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.
A combination gallery/shop/"culture incubator," Pulp Lab's retail outlet is an offshoot of proprietress Kate Pawlicki's NY-Seattle creative agency.
Since 2001, Jeremy Faber, a trained chef, has been bringing wild foods to Seattle-area farmer’s markets, including the Saturday-morning, University District Farmer’s Market.
Take a 2,000 foot dance floor, add a full bar and restaurant, place them in the Pike/Pine district, and you've got Century Ballroom and Cafe.
Fifty miles from Bellingham on the Canadian border is a picture-postcard Pacific Northwest landscape of sawtooth mountains slung with hammocks of snow.
Instead of beer-soaked concrete and standing-room only, this rock club for grownups offers plush cabaret-style seating in semicircular booths, and a full menu of snacks, entrées, and creative cocktails. With this kind of setup, sight lines are guaranteed, and the acoustics are great.
Although Retrofit Home specializes contemporary home furnishings, the Capitol Hill store also sells transitional and mid-Century modern furniture. Owners Jon Milazzo and Lori Pomeranz stock the shop with everything from chaisse lounges to sectional sofas to daybeds by Blu Dot and Mobiltal.
This Belltown cocktail bar channels a bachelor-pad vibe, with midcentury modern furniture, stone- or tufted-leather feature walls, and eccentric, manly touches like deer-hoof table lamps.
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.
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.
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.