just outside of) the city.

The Hoh is amazing, especially to those who appreciate the outdoors. Though I always recommend at least a 2 day trip… There’s just so much to see, it may not be the best use of time for a day trip. If you do go, there’s plenty of amazing hikes, hotsprings, and landmarks (look up Point of Arches, which you can camp right next to, with a short hike in.)

Mt Rainier is another iconic and not-so-far away landmark that provides great views with easy access.

The Spaceneedle is in Seattle Center, which has a lot of other great stuff to offer. Really easy to spend the whole day there checking out the Chihuly garden, EMP museum, and Pacific Science Center. If the weather is nice, you can walk down to the water and check out the Olympic Sculpture Park.

I’ll send you a PM, hopefully we can meet up!

I’m in Seattle - and always game to meet up, might be cool if there were a few of us to give you a lay of the land.
feel free to email\pm and set something up.

Dont miss a craft cocktail.

Canon is a great spot to check out. Especially if you like Whiskey.

Another cool cocktail spot near Canon is Needle and Thread (as mentioned before).
Cool speakeasy, Make reservations and go up the hidden entrance.

Fremont Area:

Revel is an awesome restaurant in Fremont area.

Also check out this awesome BarCade close by.

Also Theo Chocolate is near by too. They do tours of the factory which is a fun experience. Worth Doing.

You’d better check your schedule, Whitecaps play the Sounders on Saturday night. :wink:

Thanks for all of the great input! You are right, sonofscrotum, I don’t know what I was thinking!


Some personal faves:

The Locks
(a.k.a Ballard Locks, a.k.a. Hiram M. Chittenden Locks - National Historic Register, oldest operating locks in the states, moves boat traffic between Puget sound saltwater (lower) to Lake Union/Ship Canal/Lake Washington fresh water level (higher).
Surrounded by a botanical garden. Museum on site. Fish ladder with underwater viewing portholes (see the Sockeye run!). Concerts on the lawn on summer weekend days. All free, and beautiful.

A whole mess 'o microbreweries within a mile of eachother in Ballard (a nieghborhood of Seattle): mostly all excellent (and near the locks, see above):

Sculpture: Sculpture garden on the waterfront (free): Calder, Serra. Volunteer Park in Capitol Hill has a beautiful Noguchi sculpture (“Black Sun”)


Today we left Seattle and are headed to Seaside, Oregon…with hopefully a day trip to Portland/Beaverton to check out the city of Portland and Nike Headquarters!

Seattle was an awesome city and I appreciate all of the recommendations you all gave me. I’m sorry I couldn’t meet up with everyone, maybe next time! We did use a lot of your input in making decisions to see so much in the short amount of time that we had. We checked out the amazing library, the gum wall, the Ferris wheel, the sculpture garden, Mt. Ranier, Crystal Mtn, Piroshky Piroshky, a Ferry to Bainbridge Island, Pike Place Market, and finally Gas Works Park!

We were planning on doing some more exploring today but when we were at Gas Works Park last night someone broke into our rental car and stole 2000$ worth of merchandise including purses, wallets, a go pro, an iPad, backpacks, a gps and our IDs…so unfortunately we have had a lot of damage control to do today instead of sightseeing.


Check out Mississippi St in Portland.


Aww, crap. That’s awful. So sorry you had to experience that, and I guess if we Seattlites were really on top of it, we would have thought to warn you (were there things visible in your car? sometimes not even THAT is what what causes a break-in: wiley thieves seem to have a sense of those folks whose rides have valuables inside, hidden or not). I’ve learned the hard way to never leave stuff in the car.

And I know, fyi (see “hard way” above!) that the thieves in Portland are at least as good - so beware.

And I hope there was some salvaging of a good time.


I appreciate your kind words. At least most of the things taken from us are replaceable. I was more upset about the time we have lost which could have been better spent enjoying such a fabulous city. We were absolutely loving it until last night.

Thanks for the heads up in Portland. I think we are all on edge now!



Just re read that bit, sorry to hear that! That is a bummer!!!

really sorry to hear that - huge bummer.

At least we are safe!

We went to Portland today, checked out Miss Ave, Nike HQ, Ziba Design, the Powell City Bookstore, the Timbers Stadium, the Rose and Japanese Garden and even made a stop to get some Voodoo Donuts!

Thanks for all of the recommendations thrugh out the week. We have a beach day at Seaside tomorrow before heading home!