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.
Hand-blown glass votives are the only thing for sale at this 5,700-square-foot studio/boutique in the Madrona neighborhood. Founder Lee Rhodes discovered glassblowing as a form of spiritual renewal in 2001, when she was battling a rare form of lung cancer.
Located in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is sometimes called a “living museum” where visitors watch 21st-century cheese makers use 5,000-year-old recipes.
Co-owners Greg Lundgren and Jeff Scott had virtually no bar experience when they opened their hybrid watering hole and art gallery back in 2005.
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.
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.
The small family winery specializes in Rhône grapes such as Syrah and juicy Grenache.
This West Queen Anne shop is the retail storefront (and headquarters) of the sustainability-minded foodie E-tailer.
Paddle out to tiny Cutts Island, keeping an eye out for seals; later, wind down the day with a beach stroll on Kopachuk’s shore, looking for sand dollars.
This quiet community is regarded by its residents as a small town within Seattle. Named after a species of tree common to the area, Madrona’s motto is “The Peaceable Kingdom,” in homage to its ethnically diverse makeup of Caucasian, Chinese, and African Americans.
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.