Saturday, September 7, 2013

WA Weekend: Autumn at Husky Harbor

Travel traditions run strong in the Pacific Northwest. One of the longest is travel prompted by -- and for -- college football games. With two major universities and several four-year college's, there's a bit of football fever to be found in every corner of Washington State.

But one of the most beautiful locales is our WA Weekend destination:

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But what does a football game have to do with travel, you are probably asking yourself.  Well, quite a bit in Seattle, home of the University of Washington Huskies. It's impact on roadways before and after games, hotel availability on game day, boat traffic, and restaurant  is major.

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Looking east over Lake Washington (boaters anchor for the game) and Mt. Rainier

The football stadium at the eastside of the campus, sits on the Seattle shore of Lake Washington.  It provides fans postcard perfect views of the adjacent lake, Kirkland and Bellevue to the east and Mount Rainier, to the southeast.

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Boaters bring a new definition to 'tailgating' pre- and post-game celebrations

Fans, alumni, students and those supporting the visiting teams -- some 70,000 of them --  flock by bus, car, boat and RV to Husky Stadium. Hotels fill quickly on home game weekends and accommodation prices can soar. Last weekend’s season opener commanded hotel rates of more than $260 a night in some places.

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Tour boats pictured center and to the right at 'Husky Harbor'
For those, like us, who are ‘Boatless in Seattle’ there are tour boats originating in Kirkland and south Lake Union (the lake connected to Lake Washington by the waterway called the Montlake Cut)  that bring hundreds of fans to the game. Two such boats are pictured above.

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While many fans opt to arrive at the stadium by boat, some tying up at the dock or anchoring in “Husky Harbor” as we showed you above, others bring their recreational vehicles and set up ‘tailgating’ pre-game parties that start hours before kick-off. The RV above has been 'a regular' for decades. Most are like this one: decor - purple and gold from top to bottom!

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RetakeMontlake 008The “Fan Van” featured in the collage above served party-goers buffet-style food and drinks were obtained nearby from a serving window on the side of the van. (Note the satellite dish and television - those are found throughout the parking/party lot).

Still others set up grills, chairs and tents throughout the parking and lawn areas near the lake, like those pictured to the left.





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University of Washington's Husky Stadium Re-opening 2013

The stadium re-opened last weekend following a $280 million remodel and refurbishing . RetakeMontlake 039The resulting stadium is so impressive that representatives of the construction crew (pictured on the new whiz-bang scoreboard/video screen) formed the on-field tunnel through which the team emerged from the locker room.

The crowd went  nuts for the construction crew and the crescendo built for the team's appearance. One of the best traditions of the games here is the unfurling of the American flag and singing of the National Anthem.


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The atmosphere before, during and after the game was electric – think Mardi Gras in New Orleans or New Year’s Eve in Times Square. 

And the best part was, our un-ranked Huskies blew out the ranked Boise (Idaho) Broncos. (As of this writing, the Huskies are now #20!)

 "Go Dawgs!" as they say at Husky Harbor!



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If You Go:

Map picture

Husky tickets:  Schedules and ticket information can be found at www.GoHuskies.com

Seattle lodging:  www.visitseattle.org

Getting to the Game: Your hotel will be able to tell you the options available for getting to the game from their location. Ask the concierge  about tour boat. One of the easiest ways to get to the game is aboard one of the several special shuttle buses operated by Metro.  A $5 round-trip ticket will get you to the game and back to your starting point. For information:  http://www.huskystadium.com/2013-game-day/transportation

Thanks for spending time with us today. Have a great weekend! See you back here next week~

5 comments:

  1. Looks like it was a very exciting event. (I really love that "boatless in Seattle"!)

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  2. Glad you caught my attempt at humor, Andrew! It was a crazy afternoon/evening at Husky Harbor.

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  3. Jackie, I've told several times of my love for Seattle. What a lot of people don't know is that late at night you can catch radio stations on AM several states away. I've listened to KOMO radio on my way home from work for years now. Yep, here in Reno. And I often listen to it when I try to fall asleep. I've followed college football all of my life. I'm the not the "rabid" fan I used to be. Btw...go USC! But, I've heard the experience with U-Dub has become one of college's best now. This was an awesome post! Thank you :)

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  4. This sounds like SO much fun!! I've never been to a Husky's game, but I have many great memories of watching the Mariner's while eating copious amounts of garlic fries. :-)

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  5. Views of Lake Washington and Mt. Rainier is amazing.

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