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.
Seattle’s premier museum just got a lot fancier, thanks to an $86 million expansion completed in early 2007. The ultrasleek new building now has 35 bright and pristine permanent galleries, including two with free admission that share the first and second floors with a chic restaurant.
See the park's lighthouse and artillery units from the 1890s or fly kites on the parade field.
Orchardist Les Price grows an incredibly diverse crop in this "backyard region" of Seattle—some 150 varieties on just four acres.
The Provençal-style castle on 87-acres was built by Washington's second-largest wine producer.
Minglement has been serving Vashon Island’s hale and hearty since 1974. Today the organic food emporium carries an array of local produce, heirloom grains and chocolates, wild-caught seafood, and naturally raised bison, not to mention natural remedies, essential oils, and gift items.
The challenging (and vertical) trail uphill leads to amazing views of Maple Valley and Mount Rainier beyond.
Visitors can watch molten glass creations being blown in the Museum of Glass’s (MOG) Hot Shop, a 90-foot stainless steel cone and working studio.
Don't miss this gallery-lounge where you can grab a nightcap and bone up on the latest electronic art.
Craftsmanship is the focus at this elegant, modern bar in a renovated 1920s building. Cocktail aesthetes come for rum swizzles and marmalade sours.
A must-see for every first-time Seattle visitor, this indoor farmers’ market of more than 200 stalls is also a crucial hub for most of the city’s restaurateurs and foodies.
Day-trippers head 25 miles north of Seattle to Whidbey Island, where beaches, nature, and wildlife abound. For panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains and Strait of Juan de Fuca, visit Fort Ebey State Park.
Designated by Congress in 1938, mammoth and mountainous park stretches across rugged Pacific coast and lush interior old-growth forests.
Fifty miles from Bellingham on the Canadian border is a picture-postcard Pacific Northwest landscape of sawtooth mountains slung with hammocks of snow.