I got sober in Seattle. Best thing I ever did (please don’t let my wife see this, as she thinks the “best thing I ever did” happened on our wedding day…) But it was. The best thing.
Getting sober, and becoming (and then, remaining) 100% abstinent from any alcohol of any kind changed my life immeasurably. It took me away from a dark, solitary place that had little time for constructive thought or making good decisions, and which only gave me legal worries and serious questions about my conduct at work I couldn’t answer. Thinking about it, it really did very little for my marriage either, though my wife, bless her, stood by me, even when our lives began to show the distinct cracks in their foundations just before it all comes tumbling down.
Sounds a little dramatic, but, in the end, that’s what it was. Get busy living and all that. Getting sober, all thanks to a wonderful rehab in Seattle, went a long, long way in fixing those cracks.
We don’t live near Seattle anymore, as we headed south down the coast toward ‘Frisco not long after I got sober. But we still go back. We left a few friends and a few good memories back there, so it’s always good to see the cityscape of the place as we’re driving up.
And, of course, when I’m there, we do our thing, go-to favorite restaurants, head out to Alki Beach (it wasn’t until I left that the irony of that name hit me), you know, the usual stuff you do when you go back to a place that was once your home.
But we do the “tourist thing” every time too. Partly because it’s fun, it really is, and partly because we never know when we may get back there again. Anyway, it just feels right, looking out over the city from the Space Needle, the world (as you know it, or as you used to) at your feet, or catching a soon-to-be-famous local artist doing their thing (and shopping, there’s always shopping) in Pike Place Market.
So, here are my “5 Ways to Get Your Sober Fun in Seattle” – my 5 favorites. Seattle, as a city and a place to visit, is lucky. There’s so much you can do. So, do them all, alcohol-free, and enjoy, my friend, enjoy!
#1. The Egyptian: Unique Premiers & Old Movie Magic
The Egyptian (SIFF Cinema) is a wonderful way to catch a movie. With its premier, single-screen feel, this historic focuses its programming on first-run titles and unique special events. Situated at 805 E Pine St, Seattle, WA, 98122 – if you’re a first-time visitor, and can’t get anywhere without Mr. Google (you and me both, my friend), parking is just across the street at the corner of Harvard and Pine, or the place is served the following bus lines: 9, 10, 11, 43, 49, 60, and 84.You can grab your tickets online at SIFF Cinema Egyptian, or at the box office, which opens around 30 minutes before the first movie of the day.
Be warned: If you catch one of their late movies, expect the audience to be a little raucous — you know what I mean. I’m an afternoon matinee man, myself.
#2. Space Needle Tower (A 100% Must)
Many, many cities have now got these incredible high-rise vantage points for you to feel “on top of the world, ma,” and Seattle has one of the best. This tower is a 100% must for any visitor, with amazing panoramic views across the vast evergreen forests, overlooked by beautiful mountains, and the entire city of Seattle itself – your draw will drop, that’s a given.
TheSpace Needle Toweris situated at 400 Broad St, 98109 Seattle, WA, and you’ll need to pay just under $30 for admission to the Observation deck. But it’s worth it. Look to the east to see the Snow-Capped Mountain, and then to the west to see the Olympic Mountain range, and take in everything in between. Stunning!
#3. Improv Show at Jet City Improv
If you like your chuckles good and hearty (and maybe a little rude, depending on the hour), you’ll find them here at Jet City Improv, the #1 comedy venue. True to their mission statement – To educate, enlighten, and entertain audiences through the art of improvisation – Jet City Improvwas founded in 1992 by Andrew McMasters and Mike Christensen.
Since then, they’ve been cracking audience’s up with their unique brand of improvised comedy, and you’ll find them (in fact, they’re very difficult to miss – just look for anything bright, really bright, yellow) down in the city’s University District at 5510 University Way, Seattle, WA 98105.
#4. Pike Place Market
No visit to Seattle would be properly complete without a few hours wandering around Pike Place Market, a special market community right in the heart of downtown Seattle. The market is more of a neighborhood in reality with hundreds of farmers, craftspeople, small businesses, and residents (yes, you can live there too!). Pike Place Market can be found at 1530 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101 (just one of three entrances), and covers 9 acres of one of Seattle’s most historic districts with a real artisan vibe.
What makes Pike Place Market unique is that, today, it offers affordable and low-income housing, creating a safety net for those in the wider Seattle community who are the most vulnerable, such as the low-income seniors, the disabled and the homeless, all looked after by The Market Foundation, a non-profit, established in 1982.
#5. Seattle Great Wheel
We’ve got to the last recommendation, and, in case you hadn’t noticed, the word “alcohol” hasn’t been mentioned a single time! Well, until now. Obviously. It just goes to prove that having real fun in Seattle, just like anywhere, does not need alcohol, just good people. So, our last recommendation has got to be the Seattle Great Wheel.
Located at Pier 57 – Milners Landing, 1301 Alaskan Way, WA9801, and with outstanding views as you take your ride on the huge Ferris wheel, the Great Wheel also does a fantastic range of LED light shows. The wheel itself is covered in over 500,000 LED lights, and its amazing light shows usually run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights (best to check their website for timings and prices).
Seattle: The Emerald City
So, there you go. One non-drinking, alcohol-free, ex-resident’s guide to the very best 5 ways to have yourself some sober fun in Seattle. And if you can’t fit them all in, you’ll just have to come back (as I do). If you’re looking to meet up with like-minded fellow alcohol-free people, you’ll do no worse than contact these guys – Seattle Sober Social, a dedicated social city group of people who want to enjoy an evening out specifically without the use of alcohol.
Have you ever been to Seattle before or are you lucky enough to be a resident? What would you advise as to the best places to go and things to do alcohol-free in the Emerald City? Please, share a comment below with other readers. Thanks. And enjoy!
— Sponsored by Northpoint Recovery Centers
Learn more at www.northpointwashington.com