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.
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.
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).
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.
Hidden on quiet Stewart St., this Belltown bar is easy to miss, but the search makes finding it all the sweeter, say devotees. Artisan and classic cocktails are served in an upscale, urbane setting, boasting plenty of polished wood, candlelight and stainless steel.
Operating in the same spot since 1999, this Madrona pet boutique has built a loyal clientele who return regularly for pup-sitting, grooming, and luxury pet-care products.
Located in Ballard, Portalis Wine Shop and Bar is frequented by Seattle’s most discerning food and wine aficionados, especially right after the nearby open market closes at 3 p.m. on Sundays.
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.
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.