Seattle

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 northwestern Seattle neighborhood is known for its Scandinavian, fishing-village past, but the Salmon Bay community is reinventing itself as an up-and-coming shopping, bar, and restaurant district.

Now a six-location, mini-chain, the original Zoka Coffee Roaster & Tea House was founded by owner Jeff Babcock in 1996.

This diminutive little bar in Ballard truly is teensy with just a handful of stools and minimal standing room on the main floor.

Strange Factor: This unusual tour focuses on the hidden history underneath city streets. Tour-goers descend three flights of stairs into old tunnels, where they see what were once the main streets and storefronts of buried Pioneer Square in Seattle’s old downtown.

Founded in 1946 by three high school buddies, this still locally owned seaplane operation has a fleet of 25 aircrafts performing seasonal, scheduled service between Seattle and the San Juan Islands, Olympic Peninsula, Vancouver, Victoria, and the Gulf Islands.

Despite its minimalist décor, there’s a warm-and-fuzzy feeling about this eco-chic women’s wear shop (the warm greeting you’ll get from both the shopkeepers and the resident foster cat help).

The windows reveal hot-pink walls and racks upon racks of feminine street fashion: T-shirts by DaftBird, Jay Godfrey silk cocktail dresses, and gold animal medallions by Seattle's own Kimberly Baker.

Just north of downtown, this up-and-coming waterfront neighborhood is home to art galleries, clothing shops, cafes, boutique hotels, and dive bars (of both the authentic and hipster variety).

The best green space in Seattle has a little bit of everything: dense, nearly silent forest trails; paved stretches great for cycling; fields and lawns where dogs can romp (on leash); and a beautiful beachfront trail with unsullied views of the water and the mountains beyond (keep your eyes peele

Drive to remote Dungeness Spit on the Olympic Peninsula, often buffeted by turbulent waters.

This Georgetown tavern and multimedia event venue is the place to be for indie fun with art shows, concerts, even all-day waffles and televised football marathons. Live music is held five nights a week, including local and international rock, jazz, and country acts.

The tiny spot is crammed with curios - mosaic wall hangings, stone sculptures - that are produced locally by working artists or imaginative moonlighters (e.g. a psychiatrist who knits socks).

Sambar is probably the smallest bar in Seattle (there are just four barstools and five tiny tables)—even when the backyard garden is open, 15 people can make the place feel as tight as a telephone booth.

Dark-wood booths, wine-red walls, and candlelight combine to create a dark and intimate vibe in this Green Lake bistro and lounge.