Attending your first TI or unfamiliar with Seattle? Our quick guide will help you with basic travel tips and make sure your focus stays on the games. Check back later this week for the arena-specific survival guide with even more information and suggestions.
Uber and Lyft are both available in Seattle. Download the apps on your phone and request a solo ride or a shared ride to your destination. For getting yourself and your friends around the city, Uber and Lyft are often the cheapest and fastest methods. If you’re coming from the airport, be aware of your luggage. If you’re taking a big suitcase, you won’t be able to fit into a four-door sedan with three other people with similar baggage.
One traditional alternative is Seattle Yellow Cab. Call them at 206-622-6500 or download the app for your phone. The fleet has wheelchair-accessible vehicles and Seattle Yellow Cab charges a flat fare of $40 from downtown Seattle to the airport.
Seattle’s public transportation is generally safe, reliable, and efficient (at least, when compared to other major U.S. cities). Depending on where you are staying, you might need to transfer between buses, monorails, streetcars, or ferries. Use the city’s trip planning site to figure out the best route to your destination.
If you’re planning on riding public transportation, bring cash. The only paperless alternative is the ORCA card. Each card costs $5 by itself, which is not a great deal for short-term visits or travelers on a budget.
The traffic around KeyArena moves at a decent pace during the week. While you may be waiting in traffic for a few minutes to get to the games, you won’t spend an hour trying to go two blocks. That changes during Friday and Saturday nights in the restaurant- and bar-heavy area north of the arena. Head in the opposite direction to save time and frustration.
The closest parking garage to KeyArena is 1st Avenue N Garage at 220 1st Ave N. It’s about .1 miles/.16km from the arena entrance. Other garages are .5 miles/.80 km from the arena itself. Expect to pay about $20 to park for the day at most garages, and double-check the walking distance if you’re concerned about finding your car at night after the games.
KeyArena has two accessibility drop-off points: Thomas Street at KeyArena Suite Walkway and the intersection of First Ave North and Harrison Street. Both spots are next to entry ramps, and the first point also has elevator access.
Seattle is generally safe for exploring on foot, though you should take the same safety precautions you would take in any big city. Even though the neighborhoods are safe, the terrain is quite hilly. Add a few extra minutes to your estimated walking time to account for the hills, or, if you have mobility concerns, plan on a different way to get around the city.
Attractions and Points of Interest
Kaci Aitchison was the guest on the June episode of The Grill. Host LeafyPeachy asked Kaci for some recommendations for Seattle visitors.
Pike Place Market: Good for walking around and has several nice restaurants. About a 20-minute walk from KeyArena. “Really fun place to stroll in the middle of the afternoon.”
Seattle Waterfront Park: A beautiful place to walk around. “A long walk from KeyArena, but it’s doable.”
Kerry Park: A wonderful view of the city and mountains, but a longer trip from KeyArena. “You can see an unobstructed view of the entire city…the water, the mountains, the Space Needle.”
Top Pot Doughnuts: Required for doughnut lovers. “Top Pot Doughnuts is a must…Definitely go there because it’s amazing.”
Hole-in-the-wall pubs and bars close to KeyArena. “Really can’t go wrong in the area that surrounds [the arena].”
Rockbox: Karaoke bar on Capitol Hill. It has private rooms for rent as well as a large stage and bar for any 21+ visitors. If you are a Desoladies member, check the Discord to reserve your spot at our private karaoke party.
Gameworks: A combination of drinking, dining, and gaming. Downstairs has a full bar and a dining area, as well as air hockey, claw machines, skee ball, and other arcade games . There’s an esports gaming center upstairs if you simply can’t go without Dota. The r/dota2 meetup will be held at Gameworks, and you can save money on the standalone games with a Groupon.
Seattle Center: KeyArena is part of the larger Seattle Center which occupies 74 acres in the Belltown neighborhood. It contains the Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture, Pacific Science Center, and multiple art galleries and theaters. While you likely won’t have tons of free time to spend in the Seattle Center, you can check out some of the public art installations and murals on your way to and from the arena (or while stretching your legs between games).
During mid-August, Seattle’s typical temperatures range between 75F/24C and 57F/14C. Expect lots of sun and little to no rain. This year seems hotter than normal: there’s a heat advisory running from August 1 to August 4, and temperatures are projected to hit 90F/32C for part of TI week. Check Weather.com for the latest Seattle forecasts.
Emergency Services: Call 9-1-1 from any phone and be prepared to provide a location. This number connects you with police, ambulance, and/or fire department services .
Seattle Police Department Non-Emergency Number: 206-625-5011
International Assistance: List of consulates in the greater Seattle area