Tourist Activities

Updated May 9, 2013.  Schedule subject to change.

In addition to over 50 hours of dance workshops and four evening dances, the 2013 Emerald City Hoedown will feature a number of Tourist Activities.  We know that the annual IAGLCWDC convention may be one of your major vacation trips for the year, one you may want to bring your partner or family along for even if they do not dance as much as you do.  This may well be the only time you have traveled to the Seattle area.  We encourage you to stretch your stay — come a couple days early or stay a few days after, and really take in the area.  We have scheduled a variety of tourist activities aroundand even during the hoedown weekend to help ensure this is a great vacation for you.

For a full weekend schedule — event times, room, workshop descriptions — visit this page.



Whale Watching Tour

Seattle is located on Puget Sound, one the premier whale watching locations in the country.  The Hoedown tour group will meet at Seattle’s pier 69 Thursday morning and then be whisked away to the San Juan Islands for several hours of sightseeing through Deception Pass, boat-bound sea life and whale watching.  You’ll also have the chance to visit some of the local communities where you can enjoy lunch and shopping.  The tour is scheduled to return you to the hotel by 7:30 pm, in time to join us for the evening festivities.

For time and pricing details, click here.

To buy tickets, click here.

Guided Tours

For those who won’t be arriving in time for the whale-watching tour, or who simply want shorter activities, we have partnered with Tours Northwest to provide a few options.  All of their tours will pick up and drop off at the hotel, and will include tourists from our group and others.  To find pick up times and book these tours, click the links below:

  • A three-hour city tour that offers an overview of many neighborhoods and attractions.
  • A six-hour city tour that augments the three-hour tour with additional time at the Space Needle and Pike Place Market.
  • A visit to the Boeing factory where wide-body airplanes are made.  This tour will visit the world’s largest building by volume, and lets you see jumbo jets being built right here in the Northwest.

Seattle On Your Own

Seattle has a number of fun tourist options in the downtown core that you can explore on your own.  Here are a few recommendations for some great options, but it’s up to you to explore Seattle on your own.  If you want to tour with other attendees, leave a note on the message board by the registration desk or drop a note on our Facebook page.  But be back in time to rest up for the evening’s activities!

Within an easy walk, you can get to:

If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can visit:

 “It’s A Twister!” — Pizza Feed, Bar Tour, and Trail-In Dance

Thursday evening, we will offer a shuttle bus running from the hoedown hotel to the nearby gay neighborhood, Capitol Hill.  The $25 fee includes the shuttle bus, a pizza and salad buffet, and admission to the evening’s dance at the Century Ballroom (featuring two dance rooms!).  The gay neighborhood is only about a mile from the hotel (walkable, but with a couple hills, or a 5-minute cab ride), so there is separate entry to the dance available at the Century for those who want to explore on their own.  Printed guides to the Capitol Hill district will also be available, so you can easily visit Capitol Hill locations on your own.

For time and more details, click here.

To pre-register for this (not included in the hoedown registration), click here.


Urban Wine and Chocolate Tasting Tour

Washington State boasts some amazing wineries, some of them very close to Seattle.  We’ve arranged an opportunity for you to taste your way through two Seattle-area wineries and one organic chocolate factory.  You can learn more about this opportunity and register for it directly with Tours Northwest by clicking here.


Ride the Ducks — Cancelled

Due to low advance orders, this tourist event has been cancelled and refunds will be issued.  If you are interested in taking a Ducks tour of Seattle, you will need to go to the Ducks tour site at the Seattle Center, a short cab or bus ride away.  Visit the Ride the Ducks site for more information.


City Landmarks Dance Tour

We know what a challenge it can be to come to a great new city for one of these hoedowns and then struggle to do any sightseeing at all.  Sometimes you simply never leave the hotel!  Sunday afternoon, though, you will have no excuse, as we take you on a dance tour of prominent Seattle landmarks, featuring rides on some of our fun city transit options, including the vintage 1960s Seattle Monorail!  We will visit several spots, having a little bit of tourist walkabout time, and do a little line and swing dancing at each site, “flash mob” style (but without lots of choreography — we’ll just dance!).  Bring footwear you can use for dancing in the streets.  The dance tour will end up at that most notable of Seattle landmarks, the Space Needle, where you can take your time going up for great city views, or tour the Pacific Science Center, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Experience Music Project, Science Fiction Museum, and other Seattle Center attractions, making your way back to the hotel at your leisure in time for the evening dance.

(And for those who eschew sightseeing, we will have a few more dance workshops going on back at the hotel at the same time!)

For more details, click here.


Seattle Tours

For those who will be staying a few days after the hoedown for more sightseeing, we are working with a partner organization to set up Thursday and Monday activities such as Boeing Aircraft tours and winery or brewery visits.  Seattle also has a number of fun tourist options in the downtown core, including the Seattle Art Museum, the Underground Seattle tour in historic Pioneer Square, and the Wing Luke Asian-American Museum in the International District.

These will be “on your own” tours.  We will provide recommendations for some great options, but we will leave it to you to explore Seattle on your own.

Got Questions?  E-mail