A vibrant city surrounded by natural beauty, Seattle is a conference destination that offers visitors a plethora of options for entertainment, good food and maybe even a little exercise. Known as the birthplace of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, the city continues to maintain a lively music scene. Seattle also is home to innovative museums and theaters, and it is the perfect base for a wealth of outdoor activities.To help you make the most out of your stay in Seattle while attending SLEEP 2015, we asked AASM President-Elect Dr. Nathaniel Watson and staff at the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center for some insider’s tips. Here are some of their favorite places to go and things to do in the Emerald City.


Fine Dining

Watson’s Pick: Metropolitan Grill, El Gaucho, Purple, Wild Ginger
Comments: The first two are great steakhouses; “the Met” is a Seattle institution. Purple is for the wine aficionados, and Wild Ginger is great Asian fusion dining.
Staff Pick:  Cutter’s

Casual Dining

Watson’s Pick: Ivar’s restaurants and their clam chowder
Staff Pick: Ivar’s Chowderhouse
Comments: As founder, Ivar Hagelund used to always give the sage advice, “Keep Clam.”

Live Music

Watson’s Pick: The Paramount, The Show Box, J and M café in Pioneer Square (actually, most bars in Pioneer Square)
Comments: What can you say:  Jimi Hendrix, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, the Shins, etc…


Watson’s Pick: Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum
Staff Pick: EMP/Glass Museum
Comments: Take the monorail to the Seattle Center, then go to the funky, multicolored building that the monorail actually drives through! This museum is Paul Allen’s muse, and his collections of cool stuff will not disappoint. (Current featured exhibitions include “Star Wars and the Power of Costume” and “Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses.”)

Photo by James P. Walsh


 Watson’s Pick: Take the Ferry from Colman dock downtown to Bainbridge Island
Comments: For about 8 bucks, you get a 35-minute cruise on the Puget Sound (each way). You can enjoy a beer or wine on the trip. Rub elbows with some salty, ferry commuter veterans (guaranteed on the 4:40, 5:30, or 6:20 sailings).
Staff Pick: The Great Wheel
Comments: It’s a great way to see all of Seattle.



Photo by Howard Frisk

Watson’s Pick: Pacific Place, a block away from the convention center, also the REI flagship store
Comments: Pacific place has everything you need plus a skybridge to Nordstroms. The REI store (walking distance from the convention center) is an outdoor person’s paradise.
Staff Pick: Pike Place Market
Comments: Local artists, farmers and shops.

Performing Arts

 Watson’s Pick: Do the Mariners count?
Comments: Take light rail from Westlake center to the Stadium district. Check out Felix Hernandez, one of the best pitchers of his generation.

Outdoor Recreation

Watson’s Pick: Outdoor Sculpture Park
Comments: A short cab ride, or longish walk from the convention center. Go at sunset and admire the sculptures as the sun sets over the Olympic mountains.

Staff Pick: Duck Tour
Comments: Great way to see the city. Very fun.

Day Trip

Watson’s Pick: If it is nice, go to Mt. Rainier and marvel in its majesty.
Comments: You will need to rent a car. There are two trailheads: Sunshine and Paradise. They are both great.

Staff Pick: Blake Island Ferry Tour
Comments: Full day activity.


 Watson’s Pick: Gas Works Park, Fremont Troll
Comments: Neat retired power plant on north shore of Lake Union. Gives a different perspective of downtown than what you are used to. Good spot for kite flying! Go to Fremont neighborhood right nearby and search for the Troll under the bridge; just don’t get too close! Also, head to the Ballard Neighborhood and the Chittenden Locks and see Salmon swimming up the fish ladder.