Top 11 Things to do in Seattle During the 2023 ALA Conference and Expo

Image shows a nighttime, skyline image of Seattle, Washington. It accompanies a story about the 2023 ALA Conference & Expo.


Savvy is getting all our gear ready for the big ALA Conference & Expo in beautiful Seattle, WA. We are so excited to see old friends, make new friends, learn stuff, share stuff, eat stuff and drink stuff! The ALA crew has put together what looks to be a fantastic conference for all of us and I intend to partake in as many of the meetings, displays, breakouts, lunches and events as I can.

But of course, I also plan to be a bit of a tourist when I have some free time. I love the Pacific Northwest. Little-known Doug fact: I attended Lewis & Clark College in beautiful Portland, OR and I majored in (you’ll never guess…) Religious Studies. (Later, I went on to earn my MBA from The University of Colorado.)

I digress.

Seattle is a vibrant city, famous for its picturesque landscape, exciting tourist attractions, and rich cultural heritage. I’ve visited the city many times, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite spots to visit. Let me know if you, too, plan to snap your fanny pack on and wander the city during the Expo!

1. Space Needle

The Space Needle is one of the most iconic landmarks in Seattle and offers a breathtaking view of the city skyline. The observation deck is situated at 520 feet above ground level, and visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the city from all directions. The Space Needle also features a rotating glass floor, which offers an exciting view of the city below.

2. Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market is one of the oldest continuously operated public markets in the United States, and it offers a wide range of fresh produce, seafood, and artisanal products. Visitors can enjoy a stroll through the market and sample some of the local delicacies, such as the famous Pike Place Chowder or the Beecher’s Handmade Cheese.

3. Chihuly Garden and Glass

The Chihuly Garden and Glass is a stunning exhibition of glass art by the renowned artist Dale Chihuly. The exhibition features a series of colorful glass sculptures that are displayed in a beautiful garden setting. Visitors can explore the exhibition at their own pace and learn about the art of glass blowing.

4. Seattle Art Museum

The Seattle Art Museum is one of the largest art museums in the Pacific Northwest and features a wide range of art collections from around the world. The museum’s collection includes works by renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Vincent van Gogh.

5. Take a ferry to Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island is a charming community located just a short ferry ride from downtown Seattle. Visitors can enjoy a scenic ferry ride across the Puget Sound and explore the island’s beautiful beaches, parks, and hiking trails. Bainbridge Island is also home to a vibrant arts and culture scene, with several art galleries and museums.

6. Museum of Pop Culture

The Museum of Pop Culture is a unique museum that celebrates the popular culture of the Pacific Northwest. The museum features a wide range of exhibits, including displays on music, film, and science fiction. Visitors can explore the museum’s interactive exhibits and learn about the history of popular culture in the region.

7. Enjoy a coffee at the original Starbucks

Seattle is famous for its coffee culture, and the city is home to several iconic coffee shops, including the original Starbucks. Visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee at the very first Starbucks location, which opened in 1971.

8. Olympic Sculpture Park

The Olympic Sculpture Park is a beautiful public park that features a series of large-scale sculptures by renowned artists. The park also offers stunning views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Visitors can enjoy a stroll through the park and take in the beautiful artwork and scenery.

9. Seattle Underground

The Seattle Underground is a network of tunnels and passageways that were created after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. Visitors can take a tour of the underground tunnels and learn about the history of Seattle’s early days.

10. Woodland Park Zoo

The Woodland Park Zoo is one of the premier zoos in the United States and features a wide range of animal exhibits, including lions, tigers, bears, and gorillas. The zoo also offers educational programs and interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages.

11. Booth 1207

Of course you also want to visit Booth 1207 at the ALA Expo where the amazing Savvy Training & Consulting team will be handing out mints and lip balm, and holding a drawing for Apple AirPods! Puh-LEEZ stop by and say hi. We genuinely want to meet folks and enjoy this fantastic community.

See you soon!


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