We’re so excited to host the 27th Annual OCD Conference in Seattle, WA this July 31–August 2! Registration will open in March, but until then, we encourage you to do some planning ahead so when the time comes you can make a vacation out of your trip to the Conference.
Late July is the perfect time to visit the Pacific Northwest — temperatures are warm (but not hot) and rainfall is at its lowest, making this the optimum time to visit and experience all that the city has to offer.
Read on for some tips on everything there is to see and do in beautiful Seattle!
Seattle's biggest sites
The Space Needle is Seattle’s most notable landmark, and it’s a great place to start your touring. Start with a view of the city (and, on a clear day, Mount Rainier!) from over 500 feet in the air in the Space Needle, and face your fear of heights when you look down through the glass floor!
This is also your chance to wander through the Seattle Center, a central area of 74 acres that once hosted the 1962 World’s Fair but is now a public entertainment area featuring the International Fountain and the Monorail (which along with the Space Needle made its debut during the world’s fair!).
The nearby Museum of Pop Culture is a must; it features exhibits on Seattle-based grunge groups Nirvana and Pearl Jam, along with exhibits on science fiction and horror films. Music buffs will also want to stop at their guitar exhibit, featuring 20 historic guitars.
Art aficionados will want to check out the Seattle Art Museum just a 15-minute walk from the Conference hotel, as well as the accompanying outdoor Olympic Sculpture Park, a free, outdoor museum featuring 20 large sculptures and incredible views of Elliott Bay. Also head to Chihuly Garden and Glass for a mind-blowing collection of glass artwork.
Restaurants and shopping
Pike Place Market is one of the most popular shopping destinations in Seattle, and includes oldest farmer’s market in the country. It’s right next door to the Conference hotel, so it will be a great area for attendees to head to for lunch. Plus, if you’re a Starbucks fan, this is your chance to see the original shop, still in business after nearly 50 years.
...And if you really love Starbucks, you can also head just under a mile northeast to check out the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and try a few new flavors.
Activities for kids (and adults!)
We haven’t forgotten about the little ones! Seattle boasts an aquarium near Pike Place Market that includes touch tanks for kids to interact with sea urchins and hermit crabs; sea mammals like puffins, seals, and otters; and much more.
If they’re into gaming, kids will get a thrill out of the Minecraft exhibition currently on display at the Museum of Pop Culture. And after you’ve gotten your shopping done in Pike Place, head over to the Seattle Great Wheel for a 12-minute ride up the 175-foot ferris wheel.
If you do one thing outside of Seattle, it should be a ride on a Washington State Ferry. Take the ferry to Bainbridge Island for gorgeous views across the Puget Sound. Once you’re there, take a stroll through the Bloedel Reserve, a 150-acre botanical garden.
If you’re looking for something a short drive away, the Woodinville Wine Country is less than an hour by car. This gorgeous valley boasts over 100 wineries and tasting rooms. Also less than an hour from Seattle is the Boeing Future of Flight, offering the nation’s only public tour of a commercial jet plant. Spend 90 minutes exploring how jets are built. The plant also happens to be the largest building in the world by volume.
With extra time
Add on an extra day for the chance to check out the surrounding national parks! Discover an active volcano covered with glaciers at Mt. Rainier National Park, or explore the diverse landscapes at Olympic National Park, which features beaches, rainforests, and mountainscapes.
Excited to head to Seattle yet? Stay tuned for registration information, and we look forward to seeing you there this summer!
Conference attendee discounts!
Show your name badge for special offers at select local businesses. Check out the Visit Seattle page to learn more.
Also, when you go on a whale watch with Puget Sound Express, use IOCDF code “ORCACOFFEE2020” to receive a complimentary slice of blueberry buckle, and a souvenir mug with unlimited hot drinks (coffee, tea, cider or hot chocolate)!