Shortly before moving to Seattle, I made a bucket list of “must-do” Emerald City experiences.
With the recent Sounders/Timbers match in the books, I’ve made short work of that list. All in all, it took about two months to complete. Now that I’ve experienced all Seattle has to offer, I can stay inside all winter and watch “Breaking Bad” reruns while writing Jesse/Skyler fanfiction.
Instead, I’ve come up with a new bucket list. (Again, this is not all-encompassing. There are many other things I’d like to do — and will do, I’m sure. But this is the cream of the crop. The best of the best. At least, I’d like to think so.)
10. Get acquainted with Seattle’s beer scene
I was pretty well acquainted with Portland’s craft beer scene before moving north. I’d taken several brewery tours and had attended a handful of fun festivals. But my knowledge of Seattle’s craft beer scene is nearly non-existent. I’d like to get caught up by taking in two Seattle beer experiences.
First, I want to make a pilgrimage to the Taphouse Grill, with 160 beers on tap. One hundred. And sixty. Believe it.
Then — on another trip, to be sure — I’d like to check out Road Dog’s Seattle Brewery Tours. The fun includes transportation to — and tours of — three notable Seattle breweries. How does this not sound like a great way to spend an afternoon?
09. Join an Underdog Sports League
My best friend joined kickball and flag football teams from Underdog Sports Leagues back down in Portland, and they seemed like fun. It would be a good way to stay active and meet new people.
And the leagues sound ridiculously fun. Bowling? Cornhole? Dodgeball? Where do I sign? I don’t even know what bocce ball is, but sure, why not?
I’d actually planned on signing up for this winter’s cornhole league but came down with a cold just in time to knock me out of the first week’s shenanigans. So I’ll make it a point later this winter or next spring.
08. Visit Bainbridge Island
I don’t know much about Bainbridge Island, but everyone tells me to take the ferry out one day. I wouldn’t mind renting a bicycle and riding around the island for a few hours. It sounds like there’s a lot of nature to enjoy, not to mention a few wineries and the recently-opened Bainbridge Island Brewery. This has the makings of a pretty epic day trip.
07. Check out the Ballard Locks
Seemingly every native or resident I know has talked up the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, more commonly known as the Ballard Locks. I wasn’t initially very interested, but the more I’ve read, the more fun it sounds. Seattle really does love its boats, so this seems like a cool way to see that relationship play out. Plus, any excuse to hang out by the water is a welcome one. (It doesn’t hurt that the Ballard Locks are a five-minute drive from Paseo.)
06. Play dodgeball!
There are twice-weekly dodgeball games at Cal Anderson Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. How is this not the most fun thing ever? Do I really have to explain this one?
05. Check out Chihuly Garden and Glass
I’d heard about the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit in passing but came face to face with it when I visited the Space Needle this summer. From the outside looking in, what I could see was stunning. Just stunning.
A cursory glance at the exhibit’s website was enough to draw audible gasps. I can only imagine how jaw-dropping it will be to see the sculptures up close — and lit up against the night sky, in some cases.
04. Spend entirely too much time and money at the Elliott Bay Book Company
I’m a sucker for bookstores. I make it a point to visit one (or two) wherever I go, whether it’s New Orleans or a small coastal community. I even found two within a five-minute walk of work just a few days after moving to Seattle.
But the bookstore most closely associated with Seattle is the Elliott Bay Book Company. I’ve heard people compare it to Powell’s Books in Portland, which strikes me as folly: Powell’s City of Books carries more than a million titles, while Elliott Bay boasts of having 150,000 books on hand.
Powell’s-versus-Elliot Bay hardly seems like a fair comparison, but I think about bookstores the same way I think about girlfriends: Don’t compare one to the other. Appreciate each for who they are. Celebrate what makes each one unique.
ANYWAY, it’s Seattle’s signature bookstore, and I’ve yet to visit. With the wet weather here, opportunities for getting outdoors are few and far between. Spending a few hours on a rainy Saturday at Elliott Bay sounds fun.
03. Eat at a Tom Douglas restaurant
This much I know about Tom Douglas: He has a few restaurants around Seattle, he’s good at what he does, and everyone talks about his food in hushed, reverential tones. Serious Pie and Serious Biscuit sound good, but there are plenty to choose from. Maybe this goal should be to eat at more than one Tom Douglas restaurant. (Full disclosure: I ate a pretzel at the Brave Horse Tavern. But, at the time, I didn’t know it was a Tom Douglas restaurant. That, and c’mon … it was a pretzel.)
02. Try stand-up paddle boarding
I first heard about paddle boarding while reading a profile of Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder a few years ago; apparently, he is a fan of the aquatic activity. That, along with the fact that I live three blocks from the water, led me to research paddle boarding, which led me to stand-up paddle boarding. Buying a board is out of my price range, but it looks like a fun and relaxing way to spend a few hours on the water. This particular item might wait until spring, though; fall is officially here, and Elliott Bay isn’t exactly warm, even in the midst of summer.
01. Ride the Ducks of Seattle
I’ve seen the Duck Tour enough around town, so I probably know the guide’s script better than he does. But it’s kitschy, fun, a little ridiculous, and possibly informative. Oh, and it’s a car that goes in water. How is that not awesome? Why haven’t I done this yet? I’m unironically excited for this tour; have I mentioned it’s a car that goes in water? I can’t get over that. I will no doubt embarrass myself with glee in front of whoever I’m with on the tour. But considering how ridiculous the tours are, I’ll be in good company.