Seattle Visitor Guide

Scroll down for content about Seattle's public transportation, neighborhoods, activities, and dining options

Public Transport

The University of Washington is situated about 5 miles north of downtown Seattle.

Light Rail

Seattle is served by the Link Light Rail.

The nearest station to Kane Hall is the U District Station. Note: There are three similarly-named stops:

  • University Street Station, which is downtown. This is definitely the wrong stop to get to Kane Hall.
  • University of Washington Station, farther from the venue, but still walking distance. If you get out at this stop by accident, it's probably faster to walk than to get the next train.
  • U District Station, which is the closest to Kane Hall.

Our venue is about a 5 minute walk from the Light Rail station through the University District.

There are trains running every 10 minutes, and the line starts south of SeaTac airport. It takes about 70 minutes to get from the airport to the venue and about 25 minutes from the long-distance bus/train stop at King Street Station.

Tickets can be bought at the station (either one-way, or returns) at automated kiosks. You can also purchase Orca Cards, which let you tap-on and tap-off to pay as you go.

Service note: the Link Light Rail is undergoing late-night maintenance during PyCascades. Trips after 11 PM will be slower, less-frequent, and noisier. More information is available on Sound Transit's website.


There are regular bus services run by King County Metro to the University district. There is a stop on campus, and many other buses stop on Campus Parkway which is a 5 minute walk away.

The timetables are integrated into the popular map apps, such as Google Maps. There is also the One Bus Away app for buses which gives you live updates as to when the next bus is due at each bus stop. For a list of apps that are integrated with Metro, see Mobile and web apps.

Ride Shares & Taxis

Seattle is served by taxis as well as rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber. There are also car-share services such as ZipCar, but there may not be much public street parking near the University.


The University is accessible from the I-5, at the 45th St exit. Follow directions to central campus. The conference is in Kane Hall on Red Square. There is parking both on campus and on the street near the campus. Parking on campus is the best option Saturday. Both locations are free on Sunday.

The closest on campus lot is the Central Plaza Garage underneath Red Square and it the best option. When entering campus stop at a gatehouse to purchase a pass and get directions to a lot (ask for something near Kane Hall).

Kane Hall lies on the western edge of the university's campus. It is a short walk from University Way, Brooklyn Ave, and 12th Ave NE where some street parking is available. For parking on the street, see Paid Parking Rates. There is a pedestrian overpass from Campus Parkway (south of 41st St) to campus that leads right into Red Square. Kane Hall will be on the forward left as you enter the square.

University District

5-10 minute walk

The University District is just west of Kane Hall, our conference venue. Shops and restaurants are centered around University Avenue, known as "the Ave".

University Bookstore has been UW's official bookstore since 1900. In addition to books, you'll find textbooks, office supplies, art supplies, and all the Husky gear you might need. The bookstore is a 10-minute walk from Kane Hall.

The Burke Museum is located on the UW campus. The museum specializes in dinosaurs, fossils, and Northwest Native art. The museum recommends that you purchase your ticket ahead of time. The museum is a 10-minute walk from Kane Hall.

Hifi Lofi is in the University District. The shop contains a unique collection of older media, including video games, records, VHS tapes, and manga.


  • Xi'an Noodles - A local spot dishing up Chinese hand-pulled noodles, street food & other classics.
  • Thai Tom - Iconic Thai food eatery, possibly the best in Seattle. Low dining space available inside, cash only, but extremely good.
  • Bok a Bok Chicken - Great chicken place, to-go only.
  • Morsel - Tantalizing biscuits, a perfect place for a morning bite or an afternoon snack.
  • Shawarma King - Solid vegetarian options, open late, wonderful customer service.

Downtown Seattle and Pioneer Square

25-30 minutes via public transit

To get to Pioneer Square take the light rail to Pioneer Square Station. Pioneer Square is going through a revival and there are many galleries, cute shops and food options.

The Smith Tower, 35th floor speakeasy requires an elevator ticket but includes entry to a small museum and sweeping views of Seattle.


25-30 minutes via public transit

Fremont is known for its quirky, artistic flair. It’s home to the Fremont Troll sculpture, the most-frequently-opened drawbridge in the United States (which doubles as an art studio for the current artist-in-residence) and a number of dining spots and bars. The easiest way to get to Fremont from the U-District is to grab either the 31 or 32 bus. Fremont, like the UW, also lies on part of the Burke-Gilman Trail.

Fremont is something of a nexus of tech companies. Google, Tableau, Getty Images, Olis Robotics, and Adobe (among others) are there.

Add-A-Ball is an arcade bar for ages 21+.

Fremont Brewing has some spaces that are open to all ages.

Theo Chocolate is a chocolate factory in the heart of Fremont that gives out free samples on their show floor. You can book a guided tasting for $12. All ages welcome.

Gas Works Park, the former sight of a large gas and coal plant, has a large amount of waterfront access to Lake Union and clear views of South Lake Union and beyond to Downtown. There is a 5-minute walk downhill from the bus stop.


30-35 minutes via public transit

Ballard is the Scandinavian cultural center of the city and has recently been the focus of a lot of new development. The easiest way to get to Ballard from the U-District is to grab the 44 bus.

There are a lot of shops and nightlife in the historic center and the formerly industrial-centric area is exploding with breweries. Ballard alone has 11 breweries, a cidery, a distillery and a winery and the adjacent neighborhoods have even more!

Ballard Locks is the USA's busiest lock connecting saltwater and freshwater bodies.

Nordic Museum was recently recognized as the National Nordic Museum.

Ballard Farmers Market is open 10 - 3 every Sunday of the year.

Ruben's Brews is Ballard's biggest and most centrally-located brewery. Five other breweries are within 0.3 miles (0.5 km). All but one are kid-friendly and pet-friendly, often with rotating food trucks outside. There is a 10-minute walk from the bus stop.

Queen Anne

40-45 minutes via public transit

Queen Anne lies between the Fremont/ Ballard neighborhoods and downtown; unfortunately because it lies directly across the lake from the University District, there is no direct public transportation option. The simplest way to reach Queen Anne is by taking the Light Link downtown to the Westlake station and then transfer to any of the numerous northern-bound buses, depending on your final destination (routes 2, 3, 4, 13, 29, D).

Lower Queen Anne is the area closest to downtown and is the location of many of Seattle's performing arts and the world-recognizable Seattle Center.

Space Needle was built for the 1962 World's Fair and is in every picture of Seattle ever.

Kerry Park is a popular Kodak spot with views of downtown and Capitol Hill. The location used by many professional photographers and TV shows.

MoPOP, Museum of Pop Culture is a small museum combining PNW music history, Indie Games, and Film and sci-fi history.