MozCon Field Guide: Exploring Summertime Seattle

MozCon 2023 is fast approaching (taking place August 7 & 8), and we here at Moz are so excited to see all the IRL and virtual attendees! As the event draws closer, we think it’s a great time to remind folks of everything you can do while visiting the Emerald City.

Nestled up in the corner of Washington state, surrounded by forests, mountains, and the Puget Sound, Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). It is home to industry giants like Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, and Boeing and is the birthplace of Grunge music (think Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam — all from Seattle).

Whether you’re traveling from near or far, we’ve compiled a list of some of the amazingly fun, educational, and sometimes weird activities around the city. And if you haven’t bought your tickets yet, don’t worry! It’s not too late. Head on over to the MozCon hub to explore purchase options. Night Owl savings are available through June 30!

For the sightseers

If this is your first time visiting Seattle, or if you love more traditional “tourist” attractions, these stops should definitely be on your list.

The Space Needle

Often synonymous with Seattle, you can’t find a photo or piece of video footage of the Seattle skyline without this iconic landmark included. Originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair (the inspiration for this year’s MozCon theme), the Space Needle now operates daily for visitors to take in a 360º view of the city. It is also home to the world’s first rotating glass floor.

Photo by Jared Lung

Columbia Center Tower

The Sky View Observatory of the Columbia Center is located on the 73rd floor of the “tallest public viewing area in the Pacific Northwest.” You can take in views of everything from Mt. Rainier to Bellevue from the viewing area and then grab a snack at the café.

Pike Place Market

This market is quintessential Seattle. Located near the downtown waterfront and founded in 1907, Pike Place is a must-see stop. It features local businesses of all kinds, including the infamous flying fish of the Pike Place Fish Market (featured in the opening credits of Real World: Seattle) and the first Starbucks. And for those with more time to explore, below the stalls of the street level is a maze of brick-and-mortar stores like Golden Age Collectibles (the world’s oldest comic book shop).

Photo by Farid Briones

Kerry Park

Located in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, Kerry Park is the go-to place for majestic views of the city and Mt. Rainier. Commonly used for shots in TV and film that establish Seattle as the location, it’s a great place to catch the sunrise or sunset.

The Seattle Great Wheel

At 60 meters tall, this ferris wheel is the largest of its kind on the west coast. And if you’re scared of heights (like me!), it’s still a great site to see. Especially Friday through Saturday night when they light it up with a fun light show!

For the lovers of learning

Seattle is home to a plethora of places to help expand your knowledge! Whether you’re into art, books, or history, there is something for everyone.

SAM

The Seattle Art Museum features art from around the world with both ongoing and featured exhibits. The featured exhibit for August will be Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks, which officially opens on July 13. If you’re planning a visit to SAM, be sure to keep in mind that they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Seattle Asian Art Museum

Located at Volunteer Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, the Seattle Asian Art Museum is another location of SAM. The upcoming Renegade Edo and Paris: Japanese Prints and Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit officially opens on July 21. This museum is open Friday through Sunday.

Northwest African American Museum

Self-described as “… an anti-racist, pro-equity, affirming gathering place of hope, help, and healing for the entire Northwest region that is building intergenerational cultural wealth,” the Northwest African American Museum is open Thursday through Sunday. Be sure to check out the Freedom of Expression exhibit on display until September 3.

Museum of Flight

Seattle has a rich aerospace history, and you can learn all about it at the Museum of Flight. This museum is larger than life, featuring exhibits about space and air travel which include real planes (and a space shuttle full fuselage trainer!).

Photo by DreamArtist

MoPop

Located below the Space Needle, the Museum of Pop Culture, aka MoPop, will be the location of this year’s MozCon Closing Party. This museum is such a fun experience! It features exhibits about music, science fiction, indie games, and the world of fantasy. These exhibits are filled with relics, props, costumes, and more from your favorite films and TV shows. It is a must-see for any pop culture fan! You can even make your own music in the Sound Lab. And guess what? You’ll get to explore some of these exhibits at the after-party!

MOHAI

The Museum of History and Industry is located on the edge of Lake Union, and features exhibits all about Seattle’s history.

University of Washington

Seattle is home to the University of Washington, which has a beautiful campus ready to explore. Check out Drumheller Fountain, the quad, and Suzzallo Library before heading over to the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture or Frye Art Museum.

Seattle Central Library

The stunning Seattle Central Library is located in the middle of downtown Seattle. The glass building was designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and features art throughout – a must-see for any book lover!

Photo by Edward Palm

For the foodies

Seattle and its surrounding areas are chock full of amazing restaurants, cafés, breweries, wineries, and more.

Food

No matter what you’re craving, there’s a restaurant for you somewhere in Seattle. If you’re looking for a place to start, check out Seattle Met’s 100 Best Restaurants list. Some personal recommendations:Rocco’s Pizza, Cactus (Southwest), and Barrio (Mexican), Mighty O Donuts (Vegan & delicious!), and Dick’s Drive-In (a Seattle staple). If you’re looking for ideas of where to eat while at the conference, be sure to ask a Mozzer!

Coffee

Although Seattle is home to Starbucks headquarters, there are tons of independent and locally owned coffee spots to check out. Some include Fuel Coffee, Caffe Ladro, Cherry Street Coffee House, and Herkimer Coffee. Looking for more suggestions? Check out Eater’s list of Essential Coffee Shops.

If you’re interested in learning about the science and history of coffee and brewing, Seattle has you covered! Check out the Coffee Chemistry event at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Capitol Hill. They also offer various tasting events if you’re looking to try something new.

Breweries

Breweries are abundant in this area. And whether you’re looking to do a tasting flight or just grab a pint, the possibilities are endless. Right downtown, you have the Pike Brewing Company, and just up on Capitol Hill you have Optimism Brewing Company. If you’re able to venture beyond downtown, you have options like Reuben’s Brews and Fremont Brewing. More into cider? Seattle Cider Company and The Woods Tasting Room has you covered.

For the outdoor adventurers

When people think of the PNW, they often think of the great outdoors. And for those who enjoy spending time outside, we sure do have a lot of opportunities to soak up the sun! There are lots of hiking and walking trails around Seattle, including the Washington Park Arboretum (which also features a Japanese garden!).

If you prefer the water, you can rent paddle boards and kayaks to explore Lake Union and Lake Washington. Or, if you’re planning on attending MozCon in a larger group, you may want to think about renting a small electric boat to tool around in.

Have a picnic overlooking the water at Gas Works Park – featured in the iconic paintball scene from the film 10 Things I Hate About You.

Photo by Fernando Reyes

If you’re looking for places to explore that offer an outdoor experience, be sure to check out the Chihuly Garden and Glass at the Seattle Center or the Olympic Sculpture Park. Or take a stroll near the Ballard Locks to see one of the busiest lock systems in the country. You can also spend some time at their botanical garden and see the fish ladder. Pro tip! Wondering how the locks work? You can learn all about it at MOHAI!

Photo by Chris F

For the sports fans

Want to catch a game in a different city? Seattle is home to plenty of professional sports teams!

Baseball

T-Mobile Park is home to the Seattle Mariners. They’ll be in town playing the San Diego Padres and the Baltimore Orioles.

Soccer

OL Reign (Seattle’s Women’s Soccer team) will be playing Portland Thorns FC the Sunday before MozCon if you’d like to catch a match. They will be playing at Lumen Field, which is where Seattle Sounders FC (men’s soccer) and the Seattle Seahawks (football) also play.

Basketball

The Seattle Storm will be home at Climate Pledge Arena to play the Atlanta Dream on August 10 in case you want to check out the four-time WNBA Champions.

Football

Preseason will have started just in time for MozCon! The Seattle Seahawks will be playing the Minnesota Vikings on August 10 if you’re looking to root your heart out.

For the pop culture aficionados

If you’re into pop culture and are looking for some interesting stops to add to your Seattle tour list, we’ve got a few ideas for you.

Jimi Hendrix Statue

Although its real name is The Electric Lady Studio Guitar, it’s fondly referred to as the Jimi Hendrix Statue, and you can check it out in the Capitol Hill neighborhood on the corner of Pine and Broadway.

Fremont Troll

This infamous statue is located under the George Washington Memorial Bridge in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. It’s been featured in films like 10 Things I Hate About You and the TV show Once Upon a Time.

Fremont Troll. (2023, May 30). In Wikipedia.

Bruce Lee’s resting place

If you’re a martial arts fan (or a fan of The Crow), you can pay tribute to Bruce Lee and his son Brandon in Volunteer Park.

Kurt Cobain’s bench

Are you a Nirvana fan? Then be sure to add Viretta Park to your list of places to visit. This park is near the home of Kurt Cobain, and although you can’t see his house, there is a bench there that has become a memorial to the musician and is covered in fan messages.

KEXP Gathering Space

KEXP is a beloved non-profit radio station here in Seattle. You can stream them anywhere in the world through their app (and I highly recommend you check them out – they have amazing themed shows each night of the week). They have a public gathering space in Seattle Center which features a café, record shop, and a window into their studio. It’s a great place to relax and have a cup of coffee.

SIFF Cinema

Movie buff? Seattle is home to one of the largest film festivals in the world – Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Although the festival won’t be at the same time as MozCon, they offer year-round showings of movies from around the world. If you’re looking to check out a unique film that you may not get to see on the big screen elsewhere, check out the showtimes of the SIFF Cinema Uptown Theater or SIFF Cinema Egyptian Theater.

For the eccentric explorers

We can’t wrap up this list without including some of the outside-the-box activities and locales. So here are a few things to check out if you’re looking for something outside the standard fare.

Gum Wall

Although technically part of Pike Place Market, this attraction deserves its own entry on our list. The Seattle Gum Wall is exactly what it sounds like – a wall of gum. People come from all over to stick their gum to this brick wall hidden down an alley of the market. Fun (or maybe gross?) fact: the wall has only been cleaned off twice in its history – in 2015 and 2018. The cleaning occurred to help preserve the wall itself.

Fremont neighborhood

We’ve mentioned a few places in Fremont already (the Fremont Troll and Fremont Brewing Company) but if you have time to explore this neighborhood more fully, it is a fun and quirky area that doesn’t disappoint. Not only is it home to lots of fun shops and restaurants, but also a statue of Lenin, the Center of the Universe sign, a rocket, and dinosaur topiaries. Be sure to take a walk by the Waiting for the Interurban statue, too. It’s tradition to dress up the figures for different occasions and holidays.

Photo by Meghan Pahinui

Underground Seattle Tour

Back in 1889, a fire destroyed a large section of Seattle’s downtown. The citizens of the city opted to rebuild – on top of the existing city! Now there is a network of buildings and tunnels below present-day Seattle from the original city. You can take tours of Underground Seattle in Pioneer Square.

Seattle Pinball Museum

Like pinball? Feeling nostalgic? Check out the Seattle Pinball Museum — and bring some quarters!

Hat n’ Boots

Hat n’ Boots is a set of statues in Oxbow Park that include a 44-foot wide cowboy hat and a pair of 22-foot tall cowboy boots.

Photo by Meghan Pahinui

Photo by Meghan Pahinui

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re from the Seattle area or you’re coming in from out of town (or country!) we hope you discovered some fun ideas to bookend your MozCon adventure. If you haven’t purchased your tickets just yet, be sure to check out soon so you don’t miss out. And if you’re having trouble convincing your boss (or yourself) to send you to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, check out our Convince Your Boss blog post and initial agenda to learn even more about the event. Hope to see you in August!

We hope you’re as excited as we are for August 7th and 8th to hurry up and get here. And again, if you haven’t grabbed your ticket yet and need help making a case we have a handy template to convince your boss!

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