Unique things to do in Seattle
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Travel like a local
The Emerald City is the crown jewel of the Pacific Coast, and for good reason. It’s a 360-degree stunner with the grandiose of Mount Rainier, the tranquil of the Puget Sound, and the modernity of its city skyline surrounding you. Let’s just clear up one misconception about this city right now: rain doesn’t impede on all the fun things to do in Seattle. Leave the umbrellas behind for outdoor activities in and around the city, from chef-led morning tours through the open-air Pike Place Market to Mt. Rainier National Park day trips, among others, with local-led Airbnb Experiences.
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Your guide to Seattle
What do locals do in Seattle?
Spend time in Fremont
Whether you’re visiting or local, Fremont is a laid-back neighborhood loved most for its quaint cafes, bike-friendly trails along the Lake Washington Ship Canal, and (yes) that recognizable troll statue that’s made cameos in its fair share of blockbuster movies. Take a walking tour of the neighborhood with one of its residents to get the most of your visit. Don’t miss Fremont Lookout for great city views.
Visit breweries in Ballard
The once sleepy Scandinavian village, where you can still visit impressive landmarks like the Ballard Locks, is today a beacon of breweries. Family traditions, old world brews, and innovative beers are all within an easy, relaxed walk or bike ride through this mostly flat neighborhood. There’s plenty of dog- and kid-friendly spots to kick back and relax.
Hike Volunteer Park
This nearly 50-acre public park teems with things to do for all ages. Visit the Seattle Asian Art Museum, take a short hike to the water tower to enjoy secretive views of the city from an observation deck, or laze about the Great Lawn for a picnic. In the summer months (typically around August), don’t miss the dahlias in full bloom here.
Indulge in Chinese food
Eat your way through Chinatown on a food tour, find the best noodles in the International district, or learn to make classic dumplings in a cooking class.
Explore Seattle’s waterways
Paddleboard on Green Lake and at Alki Beach, row or kayak along Lake Washington and Lake Union, or enjoy private boat cruises around the Puget Sound.
What are the best ways to explore outdoors?
Day trips to national parks and waterfalls
Anyone looking to enjoy a day out to Mount Rainier or Olympic national parks can easily take off from Seattle. Both parks are about a 2-hour drive (one way), and getting up early to get ahead of the day is a great way to maximize time exploring the majesty of the Pacific Northwest. For another special (and closer) experience: Join a local expert on a 30-minute drive out to admire Snoqualmie Falls for hikes for all activity levels. After, stop at a family-run winery in the foothills of the Cascade mountains for a quiet gourmet lunch and laid-back tastings.
Forest bathing and urban hikes
What makes a city like Seattle so unique? You don’t have to go far to experience old-growth forests in places such as Seward Park, where an entire part of the park is covered in centuries-old trees. Take time to slow down and appreciate the beauty surrounding you on some 13 trailheads.
What are the best things to do at night in Seattle?
Seattle is known for its music and arts, and areas like Capitol Hill and the downtown are great places to find music clubs, museums, and galleries. For those looking for more hands-on activities, shake things up with mixology classes, a supernatural experience at Pike Place Market, and more.