Seattle Travel Guide
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.
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.
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
As New York has the Empire State Building and Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Seattle has the Space Needle. Built in 1962 for the World’s Fair, the futuristic tower has been hovering over the expanding skyline like an inquisitive UFO ever since.
Bring a flashlight on the Iron Horse Trail, which parallels old railroad tracks and includes a tunnel that goes underneath the pass.
Harlequin Productions draws theatergoers to its unconventional shows here.
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.
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.