Author Topic: Cheap fun in Seattle?  (Read 924 times)

lifejoy

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Cheap fun in Seattle?
« on: October 07, 2017, 01:12:07 AM »
My parents are the original "millionaires next door". They're awesome! They're FIRE'd! And they're so down to earth that they hardly ever spend money on themselves. But for once, they are going to Seattle, WA for a mini holiday!

Any recommendations from local mustachians? Cheap but delicious eats? Sites to see?

Thanks in advance!

JoJo

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2017, 07:00:47 AM »
Things that are free:
Pikes place
Walk along waterfront
Ballard Locks
Fremont Troll
Parks

Things that I think are worth the admission:
Boat ride (a bit cheaper to take a ferry trip, or you can do Argosy)
Aquarium (see if you can find coupons... I've done this with 2 for 1s in the Entertainment Book)

lifejoy

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2017, 07:13:20 AM »
Things that are free:
Pikes place
Walk along waterfront
Ballard Locks
Fremont Troll
Parks

Things that I think are worth the admission:
Boat ride (a bit cheaper to take a ferry trip, or you can do Argosy)
Aquarium (see if you can find coupons... I've done this with 2 for 1s in the Entertainment Book)

Thank you!

Is the aquarium different from other aquariums? They've been to the aquarium in Vancouver.

newton

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2017, 09:10:41 AM »
Hi there.  I spent a day in Seattle this summer.  We walked around the space needle and the area.  There was a neat market or festival going on around there.  It was fun just to walk and enjoy the atmosphere, look at some of the booths, sample a few things.  Spent several hours in that area.

We walked the downtown, ate at Biscuit Bitch (it was amazing) and later had coffee and doughnuts at Top Pot.  Pretty cool too.  A lot of walking but definitely enjoyable.  Spent a lot of time around Pikes Market and that area (gumball alley, throwing the fish, all the shops, the original Starbucks.  Ate chowder in Post Alley at Pike Place Chowder.

Hope that helps.  I only was there for a day but enjoyed it.  I think I got to see all I needed :)

lifejoy

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2017, 09:11:47 AM »
Biscuit Bitch and Top Pot sound awesome! Thanks for the tips :)

wanderin1

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2017, 09:52:15 AM »
For "original millionaire next door" type parents:

Outdoor fun

Olympic Sculpture Park: unique outdoor sculpture museum and beach just north of downtown. Free public tours.
Volunteer Park: Olmstead-designed oasis in a beautiful upscale part of the city. Bonus: it connects to the cemetery where Bruce Lee is buried!
Kerry Park: on a clear day, THE iconic view of Seattle with the space needle in the foreground and mt. ranier in the background.

Indoor fun ('cause chances are, it'll be raining some of the time!)
Seattle Public library: a Rem Koolhaus designed wonder smack in the middle of downtown
Bill and Melinda Gates foundation visitor's center: what happens when some of the wealthiest people on the planet devote themselves to philanthropy
Theo Chocolate Factory: in beautiful Fremont, and featuring unlimited tasting!

Thinkum

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2017, 09:59:39 AM »
PTF, thanks for starting this LJ! We have to go to Seattle soon and I was going to start researching this.

lifejoy

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2017, 11:13:11 AM »
For "original millionaire next door" type parents:

Outdoor fun

Olympic Sculpture Park: unique outdoor sculpture museum and beach just north of downtown. Free public tours.
Volunteer Park: Olmstead-designed oasis in a beautiful upscale part of the city. Bonus: it connects to the cemetery where Bruce Lee is buried!
Kerry Park: on a clear day, THE iconic view of Seattle with the space needle in the foreground and mt. ranier in the background.

Indoor fun ('cause chances are, it'll be raining some of the time!)
Seattle Public library: a Rem Koolhaus designed wonder smack in the middle of downtown
Bill and Melinda Gates foundation visitor's center: what happens when some of the wealthiest people on the planet devote themselves to philanthropy
Theo Chocolate Factory: in beautiful Fremont, and featuring unlimited tasting!

Wooooah!!! Great suggestions, thank you!

lifejoy

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2017, 11:17:03 AM »
PS - touring the chocolate factory looks amazing but that will have to wait for next time. From the website:

"We will be temporarily closing Factory Tours starting on September 18th in order to complete necessary maintenance as well as proactive upgrades to our tour experience. We can’t wait to welcome you to our new and improved Factory Tour in late October! We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you. Additionally, the Retail Store will be closed on Friday, October 13th, and Monday, October 16th through 18th for construction. We will open at 11:30 AM on Saturday, October 14th, and close at 5 PM on Sunday, October 15th. "

lifejoy

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2017, 11:18:40 AM »
PTF, thanks for starting this LJ! We have to go to Seattle soon and I was going to start researching this.

My pleasure :)

I know there are a lot of Seattle MMMers on here.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2017, 11:30:37 AM »
1. Tours of the Georgetown Steamplant are both free and amazing. Link --> http://www.georgetownsteamplant.org/. The openings are limited, but might line up with your trip.

2. The top of View Ridge (around NE 65th Street @ 50th Ave NE) has incredible views of Lake Washington, Mt Rainier, and both the Cascade and Olympic ranges. Start at the bottom of the hill, and feel like the king of the world when you reach the top.

3. University Village shopping center is fun for people watching, if you're into that sort of thing. Tonnes of shops to pick up a cheap coffee and snack, then watch people brows the high end shops.

4. DON'T RIDE THE DUCK BOATS. Them things ain't safe. I work in the maritime industry, and those amphibs do not have a good safety record.   

Cheap eats that are unique to Seattle:
Beth's Diner
The 5 spot (also a diner)
Blue C Sushi (conveyer belt, and lots of fun. Cheap as long as you choose dishes correctly)
Top Pot (already mentioned, but I wanted to reinforce!)
Din Tai Fung (dumplings. Not overly cheap, but amazingly good)
Hales Ales (one of the first micro-brewerys in Seattle. Economical during happy hour)

lifejoy

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2017, 11:34:57 AM »
1. Tours of the Georgetown Steamplant are both free and amazing. Link --> http://www.georgetownsteamplant.org/. The openings are limited, but might line up with your trip.

2. The top of View Ridge (around NE 65th Street @ 50th Ave NE) has incredible views of Lake Washington, Mt Rainier, and both the Cascade and Olympic ranges. Start at the bottom of the hill, and feel like the king of the world when you reach the top.

3. University Village shopping center is fun for people watching, if you're into that sort of thing. Tonnes of shops to pick up a cheap coffee and snack, then watch people brows the high end shops.

4. DON'T RIDE THE DUCK BOATS. Them things ain't safe. I work in the maritime industry, and those amphibs do not have a good safety record.   

Cheap eats that are unique to Seattle:
Beth's Diner
The 5 spot (also a diner)
Blue C Sushi (conveyer belt, and lots of fun. Cheap as long as you choose dishes correctly)
Top Pot (already mentioned, but I wanted to reinforce!)
Din Tai Fung (dumplings. Not overly cheap, but amazingly good)
Hales Ales (one of the first micro-brewerys in Seattle. Economical during happy hour)

Sweet list! Thank you!

seattlecyclone

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2017, 12:18:01 PM »
Kerry Park and the sculpture garden and the Ballard Locks are great and free. The ferry to Bainbridge Island and back can be fun. It's about $8 round trip. The island has a cute little downtown where you can eat lunch or something and then come back. The Museum of Flight is a bit spendy (about $20?), but you can easily spend a whole day there.
I made a blog! https://seattlecyclone.com/

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wanderin1

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2017, 01:04:29 PM »
Also, to get a feel for old-school Seattle nerd culture, attend an event put on by Town Hall, a unique civic organization that brings a huge variety of speakers and performers to the city--often for as little as $5!

Their beautiful building is currently being upgraded (thanks, river of money flowing thru the city!), so events are at locations in various neighborhoods--an even better opportunity to see Seattle-ites themselves upclose in all their Gore-Tex glory.

trix76

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2017, 03:30:34 PM »
I’ll add Discovery Park to the list. It has lots of mellow hiking trails, and you can walk down to the beach/lighthouse.


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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2017, 03:40:22 PM »
We're big aquarium lovers, so we did both the Seattle and Vancouver aquariums when we visited in September. The one in Vancouver is stellar; in all honesty, I feel like they might be a bit disappointed with Seattle's by comparison. But the waterfront area in general is nice to walk around.

Things that are free:
Pikes place
Walk along waterfront
Ballard Locks
Fremont Troll
Parks

Things that I think are worth the admission:
Boat ride (a bit cheaper to take a ferry trip, or you can do Argosy)
Aquarium (see if you can find coupons... I've done this with 2 for 1s in the Entertainment Book)

Thank you!

Is the aquarium different from other aquariums? They've been to the aquarium in Vancouver.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2017, 04:55:29 PM »
There are lots of nice breweries and wineries in the area too.
I made a blog! https://seattlecyclone.com/

The Roth IRA was named after William Roth, who represented Delaware in the US senate from 1971-2001. "Roth" is a name, not an acronym. There's no need to capitalize the final three letters.

lhamo

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2017, 05:01:55 PM »
If they like coffee and want a free view, there is a Starbucks on the 40th floor of the Columbia Center --there is also an observation deck on the 73rd floor, but you have to pay to access that:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60878-d8489417-r393248941-Columbia_Center-Seattle_Washington.html

If it is a nice/sunny day there is a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier from Rainier Vista on the University of Washington campus, which is now easily accessible via light rail.   You can transfer back downtown or on to other buses for 2 hours after you get your ticket.

The trail along the waterfront from the Olympic Sculpture park is another favorite of mine -- you can also get to Seattle Center/the Space Needle from it pretty easily (though not sure the Space Needle is open -- the restaurant is closed for refurbishing, I think).

Hope they enjoy their visit!
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seattlecyclone

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2017, 05:30:04 PM »
If it is a nice/sunny day there is a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier from Rainier Vista on the University of Washington campus, which is now easily accessible via light rail.   You can transfer back downtown or on to other buses for 2 hours after you get your ticket.

I heartily recommend the use of public transit to get around the city. Be aware that free transfers from buses to light rail (or vice versa) are only available when you use the electronic transit card (called "Orca"). You can pay cash and transfer for free between King County Metro buses only. You need the Orca card if you don't want to pay again when you switch from a bus to a train. You can buy the card for $5 at any light rail station, from the same vending machines that you would use to buy a single-use ticket. The $5 card fee pays for itself the second time you do a free transfer that you couldn't do without the card.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 05:33:42 PM by seattlecyclone »
I made a blog! https://seattlecyclone.com/

The Roth IRA was named after William Roth, who represented Delaware in the US senate from 1971-2001. "Roth" is a name, not an acronym. There's no need to capitalize the final three letters.

rockeTree

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2017, 06:43:13 PM »
Seattle arm museum is pay what you want - suggested donation is 12-15 iirc but they could hand over a quarter and get in.

Weed is like $7 a joint if they’re into that.

Not sure if they’re letting folks into the amazon robo-store without a company connection but it’s kinda cool if they are!


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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2017, 07:10:51 PM »
- weather and fitness permitting: rent a kayak on Lake Union. You can go West towards Ballard on an industrial-ish canal, or East towards Lake Washington through the strait where rowers train. If you time it right you come back South as the skyline illuminates at dusk. Maybe $40 for a two-seater for 2 hours.

- don't recommend buying joints as a visitor because they won't have anywhere to smoke them. Go for edibles.

- any of the bazillion trails within 60 minutes of the city. Either go early in the morning or right after lunch.

- Klondike gold rush museum. Relies on donations.


lifejoy

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2017, 08:44:01 PM »
Fantastic suggestions! Thanks so much, everyone :)

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2017, 10:13:37 PM »
The Seattle Architecture Foundation's walking tours are great. While not free, the price is modest and the SAF is a non-profit well worth supporting!

The Arboretum's Japanese Garden is lovely (small fee). Personally, I really liked Kubota Garden, which was created by a local gentleman who owned a truck garden in south Seattle--it's part of the Seattle Parks now and is free. You would need a car to get down there, though.

Happy Hour is a huge thing in Seattle and a great way to sample some of the fancier restaurants. You can easily eat enough to call it dinner (I like touring several places in the same neighborhood in one day).

Pro-tip--if you want to buy flowers at Pike Place Market, get them at the end of the day, even if it means circling back. You can always tell a tourist by the person dragging an enormous bunch of flowers around at 10 AM.

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2017, 04:48:53 AM »
Intrigue chocolates has AMAZING truffles. They offer free tastings and is totally worth a trip into pioneer square.

wanderin1

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2017, 11:24:29 AM »
Check out the website's of the city's two alternative newspapers: The Seattle Weekly, and The Stranger.

They have great lists of free and low cost events all around the city--arts, culture, politics and more.

swinginbeef

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2017, 02:10:02 PM »
Been a couple years and not sure of your schedule or the team schedule but following/participating in the march/parade to the stadium before a Sounders game is a blast.

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2017, 02:22:30 PM »
Center for Wooden Boats has great free boat rides on Sunday mornings. You have to line up and then sign up on the boat you want to go on (steamboats, sailboats - all kinds of interesting), and there is definitely some waiting around involved.  However, it is a good and free way to see some of the waterfront.


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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2017, 01:55:49 AM »
We just got back from a visit to Seattle. You asked for free/cheap but I have three recommendations that do cost money. But to us it was worth it.

-- Chihuly glass museum
-- Boeing factory tour in Everett
-- flying combat heritage museum (also in Everett)

I also second the Seattle public library suggestion. Pike place was super crowded.

Places we loved to eat at
-- Glo's
-- Cafe Flora
-- Lost lake cafe
-- Portage bay cafe

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2017, 09:06:12 AM »
Take the ferry to Bainbridge and back. It's about $8/person round trip If you walk on (which they definitely should, MUCH more relaxing than trying to drive on) and you can walk around cute little Bainbridge in between. Amazing views of the city, great PNW experience, and a free art museum on the other side. In addition to the art museum, there's a nice walking trail along the water, a fabulous ice cream shop, and just a nice environment.

In Seattle, there's a restaurant called Mamnoon that's delicious but pretty fancy. But they have a take out window that's just as delicious, but much cheaper. I second all the recommendations for using public transit.

lifejoy

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2017, 10:59:37 AM »
Great ideas everyone! Thank you so much :)

Noodle

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2017, 11:38:24 AM »
Take the ferry to Bainbridge and back. It's about $8/person round trip If you walk on (which they definitely should, MUCH more relaxing than trying to drive on) and you can walk around cute little Bainbridge in between. Amazing views of the city, great PNW experience, and a free art museum on the other side. In addition to the art museum, there's a nice walking trail along the water, a fabulous ice cream shop, and just a nice environment.

In Seattle, there's a restaurant called Mamnoon that's delicious but pretty fancy. But they have a take out window that's just as delicious, but much cheaper. I second all the recommendations for using public transit.

It's fun to watch them load the ferry, if you can get yourself in the right position. They load the vehicles by type, so first any emergency vehicles come aboard, then the big trucks and vans, then VROOM all the motorcycles and SWSSH all the bicycles, and then the cars. It is amazing how fast they can load and unload a gigantic ferry.

There are lots of wonderful restaurants in Seattle at all points of the price range. There are a ton of amazing bakeries--Bakery Nouveau has great traditional French pastries and bread, and Crumble and Flake does weird but tasty--and also ice cream. I have Molly Moon's every time I go.

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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2017, 11:55:10 AM »
Underground Tour
http://www.undergroundtour.com/about/tickets.html
$22/person, not cheap but not crazy.
very cool side (underside) of Seattle not many people see or are even aware of.
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Re: Cheap fun in Seattle?
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2017, 01:43:03 PM »
Seattle Water Taxi to West Seattle ($2.25 for seniors)

Enjoy the views and eat at Marination Ma Kai!
If you want to eat light, a taco or slider is $3
http://marinationmobile.com/menu/