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.

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.

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.

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.

Check out the gleaming shops, which include 7, For All Mankind and Michael Kors Lifestyle.

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.

Named after the 1920's phonograph, Victrola Coffee Roasters celebrates the exuberant zeitgeist of this bygone era at its three Seattle locations.

Barca is a Euro-cool Capital Hill nightspot known for having the largest selection of premium and specialty vodkas in the state of Washington.

A cross between a gastropub and a chic art bar, Black Bottle has stayed hot for three years by keeping things simple. The narrow space doesn’t contain much apart from wooden tables and chairs, a bit of exposed brick, and a few exposed bulbs hanging from the ceiling.

Banya 5 is an urban spa and health facility offering a unique blend of old world wellness rituals in a friendly, contemporary environment.

While house-crafted mixers have become standard-issue at many trendy lounges, Sun Liquor raises the bar by having its own distillery (located on Pike Street).

Most treatments at downtown’s Ummelina begin with a foot soak and tea ceremony. Seaweed pedicures are performed in private rooms, where customers are literally tucked into a plush, heated bed (dozing off is not uncommon) while toes are filed, buffed, and polished.

Although it doesn’t get the same hype as the Seattle Art Museum (especially given the SAM’s lavish reopening in early 2007), the Frye’s intimate, off-the-beaten-path cluster of galleries is quietly extraordinary.