There are so many fun things to do in Seattle… Here’s an ultimate list of all my favorites!
Seattle is one of the most underrated cities in the US… In my opinion! Whilst it often gets overshadowed by the likes of NYC, Chicago, LA and Las Vegas… for me it can contend with all of them!
We’ve been visiting Seattle every year for the last few years, and it’s one of my favourite summertime cities in the US. It’s a big city with lots of different neighbourhoods, and plenty of interesting, fun things to do.
So if you’re looking for fun things to do in Seattle, keep reading – these are my top picks for fun things to do in Seattle!
Pike Place Market
I couldn’t write a list about the best fun things to do in Seattle without including Pike Place Market. If you love food and independent sellers – you’re going to adore Pike Place Market.
Dating back to its inception in 1907, Pike Place Market has long been the best place in Seattle to visit for seasonal produce, fish, and other delectable local ingredients. It’s a hub of energy and activity and I could spend the day just trying food and wandering along the stalls.
If you’d rather not navigate Pike Place Market alone, then consider taking a guided tour! I’ve picked a few of my personal favorites below… all with a food angle – because food is the best bit about this place. Not only will it take you through the best spots and food, but you’ll get some informative titbits along the way.
Another great place to visit for a stunning view of the city is Kerry Park. Based on Queen Anne Hill, this spot is a leafy wonderland in which visitors can grab some great photographs of the city from above. This is one of my favorite fun things to do in Seattle.
If you head up here, give a panorama shot a try; with unobstructed views, it’s an excellent place to try for that perfect shot.
Museum of Pop Culture
Next on my list of fun things to do in Seattle… The Pop Culture Museum! I LOVE THIS MUSEUM!! It’s not your average museum, it’s a museum for people who hate museums.
This Museum of Pop Culture was established by the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen and aims to educate the public on all aspects of popular culture. Whether you’re interested in video games, music, movies, or literature, you’ll find something to pique your interest here!
Underground Walking Tour
If you feel like exploring Seattle from a different angle, then why not head on an underground passageway tour? This was recommended to me by some friends who are local in the city, and they weren’t wrong. It was so much fun – and so quirky too!
Exploring passageways that were constructed in the 1890s, it’s a unique look into Seattle’s birth that isn’t typically offered.
Have a Seattle breakfast!
Next on my list of fun things to do in Seattle… it’s have a hearty Seattle breakfast! There are so many amazing breakfast places to try out in Seattle – so make sure you make time to fuel up for the day ahead!
Read more about Seattle: Seattle food! 22 delicious places to eat in the city!
The Seattle Center is a buzzing cultural spot that was built initially for the 1962 World’s Fair. Pulling in swathes of visitors when it was first created, the centre is now the ideal place in which to get a taste of Seattle’s community vibe.
Now attracting over 12 million visitors per year, it’s no surprise that this is one of the best things to do in Seattle!
Take a Food Tour
Next on my list of fun things to do in Seattle… it’s a food tour! If you’re looking for the best food that Seattle has to offer, then we highly recommend checking out a food tour… This city has SO MUCH amazing food, and a food tour can help you sample some of the best bits.
From delectable clam chowder to unique craft beers, you’re sure to find something that you love as you sample some of the top picks around the city streets.
Go whale watching
If you’ve never been whale watching… Seattle is the perfect city to do it. Once you get over the early morning start… Whale watching is the most fun and the most magical thing to do in Seattle.
Honestly, I can’t say enough amazing things about whale watching in Seattle… It was life-changing for me! This is the tour company I have used.
Enjoy a night out in Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill is one of Seattle’s liveliest neighborhoods, and home to some of the best restaurants and food places in the city. If you want a typical Seattle night out… then the nightlife in Capitol Hill is where you need to head!
Definitely a top choice for fun things to do in Seattle!
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Dale Chihuly is famed for his wonderful glass sculptures, and one of the best things to do in Seattle if you’re into colourful artwork is to pay a visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum.
With eight galleries that span Chihuly’s career, you’ll leave enlightened and educated on all things glass.
Go kayaking or paddle-boarding on Lake Union
Head away from downtown one day, and check out the parts of the city that back onto Lake Union. There’s so much to do on the water there, and you can rent kayaks or paddle-boards relatively cheap.
In the summer this is definitely one of the best fun things to do in Seattle, especially with friends!
Watch a Seahawks game
If you’re visiting during football season, then one of the best fun things to do in Seattle has to be watching a Seahawks game! Seriously, this NFL team’s stadium is pretty epic (there are views of the city from your seat!) and watching a game there is guaranteed to be a fun day out.
Even if you’re not that into NFL, just go for the experience and the game food!
Lake Union SeaPlane Flight
Seaplanes are a firm favourite in Seattle, and they also have a firm place in the city’s history. Numerous firms in Seattle offer seaplane flights, and these tend to consist of a short tour of Seattle’s skyline.
Though we obviously don’t recommend these flights if you’re afraid of heights, they are a truly breathtaking way to see the city. This is an amazing option for fun things to do in Seattle!
The Seattle Art Museum
Next on my list of fun things to do in Seattle, it’s the Art Museum. Based in downtown Seattle, this wonderful museum has an extremely wide range of exhibits that are sure to please all visitors.
Whether you’re interested in Native American art or are more enthralled by Gothic and Renaissance work, there’s plenty on offer here. We highly recommend setting aside an entire afternoon to visit this sprawling museum if you can!
Mount Rainer day trip
Mount Rainer is an important part of Seattle’s skyline, and this fantastic dormant volcano is one of the highest points in the city.
You can head out there on various day trips from the city, and doing a Mt Rainier day trip is almost like a right of passage when visiting Seattle! You have to do it, it’s beautiful and so much fun!
Aquariums are excellent places to visit for families, and this one at Pier 59 is one of the best places in the country at which to check out Pacific wildlife.
If you visit, be sure to check out the Window on Washington Waters exhibit, which showcases everything from rockfish to salmon in one place!
Olympic Sculpture Park
Another excellent artistic pick on our list of 55 fun things to do in Seattle is the Olympic Sculpture Park.
One of the must-see sculptures here is the monumental Eagle, which is an extremely unique sculpture that represents all that the USA stands for regarding freedom and liberty.
Pacific Science Center
Science centers are always excellent things to do in cities for families with kids, and the Pacific Science Center is no exception.
With hundreds of interactive exhibits (including an awesome Insect Village!), this museum is one of the best equipped in the country. If you’ve got the chance, be sure to check out the two massive IMAX theatres and laser dome!
Walk around the Queen Anne neighborhood
This is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Seattle, and honestly, I just love walking around it and looking at all the huge houses!
If you’re looking for something to do on a sunny day, this could be perfect! A must-do for fun things to do in Seattle, especially for those who love architecture and buildings.
Read more about Seattle: Top 15 restaurants open on Christmas Day in Seattle
Seattle Space Needle
Seattle’s Space Needle is possibly the most recognisable symbol that Seattle possesses. Reaching the top of this 184-metre tower is one of the best things to do in Seattle for tourists, as you’ll get a truly sensational view of the city from the dedicated observation deck.
Seattle Great Wheel
Standing at a height of over 50 metres, this glorious Ferris wheel is one of the standout sights at Pier 57. Offering visitors unparalleled views of the city, it’s one of the most romantic things to do in Seattle.
If you really want to elevate date night, why not splurge on a VIP pod that’s equipped with leather seats and champagne? A perfect choice for fun things to do in Seattle!
Next on my list of fun things to do in Seattle, it’s Ballard Locks. Ballard Locks is a complex system of locks at the west end of Salmon Bay in Seattle. Carrying more traffic than any other locks in the US, it’s a super interesting place to visit if you’re even remotely interested in boating.
If you visit during spawning season from June to August, you can even see salmon through some underwater windows!
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park is next on my list of fun things to do in Seattle. This quirky park on the north of Lake Union is a really cool place to visit and hang out.
It’s a huge park with amazing views, but has some pretty interesting features too! Gas Works Park is a must for anyone who wants to enjoy amazing city views!
Museum of Flight
The largest independent air and space museum, the Museum of Flight in Tukwila is one of the best things to do in Seattle, and definitely one of the most fun things to do in Seattle.
If you’re an aviation enthusiast, be sure to check out one of the only four Concordes on show outside of Europe as well as the first jet Air Force One that was used by some very notable presidents.
Do an open-top city bus tour
Yes it’s touristy… But it’s a classic for city sightseeing! In the summertime, there isn’t a better way to see the city, and the bus tours take you past a lot of locations on this list too!
It’s a really good option for the first day of your trip, because then you can see all the main stuff, and work out where you want to head back to!
Washington Park Arboretum
Making up 230 acres of land near Lake Washington, the University of Washington’s Botanic Gardens and Arboretum is one of the most magnificent sights in Seattle.
The Arboretum has a truly world-leading collection of maples and oaks, so be sure to check out their winter garden on your visit!
Read more about Seattle: 12 things to do in Capitol Hill, Seattle
Take a Ghost Tour
One of the most fun things to do in Seattle if you love a good scare is to embark on a haunted Ghost Tour. There are actually a few to choose from in the city, but click here for my favorite!
Seattle Central Library
The Seattle Central Library is one of the grandest libraries in the U.S. and paying it a visit is absolutely one of the best things to do in Seattle.
The building itself is extremely grand, with truly amazing reflective glass, floating platforms, and amazing natural light. If you fancy it, you can embark on one of the library’s group tours from Monday to Saturday.
Next on my list of fun things to do in Seattle, it’s Smith Tower. Smith Tower was Seattle’s very first skyscraper, so it has great sentimental meaning to the city. Standing at 148 metres high, it was one of the tallest towers in the country at its time of building.
Though this tower is no longer in competition for the highest skyscraper, it does have a fantastic observation deck on the 35th storey on which you can snap some stunning photos.
Sky View Observatory
The Columbia Center is the tallest building in Washington State, and if you’re after a 360-degree view of the city, then this is the place to come to. Standing at 295 metres, it’s certainly a sight to behold and one of the finest places to visit in Seattle.
If you love those city views, this should be on your list of fun things to do in Seattle.
Woodland Park Zoo
Next on my list of fun things to do in Seattle, it’s something for the animal lovers! Woodland Park Zoo has won a ton of awards, and for that reason, it’s earned a place on our list of the best things to do in Seattle.
The penguin enclosure at the Woodland Park Zoo is particularly good, and there is a special viewing area in which you can see the famous Humboldt penguins up close! This zoo is a great choice for families heading to Seattle, so be sure to pop it onto your itinerary.
Read more about Seattle: 22 fun date ideas in Seattle
Seattle Japanese Garden
The Seattle Japanese Garden is truly one of the USA’s best, and we simply had to include it on our list of fun things to do in Seattle. Calming and tranquil, this stunning venue is a beautiful showcase of both flora and architecture.
Next up on my list of fun things to do in Seattle, it’s Pioneer Square! Pioneer Square was initially the heart of settlement when it was established all the way back in 1852, so from a historical perspective, it’s a must-visit!
The neighbourhood is up and coming, but it’s the perfect place to visit for quaint restaurants and unique stores.
Museum of History and Industry
With a collection of more than four million pieces, the Museum of History and Industry is one of the most impressive places in all of Seattle. The best exhibit is True Northwest: The Seattle Journey.
An awesome timeline of the city that’s told through 25 snapshots, you’ll be able to experience the best of Seattle’s history without leaving the museum!
Next up on my list of fun things to do in Seattle, it’s Kubota Garden! Another excellent Japanese garden to visit in Seattle is the Kubota Garden.
Created by Fukitaro Kubota, this beautiful show garden is the perfect place in which to gather your thoughts in an otherwise hectic city. This is such a wonderful way to spend a few hours on a sunny day.
Green Lake Park
Green Lake Park is one of Seattle’s most famous parks, and with stunning freshwater surrounds, it’s of no surprise! A perfect choice for fun things to do in Seattle.
Green Lake Park is one of the best places to visit in Seattle because you can rent boats, canoes, paddle boards and more! We genuinely feel that this is one of the best spots in the city for outdoorsy types, so grab your gear and get moving!
Volunteer Park Conservatory
One of the best spots in Volunteer Park is its amazing conservatory. Composed of wrought iron and glass, it’s a truly unique place in Seattle that’s a must-visit for tourists.
The Volunteer Park Conservatory is home to many unique plants and cacti, so be sure to bring your camera along.
Frye Art Museum
Frye Art Museum was Seattle’s first free art museum and was opened by Charles Frye and his wife. Home to some great late-19th-century works, this is one of the best things to do in Seattle for art-lovers and those looking to be inspired!
Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room
For coffee lovers, there’s no better choice of fun things to do in Seattle than this! Now, everyone has heard of the famous coffee chain Starbucks. What you may not know is that this massive global business had its start in Seattle! Located on Capitol Hill is the Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room.
Though this flagship is almost akin to a craft coffee shop, it’s marketed as an experience bar that aims to offer visitors an upmarket Starbucks experience.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Centre
The famous Bill Gates hails from Seattle, and in 2012 a visitor centre for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was opened near the Seattle Space Needle.
This place has some great interactive exhibits and aims to educate the people of Seattle on the foundation’s work to improve lives around the world.
The Crocodile is one of the most popular places at which to watch live music in the United States.
One of the top things to do in Seattle for those that love grunge rock, a visit to The Crocodile should absolutely make it onto your itinerary. If you’re not a fan of grunge, never fear, for there’s plenty of live independent music throughout the year that will leave you inspired.
The next choice on my list of fun things to do in Seattle, it’s the Fremont Troll! The Fremont Troll is a unique piece of public art that was commissioned by the Fremont Arts Council. It’s a bit funny looking, but so unique and fun!
As the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge had become a hotbed for antisocial behaviour in 1990, a solution was created in the form of the Fremont Troll! This iconic sculpture is 5.5 metres tall and is absolutely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
Though it’s a strange part of the city, the Seattle Gum Wall is one of the most interesting spots around. Though it’s not so much a thing to do as a place to see, the Gum Wall is an iconic sight in Seattle that needs to be seen to be believed.
Though the wall has been cleared three times due to chemical damage from the gum, it remains a unique part of Seattle’s landscape. It’s kinda gross… but definitely one of the most famous fun things to do in Seattle.
Yet another multinational company that was founded in Seattle is Amazon. When the headquarters were moved from Beacon Hill to South Lake Union, the building spheres (nicknamed Bezos’ Balls) became an interesting piece of architecture for the public to visit.
There are tours of the Amazon Headquarters most Tuesdays and Thursdays, so be sure to book in to avoid disappointment.
Olympic National Park Tour
The Olympic National Park Tour is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains some of the oldest wooded areas in the U.S. Keep your eye out for spectacular wildlife and make sure you pack your camera!
Beneath the Street Tour
Beneath the Streets is an amazing tour that heads under the city to explore the city’s old Red-Light District.
Here, you’ll learn all you need to know about Seattle’s seedy underbelly, with great information to be found on gambling, drinking and general debauchery!
Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour
One of the best things to do in Seattle is to take a tour of the Boeing Factory. Here, you’ll discover the Boeing Future of Flight Aviation Center which houses some of the finest aviation exhibits in the world. A must-do option of fun things to do in Seattle, especially if you love planes!
Bainbridge Island is the complete antithesis to Seattle’s skyscrapers and is one of the most beautiful spots in the city.
Only 35-minutes on a boat, Bainbridge Island is a fantastic place to visit for those wanting an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Seattle Barista Academy
Located only a short drive from Kent, the Seattle Barista Academy is the perfect place to visit for wannabe baristas. Teaching everything from latte art to brewing the perfect espresso, this is one of the best things to do in Seattle for those that consider themselves coffee aficionados without practical skill!
Seattle Pinball Museum
The Seattle Pinball Museum is next on my list of fun things to do in Seattle! It is possibly the best and most kitsch museum in all of Seattle. The founders of this museum simply wanted to teach people how to play pinball the old-fashioned way.
In the Seattle Pinball Museum, you’ll find a collection of over 50 pinball games; so, unleash your inner child and play on! Entry is only $15 for adults and $12 for kids, so it’s not too expensive for an entire day of play!
Waterfall Garden Park
Waterfall Garden Park is one of the most stunning spots in Seattle, but you may miss it if you’re not searching for it!
This secluded park features an amazing artificial waterfall and is (rather unexpectedly) located in Pioneer Square. So, grab a coffee and wile away the afternoon in the stunning Waterfall Garden Park!
Edible Forest Walk
This park in Beacon Hill is unique in that it’s run entirely by volunteers. The aim of this so called “Food Forest” is to teach members of the community to grow and share food.
Though it’s a unique premise that’s not often seen in the U.S., it’s a wonderful place at which to restore your faith in humanity!
Featuring almost 12 miles of trails, Discovery Park is the most sprawling park in Seattle. One of the best things to do in Seattle for those that love to take life as it comes, Discovery Park is the perfect place for birdwatchers and hikers.
If you head down here, be sure to check out West Point Lighthouse!
Board Game Cafés
How could we write a list of fun things to do in Seattle, without including a board games cafe? If you’re after something to do in Seattle to appease your inner child, then why not head on down to one of the city’s Board Game Cafés?
Mox Boarding House is one of the best spots around, and there’s a great menu of snacks that will sustain your gameplay into the night if you wish!
Chocolate Indulgence Tour
This is a fantastic tour to embark on in Seattle if you love chocolate, and we can safely say that it is both delicious and interesting to boot.
Whether you love squares of the stuff or prefer it mixed in with your dessert, on this tour you’ll find yourself faced with more chocolatey goodness than you could ever imagine!
The eBurke Museum of Natural History and Culture
The small museum on the Washington University campus isn’t as large as the city’s main Science Center but is certainly worth a visit. Open daily from 10am to 5pm, it’s got some great exhibits that are sure to satisfy most inquiring minds.
This is one of the best things to do in Seattle if you happen to have teenagers that have expressed an interest in attending the University.
Ballard Farmers Market
If you don’t fancy hitting Pike Place Market, then Ballard Farmers Market is an excellent choice. Selling some of the best local goods and art around, it’s the perfect way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon in Seattle!
Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park
This national park is more of a museum than a park, but it’s an informative goldmine for curious families. Detailing Seattle’s role in the Klondike gold rush of the 1890s, it’s an interesting way in which to learn more about the area’s history.
Make sure you catch one of the twice-daily gold panning demonstrations – they’re not to be missed!
Seattle Center Monorail
This is another one of the outcomes from the World’s Fair, and we believe that it’s one of the best!
Linking the center on a one-mile route that reaches 45 miles per hour, this historic monorail is a unique way in which to check out the city!
Pacific Northwest Ballet
If you happen to be visiting Seattle when a production by the Pacific Northwest Ballet is running, be sure to beg, borrow, or steal a ticket to get in!
The Pacific Northwest Ballet is one of the finest companies currently operating in the world, and they tend to offer top-tier performances that should not be missed.
Woodinville Wine Country
Woodinville is a quaint town that’s located just 30 minutes from Seattle, and if you have the chance you should absolutely take a day trip down here.
If you’re a fan of wine, you’ll be pleased to know that there are over 100 wineries and tasting rooms littered throughout the town, so be prepared to have more than just a tipple.
Seattle Antiques Market
Most American cities are home to some truly great antiques, and Seattle is no exception. This little antique-filled gem is hidden away near Seattle’s Great Wheel, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for it.
However, inside you’ll find an amazing showroom absolutely packed to the rafters with furniture and other goodies that date back decades.
Elliot Bay Bookstore
The final thing on our list of things to do in Seattle is a visit to the Elliot Bay Bookstore.
Located on the 10th Avenue Block of Capitol Hill, this stunning little bookshop even has an adjoining café! So, why not grab a book and a cuppa as you watch the world go by?
I hope this list of fun things to do in Seattle has been helpful!
Seattle is such an amazing city and there are so many fun things to do in Seattle to enjoy! You’ll have an amazing time!