The tourist boards' sites will no doubt be your first stops. The home page for the Seattle Convention and Visitor's Bureau is www.visitseattle.org. For insight on the entire state, head to Washington State Tourism's www.experiencewa.com. Information straight from the city's leaders is at www.seattle.gov/visiting/default.htm. Forget driving. Take public transportation—including the bus, streetcar, and water taxi. This site tells you how: metro.kingcounty.gov. OK. So you have to drive. The site www.wsdot.com/traffic will help you navigate Seattle's traffic.
Almost every neighborhood in Seattle has its own website, and many have their own blogs, but some are more useful than others. The Downtown Seattle Association offers the very professional-looking www.downtownseattle.com, with a great calendar page and a helpful "Getting Around" page with good maps (check out their "Find a Happy Hour" tab if you’re ready for a cocktail). You can learn more about Pioneer Square at www.pioneersquare.org. The site has excellent maps of the area along with detailed info on parking and on the popular monthly art walks. Ballard's www.inballard.com has up-to-date listings and reviews of the neighborhood's major businesses and sights, complete with pictures of each. Fremont’s www.fremont.com provides visitors with the back stories for the neighborhood’s iconic art, along with an event calendar, restaurant listings, and a walking guide that can be downloaded. Find out what's going on in the neighborhood around the University of Washington by logging on to www.udistrictdaily.com. Stop by www.dophinneywood.com for the scoop on the Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods and information on their excellent monthly art walk (the second Friday of each month). Columbia City’s www.columbiacityseattle.comhas a great event calendar, directory, and lowdown on the history of the neighborhood. Travelers with children will appreciate the kid-friendly restaurant listings on www.wallyhood.org, Wallingford’s one-stop shop for event listings, restaurants, and resources in the area. Capitol Hill’s very popular blog gone wild, www.capitolhillseattle.com, provides a wealth of information on the neighborhood. Ignore the crime report-type info on the site (it will scare you unnecessarily, and the neighborhood really is quite safe) and head directly to the blog's maps, calendar, and business listings. For travelers looking to get off the beaten path, check out Georgetown, at www.georgetownneighborhood.com. To learn more about Bellevue, a rapidly growing mini-city in the Eastside suburbs, look to www.downtownbellevue.com.
NWSource (www.nwsource.com), which is affiliated with the Seattle Times, is an easy-to-search database with information on all neighborhoods (and their businesses) in Seattle and the Eastside. It's like a local version of Citysearch—packed with information, at least half of which is up to date. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer website (www.seattlepi.com) is full of breaking local and national news. The Seattle Times is one of the country's largest independently owned daily newspapers. Its website (www.seattletimes.com) has frequently updated local news and entertainment information. The Stranger’s site, run by the irreverent free weekly newspaper The Stranger (www.thestranger.com), has the best event listings for movie times, literary events, art, theater, and other fun things to do—especially at night. The Seattle Weekly (www.seattleweekly.com) focuses on local political coverage and entertainment and is a great resource for event listings and eating out. Use the site's search tool to narrow your culinary options by type of food, neighborhood, price, and feature (such as outdoor dining).