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.
Martinis are big at Tini Bigs—served in 10-oz. glasses, to be precise. Belltown is home to this unpretentious lounge specializing in cocktails classic and original.
Given that Seattle is filled with hikers, kayakers, and cyclists, it only makes sense that the city is home to the mother of all outdoor stores.
Coffee, basil, wasabi, and cantaloupe are among the house-infused vodka flavors served at this stylish cocktail lounge, the next-door offspring of the Banya 5 spa. The lounge is small and intimate, with blue-glass pendant lights, contemporary artwork, and a custom-made mahogany bar.
Located on the neighborhood's main drag, Hitchcock Madrona demands repeat visits since owners Erica Nelson-Sheehan and Dustin Nelson (who are cousins) change their shop's design theme quarterly, ensuring it always has a new vibe.
Located upstairs from Ballard’s Thaiku, Fu Kun Wu is both secretive and sensual. Originally a Chinese apothecary upstairs with an opium den below, Fu Kun Wu's bar employs expert mixologists who create strong herb-infused cocktails such as the oolong tea martini and yohimbe mojito.
Hip Belltown watering hole
A combination gallery/shop/"culture incubator," Pulp Lab's retail outlet is an offshoot of proprietress Kate Pawlicki's NY-Seattle creative agency.
Since 2001, Jeremy Faber, a trained chef, has been bringing wild foods to Seattle-area farmer’s markets, including the Saturday-morning, University District Farmer’s Market.
Take a 2,000 foot dance floor, add a full bar and restaurant, place them in the Pike/Pine district, and you've got Century Ballroom and Cafe.
Fifty miles from Bellingham on the Canadian border is a picture-postcard Pacific Northwest landscape of sawtooth mountains slung with hammocks of snow.
The Pike/Pine corridor in Seattle runs from Interstate 5 to 15th Ave E and is named after the two parallel commercial strips that form it. The corridor is home to diverse groups and interests ranging from artists to software developers, cupcakes to noodles, and bars to music venues.
The work of the Pacific Northwest’s best artists—including glass masters Dale Chihuly and Benjamin Moore, and founders of the Northwest School of painting Morris Graves, Mark Tobey, and Guy Anderson—has been displayed in this 7,000-square-foot gallery.
Have a picnic overlooking the vines and cap it off with a few sips in the tasting room.
This vintage boutique and consignment shop in downtown is jam-packed with secondhand deals. The owners scour estate sales, attics, and garage sales for everything from vintage wedding dresses to hard-to-find haute couture pieces.