It is that time of the year again, PAX Prime! Being from Seattle it is great to see such an event in my home town and it is great fun being the local when having tons of friends from out of town coming to visit. One thing I noticed is how majority of people at PAX don’t really venture very far from Washington State Convention Center. With 20,000 people each day going to PAX, many of the places become slammed with long lines, poor service, and poor quality food. Last year I wrote the first Seattleite’s Guide to PAX Prime to help all the visits of Seattle learn about what was just a couple short blocks from the convention center, and there is A LOT of stuff if you are willing to walk just a couple blocks. So let’s get to it!
Nerd Flu! Help Prevent It!
This has to go in every year, but it pains me to say this but sadly gamers aren’t the most hygienic people out there. From odor to just plain old germs. Do yourself a favor and pick up some travel hand sanitizer. Take a shower. Wash your hair. Put on deodorant. This will make it better for yourself and those around you.
Seattle is an awesome city with tons to offer and everyone should just venture out a couple blocks to see some of the things the city has. All of which are just blocks away from the Convention Center. Here are some suggestions on where to go and how to get there.
Did you know that you can ride the bus in downtown Seattle for free until 7 PM! North and South from Belltown to Pioneer Square and east all the way to 7th Ave in most spot, you can ride for free. This makes getting around downtown pretty quick and opens up TONS of places to check out!
I’m always shocked how there is a line of 50 people at the Subway on the 4th floor and at the entrance, but walk a block to Olive & 8th, and it is empty. Seattle has some amazing food in the downtown area and you can probably walk, eat, and walk back in the amount of time it would take to stand in line.
Sweet Iron on 3rd and University is DELICIOUS!! They make waffles! I don’t think I need to say more.
If you are up way too late and are hungry The Hurricane Cafe is a good spot. One of the rare 24 hour restaurants in Downtown Seattle, The Hurricane will fill you up. A total dive, but if you want pancakes, grilled cheese, or a burger at 3:30 Am or 3:30 PM. It will hit the spot.
If you have are needing a sugar shock, then I’d suggest Top Pot Doughnuts, which just happen to open a new place on 3rd and Columbia!
For quick food during PAX just walk down Pike Street a couple blocks down to 4th. You will remove yourself from the huge crowds and there is a Georgio’s Subs, Chipotle,
Qdoba, and Potbelly Sandwich Shop. Keep going Pike and you will walk into Pike Place Market, which has too many delicious foods to list, but if you do make it down there go to Beecher’s for Mac & Cheese!
Well just as important as food is drinking and Seattle has no shortage of bars within walking distance to PAX!
Six Arms is just a short walk up Pike and is great. Craft beers from McMenamins and some great food, Six Arms is well worth the walk up the hill. I’d also suggest getting the Cajun Tots!
Pinball & Booze? Yes please! Shorty’s in Belltown, while a little bit of a trek, is a staples of PAX. Shorty’s is a Coney Island Pinball Bar, with hot dogs, tall cheap beer in cans, and PINBALL. Hopefully Adams Family is working.
Nitelite is a nice dive on 2nd Ave. Cheap mixed drinks makes it worth the walk to 2nd. Also might be a great place to get away from the PAX crowds.
Sun Liquor Spirits. There is a full service distillery just up the street from PAX. Yes, get drunk on hand crafted booze!
It is kinda gaming related, but Seattle is home to the Seattle Pinball Museum! Yes museum! $10 will get you in the door and then it is free play!
I’ve told you some resturants to eat at, but what about a supermarket? Yeah, I’m really telling you to go to a supermarket. Uwajimaya isn’t your normal supermarket though, it is a huge asian supermarket with everything you can imagine. A full food court with everything you can imagine from pho to burgers, as well as a full book store. Uwajimaya is really easy to get to as well, just a short trip in the tunnel to the International District Station or walk the 10 or so blocks.
Out of batteries? Lose your copy of Halo Reach? Need an iPhone charger? Well you are in luck! Target just opened up a brand new City Target on 2nd and Pike, just a couple blocks from the Washington State Convention Center. This is a great place to grab things that you might have miss or forgot and not get ripped off by FedEx Kinko’s or some other random corner shop.
Football! Baseball! Football!
Sports and PAX might not go together, but I love sports and the weekend of PAX you have Seahawks, Huskies, and Mariners all going on. Seahawks play on Thursday night, so if you are in town early and don’t mind watching pre-season football, it would be worth checking out. Mariners open a three game series with the Los Angles Angels, and the Mariners are hot right now! If there is a King’s Court going on, you should really go! If you like college football the University of Washington Huskies open their season at Century Link Field. All venues just a short walk or bus ride away from the Convention Center!
PAX isn’t the only HUGE event going on that weekend! Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival is going on! Bumbershoot (slang for umbrella) is going into it’s 42nd year. If you want to get away from nerd crowds to music crowds then you should stop by Bumbershoot at the Seattle Center. This year includes Jane’s Addiction, Skrillex, M83, Passion Pit, Keane, Best Coast (Beth is so cute), and tons of other bands, comedians, films, and stuff. Bumbershoot is tons of fun!
Well that gives you lots of places to go see while you are in Seattle! Hopefully everyone has fun and a great weekend!
PAX Prime is just four days away, and with 70,000 people coming into downtown Seattle, it can get a little crazy. I thought I’d give some tips to those who are going to their first PAX, coming to Seattle for the first time, or just like reading some random notes from someone who has gone to every PAX so far.