Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Best Downtown Seattle Restaurants, from the Hyatt

(Thanks Jennifer Huerta for compiling this incredibily helpful list, this blog is now complete!)

Restaurant: Sitka & Spruce |
Restaurant Description:  This restaurant sources high integrity ingredients from Washington State and the Pacific Northwest.  The menu is inspired by the products and flavors of Moorish influenced Spain, North Africa, Greece, Turkey, Syria, and Persia, supported by traditional rustic staples found in the United Kingdom, France, and Italy.   All the products used are of substantial quality, mostly sustainable production, and researched thoroughly.
Price Range: $10-25
Contact: 206.324.0662, 1531 Melrose Ave. E
Distance from Hotel:  .5 mile
Directions from Hotel: Head southwest on Pine St toward 7th Ave, Take the 1st left onto 7th Ave, Take the 1st left onto Pike St, Turn left at Melrose Ave.  Restaurant is on the left.

Restaurant: Café Campagne |
Restaurant Description:  “I could close my eyes and imagine I was in any café in Paris,” Jeremiah Tower, the renowned chef, is quoted to have said on his first visit to Café Campagne.  “Endearing,” “charming,” “quaint,” “bohemian,” are just a few of the words critics have used to describe Campagne’s younger sibling.  Café Campagne embraces many moods, many tastes, many budgets. Discover Café Campagne for yourself, and fall in love with your own petite slice of France.
Price Range: $10-$25
Contact: 206.728.2233, 1600 Post Alley at Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98101
Distance from Hotel:  .4 miles- 10 minute walk
Directions from Hotel: Walking or a very short cab ride.  Head southwest on Pine St toward 7th Ave Destination will be on the right

Restaurant: Salty’s on Alki |
Restaurant Description:  Terrific food. Live music. Sensational bar. Flawless service. Picture-perfect views from virtually every table. Dramatic sunsets. Busy ferries. Curious seals and raucous seagulls. Every dining moment brings an energetic and captivating view of life in and around the Seattle waterfront. It's our recipe for the perfect dining experience. Come dressed up or casual. If you want to capture the Seattle Skyline, this is the place.
Price Range: $15-$75
Contact: 206.937.1600, 1936 Harbor Avenue. S.W. Seattle, WA 98126
Distance from Hotel:  5.7 mi – about 12 minutes
Directions from Hotel: Head southwest on Pine St toward 7th Ave, Turn left at the 3rd cross street onto 5th Ave, Turn right at Columbia St, Keep left at the fork, Take the ramp onto WA-99 S, Take the exit toward W Seattle Bridge, Merge onto W Seattle Bridge, Take the exit toward Harbor Ave SW, Turn right at Harbor Ave SW Destination will be on the right.

Restaurant: Serious Pie |
Restaurant Description:  NO RESERVATIONS! Gourmet pizzas, casual setting. Restaurant boasts a 600 degree stone-encased applewood-burning oven, house made charcuterie, and artisan cheeses from around the world.
Price Range: $10-20
Contact: 206.838.7388, 316 Virginia
Distance from Hotel:  .5 mile
Directions from Hotel: Head southwest on Pine St toward 7th Ave, Turn right at 3rd Ave, Take the 2nd right onto Virginia St. Restaurant is on the left. Destination will be on the left.

Restaurant: Purple Café |
Restaurant Description: A multifaceted food and wine concept that merges casual sophistication with an upbeat metropolitan style. We feature a global wine selection coupled with a menu that blends classic American styles with seasonal northwest ingredients. The atmosphere is often described as an urban retreat with rustic elements.
Price Range: $10-$35
Contact: 206.829.2280, 1225 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
Distance from Hotel:  .5 miles- 10 minute walk
Directions from Hotel: Walking or a very short cab ride.  Depart Pine St toward 7th Ave , Turn left onto 5th Ave, Turn right onto Seneca, Turn right onto 4th Ave

Restaurant: Pink Door |
Restaurant Description: Along the quaint Post Alley of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, the Pink Door tempts with homespun Italian-American food.    All dishes draw upon the freshness and seasonal bounty of farms here in the Northwest.  From the conversation that flows as liberally as the Barolo, to the provocative – always free – live entertainment, the Pink Door offers a warm, lively respite from the ordinary world. 
Price Range: $15-25
Contact: (206) 443-3241, 1919 Post Alley
Distance from Hotel:  .5 miles
Directions from Hotel: Head west (toward the water) on Pine Street to First Avenue.   Turn right on Pine and continue down to Stewart Street.  Turn left on Stewart then left on Post Alley.  The restaurant is on the right side – there is no sign saying, “Pink Door” however, there is a pink metal door. 

Restaurant: The Four Swallows |
Restaurant Description:  Seeking a different dining adventure? Take the 30-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island and discover The Four Swallows.  A few walkable blocks from the ferry landing, this lovely restaurant is located in an historic farmhouse where the staff is inviting and convivial. A seasonal menu changes daily, offering a small selection of dishes ranging from fresh-off-the-boat scallops to grilled Carlton Farms pork chop paired with sweet-savory red onion marmalade.  Pastas and pizzas along with decadent desserts round out the visit.
Price Range: $15-35
Contact:  (206) 842-3397, 481 Madison Ave. N., Bainbridge Island*
Distance from Hotel:  10 miles
Directions from Hotel: To get to the ferry terminal:  take Pine Street west (toward the water).  At 4th Avenue turn left and follow it to Madison Street.  Turn right and continue down Madison to 1st Avenue.  There is a pedestrian overpass at 1st and Madison that will take you directly into the ferry terminal.  Once on Bainbridge Island, leave the ferry terminal and follow Olympic Dr. to Winslow Way.  Turn right on Winslow Way then right at Madison Ave. The restaurant is on the left side of the street, next door to the Pavilion Movie Theater.

*Please leave extra time for commuting and check with the concierge for a ferry schedule.

Restaurant: Crush |
Restaurant Description: Owned and operated by Chef Jason Smith.  Modern Northwest cuisine pairing exceptionally fresh ingredients with careful preparation.  Large wine list. Perfect place for foodies. 
Price Range:  $20-$75
Contact: (206) 302-7874, 2319 E Madison Street
Distance from Hotel:  1.8 Miles
Directions from Hotel: Depart 8th Ave toward Olive Way, Turn right onto Olive Way, Turn right onto Boren Ave, Turn left onto Pike St, Road name changes to E Pike St, Bear left onto E Madison St, Arrive at 2319 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112 on the right (The last intersection is 23rd Ave, If you reach 24th Ave E, you've gone too far)

Restaurant: Wild Ginger | Wild Ginger
Restaurant Description:  (From the Website) The food at Wild Ginger spans the eastern Pacific Rim from China to Indonesia, and Malaysia to Vietnam. We pride ourselves on following traditional recipes from these distinctive regions and insist on house-made ingredients. Chefs make fresh coconut milk, spicy chili sambals, delicate egg noodles and our pungent oyster sauce all from scratch. To achieve the sublime flavors of the East there is no substitute for the time-honored customs of these rich and ancient cultures.
Price Range: $5-$25
Contact: (206) 623-4450, 1401 3rd Ave
Distance from Hotel:  0.5 miles
Direction from Hotel:  Head southeast on 8th Ave toward Pine St, Turn right at Pike St, Turn left at 3rd Ave (20 minute walk)

Restaurant: Black Bottle |
Restaurant Description:  Black Bottle is right in the heart of Belltown. Good place for drinks and appetizers such as curried potatoes, flatbreads (proscuiutto is wonderful), steak bites & my personal favorite, the broccoli which sounds strange but is delish.
Price Range: $5-$15
Contact: 2600 First Ave, 206.441.1500
Distance from Hotel:  .95 miles
Directions from Hotel: SW on Pine Street &take a right onto First Avenue, Black Bottle is on your right

Restaurant: Ettas |
Restaurant Description:  This is a famous Seattle Tom Douglas restaurant. Great views of the sounds and short walk to the Pike Place market. Known for their seafood (crab cakes are not to be missed!). They also have a wonderful breakfast, the Dungeness crab eggs Benedict is my all time favorite.
Price Range: $10-$26
Contact: 206.443.6000, 2020 Western Avenue
Distance from Hotel:  .59 miles
Directions from Hotel: Head southwest on Pine Street, right on Pike Place, left on Virginia Street, right onto Western Avenue, Etta’s is on the right

Restaurant: Smash Wine Bar & Restaurant |
Restaurant Description: Opened in April 2006, Smash Wine Bar & Bistro is a Wallingford establishment where wine and food collide. Smash features an array of wine and cheese flights, bistro bites and entrees, 45 different glass wine pours (including 3 and 6 oz. tastes), and their signature "Smashtini" martini menu.
Price Range: $10-25
Contact: 206.547.3232, 1401 North 45th Street
Distance from Hotel:  4 miles
Directions from Hotel: Take a cab from the hotel to 45th and Interlake Ave N (in the Wallingford neighborhood).   

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Top 10 Must Do's when you visit Seattle to attend the GMN Conference in March

1. Pike Place Market

Yes, we have all seen markets -- but have you ever seen one where a 4lb Salmon is flying through the air in front of you as fish hockers jockey for your business? Seriously, you can try local artisan cheeses and wines, visit the 100 plus vendors booths that are selling their wares that consist of everything from glass blown vases to homemade soap. You can even visit the first original Starbucks or see where the Beatles performed an impromptu concert from a balcony across from the market.

2. Traditional Pacific Northwest Cuisine

What does that mean? It is an approach/philosophy to food: less seasoning is more, locally sourced food (50 mile radius from farm to table), seafood preferably, if it’s a steak it should be grass fed. The chef Tom Douglas in particular has really promoted the PNW concept of food well. And not to plug for him deliberately, but if you are going to eat one nice dinner you cannot go wrong with Etta’s and Dahlia Lounge, two of his restaurants located in Downtown Seattle. You may want to make a reservation as they can both get quite busy.

Lastly take time to enjoy the locally brewed beers; the Pacific Northwest takes great pride in their local breweries, whose brew you can find at any serious Seattle restaurant. Try and of the Elysian Brewery beers, or the Pike Kilt Lifter after you visit the market. Finally you should not leave Seattle until you have had an IPA if you like a hoppy beer.

3. Seattle Duck Tour

A must do to orient yourself to Seattle and a great way to shake off jetlag and forget work. You'll see all the major sights of Seattle including the Space Needle, the Seattle waterfront, Safeco Field and Qwest Field, historic Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, the downtown shopping district and funky Fremont neighborhood. Then, SPLASH into Lake Union for a look at Gasworks Park, the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat and a breathtaking view of the skyline. Along the way, the Captains will play music, share jokes and tell you about the city! You'll see the same sights of the city whether you depart from our location at 5th Avenue & Broad Street or Westlake Center.

4. Olympic Sculpture Park

The Olympic Sculpture Park has transformed a nine-acre industrial site into open and vibrant green space for art. This new waterfront park gives Seattle residents and visitors the opportunity to experience a variety of sculpture in an outdoor setting, while enjoying the incredible views and beauty of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. Admission is free.

5. Ferry to Bainbridge Island

It’s easy to catch a ferry from the docks in downtown Seattle. Then spend a relaxing half hour crossing Elliot Bay to Bainbridge Island. During the ride, check out a new perspective on the Seattle skyline and admire the Olympic Mountains. Bainbridge Island is home to 20,000 residents, many of whom use the ferry for daily commuting. Once on the island you can rent bikes or walk into the town of Winslow, where there are shops, galleries and delicious dining options. Nature lovers should plan to walk through the Bloedel Reserve to see Pacific Northwest wildlife. When you are ready to return, hop on another ferry and you will be back to the urban life in no time.

6. Seattle Public Library

The downtown public library building is so unique they offer daily tours to showcase its architectural features. The modern building opened in 2004 and was designed by Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Ramus. Time Magazine listed the building as one of the best of the year and the Washington Posted declared it one of the best new buildings of the decade. Inside there are open areas for community gatherings, dizzying views of the city, special areas designed for teens and kids, public artwork, a coffee cart, a gift shop and of course tons of reading material. And if you need a good place to check email, there are over 400 public computers. The public meeting room level has twisty corridors painted shiny red that have been described as either “groovy” or “like navigating a colon.” Check it out for yourself and see what you think.

7. Queen Anne Hill

Located directly north of downtown, Queen Anne Hill is a great neighborhood to explore. The main street at the top of the hill has an array of restaurants to sample the Pacific Northwest cuisine (Item #2 on our list), trendy boutiques and funky cafes. From Kerry Park you can enjoy gorgeous views of the city. The residential section is a mix of old mansions and modern architecture. Linking the upper and lower neighborhoods is a series of pedestrian staircases. You can buy a map of these stairways at the Queen Anne Books, a great place.

8. Seattle Underground Tour (history buffs will love)

The tour begins at Doc Maynard's, a restored 1890s public house, then goes underground to visit the abandoned, sunken storefronts of what was once ground-level Pioneer Square. Their well-informed guides recount the role of the modern toilet in Seattle history, the origin of the term Skid Road, and take you to some places where ghosts are said to hang out, all the while telling hilarious stories and recanting Seattle history.

In the olden days, downtown Seattle was chaotic-- built on a tidal plain-- with very poor drainage. After the Great Fire in 1889, city planners wanted to raise the streets to solve the city's growing sewage problems, but the downtown building owners, who didn't want to wait for the city to get to work, rebuilt their buildings at the original level.

Many years later, the city of Seattle raised the streets, leaving sidewalks and entrances as much as 36 feet below street level. For several years, pedestrians clambered up and down between street level and building entrance on ladders, but eventually the building entrances were raised, and the old sidewalks covered over, creating the area called the Seattle Underground.

The UNDERGROUND TOUR is a leisurely, guided walking tour beneath Seattle’s sidewalks and streets. As you roam the subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle, our guides regale you with the stories our pioneers didn’t want you to hear. It’s history with a twist!

9. Seattle Aquarium

Would you like to stand within a circle of glowing jellyfish? Run your fingers along a sea anemone’s soft tentacles. Delight in the antics of the sea otters (insanely cute and fun to watch). In Seattle Aquarium you can see the world's first aquarium-based salmon ladder and fish hatchery and witness the entire life cycle of Pacific salmon. It is important to point out that the Aquarium is the first institution in the world to successfully raise sea otters from the conception to the adulthood and is the only facility in the United States with that distinctive feature. Today, these lovely creatures warm the hearts of numerous visitors, as well as show the way for Seattle Aquarium researchers of how otters can better survive in their natural surroundings.

Lastly you have to see the world’s largest giant, and I mean GIANT Pacific octopus that was raised from conception to adulthood in the aquarium. Its name is the Dark Avenger, weighing over 50 pound and residing in a habitat, built to display the largest giant Pacific octopus ever seen.

10. Discovery Park

If you get overloaded with the urban scene, Discovery Park awaits. It is Seattle’s largest park with 534 acres of woods, meadows, and two miles of protected tidal beaches. Starting at the Visitors Center you can take a three mile hiking loop through beautiful forest and then out to a bluff overlooking Elliot Bay and the Olympic Mountains. Those with extra energy can hike down the beach and check out the lighthouse. The park is also home to the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, where you can check out Native American cultural activities and art exhibits. (This activity is easiest if you have a rental car, but the Seattle bus system will take you there too.)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Making the Pitch, Why you should attend the GMN conference!

Hello all,

I thought we should share this email of our own efforts of internally promoting the GMN conference in Seattle to give others idea's as we only have a few weeks before it is here.

Thanks to Jana Fry and Karen Johnson for collaborating on this one.

Hi BLANK et al,

I wanted to let you know about the Grants Managers Network’s annual conference that is coming up on March 21-23, just around the corner.  It promises to be a great conference, and I hope you will think about attending since it ties directly into your work and provides a substantial opportunity for training on best practices in making and managing grants.  Another reason to take advantage of it now is because it is literally happening in our backyard – Seattle.  This likely will not happen again for a long time.  Budgets are always tight, but with the location being here there is no reason for you not to attend if you’re interested.  
Here is why you should attend:

·         Bill Sr. will be the plenary speaker, need I say more?
·         Awesome training – here are just few samples of the sessions being provided:
o   Beyond PowerPoint: New Ideas for Presenting Your Grant Data
o   Working With Your Foundation Team: Redefining the Boundaries of Grants Management
o   How to Prepare for an Audit
o   Grant Coding: Developing or Upgrading Your Foundation’s Coding
o   Demystifying the IRS: A window into the Exempt Organization Division
o   Expenditure Responsibility: A Step-by-Step Guide
o   Anatomy of Grant Letter: Dissecting and Analyzing Clauses
o   Accepting and Reviewing Proposals: Best Practices in the Field
o   The Tale of Two Sectors: Private and Public
·        Network, network, network!  This event will be packed with staff from many, many foundations both big and small covering a wide range of philanthropic interests
·         Meet the Pacific Northwest Chapter of GMN (It is a collection of folks from foundations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska that come together to exchange best practices and have a good time.  We’re currently forming committees if you would like to get involved.)
·         And, most importantly your fantastic GD GM team will be there . . . to welcome you and help introduce you to others

So check it out here and read below for more information about GMN.  Even if you’re not able to attend the conference, please feel free to join GMN (membership is free!) to take advantage of online resources as well as the local chapter meetings.


P.S.  Do you need help making the case to your manager or are not sure if you have a strong business case?   Please see the helpful sample letter here.

More Background info:The Grants Managers Network (GMN) is a national organization that seeks to improve grantmaking by advancing the knowledge, skills, and abilities of grants management professionals and by leading grantmakers to adopt and incorporate effective practices that benefit the philanthropic community.  GMN has 1,700 members from 1,000 grantmaking organizations including small family foundations, prominent national foundations, grantmaking public charities, and socially responsible corporations.  These individuals serve their organizations in many roles and are identified by a variety of titles including grants administrators, grants managers, directors of grants management, financial officers, and program officers/associates.  GMN is based in Washington, D.C. and has 13 regional chapters that connect members in local settings for professional and leadership development opportunities.  The Pacific Northwest regional group will meet two or three times this year in addition to the national annual conference.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Seattle-Oh what an awesome music scene!

Before we go into some of the awesome shows and incredible music venues available to you when you visit Seattle we need to look at some of the music greats from the area. This will help you understand how incredibly talented our local musicians are because of the amazing inspirations they have.
Famous Bands and Musicians from Seattle and Washington.
1.       Jimmy Hendrix  (phote credit: by Luiz Fernando / Sonia Maria)

2.       Dave Mathews Band
3.       Sir Mix-a-Lot (seriously, remember “Baby Got Back?”) 
4.         Kurt Cobain
5.       Pearl Jam
6.       Soundgarden
7.       Elvis Presley (no just kidding)
We can divide the venues of Seattle into two categories, the local places where you can hear a really great show for $8 cover or the premium venues where you will pay $35 or so. I need to mention one of unique venues Seattle that will appeal to the majority of you, the Triple Door, a luxury performance theatre where you can enjoy an amazing meal with a perfect view of an amazing performance on a fabulous sound stage. Tickets run 25-$35 with the meal running $20-$27 per person excluding vino and other libations.
$8 Cover Venues
Neumos-nice venue, excellent sound stage.
The Crocodile-also has a good sounds stage.
The Tractor Tavern-whole lot of character and really good shows
Premium Venues and ShowsThe Paramount and Moore Theatre-well know artists, Robert Plant, Sarah McLachlan and plays
The Showbox (near the Market, not SoDo)-good venue, can be a line before a show, diverse line up
Dimitriou's Jazz Alley -for almost three decades, Dimitrou's Jazz Alley has been a West Coast 'must' for all the towering figures in the world of jazz.
The Triple Door  This is probably the best bet for people looking for a delicious dinner and an awesome show. 
SHOWS (happenings  between March 21-26th ’11)
So with the conference happening March 21-23rd here are some shows that you may be interested in. 
Tower of Power- With 40 years of recording and touring experience, and 20 CDs behind them, Tower of Power has released their latest album, THE GREAT AMERICAN SOULBOOK which shows the band "Bump City-izing" many of their favorite soul songs, originally recorded by James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Otis Redding. Guest singers on the album are Joss Stone, Huey Lewis, Sam Moore, and Sir Tom Jones. Melding jazz, funk, rock and soul in a way no group ever has, the ten-piece outfit is, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, “tighter than a clenched fist.”

Billy Elliot Musical-I have seen Billy Elliot on Broadway twice now and will see it again if I have a chance! The kids are extremely talented performers and the story is good as well. Each time I leave the show having gone through a large amount of emotions. It is extremely touching and hits on a large number of touchy subjects, just like the movie
Galactic- Its shaping up to be a stellar year for celebrated New Orleans outfit GALACTIC. On February 9th the band will release their groundbreaking new album YA-KA-MAY a visionary mix, intertwining New Orleans sounds from jazz to brass band to funk and far beyond. With this release, the five-man group comprised of drummer Stanton Moore, bassist Robert Mercurio, saxophonist/harmonica player Ben Ellman, keyboardist Richard Vogel, and guitarist Jeff Raines - reaffirms their status as the quintessential modern day New Orleans band and one of the funkiest outfits in the known universe.

Lynne Arriale- Pianist/composer Lynne Arriale is still experiencing the momentum of her previous release, a dizzying flurry of magazine covers, features and stellar critical accolades heralding her skills as an, “ingenious arranger, composer, soloist and performer . . . Arriale has made one of the most original ensemble recordings of 2009. Nuance is an album of brilliant group interpretations, finely crafted original material, intricate arrangements and rapt solos”—DownBeat
Good Charlotte- Good Charlotte are a band who need no introduction. Originally formed as a poppunk act in Waldorf, Maryland, in 1996, the bandvocalist Joel Madden and his identical twin brother guitarist Benji Madden along with guitarist Billy Martin, bassist Paul Thomas and the latest edition drummer Dean Butterworthhave sold over 10 million records to date, penned countless mainstream radio hits such as "The Anthem," "Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous" and "Hold On" and shared the stage with everyone from Justin Timberlake to Third Eye Blind.

Electric Six-Electric Six is a six-piece metro Detroit-based band that plays what has been described as a brand of rock music infused with elements of "garage, disco, punk, new wave, and metal." The new album is heavy at times as demonstrated by Formula 409 and Heavy Woman. The album is anthemic at times as demonstrated by Your Heat is Rising and We Were Witchy Witchy White Women.

Akron Family-Before people begin to question the motivations of artists flying the scene's banner with increasing regularity, enjoy Akron/Family; enjoy their gentle soundscapes and crashing crescendos; enjoy the careful construction of their twisted pop songs; enjoy their belief in the sound that they create and the philosophy used to make the music uniquely their own. Most importantly, enjoy this record before some dolt on a barstool drinking an apple-tini lies to you about having loved it long before it was released.
Kultur Shock- A quote from the artist "Kultur Shock isn't just the name of our band. It's Balkan punk rock gypsy metal wedding-meets-riot music from Bulgaria, the US, Japan, and Bosnia. Six members, and no two of us really speak the same language. You may wonder what brought such an unrelated, mixed-up group of people together, and you can read our biographies to find out. Call our music whatever the &*%$ you want — we'll still play every song of every performance as if it were our last."
We admit that we have hardly done Seattle justice in exposing the amazing venues and attractions, apologies to those we missed.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Emerald City – Green in Seattle

With a nickname like The Emerald City, you know Seattle has some fun opportunities to go green while you’re in town. You can start your visit by taking light rail from the airport. Use Skybridge # 6 at the airport to catch the light rail to the Westlake station (about 2 blocks away from the hotel). And, a bargain, too, at only $2.50 each way!

And, with all the different forms of public transportation, you can explore Seattle and beyond without a car or taxi ride. During the day (6am-7pm), downtown Seattle’s central business district is a “ride free” zone for most buses. Bus stops are marked with a "Ride Free" sign.

For those who prefer to go by foot, there’s a public art walking tour or a clock walk.
If you want to count your miles, use this handy round-trip waterfront walking/ jogging map. When you’re done with your walk, you can grab a coffee at Caffé Ladro, where the brew is organic, shade grown, and fair trade certified. The closest location to the hotel is on the next block at 801 Pine Street.

Foodies (or those who just love good food) can take a walking food and cultural tour that focuses on tasting fresh, local, organic, seasonal, and sustainable foods and beverages. Or see what’s on the menu at some of the organic restaurants in Downtown Seattle or other neighborhoods in the area. Photo by Mira Harford

To try yet another form of public transportation, a fun getaway is to take a water taxi (running weekday mornings and early evenings) from the downtown Seattle waterfront to West Seattle. From there, you can visit Alki Beach Park for a nice long walk with great views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. You can also make your way “up the hill” for a meal at Mashiko, Seattle’s first fully sustainable sushi bar. Free Metro DART shuttles run on weekday mornings and early evenings between local neighborhoods and the Water Taxi. Route 775 serves the Admiral District and Alki Beach Park. Route 773 will get you to the West Seattle Junction and Mashiko. This Route Map provides an overview of the shuttle routes.

While you’re out exploring or having a snack, don’t miss the solar trash compactors and recycling bins on the street corners. Seattle sure makes it easy to be green!

What will you be doing green in Seattle? You can comment on the blog or contribute to the discussion on the online community.

Content provided courtesy of the G4 Team. The G4 (GMN Grantmaking Gone Green) Team’s mission is to identify and promote environmentally sustainable practices by grantmakers.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Things to do with kids and teens in Seattle

For those of you wondering whether to bring your families with you to Seattle for the conference in March, here are a few ideas of Seattle attractions that you can enjoy as a family or they can do while you expand your grants management knowledge and connect with colleagues at the conference. 
·         Seattle Center is within walking distance (or a short Monorail ride) of downtown and has something for every age. Toddlers and younger kids will love the Children’s Museum, where they can walk inside a mountain, see a global village with sample houses from different parts of the world, pretend to put on a play at a mock theater with lights, costumes and curtains, and play in the neighborhood grocery store and restaurant. Elementary to middle school age kids will want to explore the Pacific Science Center, with multiple IMAX screens, hands on activities, a butterfly house, naked mole rats (don’t ask) and a Star Wars exhibit. Tweens and teens will be drawn to the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum, housed in a building that looks like a smashed guitar. In the popular Sound Lab they can try out instruments and perform in a band and bring home a poster and video of their performance.
·         For animal lovers, Woodland Park Zoo is amazing. The 92-acre zoo prides itself in creating habitats for the animals as close as possible to their natural settings. The grizzlies have a hillside to roam, including a river they bathe in, the jaguars are in a state of the art jungle exhibit and the orangutans swing through a ravine of trees. There are interactive researcher stations, a petting zoo and Zoomazium, an indoor play structure for younger kids to burn off extra energy. An easy bus ride from downtown, the zoo is a great place to spend half of a day with all ages of kids.

·         Located south of downtown, the Museum of Flight offers a unique chance to see over 150 historic airplanes and spacecraft. Kids love testing out the interactive flight simulators. You can tour the original Boeing factory “barn” and explore inside an air traffic control tower. For those more interested in fashion than aviation they will be showing exhibit of flight attendant uniforms over the ages in March. This museum is ideal for elementary school age and older kids interested in airplanes or history. Very young children may like the open spaces to run around, but probably won’t get as much out of the exhibits.

·         Try a kayaking adventure on Lake Union. You can rent kayaks from the Northwest Outdoor Center, just a few minutes from central downtown Seattle. From there you can paddle through neighborhoods of houseboats (as seen on the movie Sleepless in Seattle) and stop by Ivar’s, where you can pull up to a dock and warm up with a bowl of clam chowder.  Or you could try Agua Verde Café and Paddle Club, where you can paddle on Lake Union or make your way over to Lake Washington. Upon your return you can enjoy tasty Mexican food at the adjoining café.

·         Sky High Sports is an exciting new trampoline center in the Seattle area where kids can literally bounce off the walls. There are rooms with wall-to-wall trampoline floors and walls, foam pits, and dodgeball arenas. This center is located in Bellevue, a neighbor of Seattle across Lake Washington, and is most easily accessed by rental car. 

·         Seattle is surrounded by mountains – the Cascades to the east, the Olympics to the west, Mr. Rainier to the south and Mt. Baker to the north. In March there are usually still skiing opportunities at multiple locations. (Check this site to learn more about the various options.) If you want to invest less time and expense than a full day of skiing, there is a great tubing center at Snoqualmie Pass, about an hour from Seattle, where kids can sail down in inner tubes and get towed back to the top. If the snow is scarce, there are lower elevations hikes to please all ages. Twin Falls is a great three mile hike along a river and up to some beautiful falls. Tiger Mountain also has hikes for all ages – little kids can take a flat loop through the trees to a pond and more hardy hikers can climb to the top for gorgeous views. Or for a less ambitious jaunt, you could see the impressive Snoqualmie Falls and then have lunch at the upscale Salish Lodge located at the top of the falls.

·         Many of the previous blog suggestions –the Duck Tour, Olympic Sculpture Garden, taking a ferry ride, visiting the Aquarium, and exploring Discovery Park are all family friendly activities.