Publication Date

November 1, 1997

Editor's Note: The area code for all telephone numbers in this article is 206. This article, other electronic links to Seattle, and meeting-related information are all available on the AHA Web site.

For the many historians who still think that Seattle is the last frontier outpost before one drops off the continental shelf or mushes north to Alaska, this article is to assure you that our city streets no longer roll up at dusk, our lights are back on with Boeing's resurgence, and our arts and entertainment venues in the Emerald City offer opportunities for visiting historians, their families, friends, and associates. Here we present only a sample of places and activities. We recommend that you also visit the sites and check the Web sites Richard Engeman mentioned in last month's article ("City of Hot Coffee and Cool Rain … ", Perspectives October 1997, 17-18) before your trip. Then grab a free copy of the Weekly as soon as you arrive, so that you can “do Seattle” your way.

If you haven't visited Seattle for a decade, be prepared for a new generation of skyscrapers and dozens of new, restored, remodeled, and refurbished museums, theaters, churches, and public arenas—some completed, others under construction, and still others in the planning stage. Although many deserve scrutiny, we can only describe a few and list some others.


The Seattle music scene is alive and well, with live performances of grunge, jazz, Rand B, classical orchestral, opera, choral, chamber, country, folk, and liturgical offered every week. Although the Seattle Symphony will be on break during the convention, you can still enjoy an evening 6 classical music. On Friday or Saturday, attend "Viva Vienna!" through the Gallery Concert Series. The concert will feature Viennese chamber music by Haydn, Steffan, and Beethoven at the Queen Anne Baptist Church, 2011 1st Ave. N. For more information, call Kathy Harper at 378-0428 or George Bozarth at 284-0111. If you stay over to the 12th, Alexander Lazarev will conduct the Seattle Symphony and Christian Zacharias will be the piano soloist in a program of Tschaikovsky, Mozart, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Shostakovich at the Seattle Opera House, at 3rd and Mercer on the south end of Queen Anne. Call 216-2744 or check for details.

Religious Activities

For those planning to attend religious services, or merely interested in spectacular architecture, the following churches—all within a short walking distance from the convention center and the Sheraton—welcome you to weekend services: First United Methodist, First Presbyterian, First Church of Christ-Scientist, Trinity Epis- copal, Immanual Lutheran, and Plymouth Congregational. All hold Sunday morning services, some simple and others rich with liturgy. Hotel concierges can direct you to these, and several hotels provide church van service.

Just up the hill from the Sheraton on 9th and Terry is St. James Catholic Cathedral. The cathedral reopened in 1994 after undergoing a major restoration and renovation project hailed by the American Institute of Architects, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and other design groups. Cathedral guides will host tours for convention members on Saturday afternoon. American religious historian and Christian Century editor Martin Marty will preach at the 10 a.m. Mass on January 11th. The cathedral’s men’s choir, schola, and musicians perform programs of sacred music during all weekend liturgies (Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. and Sundays at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, and 5 p.m.). Call 622-3559 or check their Web site,, for details.

St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral on Capitol Hill is widely known for its liturgies. Sunday morning services at 9 a.m. use contemporary, folk, and spiritual music. The high church Eucharist service at 11 a.m. features the cathedral choir and traditional church music. And at 9 p.m. on Sunday the St. Mark's all-male Compline choir sings the Office in Gregorian chant. The Cathedral is at 1045 10th Ave. E, 323-0300.

There are many other churches and synagogues within ten minutes of downtown. Temple De Hirsch Sinai (Reform) on 15th and Pike, 323-8486, holds Sabbath services on Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. The First AME Church worships at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday. It's located at 1522 14th Ave. between Pike and Pine, 324-3664. Mount Zion Baptist Church, holds services at 8 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. at 1634 19th Ave. Call 322-6500 for information. Both have fine gospel choirs.

The very dynamic religious communities in the University District include University Congregational at 4515 16th Ave., NE, 524-2322, well known for its choir's traditional and classical music programs. It holds services at 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Sundays. University Presbyterian Church at 4545 15th Ave. E., 524-7300, holds three Sunday morning services, at 8:30, 10, and 11:30 a.m., featuring the cathedral choir. The Sunday evening services at 6 p.m. feature more contemporary music. Congregation Beth Shalom (Reform) holds Sabbath services on Friday at sunset, Saturday 9:30-12:30 p.m. (Conservative services are in Hebrew) and Saturday mornings. Due to renovations, the temple is using the hospitality of neighboring churches and temples; call 524-0075 for the location of services.

Sephardic Orthodox Congregation Ezra Bessaroth holds dally prayer and Sabbath services at 5217 S. Brandon. Saturday services are at 8:30 a.m.; call 722-5500 for the time of Friday services. St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, at 2100 Boyer Ave. in the Montlake District holds Sunday liturgies at 10 a.m. For information and directions, call 325-4347. The Idriss Islamic Mosque, at 1430 Northgate Way, holds prayer services Fridays at 1:30 p.m.; Call 363-3013 for information about services.


Seattle is well known for its local stage theater scene. There are a number of small theater companies that feature a wide range of productions. Although most of the theaters are dark in early January, several theater buildings, such as the Paramount and the 5th Avenue Theater are historical landmarks worth seeing. The 5th Avenue Theater located at 1326 5th Ave. (625-1900), opened in 1926 as a vaudeville house. Its interior is a replication of the throne room of Ancient Imperial China’s Forbidden City in Beijing. The Paramount, at 911 Pine St., was recently renovated to its original 1920s decor.

The following theaters will stage productions during the weekend of the annual meeting:

Broadway Performance Hall is located on the campus of Seattle Central Community College at 1625 Broadway. After the show, take a stroll up Broadway to one of many coffee and dessert houses, such as Cafe Dilettante or B&O Espresso, and immerse yourself in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the heart of Seattle’s gay and lesbian and youth community. For information on performances, call 325-3113. For contemporary theater, check out the Empty Space Theater, 3509 Fremont Ave. N, in the Fremont neighborhood (547-7500). After seeing Death of an Anarchist, Of Mice and Men, or the Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged, saunter around one of Seattle’s up-and-coming and funkiest neighborhoods. At the Bagley Wright Theatre, on the northwest corner of the Seattle Center (155 Mercer St.), local playwright August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, a drama about a young man who scores in the music world but loses love in the process, premieres on January 7th and runs through the end of the month. Call 443-2222 for information. The Seattle Rep. will also present Ibsen’s A Doll's House at that time. Group discounts are available; contact Beth Anderson at 443-2222.

For a unique theater experience, wear your fedora and stiletto heels to the Mystery Cafe Dinner Theater, “Where murder is always on the menu!” Take yourself back to the gumshoe days of the 1930s and help solve a mystery entitled Big Al's Bacardi Club. The plot thickens on Friday and Saturday nights at the University Plaza Hotel, located in the University District at 400 NE 45th 51. For more information, call 324-8895.


Seattle is well known for its range of bookstores, from the national chains to small, privately owned book shops. The city' 5 two megabookstores are Borders on 4th and Denny, just across from Westlake Center, and Barnes and Noble at 2700 NE University Village Way, out past the University of Washington (UW). Call 624- 6600 or check their Web site for information. Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S. Main St, is one of Seattle’s old-time bookstores. Located in the Pioneer Square area, Elliott Bay offers a huge selection of new books. Stop downstairs for an espresso, or soup and sandwich in the cafe. Elliott Bay is also famous for hosting local, national, and international authors for free readings or talks nearly every evening. For more information, call 624-6600 or visit its Web site at While you’re in Pioneer Square, pop in at Metzger’s Maps of Seattle, at 702 1st Ave., which features travel maps and books, charts, and Replogle globes.

The University Bookstore, located at 4326 University Ave., (also called “the Ave.” by locals) is the largest academic bookstore in the University District and contains a wide variety of new books, art and school supplies, magazines, and a large children’s book and music section. For more information, call 634-3400. The smaller downtown branch is on the corner of 4th and University, 545-9230. When you’re on Capitol Hill, be sure and stop in at Red and Black Books, 15th Ave. E, 324- 7372, the only bookstore collective remaining in Seattle, due primarily to widespread support from the Seattle community. Red and Black is known for its leftist, spiritual, multicultural book and magazine collection, political but’: tons, and bumper stickers.

If you are a collector, visit Shorey Book Store, at 1109 N. 36th St. in the Fremont neighborhood, to find Seattle’s best selection of used, out-of-print, and rare books. For information, call 633-2990. For inexpensive used books in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, check out Twice Sold Tales at 905 E. John St. (off Broadway) and Half Price Books on Roosevelt, just north of 50th 51. N and across the street from Scarecrow Video, which houses the best collection of rental films in the Northwest. When you’re visiting the UW campus, take a walk two blocks over to University Ave. and stop in at Magus Books (corner of 41st and 15th Ave. NE), the best used bookstore in the University District. For mystery buffs, there is the Seattle Mystery Bookshop downtown at 117 Cherry St., 587-5737.

You can buy over 70 foreign and dozens of regional newspapers at Bulldog News, 401 Broadway E on Capitol Hill or at 4208 “on the Ave.”

Art Museums and Galleries

Anyone interested in the history of science or the Renaissance or who cherishes Western art may want to arrive in Seattle early for Leonardo Lives: The Codex Leicester and Leonardo da Vinci's Legacy of Art and Science, which will be on display through January 4th at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), downtown at 2nd Ave. and University. This will be the first West Coast exhibit of the Codex, da Vinci’s early 16th-century manuscript, since local arts patron Bill Gates acquired it in 1994. Visitors can translate da Vinci’s script into English instantaneously using Corbis software. Many lectures and related activities are scheduled around this exhibit.

During convention week, SAM's Karl' Gallery will be displaying select ceramics of the Koryo and Choson periods and the Oceanic Gallery will offer A Passion for Possession, an experimental installation of African art. The Woven Treasures Gallery will be featuring textiles by Dorothy Grant, a contemporary Haida artist, and the Photo and Prints Gallery will be presenting photographs, vintage posters, lobby cards, and newer “noirish” works in celebration of the museum’s film noir series’ 20th anniversary. SAM boasts fine permanent collections of Northwest Coast Native American and Northwest modern art as well as decent selections of South and Central American, North American, European, and ancient and classical art.

The new SAM opened downtown in December 1991. Architect Robert Venturi, a "postmodern apostle," was awarded the 1992 Pritzker Architecture Prize for its design. Call 654-3100 for museum information or check SAM's Web site at SAM visitors are advised to check out the views of Elliott Bay and the city from the gallery floor have lunch at the museum cafe, and Jonathan Borofsky's 48-foot "Hammering Man" sculpture on the museum's southeast corner, just outside the museum store. Since he was installed in 1992, he has been dressed up and "balled and chained" by local arts activists.

The original Seattle Art Museum, which has served the city since 1933, stands in the center of Volunteer. Park on Capitol Hill. After major renovations, it reopened in 1994 as the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM), home to one of the finest collections of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean art in the United States. One of its wonderful ongoing exhibitions is Wonders of Clay and Fire: Chinese Ceramics through the Ages, a selection of nearly 300 objects from two private collections. From SAAM, one has spectacular western views of the city, the Sound, and the Olympic mountains.

Seattle boasts dozens of other museums and art galleries that cater to a wide range of interests and tastes. While you are on the UW campus, don't miss out on the Henry Art Gallery. "The Henry" is located on the east side of the main campus. It recently reopened after extensive renovation of the old building and construction of a modernist three-level structure, the Faye G. Allen Center for the Visual Arts. With the addition, the gallery grew from 10,000 to 46,000 square feet and has a 154-seat auditorium, a classroom/studio, study and research facility, a cafe, and a public plaza. The gallery features mainly contemporary and modern art, lectures, and film series. After seeing the exhibits, stop in at the new cafe for lunch and coffee. For more details about exhibits, call 543-2280. While you’re in the neighborhood, stop in at La Tienda Folk Art Gallery at 4138 University Way, NE, one block west of campus, and purchase an unusual piece of artwork or clothing to take home. La Tienda features traditional crafts from 80 countries and includes masks, textiles, ceramics, puppets, and musical instruments as well as jewelry and glass pieces by more than 200 contemporary American artists.

The Center on Contemporary Art (COCA) at 65 Cedar Street, will present its 1997 Northwest Annual Show, juried selections of work by professional artists living in the Pacific Northwest, through January 16th. Call 728-1980 or check COCA’s Web site at for additional information.

The Frye Art Museum is just up First Hill above the Sheraton and the Convention Center, at Terry and Cherry. The Frye will be mounting three exhibits in early January: The Lure of Alaska, artwork by Alaskan artists and on Alaskan subjects; Black on White, graphic art from the museum’s collection; and works by Andrew Raftery, a contemporary New York artist. Admission and parking are free. Call 622-9250 or check their Web site:

Air, Land, and Sea:

Seattle's Historical

and Cultural Museums

The Burke Memorial Museum, located on the northwest comer of the UW campus, is a natural history and cultures museum. Make your first stop the top floor and travel 500 million years through the Life and Times of Washington exhibit, stepping through the Ice Age and the land of the dinosaurs. Exit into a special temporary exhibit, The Washington Web of Life, a collection of color photographs from the Jure Conservancy of Washington that features the numerous nature preserves throughout the state. This year’s cultural history exhibit is Pacific Voices, an interactive presentation by 17 different Pacific Rim cultures, each displaying a ceremony or tradition that has helped its culture to be passed down through the generations. Afterward, take a break to visit the Boiserie Cafe adjacent to the museum for some nonalcoholic libation. The gift shop features books, interactive toys, and the work of Washington’s local and Native American artists.

In a town where Boeing is still one the largest employers, interest in aircraft soars. The Museum of Flight, 9404 Marginal Way S. (764-5720), and the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), 2700 24th Ave. NE (324-1125) illustrate this interest. At the Museum of Flight, trace the history of aviation: go aboard the original Air Force One and check out the Blackbird spy plane SR-71, as well as dozens of other aircraft. Business and labor historians will be particularly interested in MOHAI. Special exhibits include the Klondike Gold Rush, which complements the displays at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Pioneer Square (117 S. Main St., 553-7220). Another permanent exhibit at MOHAI is Salmon Stakes: People, Nature, and Technology, which illustrates the impact of technology on the salmon canning industry at the turn of the century.

Seattle also has a rich ethnic history. In Ballard, a neighborhood northwest of downtown, visitors will discover the Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 NW 67th St., fishing vessels, and enough shops and residents to assure them that Scandinavian culture is still alive and well. Before you visit the museum, stop on Market for Swedish pancakes or head to the Ballard Market for herring and lutefisk to welcome in the New Year. The Nordic will be mounting an exhibit on Greenland, People and Myth with Heike Arndt during the AHA meeting. Call 789-5707 for more information.

Seattle's local historians have uncovered and maintained a rich history of Asian immigration and settlement. The Wing Luke Museum, 407 7th Ave., named for Seattle’s first Asian American city councilman, is the only pan-Asian American museum in the United States devoted to the collection, preservation, and display of Asian Pacific American culture, history, and art. It is known for its landmark, intergenerational, crosscultural, community- based projects. Pay special attention to the permanent exhibit, which traces the history of the International District in Seattle and features all the Asian groups that established homes and businesses in the city. Make sure you visit the museum’s temporary exhibition Immigration, before it ends on January 11th. For more details, call 623-5124.

The Coast Guard Museum of the Pacific Northwest, on the waterfront at Pier 36, exhibits lights, uniforms, ship models, and other memorabilia. It has a superb collection of photos, monographs, and archival materials of interest to historians. The museum is open weekend afternoons and admission is free. Call 217-6993 for more information.

If you venture south to Tacoma, be sure to visit the Washington State History Museum, which opened last year. Check out Golden Dreams: The Quest for the Klondike, a special exhibit commemorating the centennial of the Alaska gold rush.

Gardens and Such

One of the distinctive features of the Pacific Northwest is that flowers and plants bloom in the winter, sometimes as early as January. Take time to commune with nature at some of the following sites:

The Washington Park Arboretum and Japanese Garden, 2300 Arboretum Dr., E., 543-8800, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted’s sons and has 200 acres with 10,000 exotic plants. The Japanese Garden offers a tea house and other features. At the UW campus, gardeners maintain deciduous and evergreen trees, rhododendrons, azaleas, cherry trees, and dozens of annuals and perennials year-round. Be sure to visit the Herb Garden and Greenhouse. Travel west from the University to Woodland Park Zoological Gardens, located in the Ballard/Phinney neighborhood at 5500 Phinney Ave. N, near Green Lake, 684-4800. Woodland Park houses approximately 300 species of wildlife and is the site of an official test rose garden, honored in 1996 as the “best public rose garden in the U.S.” After visiting SAAM in Volunteer Park, dedicated to the memory of Spanish American War veterans, take a short jaunt to your right to the Volunteer Park Conservatory Greenhouse, home to permanent and rotating seasonal displays. For docent tours, call 322-4112. For a recorded message, call 684-4743.

Lake View Cemetery abuts the northern border of Volunteer Park and affords spectacular views both east and west: It is the final resting spot for Angeline, Chief Seattle’s daughter, the Dennys, Mercers, Borens, and other Seattle founding families. Here, too, rests film star and cultural hero Bruce Lee and hundreds of others from the different ethnic and religious communities that made this city what it is.


OK, so Seattle is not New York City. However, if you like nightlife, there are plenty of places to hang out, relax, and have ftm after the day's sessions are over, from funky coffeehouses to clubs where folks can dance, play pool, and have a drink.

Moviehouses.Seattle is one of the best places in the Pacific Northwest to see films ranging from mainstream Hollywood to international films by independent filmmakers, and boasts several theaters that have their own unique architecture and ambiance. Of special interest is the Egyptian Theater, in the Masonic Temple at 805 E. Pine on Capitol Hill. It features non-mainstream Hollywood films and serves as one of the major movie theaters for the annual International and Gay/Lesbian film festivals. Capitol Hill also features films at the Broadway Market (425 E. Broadway) and the Harvard Exit Theater, located in a supposedly haunted building at the corner of Broadway and E. Roy. In the University District, catch a film at the Neptune Theater, 1303 NE 45th. Recently remodeled, the Neptune maintains its old charm-walk in and be instantly reminded of such old seafaring adventure films as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Captain Nemo.

The Varsity Theatre, at 4329 University Way NE, presents more repertory programming. The Sanctuary Theatre in Scarecrow Video, at 5030 Roosevelt Way NE, screens rare films. Finally, Hollywood films abound downtown at the City Centre at 1420 5th Ave., Midtown at 1923 1st Ave., and Meridian 16 at 1501 7th Ave.

Bars/Clubs.Seattle has an emerging and lively bar, dance, and pool scene. At The Easy at E. Pike St. on Capitol Hill you can play pool, eat dinner, and dance to salsa and meringues in the adjoining room. Across the street from The Easy is the Wildrose Cafe, 1021 E. Pike St. The Rose is a fixture in the south Capitol Hill neighborhood. It’s primarily a women’s bar, but all are welcome. You may have to fight for the lone pool table, but the atmosphere is generally friendly and relaxed. The Rebar, on Howell Street, is also popular among the “under 30” crowd. The Sea Wolf, at 1413 14th Ave., R Place, at 619 Pine St., and Spags, at 118 E. Pike, on Capitol Hill, are popular men’s bars. If jazz is more your style, don’t miss out on a fine evening of music at Jazz Alley, located at 6th and Lenora in Belltown. Jillian's Billiard Club, 731 Westlake Ave. N, although a bit pricier than other pool spots, offers a comfortable setting for pool, “Ping-Pong, and virtual reality games. Popular nightlife destinations include downtown’s Pioneer Square, southwest of the Sheraton, where a cover of $5 weeknights and $8 weekends admits you to a number of watering holes (the Bohemian Cafe, the Colourbox, the Fenix Underground, and the New Orleans) that feature live performances, usually jazz, Rand B, or grunge. Others may favor the Comedy Underground's performances or readings by contemporary authors at the Elliott Bay Book Company, which draw crowds several nights a week.

Walking Tours

Seattle is a great "walking city" with many unique and distinctive neighborhoods near the convention site. On the south side of Ballard, you'll find the Hiram E. Chittenden Locks, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project which has connected Lake Washington with Puget Sound since 1917. The locks move a steady progression of commercial and pleasure craft, and their fish ladder allows salmon to return to their spawning grounds. Then visit the museum, just north of the big lock, to view a film on the history of the construction project, or wander through the locks’ botanical gardens. Cross south to the Magnolia neighborhood, which forms the north bluff of Elliott Bay. Continue east on the south side of the waterway to Fishermen's Terminal on Salmon Bay—one of the last vibrant working waterfronts in the West. There you can pay your respects at the monument to local fishers lost at sea check out the seiners and gillnetters, buy rugged outdoor gear, eat great, modestly priced meals, and sip some Caffe Appasionato at its roasting house.

Magnolia's Discovery Park, a major deployment center for U.S. troops during World War II and the Korean War, is west of the locks. Visit its beaches, meadows, ponds, nature trails, and forests, its working lighthouse, and military cemetery. Also visit the Daybreak Star Center of the United Tribes of All Indians in the park. Daybreak Star hosts powwows and other ceremonies, and exhibits Native American arts and crafts. Further south, Magnolia Village, the tiny business district that centers the neighborhood, is a throwback to old Seattle.

Queen Anne, just north of downtown, east of Magnolia, and west of Lake Union, houses Seattle Pacific University and the Seattle Center—home to the Seattle Symphony, the Bagley Wright Theatre, theSeattle Opera, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Seattle Children’s Theatre, and the international peace fountain.

Belltown, on the northwest end of downtown, offers boutiques, live music, and great food. The Fremont area (named for the irrepressible U.S. Army Captain John C. Fremont), just north of Queen Anne Hill and the waterway, has evolved into a funky area known for antiques and anarchists, health food stores, bistros, and Irish pubs. While in Fremont, watch the bridge go up and down and visit the huge statue of Lenin, the folksy Waiting for the Interurban and the Troll under the University Bridge. Then stop for fabulous chocolate cake at Just Desserts or a pint of Guinness or a Seattle microbrew on tap at one of the pubs. Just ask any locals for directions!

For an irreverent trip into Seattle's part, join one of Bill Speidel's Seattle Underground Tours to hear how plumbing profoundly altered the face of downtown Seattle and other strange facts about the city. Tours take place during daylight hours, beginning at the corner of Yesler and 1st Ave., next to the pergola in Pioneer Square. Call 682-4646 for information.


If you get tired of sitting in sessions all .slay and want to get your mind off anything academic, check out some spectator sports in Seattle. During the winter, Seattleites are obsessed with basketball. At the KeyArena, see the Seattle Supersonics, the men’s National Basketball Association team. The Seattle Reign is the city’s first women’s American Basketball League team; home games are usually played in the Mercer Arena at the Seattle Center. Call 285-5225 for ticket information.

Ice hockey fans can see the Seattle Thunderbirds at the KeyArena. Call 448-7825 for ticket information. Most Seattleites love the Huskies. Although the UW women’s basketball team will not play during the conference period, the Husky men will host the University of Arizona at the HEC Edmudson Pavilion on the UW campus. For information, call 543-2200.

Especially for Kids

Seattle has many activities for children. The Pacific Science Center (PSC), located at the Seattle Center at 4th and Denny, features robots, dinosaurs, 200 hands-on exhibits, a planetarium, and IMAX films. The PSC exhibit Bats: Masters of the Night, which closes January 11th, will turn your ideas about these flying mammals upside down. Stay on to view the new IMAX film Alaska, visit the Willard W. Smith Planetarium, or catch the laser shows on weekend evenings. Visit the PSC’s Web site at or call 443-2001 for additional information.

Next door to the PSC is the Seattle Children's Theater. During the conference weekend, the theater will be presenting Mr. Popper's Penguins and Stella Luna. Performances for both shows are on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.. For more information, call 441-3322. North of the University District, take the kids for a unique and fun experience to the Northwest Puppet Center, 9123 15th Ave., NE. Although no shows are scheduled for the convention period, the puppet museum will be open. Call 523-2579 for more information.

The Seattle Children's Museum will be celebrating its International Festival of Lights in early January with displays depicting New Year’s celebrations around the world. The museum is in the Seattle Center House, just north of the Space Needle. Call 441-1768 for details.

At the Seattle Aquarium, located at Pier 59 on the waterfront, take the kids to meet sea life face to face. The aquarium features an underwater dome with a 360-degree view of Puget Sound’s aquatic life. Open daily, the aquarium is located at 1483 Alaskan Way, 386-4320. The Woodland Park Zoo, internationally recognized for its natural habitats, programs for rehabilitating and returning wild animals to their natural environs, and annual “Zoodoo” compost sales, was once the private estate of the Phinney family, who built a streetcar to their gate in hopes of attracting crowds to their private wildlife reserve. When the family fortune dissolved at the turn of the century, the city acquired the land. If you visit the zoo—on 55th Street and Phinney Ave.—you may wonder who’s viewing whom. Call 584-4800 for hours and fees.

Parks, Beaches, and Stores

Nature lovers will enjoy city parks, among them Discovery, Lincoln, Magnuson, Myrtle Edwards, Seward, Volunteer, and Woodland; Lakes Washington and Union, and Green Lake; and Alki and Golden Gardens (salt water) or Madison and Madrona (fresh water) beaches. If the weather’s too harsh, we recommend you try the next best thing: visit one of the many outdoor outfitters whose pasts are rooted in this city. Eddie Bauer‘s flagship is on the corner of 5th and Union, and the old reliable C C Filson Company is on 4th Ave. Sand S. Lander.

Last but not least is the new Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) building at 222 Yale Ave. N, close to the southeast end of Lake Union. This is the main store and showplace for a co-op formed in the 1930s when locals were having trouble getting good, moderately priced mountaineering supplies. REI has become a part of popular culture and an international retail phenomenon. At REI you can equip yourself for K-2; test Gore-Tex in a rain room, try out hiking boots on a trail, or test ride a mountain bike over steep terrain. Best of all, you can scale the pinnacle—a rock that will challenge even the best of climbers. If you’re not up for physical challenges, buy a tent, skis, a canoe, a stove, thermals, or trail mix; seek advice on anything related to the outdoors; compare membership numbers with other members (the lower the better)—and if you’re not one, join! REI goods are reliable and the annual dividends are outstanding. Check their Web site,, or call 223-1944.


From many points in Seattle, you can savor extraordinary views. Look south when lithe mountain is out" and the mist rises, to see Mount Rainier in its glory. Watch the sun rise over the Cascades and the city and set over the Sound and the Olympic Mountains. From Alki Point in West Seattle or Magnolia Boulevard on the hill northwest of downtown, you can savor sunsets and catch their reflections on Seattle's and Bellevue's skyscrapers. Other prime viewing spots are Kinnear Park on the south end of Queen Anne Hill, the Pike Place Market, and the deck of any ferry.


Come back to visit Seattle when the weather is nice. When's that? Well, Mark Twain allegedly said that the nicest winter he ever spent was a summer in Puget Sound. And the Darigold billboard on Elliott Way West this summer encouraged locals to enjoy ice cream cones "this summer … and the 300 other days of the year."

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