Top 10 Things to Do in Seattle WA

Having lived in Seattle WA my whole life, I’ve been lucky enough to experience much of what Seattle has to offer both in the city, and out in the surrounding wilderness. There is no doubt that finding things to do here in Seattle is not difficult! Everywhere you look there is something to do, no matter what your interests may be. With that in mind, I want to share my personal “Top Ten” things to do in Seattle and the surrounding areas.

1. Go for a ferry ride. Seattle has a unique ferry system, which transports people and cars from Seattle out to the many islands of the Puget Sound. Whether you drive or walk-on, taking a ride on a ferry out of Seattle provides one of the most spectacular vantage points of the city sky-line. Not only that, but you might even catch a glimpse of a pod of Orca whales (if you’re lucky). This is always the #1 activity I recommend to people who are in town for a short period of time! For a specific recommendation, I would encourage you to take the ferry that departs downtown Seattle and heads to Bainbridge Island. You can walk-on the ferry and watch as the city of Seattle disappears across the Puget Sound. Once on Bainbridge Island, you are within walking distance of restaurants and shopping in the downtown area. When you’re ready, simply walk back on the ferry and head back to Seattle!

2. Check out Pike Place Market. When most people think of Seattle, they think of a few things. Rain, coffee, and the image of flying fish being caught (or not) at the Pike Place Market. Now, I will fully admit that the Pike Place Market is a huge tourist destination. However, it’s that way for a reason. It truly is worth checking out, even if it’s only for an hour or two. Among the many things to do at the Pike Place Market are checking out the original Starbucks location, buying a bouquet of fresh flowers, and watching fish fly through the air! I’d also recommend ordering some of the amazing chowder that is sold there!

3. Hike Mount Rainier. If you’ve got a little bit of time to spend in Seattle, you really should do yourself a favor and get out of the city to explore some of the surrounding beauty of the Cascade Mountain range. I’ve been on more different hikes in the Cascades that I can count, but I can honestly say that one stands head and shoulder above the rest. A hike at Mount Rainier (in the summer months, when it is accessible) starts at what is aptly called ‘Paradise’. The hike begins amidst huge fields of wild flowers, and as you climb, you get the most spectacular view of Mount Rainier imaginable. Oh, and as a bonus, you also get to hike through snow, even in the middle of August! I can’t recommend this hike enough!

4. Explore the Olympic Rainforest. While it’s not exactly in Seattle, the Olympic Rain Forest is a few hours west on the Olympic Peninsula. Many people do not realize that Washington State has one of the lushest rainforests in the world. There are a ton of hikes available, and you really cannot go wrong with any of them. While you’re out there, check out the coast as well. For a truly amazing getaway, check out the resort at La Push. It’s right on the beach, and it’s one of the most relaxing places I’ve ever experienced. Oh, and as a bonus, there’s no cell reception out there!

5. Eat Fresh Seafood. If you prefer to stay within the city of Seattle itself, and you’re looking for something to eat, look no further than any one of Seattle’s many excellent seafood restaurants, serving fresh salmon, clams, oysters, and a whole lot more! I’m not going to recommend any one specific place, but if you’re hanging in Seattle for even just one night, you’d be doing yourself a serious disservice by not trying some of the best seafood you can get your hands on!

6. Go to the Museum of Flight. If the weather decides not to cooperate, which is prone to happen if you come to Seattle outside of the beautiful summer months, there are still some great options to explore. One of my personal favorite is the Museum of Flight, which is just a few minutes south of Seattle by car. It is truly one of the most impressive aviation museums on the west coast, housing (just to name a few), an SR-71 Blackbird, the Space Shuttle trainer (which you can actually walk in!!), and a Concord, which you can walk through! There are so many different exhibits here to check out that you could spend all day here and not get bored.

7. Take a ride on ‘The Great Wheel’. Although it is relatively new, the Great Wheel is another way to get an amazing vantage point of Seattle, the skyline and Puget Sound. Located at the waterfront, this attraction is one of the largest Ferris-wheels on the west coast of the United States! From the top of the Great Wheel, you’ll be able to see the Pike Place Market, Bainbridge Island, the Space Needle, and a whole lot more. While it’s probably better to do this when the weather is cooperating, it is still fun even on a grey, overcast day!


8. Hike in the Cascades. Earlier in this article about things to do and explore in Seattle, I mentioned Hiking at Mount Rainier. While that one is my personal favorite, I would also be remiss not to mention that there are literally hundreds of amazing hikes in the areas that surround Seattle. Even if you don’t have all day to get out and back, there are some great hikes that are just 30 minutes or so east of Seattle and offer a great deal of the “Cascade” experience. It’s no difficult feat to find a hike that follows a river, or leads you to a massive waterfall!

9. Check out the Seattle Aquarium. This is another activity that you can do when in Seattle that is great whether the weather is awesome, or dreary. The Seattle Aquarium does a great job of allowing visitors to see what is underneath the waves of Puget Sound. The exhibits are top-notch, with my personal favorite being the Sea Otter exhibit.

10. Drink Local Beer. If you are spending time in Seattle and you enjoy beer, then you are in for a treat! Seattle has one of the best and fastest growing brewery scenes in America. There are literally dozens and dozens of small micro and nano-breweries in Seattle! Whether you just want a fresh pint of an IPA, or you want to go on a full-blown brewery tour, you’ve got options galore. A few of my favorite personal recommendations reside in Ballard. Ballard has over 14 nano-breweries just in that one neighborhood, and almost all of them are within walking distance of each other. This means that you can explore a handful of different breweries all without having to drive anywhere.

So there it is, my personal favorite “Top Ten” things to do in Seattle. Honestly, the hardest part of writing this article was limiting it to ten. There are easily another 90 that I could write on. Oh, and one last tip. For best results in Seattle when it comes to weather, I would recommend coming here in the summer months. Anywhere between July and early September are typically full of amazing weather, and the chance for rain is slim.

I hope you enjoyed this article on some things to do in Seattle! Check out our top 10 things to do while visiting Capitol Hill!


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