PAX West is just around the corner! My nerdy heart goes pitter-patter just thinking about it. At PAX, I love walking the floor, attending panels, and playing games—but I also love taking advantage of the beautiful host city. Last year, I had so much fun spending a couple of extra days in Seattle, exploring like crazy. Because it’s so massive, the options can be a little overwhelming, so here are my top recommendations for what to do while you’re there.
1. Make Friends with a Bridge Troll
This friendly troll resides at 4505 North Troll Avenue in Fremont, under the north end of the Aurora bridge. Getting to this troll’s abode means taking a 15-minute Uber from downtown, but it’s worth it. Not only do you get the unique experience of coming face-to-face with this massive monster (which will put a smile on your face), but there are lots of other cool things in the Fremont area—it’s my favorite neighborhood in Seattle.
2. Visit Add-A-Ball in Fremont
Pinball, arcade cabinets, booze, and an insane Patrick Swayze mural reside in this cozy underground gaming space. Bonus: there’s a nice patio out front with seating if you need to get some air between heated matches of Bubble Bobble. Add-A-Ball is located at 315 N 36th Street, Seattle—just an 8-minute walk from the bridge troll.
3. Experience the Best Museum Ever
The Museum of Pop Culture feels like it was made just for me. I visited last year and its exhibits included Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction, Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film, Indie Game Revolution, Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic, and a Star Wars costume exhibit. I’m delighted that the museum has all the same exhibits this year, except the Star Wars one, which has been swapped out for Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds. If you only do one thing in Seattle, I recommend this! Here are some more photos from my visit because I can’t help myself:
4. Explore Pike Place and the Waterfront
Pike Place Market might be a typical tourist destination, but there’s a reason for that. There’s nothing else like it. Watch professional fishmongers do their thing, stop for treats at Le Panier, buy some exotic spices to take home as souvenirs, and hit up some of the kooky shops along the waterfront, including this one:
5. Eat at Serious Pie
If you google 4-star rated restaurants in downtown Seattle, you’ll be overwhelmed with hundreds of options within blocks of you. When I travel, I take food very seriously, packing in as many varied culinary adventures as possible. With that in mind, I rarely eat at a restaurant twice in one trip. However, Serious Pie warranted it. Their simple, delicious pizza will blow your mind, and I strongly encourage you to save room for dessert. When I go to PAX this year, I’m planning to seek out more restaurants by Tom Douglas, the evil genius behind Serious Pie.
There’s so much to do in Seattle that it’s hard to narrow it down to a compact list. What am I missing? What are your biggest recommendations? And if you’re going to be at PAX, let me know! We can hunt Pokémon together.