STOC '06 Seattle and Area Information


The spring climate in Seattle can be very pleasant. Average highs in May are typically in the mid 60's Fahrenheit with lows around 50. For specific details check current forecasts and weather details.

Getting to and from SeaTac Airport

Getting Around

Most of the things you'll want to do in Seattle are within walking distance of the Red Lion on 5th hotel. If your legs are getting a little tired you can just hop on a
  • Seattle Metro bus. Buses in the downtown area are free until 7:00 p.m. Regular fare is $1.25 off-peak, $1.50 peak, and $2.00 peak from the airport. Buses are running on surface streets since the bus tunnel and the iconic Seattle Monorail are closed for repairs and upgrades. Northbound routes run mostly on 1st, 3rd, or 4th Ave, southbound routes run mostly on 3rd, 2nd, or 1st Ave. For more complex bus trips try the Metro Trip Planner.
  • Bus Tracker gives real-time locations of Metro Buses on a map of downtown at one-minute intervals. Alternatively, you can check when buses are expected to be at specific locations you choose. Seattle Bus Monster is slower but shows bus routes and current progress on an overlay of Google maps. Zoom in, select "routes" and enter the route numbers you want to see.
  • Taxis An amalgamation of local cab companies makes Yellow/Gray Top/Red Top Cabs: (206) 282-8222 [or (206) 622-6500 or (206) 789-4949] by far the largest company, though only Stita cabs are licensed to pick up from the airport. An alternative is Orange Cab: (206) 522-8800


    There is lots of great food in Seattle. Here are some suggestions:
  • Favorites of the local arrangements committee and their friends
  • Seattle Restaurant Recommendations and Reviews on Citysearch
  • Dining Guide Seattle: Downtown Seattle Restaurants
  • After Dinner

    For information on what's happening in town, check out the calendar section of the local weekly, alternative newpaper The Stranger . (If you don't find it, Seattle Weekly will do in a pinch.)
    Some sure bets within walking distance of the hotel:


    Since this is Seattle, there is a Starbucks (and probably also a Tully's and a Seattle's Best Coffee) on just about every block. But here are some of our favorite cafe's, especially for hanging out and working in.

    Places to Visit during the day (walking distance)

    Other Places to Visit in Seattle

    Outside Seattle

  • The Museum of Glass
  • in Tacoma is a great place to see some of the best of Northwest art glass. The Pilchuck School and especially Dale Chihuly have made this an artistic center.
  • Snoqualmie Falls
  • is a pleasant place to stop for lunch, a view, and a short hike.
  • If your taste runs to tiny trees rather than the larger ones the Pacific Northwest is known for, check out the Weyerhauser Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection halfway between Seattle and Tacoma
  • Mountains
    This year the snow-pack is a bit above normal which means that the higher elevations will still be snow-covered and the ground will be somewhat wetter for hiking at lower elevations. You can check out current snow pack and weather or road conditions for the higher elevations.
  • Mount St. Helens is a spectacular place to visit. Check out the VolcanoCam to see the current conditions as viewed from the Johnson Ridge Observatory and the archive of high quality recent photos of the current eruption. The best way to get there is to take I-5 south for 2 hours to Castle Rock and then drive the 52 miles along well-paved road from I-5 to the Johnson Ridge Observatory of which the last 25 or so has many great views. The roads are hilly so check out the road conditions before you go.
  • Mount Rainier is about 50 miles away as the crow flies but the main visitor areas are roughly 3 hours drive away. The road to the Paradise Visitor Center on the south side at one mile of elevation is open all year though the lodge is closed for renovation. There will be considerable snow pack there in May. Sunrise visitor center on the northwest side may also be open but at the time of writing it is still closed for the season. (Good lodging is available in the park at Longmire or just outside in the town of Ashford.) If you can't see Mount Rainier dead ahead as you drive south on I-5 from Seattle past Boeing Field then you probably won't see it even if you are on it.
  • North Cascades. This area of jagged peaks is very popular with serious hikers and mountain climbers.
    There is a vast range of hiking trails available in the area ranging from beach trails to ice-covered summits and wooded mountainsides in between. The Washington Trail Association has a searchable list of hikes available.
    Washington Coast
    Although Seattle is on salt water, the shortest route to the Pacific Ocean is 2.5 hours by car south on I-5 to Olympia and west on Routes 101, 8, and 12 to the wide sandy beaches at Ocean Shores, popular for kite flying and horseback riding. (The water is bone-numbing cold so swimming is out of the question.) The most interesting parts of the coast are on the ocean section of Olympic National Park, La Push, Cape Alava, and Cape Flattery or south near the mouth of the Columbia. These are about 4 hours away either by car from the south or (for more variety) by driving onto a ferry and taking a northerly route via Port Angeles. You can walk among the massive moss-covered trees at the Quinault Rainforest or the much larger Hoh Rainforest, the latter of which is at the beginning of the popular Hoh River trail.
    Puget Sound
    Via ferries one can reach many of the islands in Puget Sound.
  • Whidbey Island is the largest island and has a variety of public beach areas and parks such as Deception Pass State Park.
  • The San Juan Islands are popular weekend destinations.
  • Tillicum Village on Blake Island (by boat from Pier 55) offers salmon dinners and Northwest Coast Native American culture.
  • Other nearby islands such as Bainbridge and Vashon Islands are more bedroom communities for Seattle-bound ferry commuters.

    Other Information Sources for Seattle