As a Seattleite who thrives on summer activities, I am frequently asked, “What’re your favorite things to do in the summer?” While Seattle has great aspects to each season, there is something about Seattle summers that are pure magic. Suddenly everyone is in a great mood, the sun is out till 9pm and there’s no shortage on things to occupy your time.
Seattle summers are prime time for sightseeing, seasonal fairs and festivals, outdoor activities and limitless venues for arts and entertainment. Since there are so many options available during the summer months, I thought compiling my Seattle summer favorites may be a great way to get others excited for the months ahead.
In this blog, I’ll share some of the best things to do in Seattle during the summer, including sightseeing, physical activities, seasonal festivals, and more.
- Explore the trails and beaches at Discovery Park, Magnuson Park, Golden Gardens, Carkeek Park, or Lincoln Park
- Take a nature walk through the Union Bay Natural Area or the Arboretum
- Take a meditative walk through the Seattle Japanese Garden (inexpensive) or Kubota Garden (free)
- Take a walk around Green Lake (approx. 3 miles around)
- Go to Kerry Park and see the best views of downtown Seattle, the Space Needle, Elliot Bay, and Mount Rainier.
Physical Activities and Sports
- Go camping and reserve camping gear through SU Recreation.
- Rent a bicycle for a day and ride around Green Lake (3 miles), or follow the Burke-Gilman trail west to the Ballard locks (6 miles), or northeast to the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville (17 miles)
- The Cascade Bicycle Club organizes free group rides
- Attend a professional sports event: the OL Reign, the Storm, the Sounders FC, the Seahawks, the Mariners, or the Kraken.
Museums and Exhibits
- Visit the photography studio across the street from Seattle University
- Chihuly Garden and Glass at Seattle Center
- Seattle Aquarium
- Seattle Art Museum
- Woodland Park Zoo
Arts and Entertainment
- Catch a rock concert at Climate Pledge Arena (at Seattle Center), Marymoor Park (in Redmond, 14 miles east), Chateau Ste. Michelle (in Woodinville, 14 miles NE), or the Tacoma Dome (in Tacoma, 37 miles south)
- Enjoy world-class jazz performances in intimate settings at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley or The Royal Room
- Go to the free First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square, first Thursday evening of every month.
Seasonal Fairs and Festivals
- Seattle Pride Festival, in June
- Edmonds Arts Festival, June in Edmonds (14 miles north)
- Seafair Summer Fourth, July 4 on Lake Union, with fireworks and a drone show
- Bite of Seattle in July, food festival at Seattle Center
- Seattle Art Fair in July
- Bellevue Arts & Crafts Fair, July in Bellevue (10 miles east)
- Seafair in July & August, with hydroplane races and the Blue Angels
Food and Drink
- Go out to dinner at one of Seattle's superb Black-owned restaurants
- Visit one of Seattle's farmers markets operated once a week in various locations by Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets or the Seattle Farmers Market Association
- Have a picnic or barbecue at Gas Works Park or Ravenna Park
- Visit a microbrewery