Things to do in Seattle
Searching for things to do in Seattle? Browse Travel + Leisure’s guide, which spotlights the scenic Washington city’s top attractions and activities, from Pioneer Square and Pike Place Market to Capitol Hill and Ballard Avenue. Whether you want to check out Seattle’s underground, stroll Olympic Sculpture Park, take a cruise on Puget Sound, ride the South Lake Union Trolley, or get far out of town and hike Mount Rainier, Travel + Leisure can lead the way.
With a reputation for being caffeinated and anti-establishment, Seattle’s less grungy side is also worth exploring. Some places like Discovery Park, the Seattle Art Museum, the REI flagship store, and the Space Needle need no introduction, but there are plenty of hidden hangouts, local institutions, and things to do in Seattle only insiders know about. Follow the vertical Tiger Mountain Trail for stunning views of Maple Valley and snowy peaks beyond; go for the best burgers and beer in town at King’s Hardware; shop for super-seasonal picnic fixings at University District Farmers Market; imbibe creative cocktails in a former opium den at Fu Kun Wu; or check out the latest in electronic art at McLeod Residence. Read on to find out more great ideas on what to do in Seattle.
This nine-acre waterfront spread is arguably the most gorgeous addition to the Seattle Art Museum (it even outshines the recently renovated main museum, about a mile away).
There’s no way to miss the Capitol Campus—you can see its regal, domed legislative building from almost everywhere in the city. Take a guided tour, and then stroll through the lovely conservatory and gardens.
Located along Admiralty Inlet, this 433-acre stretch of land once served as an active army installation and then a juvenile detention facility before opening to the public as a park in 1973.
Vinyl rules at this temple to the LP, EP, 45, and 33. Located in the Salmon Bay neighborhood, this cavernous superstore boasts a collection of 650,000 albums, stored in display bins, shelves, and even boxes, arranged from floor to ceiling.
Before textese there was shorthand, and Shorthand Press lovingly celebrates the elegant, cursive characters of this obscure written English, on greeting cards, postcards, notebooks, and tees. Commonly used by midcentury secretaries and paralegals, the form languished in recent decades.
Located in the Cascade area of South Union Lake, Velocity Art and Design is a Seattle interior design store focusing on contemporary home furnishings.
The Spread: Seattle claimed the No. 1 spot for farmers' markets in our annual America's Favorite Cities survey, so it's no surprise to find one of the country's best single markets as well.
The South Lake Union Trolley runs a more than 2.6-mile-long course with 11 stops in downtown Seattle. The system was put into service in December 2007 to connect with the city's other public transit systems and revitalize the biotech-heavy neighborhood of South Lake Union.
Since the Mariners’ inaugural game in 1999, their “new” stadium has been a top destination for Major League Baseball fans. The 47,000-capacity, SoDo (south of downtown) stadium offers good-to-great sightlines to the field from all angles.
Giving a moneyed, early-to-bed neighborhood a reason to stay up late, this charming candlelit wine bar draws older couples on their way to the symphony, young professionals on double dates, and the odd hipster or two discussing the record deal that almost was.
Two local filmmakers started this nonprofit in 1995 to provide resources for the region’s struggling film artists.
Between April and December, beekeepers, artisans, and local organic farmers gather here to sell their wares.
This whimsical shop stocks pétanque sets and handblown sake glasses.
This Salmon Bay boutique carries womenswear, jewelry, and accessories from independent designers (mostly local) and caters mostly to flirty, pixie-ish tastes. Owner Tes de Luna curates a seasonally rotating collection that exemplifies the hipster, vintage-meets-post-Millennial aesthetic.