The Ultimate Guide to Summer in Seattle
It’s no secret that Seattle is famous for its rainy weather, which is why summertime in this Pacific Northwest city is all the more special. It’s goodbye to rain clouds and gray days and hello to gorgeous sunshine, long days and endless summertime fun. It’s easy to be sleepless in Seattle during the summer because the city comes alive with outdoor activities, events, festivals, dining and much more. During the summer, Seattle residents spend as much time outdoors as possible to make the most of this glorious season, and you should too. From outdoor concerts to biking around city parks, this guide is our ode to summer in Seattle and all the illuminating, inspiring seasonal things to do here.
More Hours in the Day for Classic Seattle Experiences
During the summer, days here start early and end with rosy 9 pm sunsets. That gives you even more hours in the day to discover the best of Seattle. You have more time to wander around Pike Place Market, the famous seafood and farmers market in the heart of town. You can easily spend an entire day at the Seattle Center, from heading up the Space Needle for the best birds-eye views of the city to exploring the magical, wondrous Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum with its massive glass art installations. Along the waterfront close to downtown, you can ride the Great Wheel for top-of-the-world views and check out the Seattle Aquarium at Pier 59.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors Both in and Out of Town
It’s not called the Emerald City for nothing! From urban parks to nearby national forests, there are so many opportunities to explore nature in and around Seattle. If you’re staying at Hotel Max and Hotel Theodore, our two Seattle hotels in the heart of downtown, you can take advantage of our complimentary bike rentals, making it easy to get around town and discover local outdoor hotspots like the Ballard Locks.
Without even leaving the city, you can walk, bike, picnic and more in parks around the city. Just steps from downtown, the waterfront Myrtle Edwards Park offers picturesque views across Elliott Bay from its walking and cycling trails. You can also stroll through larger-than-life artwork in the Olympic Sculpture Park. Jutting out into Shilshole Bay, the 534-acre Discovery Park is the biggest in the city, with nearly 12 miles of walking trails to wander while soaking up beautiful views of the bay and Bainbridge Island. If you’re looking for a city park with unbeatable views of downtown, head to Gas Works Park in the Fremont neighborhood. Situated next to Lake Union, this park gets its name from the onsite former Gas Light Company plant whose buildings now stand as landmarks. The park boasts classic views of Seattle’s downtown and Lake Union, and its broad, grassy lawns are great for flying kites, sunning and picnicking. The Washington Park Arboretum and UW Botanic Gardens are other wonderful natural destinations right in town, housing a diverse array of native and non-native trees and plants.
Home to forest reserves, parks and charming neighborhoods, Bainbridge Island on the other side of the bay makes for a great day trip. All you have to do is hop on the Washington State Ferry and you’re there in half an hour. For more far-flung adventures, drive two hours to Mount Rainier National Park for hiking and incredible views of Washington’s most famous mountain. Using the Washington State Ferry system, hop over to Olympic National Park for the day as well. Small towns on the Olympic Peninsula like Port Angeles are also prime spots for whale-watching, with chances to spot humpback whales and orcas.
Beat the Heat with Watery Fun
If the heat gets to be too much one day, you can easily find ways to cool off. Located on an isthmus between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, Seattle is literally surrounded by water! Lake Union is a popular destination where you can do stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking. If you encounter a rare gray summer day, you can even rent a hot tub boat from Hot Tub Boats! Volunteer Park in Capitol Hill also has a fun wading pool to quickly refresh yourself en-route to your next urban activity.
Have a Food-tastic Time
From fresh seafood to thirst-quenching craft brews, summer is prime time to discover Seattle’s epic food scene. Rooftop bars, waterside eateries and sunny outdoor patios spring up across the city, giving you the chance to enjoy your meal with a side of great city views and people-watching. No matter what you’re craving, whether it’s soup dumplings or a Seattle-style hot dog topped with cream cheese and sauteed onions (don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it!), Seattle’s restaurants and food carts deliver.
As the home base of internationally-known brands like Starbucks, you can’t visit Seattle and not immerse yourself in its coffee culture. The city is crawling with cafes and coffee shops serving some of, if not the, best coffee you will ever have. You don’t even need to leave your hotel to find it! Made Coffee in the lobby of Hotel Theodore gives you the high-quality java jolt you need to start your day right.
Just steps from Hotel Theodore and Hotel Max in downtown Seattle, you’ll find a wide variety of dining experiences and cuisines to try. The Ballard neighborhood is famous for its craft beer scene, with over a dozen taprooms within walking distance of each other. Cocktail enthusiasts will have a field day in the city’s boundary-pushing craft cocktail bars, where presentation is just as important as flavor. Summertime in Seattle also calls for foodie festivals like the Ballard Seafood Fest and the Seattle International Beerfest.
It’s impossible to go wrong here food-wise. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by how much there is to try, ask the front desk staff at your hotel or Paige, the virtual concierge, for recommendations.
Vibe to the Sounds of Seattle
There is no bad time of year to experience Seattle’s legendary live music scene, but summer is arguably the best. Why? Because it’s when bands and artists take their music outdoors for fun open-air concerts and music festivals around the city. Held in the edgy Capitol Hill neighborhood, the Capitol Hill Block Party is an annual three-day festival featuring local and big-name artists across a variety of genres. West Seattle Summer Fest, ZooTunes at Woodland Park Zoo and the Summer Concert Series at Chateau Ste. Michelle, the oldest winery in Washington state, are other popular events that Seattleites look forward to for the entire year. You can even catch live music right under the Space Needle at the Day In, Day Out Festival held at Fisher Pavilion in the Seattle Center. Seattle’s many famous music venues, concert halls and theaters also have packed rosters of performers throughout the summer, so be sure to ask the front desk staff at your hotel who’s playing in town at the moment for music recommendations.
If you’re a music fan staying in Seattle, visiting the Museum of Pop Culture is another must. Here, you’ll learn all about some of Seattle’s most famous bands and artists like Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix.
Find One-of-a-kind Treasures in Seattle’s Shopping Destinations
Prepare to shop until you drop around Seattle, where you’ll find all sorts of fun gifts and souvenirs to remember your time here. Seattle offers a wide range of shopping experiences, from name-brand stores in upscale downtown malls like Westlake Center and Pacific Center to independent boutiques, vintage stores and locally-made wares in neighborhoods like Capitol Hill and Ballard. If you’re visiting Seattle, picking up some of its fresh seafood like shellfish or Dungeness crab is a must. How do you get it home, you might be wondering? Don’t worry, places like the iconic Pike Place Fish Market (where they famously fling fish around) ship nationwide!
Go to Tacoma for an Artsy, Out-of-Town Escape
If you need a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of central Seattle for a day, head about half an hour south to Tacoma. Nestled against Puget Sound, this vibrant, artistic city is best known for its world-class glass art scene. It’s the hometown of renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, who has an entire exhibit dedicated to him at the Tacoma Art Museum. You can visit actual glass-blowing studios to watch the glass-blowing process in real-time, or see the finished product in galleries and museums like the Museum of Glass. Along with art, Tacoma has scenic waterfront parks, eclectic dining and a lively downtown area that’s great to explore on foot. Plus, the views of Mount Rainier are arguably even better here than in Seattle. If you want to extend your visit and spend more time discovering Tacoma, you can spend a night at Hotel Murano in the heart of town, located just steps from museums, shopping, dining and more.
Dive into a Seattle Summer with Provenance
Summer in Seattle is such a special time of year, and with this curated guide to summertime experiences in the Emerald City, we hope to help you discover the best of what this city has to offer in the summer months.
To make the most of your summertime Seattle adventure, you want to stay right at the heart of the action. Conveniently located in the middle of downtown, Hotel Max and Hotel Theodore are just steps from shopping, dining and iconic attractions like the Space Needle. Want to get out of town to go hiking at Mount Rainier or explore other cool districts around the city? You can easily hop on Interstate 5 to get around or use Seattle’s fast and efficient public transportation. After long days biking around town or tasting your way through the city’s restaurants, cafes and breweries, return to stylish rooms and signature Provenance amenities to help you rest up for another epic Seattle day. Music fans will love the cool, edgy aesthetics and music-themed rooms of Hotel Max, while Hotel Theodore is a refined, elevated ode to Seattle’s spirit of craftsmanship and artistry. Whatever kind of Seattle experience you’re looking for, whether a daring dive into its unconventional counter-culture or a sophisticated city escape, Hotel Max and Hotel Theodore are here to help you discover the multifaceted heart and soul of Seattle.