We have visitors coming to Seattle from all over the world for Haiku North America. The first weekend in August is a BIG WEEKEND in Seattle! It's called SeaFair Weekend!Back before Seattle had any sports teams, a symphony or any big cultural pull- we had SeaFair. Here is a link to the website. We have celebrated SeaFair now for 60 years. Seattle has long proclaimed itself the boating capital of the world. A popular tale is that Seattle has about 600,000 people living in it, and has 60,000 registered pleasure boats- that is a 1:10 ratio!Stanley Sayers set the world speed record for a straightaway on Lake Washington, Seattle in 1950
. His hydroplane went to Detroit, Michigan for the Gold Cup that year, easily beating the competition, and sealing the Seattle public's love with unlimited hydroplane racing. A big part of the SeaFair festivities include the hydroplane races, which take place on Lake Washington.SeaFair is several months long of festivities: a parade, a Queen, marathon, milk carton derby, and dozens of community parades and festivals all around Seattle. A big draw for some is the airshow performed by the United States Navy's Blue Angels. The airshow is somewhat unique in that it is performed above Lake Washington, and many people pack onto boats to watch the show and bask in the sun and fun of the lake! The planes will also zoom across the city during their shows, so we hope to be able to see them from atop the Space Needle during our banquet on Saturday!For the "Legend of Seafair" please click on this link.Seattle is really a ton of fun on SeaFair weekend- you are going to love it here!
As your blogging concierge, I thought I'd also point out some places you might be interested in checking out or dining at while in Seattle. Our two hotels are the MarQueen (located at 600 Queen Anne Ave N) and the Inn at Queen Anne (located at 505 First Ave N). Both are located close to our conference location at Seattle Center. Use the map above to follow along if you'd like. The "A" denotes the MarQueen.
The Melting Pot- fondue has always been hip! Check it out for dinner: 14 Mercer Street
I have also heard great things about Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge. Check out their website to view the menu, they have great happy hour prices! 601 Queen Anne Avenue North
A personal favorite, and open 9a.m. to 2 a.m. wonderful Mexican American food with a Northwest flair: Peso's Kitchen and Lounge located at 605 Queen Anne Avenue North
More coastal style Mexican food can be found at Blue Water Taco Grill 515 Queen Anne Avenue North
Racha Noodles and Thai Cuisine is a winner too! 23 Mercer Street
Shiki Japanese Restaurant 4 W Roy St, will get your your Sushi fix. You can find reviews on Urbanspoon and Yelp.
A Seattle institution: Dick's Drive In (not vegetarian friendly) 500 Queen Anne Avenue North
Mecca Cafe is your classic American diner food (and some may call a dive bar)... 526 Queen Anne Avenue North... reviews are on Yelp and Urbanspoon.
Get some BBQ at Floyd's Place located at 521 1st Avenue North- again reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon.
Finally, you can also check out the chic Metropolitan Market (or Safeway Grocery Store) and get some yummy noms to take to a park (might I suggest Kerry Park, about a half mile from the hotels?). Met Market is at 100 Mercer Street
There are lots of places to eat around there, but this is a list to get you started!
I have just spent five days on a "staycation" here in the Northwest. I am from Seattle, and rather than explore more of "there" I realized I had a long list of things to do "here" that were going to be interesting.
Perhaps you're thinking of staying in the Northwest a little longer when you come for the HNA conference in Seattle? Let me inspire you with some of my sojourns the past few days.
One day, my husband and I woke early to catch the 7:00 Sounder Train to Tacoma, WA. Tacoma is about 35 miles South of Seattle. It's a pretty easy drive on the I-5 freeway, provided you don't get stuck in some rush hour traffic! There is also very easy bus service. But we wanted to take the train, and it was a great time. Cost was just about $4.50 per person, each way.
Now, locals might wonder what might bring me to go to Tacoma, but the answer is, what isn't there to do?! Click here for information on travel and tourism in Tacoma/Pierce County. We got off the Sounder Train, and hopped the FREE Link Light Rail. After a short walk, we enjoyed a fabulous breakfast at Hotel Murano complete with view of Mt. Rainier!
We then walked down to the Thea Foss Waterway Seaport and explored the museum and walked along the docks. Tacoma has a load of great museums. We also went to Tacoma Art Museum and the Washington State History Museum. I have already been to the Museum of Glass, which features renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly's collection and glass blowing hot shop. We had a great time in Tacoma. I would also suggest visiting Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium or visiting Mt. Rainier National Park. For those of you who want to visit Mt. Rainier only, there are bus tours leaving from Seattle you can arrange.
Another day of our staycation, we rode the ferry to Vashon Island. This ferry doesn't leave from downtown Seattle. You have to drive to the terminal, or take a city METRO bus to the terminal, which is easy. There is also bus service on the Island.
This is a very artistic community, so if you're looking for something truly northwest, this is the heart of Puget Sound. With 45 miles of shoreline, Vashon Maury Island boasts the majority of waterfront property in King County. The Island is approximately 13 miles long and 8 miles at the widest point with a year-round population of about 11,000. Whether you are looking for a quiet, romantic place to relax or activities for you and the entire family, Vashon has it all!
We stayed at one of the many guest houses on the Island. There are dozens of Bed and Breakfast places, NO hotels, and one campground. Driving around the Island was fun, we made friends wherever we went. There are hiking and walking trails everywhere, a lighthouse, wineries, art studios, coffee roaster, great restaurants and a charming town.
I know many of you will be coming just for our Haiku North America, but if you have extra time to stay in the Northwest, I am happy to answer your questions and offer suggestions on things to do and see! I'll consider myself Haiku North America's concierge! Best, Katharine
The plans for HNA Seattle are really shaping up, and of course we have a jam packed schedule. Please consider staying through Sunday, August 7 if you can.
Sunday we will be taking a cruise out to beautiful Blake Island State Park, WA, home to Tillicum Village (more on that later). This event will take place from about 08:30 to 3:30 (15:30). After that, folks will have free time. Some of you will be heading to hotels to pack up, while others might stay for some more sightseeing!
That's where The Alliance for Pioneer Square come in. They were nice enough to respond to one of my Tweets to them asking for walking tour maps of Pioneer Square. I just got a thick stack of them in the mail. For those of you sticking around on Sunday, consider a walk in this National Historic Park.
That's right! The National Park Service has dedicated a chunk of the city of Seattle as an historic park! There is a visitor center and everything! Last weekend I went to check it out: Klondike Gold Rush Park. The museum was very nice, with a great video discussing the historic roots of Seattle and its connection with the gold rushes to the Klondike (parts of Alaska and Canada) in the late 1800's. Seattle would not be where it is today without the gold rush (this is where merchants like Nordstrom got its start).To get to Pioneer Square from our cruise drop off, you can take a free bus or walk. It's about a 5-10 minute walk on flat sidewalk terrain. Pioneer Square is near the Link Light Rail and bus stations too. I'll get you a walking map of the place, but here's a taste of what to see:
I would also recommend King Street Station, International District and Pike Place Market.
- Pioneer Place and Pergola
- Smith Tower
- Yesler Way
- Occidental Square & Pedestrian Walk
- Fallen Firefighters' Memorial
- Waterfall Garden Park (perfect spot for haiku or other writings)
- Historic Museums: Klondike Gold Rush National Park, Last Resort Fire Department Museum, Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum
There are dozens of art galleries in Pioneer Square too. Many places to eat or just grab a cup of coffee will keep you sustained. Enjoy some shopping or antiquing, but be sure it all fits in your bags home!
Finally, if you're wondering what other attractions to see in Pioneer Square, I personally recommend the observation deck of the Smith Tower. It's $7.50 to go up and open until sunset (around 9:00 / 21:00 this time of year in Seattle). Also, take the walking tour of Seattle's UNDERGROUND. Did you know Seattle was built on a tide flat? We have blocks of the original city under the current streets, and you can go lurk with a great tour guide to show you the way on Bill Speidel's Underground Tour.
So again, I encourage you to stay through Sunday if you can! You'll be glad you did.
Courtesy of Hidenori Hiruta and his blog at http://akitahaiku.wordpress.com/, here is the 2011 Seattle HNA announcement in Japanese. We welcome attendees from everywhere—anyone with an interest in haiku poetry. 俳句北アメリカ ２０１１年―シアトル、ワシントン
会議自体はスペースニードルの足下にあるシアトルセンターで開催され、近くは吟行や散策に適する場所に恵まれています。たとえば、モノレール経由で のパイプ・プレイス・マーケット、オリンピック・スカルプチャー・パーク、エクスペリエンス・ミュージック・プロジェクト・ロックンロール・ミュージア ム、そして、サイエンス・フィクション・ミュージアム、また他の魅力あるイベントも行われます。
Click Here for current information on accommodations.Below are links to albums of photos showing the interiors and exteriors of the two main hotels that have been reserved for the Haiku North America conference, coming up August 3-7, 2011. We will provide booking details (and the discount code) on the Haiku North America website. We hope conference attendees will be very comfortable at either of these two hotels. Suites at the MarQueen include a sitting room and full kitchen, and are $145 per night (includes breakfast), and the Inn at Queen Anne is about $85 per night (also includes a kitchenette, but not breakfast). Please visit the following links to see pictures of each hotel, and watch for more news soon about making your bookings at either hotel. Let us know if you have any questions!
MarQueen Hotel (a little more expensive, but nicer, about a block or so from our meeting facility)The Inn at Queen Anne (cheaper, no elevator, but still comfortable, across the street from our meeting facility)
We look forward to seeing you at Haiku North America in Seattle!