Ask the Experts

What Seattle's tourist wranglers know, and don't know, about the city.

Chloe Jazvick, "Ride the Ducks" ticket-taker (with input from Ducks driver Captain Lou) SW: What country/city/state do you get the most tourists from? It seems like we get a lot of people from India, and also from Texas, New York, and Florida. People from sunny places actually come to Seattle—it's kind of funny. What's the most common question asked by tourists? "Do you accept the Microsoft prime card?" Or, mostly, "Do you give discounts?" What's the best Seattle bar/restaurant? I'm not 21. What's the craziest/strangest/funniest thing you've seen a tourist do? I haven't seen, but I heard that one time somebody decided to make the Ducks a booze cruise, and they jumped into the water. That's definitely not allowed. Jason Scott, Pike Place Market fishmonger: Favorite group of tourists? I like learning different languages and having fun with people by saying stuff like "I love you" in Greek or Japanese. So probably non-English speakers, because you can have a conversation with 'em without talking. What do you do in Seattle for fun? I play a lot of improvised music, and I'm in a metal band called Sin Dios. So if you want to have a crazy night, definitely go out to The Funhouse. I also like the 2 Bit Saloon in Ballard, or The Good Shepherd—that's a great place, it's an artist collective. Best bar/restaurant? I have a 5-month-old son so I don't go out much anymore, but the HoneyHole is a good place. Craziest/strangest/funniest thing? Well, one time there was a woman who ran by here naked and tried to hide in the back cooler area. That was pretty strange. Christopher Keenan, Seattle Art Museum attendant What country/city/state do you get the most tourists from? From inside the U.S., obviously Washington. But we get a lot more Japanese tourists than from anywhere else. And when the boats come in, we get a lot of Germans—they seem to like to ride the ferries. Favorite group of tourists? A lot of the Japanese tourists can be fun because they're fighting with their English, but for the most part they're all fun. Most common question? A lot of people ask for certain restaurants, like Wild Ginger, but mostly "How do I get to Pike Place?" and "Where's the Starbucks?" Most ridiculous question? I always find it funny when people ask how to get back to the parking-garage elevator that they just came from. What do you do in Seattle for fun? I like to go fishing, either down on the waterfront or, in the winter, nighttime squid fishing. The canal by UW is good too. Jessica Granlund, EMP guide What country/city/state do you get the most tourists from? Lately, a lot of Australians and Germans. And from America, the Southwest, and a lot from Virginia and Florida. But it also depends on which school is on break. Favorite group of tourists? The Aussies are very fun. They're polite, for one thing, and they're just excited to be here. Most common question? (A security guard walks over and cuts off our interview because it hasn't been cleared by the marketing department. Sorry for getting you in trouble, Jessica!) Nick Zylstra, Argosy Cruise bartender What country/city/state do you get the most tourists from? Every tour we have at least one Texan, but for sheer numbers, most come from California. Favorite group of tourists? The traveling-sports-fan group. When LSU came to town last year [for a game against UW], they rode every tour. We had record numbers for weeks, and they drank everything, beer, wine, booze—we were completely sold out. Most common question? "Where do you go for good seafood?" I always tell them Elliott's [Oyster House]. Most ridiculous question? "How long is the one-hour harbor tour?" Favorite thing to recommend to tourists? The Aquarium. It kicks ass. I like that it's based on the Northwest and education. Not a lot of aquariums feature wildlife from their region. Favorite thing to recommend to Seattleites? It's not in Seattle, but the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. It's an awesome place. Craziest/strangest/funniest thing? There were two tourists—two women and their young son—and instead of giving me a tip, they gave me a hotel-room number, and said "If you and the captain are free later, this is where we'll be." Were the women attractive? Ummm, no.

 
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