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.
Located along Admiralty Inlet, this 433-acre stretch of land once served as an active army installation and then a juvenile detention facility before opening to the public as a park in 1973.
This nine-acre waterfront spread is arguably the most gorgeous addition to the Seattle Art Museum (it even outshines the recently renovated main museum, about a mile away).
There’s no way to miss the Capitol Campus—you can see its regal, domed legislative building from almost everywhere in the city. Take a guided tour, and then stroll through the lovely conservatory and gardens.
Despite its minimalist décor, there’s a warm-and-fuzzy feeling about this eco-chic women’s wear shop (the warm greeting you’ll get from both the shopkeepers and the resident foster cat help).
The windows reveal hot-pink walls and racks upon racks of feminine street fashion: T-shirts by DaftBird, Jay Godfrey silk cocktail dresses, and gold animal medallions by Seattle's own Kimberly Baker.
Founded in 1946 by three high school buddies, this still locally owned seaplane operation has a fleet of 25 aircrafts performing seasonal, scheduled service between Seattle and the San Juan Islands, Olympic Peninsula, Vancouver, Victoria, and the Gulf Islands.
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.
Before textese there was shorthand, and Shorthand Press lovingly celebrates the elegant, cursive characters of this obscure written English, on greeting cards, postcards, notebooks, and tees. Commonly used by midcentury secretaries and paralegals, the form languished in recent decades.
Located in the Cascade area of South Union Lake, Velocity Art and Design is a Seattle interior design store focusing on contemporary home furnishings.
The Spread: Seattle claimed the No. 1 spot for farmers' markets in our annual America's Favorite Cities survey, so it's no surprise to find one of the country's best single markets as well.
Vinyl rules at this temple to the LP, EP, 45, and 33. Located in the Salmon Bay neighborhood, this cavernous superstore boasts a collection of 650,000 albums, stored in display bins, shelves, and even boxes, arranged from floor to ceiling.
Drive to remote Dungeness Spit on the Olympic Peninsula, often buffeted by turbulent waters.