Explore Seattle

During your stay at Shafer Baillie Mansion, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the wide variety of activities, attractions and restaurants in downtown Seattle and surrounding areas. Here’s just a sample:

Official Seattle Visitors’ Website


The quintessential special-occasion spot—reservations recommended well in advance.

Salty’s on Alki
Sweeping view in West Seattle—especially renowned for weekend brunches.

Ray’s Boathouse
One of many outstanding Seattle seafood houses; near the Ballard Locks

Daniel’s Broiler
Great for steaks!

One of a number of fine Japanese restaurants in Seattle; some of the best sushi in town.

Wild Ginger
Pan-Asian cuisine in downtown Seattle. Downstairs is an outstanding music venue, the Triple Door.

Tom Douglas
Tom’s not a restaurant, just a force majeure on the Seattle dining scene. You’ll be in for a treat at any of his establishments.

Sky City
Better known as the Space Needle Restaurant.   Maybe it’s overpriced; maybe the quality of food is surpassed by the quality of the view—but what a view! As long as you’re not prone to motion sickness (spinning around at one r.p.h.), give it a whirl!

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City Pass
Several activities at one discounted price.

Seaplane tour
Take flight in a seaplane from Lake Union in the heart of the city and see the major landmarks from above!

Boat tours
Choose between a 1-hour harbor tour or a 2.5-hour dinner cruise.

Boeing factory tour
Not in Seattle strictly speaking, but a very popular tour worth the trip north to Everett. Reservations recommended.

Microsoft Visitors’ Center/Museum
They say Bill spends most of his time here these days, shaking hands with visitors and passing out free money. Just kidding.

Gates Foundation Visitor Center
Wonder where all the money goes? Come and learn about the foundation’s work to help the world.

Seattle Underground
A dash of Seattle history and a splash of humor, shaken not stirred.

Beneath the Streets
A more personal look at what is underneath Seattle’s Pioneer Square (birthplace of Seattle).

Chihuly Garden and Glass
Dale Chihuly, internationally renowned glass artist and local celebrity, has brought the best to this space. Located in the grounds of the Seattle Center.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room
We could have put this under coffee shops, but there are better choices for that.

Pike Place Market
One of the city’s most popular destinations for natives and tourists alike. See the original Starbucks, but watch out for flying salmon!

Seattle Waterfront
Just down the stairs from the Market, home to harbor cruises, the Seattle Aquarium, and don’t miss Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe!

Seattle Great Wheel
A new addition to the waterfront, the great wheel is built over the water and is the tallest wheel on the West Coast.

Pioneer Square
Dining, art galleries and more amidst historic old Seattle buildings. Home of the underground tour.

Space Needle
The unmistakable icon of the Seattle skyline with breathtaking 360° views. Located at the Seattle Center, grounds of the 1962 World’s Fair.

Woodland Park Zoo
Besides award-winning naturalistic animal exhibits, hosts a great family-friendly summer concert series, Zoo Tunes.

Central Library
Rem Koolhaas-designed building opened in 2004 to both acclaim and controversy. Free tours (both General and Architectural) available.

Ballard Locks
Officially the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, this engineering marvel allows boat traffic to pass from Lake Washington into Puget Sound but prevents the lake, at higher elevation, from draining into the Sound. See the pesky sea lions devouring the spawning salmon!

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Seattle Art Museum
In addition to extensive permanent collections, SAM hosts major exhibitions on a regular basis. Admission is free the first Thursday of every month, and although there is a suggested admission rate at other times, it is offered as pay-what-you-can.

Seattle Asian Art Museum
Former home of SAM itself prior to the main museum moving to its current downtown location, this historic art deco building opened in 1933 and now houses SAM’s Asian art collection. A short walk from the mansion in Volunteer Park.

Olympic Sculpture Park
SAM’s acclaimed venue on the waterfront, open and free year round.

Experience Music Project
Paul Allen goes a little nuts and enlists Frank Gehry to design a shack for his guitar collection and Hendrix memorabilia.   Located at the Seattle Center and also home to:
Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame

Pacific Science Center
Another Seattle Center institution dating back to the ’62 World’s Fair, and home to not one but two IMAX theaters.

Seattle Children’s Museum
Also at the Center, best suited for the toddler to 10 set and their parents.

Museum of Flight
What else do you expect to find in Boeing’s home town, right?

Northwest African American Museum
This museum is located in the Urban League Village at Colman School and next to the Jimmy Hendrix park.

Wing Luke Asian Museum
A Smithsonian Institution affiliate, this is the premier pan-Asian Pacific American museum in the country.

Henry Art Gallery
Located at the University of Washington, this contemporary art center features innovative programming, public education, diverse film and lecture series and exhibitions.

Burke Museum
Another UW institution, focusing on the natural and cultural history of the Pacific Northwest.

Museum of History and Industry
MOHAI is the best and most fun place to learn about Seattle’s past. It’s also the final resting place of Bobo, a much-loved iconic gorilla from the Woodland Park Zoo, and the original “R” from the Rainier Brewing Company.

Frye Museum
Focuses on representational art, so if you wouldn’t know a Pollock from a pollock, and what’s more wouldn’t care, this may just be for you. Admission free.

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Paramount Theatre
Magnificent 1928 Beaux Arts-style movie palace, exquisitely restored and now host mainly to live music and theater. Still sometimes shows silent movies on Monday nights, accompanied by the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. Free tours first Saturday of the month, highly recommended!

Fifth Avenue Theatre
Originally a 1926 vaudeville house, then a movie theater, now the beautifully-restored home to musical theater productions.

Pacific Northwest Ballet
Respected regional company founded in 1972. PBN will be premiering a new Nutcracker in the 2015 season with sets designed by Ian Falconer author of “Olivia the Pig” books.

Seattle Opera
Especially renowned for productions of Wagner. The home of the Ballet and Opera is McCaw Hall

Seattle Symphony
Based at the beautiful Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle, which hosts many other musical events as well in its two performance spaces. Free tours Tuesdays and Fridays.

Seattle Repertory Theatre
“The Rep” emphasizes plays of true dramatic and literary worth; 1990 Tony winner for Regional Theatre.

Intiman Theatre Festival
An annual summertime event curated by some of Seattle’s finest artists.

ACT Theatre
Dedicated to new and contemporary plays—which doesn’t stop them from mounting a very popular and traditional production of A Christmas Carol every holiday season!

Seattle Children’s Theater
Located at the Center with a wide range of productions suitable for “children of all ages.”

Moore Theatre
Another popular concert venue operated by the nonprofit Seattle Theatre Group.

Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center
Between the work created by Cornish students and professional productions from a wide range of community partners, the Playhouse offers rich experiences not only in theater but also in dance, music and the visual arts.

Triple Door
Spectacular, intimate new space featuring two music venues in one; downstairs from, and serviced by the kitchen of (!) the Wild Ginger restaurant.

Storied downtown room, host to an astonishing variety of acts since 1939—touring icons like Duke Ellington, and homegrown Seattle legends from Gypsy Rose Lee to Pearl Jam. A second location opened in the SoDo neighborhood.

Tractor Tavern
Excellent funky bar/venue for folk, country, alt.country, rockabilly, Americana and more, in the heart of Ballard.

Successor to the legendary Moe’s Mo’ Rockin’ Café, this venue is about a mile from the mansion and a great place to catch local and national acts.

Crocodile Café
Owned by the wife of REM guitarist Peter Buck, the Croc was ground zero for the legendary Seattle music scene of the ‘90s and remains an iconic venue.

Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
Consistently voted Seattle’s top jazz venue, and on Down Beat magazine’s 2002 list of top 100 jazz clubs in the world.

Still haven’t found the live music you’re looking for? Pollstar will tell you everything that’s coming up!

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Seattle’s downtown is vibrant and vital with plenty to see, do and buy.

Northgate Mall
The first shopping mall in the US, dating back to 1950. Located in north Seattle.

Southcenter Mall
Very large mall in south Seattle, near SeaTac Airport.

University Village
Pleasant open-air mall just three miles from the mansion.

University District
The U District is the shopping and dining area adjacent to the University of Washington campus, centered on University Way, better known as “the Ave.”

University Bookstore
Large full-spectrum bookstore located on the Ave; lots of readings and other public events.

Elliott Bay Books
Seattle’s premier independent bookseller, originally located in Pioneer Square moved to Capitol Hill in 2010. Average of 10 readings a week, most free.

Third Place Books
Another pair of venerable independent bookstores and much more besides. The flagship is just north of Seattle while the Ravenna store is only four miles from the mansion.

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Seattle Mariners
Major League Baseball, Safeco Field

Seattle Seahawks
NFL Football, Qwest Field

Seattle Storm
WNBA basketball, Key Arena

Seattle Sounders
Major League Soccer, Qwest Field

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There are hundreds of parks in Seattle. In addition to Volunteer Park near the Mansion, you might like to visit:


Northwest Folklife Festival
Memorial Day Weekend festival at the Center celebrating folk, ethnic, and traditional arts.

Bite of Seattle
Each July at the Center, a chance to sample fare from many of Seattle’s favorite restaurants.

Dine Around Seattle
Get to eat at new restaurants or old favorites with a prix fix price, takes place in March and November.

Seattle Restaurant Week
Really 2 weeks (10 days Sunday through Thursday), April and October.

Zoo Tunes
Excellent weekly summertime concert series at the Zoo; very family-friendly.

Very popular annual Christmastime production by Pacific Northwest Ballet with sets and costumes designed by Ian Falconer author of Olivia the pig books.

Seattle area’s month-long summertime party.

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