Seattle is a very unique city with tons of fun places to go and things to do. You will have no problem finding a niche here then never wanting to leave!
Space Needle at the Seattle Center - Credit: D McCully
The city is well known for being environmentally, socially, and politically conscious...and liberal. For example, the power company, Seattle City Light, offers customers the opportunity to Green Up! and elect to receive a designated portion of their energy from renewable sources such as wind power. Other residents choose to reduce their carbon footprint by taking the Metro Bus to work, or joining Seattle's league of bicycle commuters. You'll find many active bike clubs such as the Cascade Bicycle Club and Cyclists of Greater Seattle who lead daily rides as well as overnight bike trips such as STP. There are also tons of bike trails around, in particular the Burke Gilman Trail which runs through the UW campus. You'll find some especially liberal bikers at the Fremont Summer Solstice Parade or the Seattle Pride Parade.
There's a lively music scene throughout town including annual festivals, Bumbershoot and Folklife, both held at the Seattle Center. Ballard holds a biannual Jazz Walk and has many clubs that host local live music. Neumos on Capitol Hill and The Showbox have a full list of shows, and if you're looking for upscale, Seattle has a premier Symphony. If you don't take your music sitting down, you can waltz your way to a traditional dance venue such as the Century Ballroom which offers dancing to live music and lessons. If clubs are more your style, you will have no problem finding one of Seattle's many dance clubs.
Seattlites are very active, if you hadn't picked up on that yet. Ultimate Frisbee may be Seattle's most popular sport, but you will have no trouble finding a spot playing soccer or in one of these various leagues. There are two premier rowing clubs, Lake Union Rowing Club and Lake Washington Rowing Club, or many places to rent kayaks, incuding the UW Waterfront Activities Center. Several of our affiliated departments field intramural teams, so ask around or organize your own team. The UW IMA has beautiful facilities for weight lifting, running, basketball, swimming, raquetball, and more. It even has a 3-story indoor climbing wall.
Mount Rainier from Paradise - Credit: M McCully
If you enjoy eating (and you probably should) and like good deals, you will love the biannual Dine Around Seattle Month which offers dinner at 30 premier restaurants for only $30. Seattle also offers a bunch of weekly farmers markets featuring local farmers. After all the good eats, you can go find a drink at any of Seattle's many great happy hours or Fremont's annual Oktoberfest.
While many people think winter is depressing in Seattle, rain here means snow in the mountains! Snoqualmie is a mere 40 minutes from the city which is ideal for a quick evening ski. On the weekends, people head out to Steven's Pass a little farther north, Crystal Mountain at the base of Mt. Rainier, or all the way up to Canada to Whistler.
A few more tidbits...
- Find out more about the students by visiting the BMSD Facebook Group
- Cheap and fun non-science classes at UW
- Fremont outdoor movies...only in the summer, although it only mists in the winter, it never rains
- The sky really is the limit every August
- Because everyone thinks they're driving as fast as anyone would ever want to go in the left-hand lane, traffic can be a bit dicey
- Getting away from the city to marvel in the breathtaking views WA has to offer on foot should be on your list
- And there's always those boring tourist attractions to take your parents to when they visit.
Golden Gardens at Sunset - Credit: M McCully