We’re convinced that summer in Seattle tops summer anywhere else. With temps in the 80’s and tons of sunshine, it’s the most glorious time of the year and makes up for the many months of grey and rain that Seattle is known for (which we personally also love).
There’s so much to do in Seattle year round, but summertime is when the city really comes to life. From water activities, to outdoor patios, to sporting events, there’s something for everyone during Seattle’s summertime!
As we continue planning out our summer adventures, we thought we’d share 8 ways you can enjoy summer in Seattle. Have a favorite summer activity that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!
PS: if you’re looking for more Washington ideas, check out the rest of our Washington guides and blogs! Some of our favorites are:
- Seattle Bucket List
- 3 Days in Seattle
- 37 Favorite Hikes in Washington
- 30 Free and Cheap Things to do in Seattle
- Olympic Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary
- A Weekend in North Cascades National Park
- Watch all our videos from the PNW
Get out on the water
From the Puget Sound to the many lakes in town, there are tons of bodies of water in Seattle to explore! And our favorite way to explore them? On a kayak or paddleboard!
We have gone kayaking/paddleboarding on both the Puget Sound and Lake Union and both spots are fun and unique in their own way. Over at Alki Beach, you’ll get to enjoy an amazing view of downtown Seattle while possibly paddling next to sea lions (such a cool experience!), while over at Lake Union, you’ll get to watch seaplanes take off and land while soaking up views of Gasworks Park, the houseboats, and downtown.
One additional fun option, which is great for bigger groups, is to rent an electric boat from The Electric Boat Company. No matter which body of water you choose or what vehicle you choose to explore it with, there’s no better way to enjoy the Seattle sunshine than on the water.
Enjoy a meal outdoors
We try to spend every second outdoors during the summer in Seattle and that includes when we’re chowing down on some good food! Whether we grab food to go and have a picnic at a beach or at one of Seattle’s many parks, or go to a restaurant with an outdoor patio, you can usually find us eating under the sunshine.
Our favorite spot to get lunch or dinner in the summer is Marination Ma Kai, which is right along the water in West Seattle and has a killer view of downtown Seattle. We love their tacos and kimchi fried rice. It’s also right on the Alki Trail, which makes for a fun post-meal walk.
Some other good outdoor dining and happy hour spots in town include Westward, Ray’s Cafe, Bongos (such a fun outdoor patio with sand!), and Jerk Shack.
Spend the day at the beach
One of the best things about Seattle are all of the beaches! We love spending a day at one of the many beaches in town, laying out, enjoying a picnic, reading a book, and watching the sunset. If you’re lucky, you can even snag one of the very popular fire pits (Alki & Golden Gardens only)!
The two most popular beaches are Alki Beach and Golden Gardens, which are both very large and have volleyball courts, but we also really love Carkeek Park and Discovery Park.
Take a hike
It’s no secret that we love to hike. We’re completing the 52 Hike Challenge this year and having a blast doing so! While we love hiking in every season, summertime is definitely our favorite time of year to hike, even with the crazy crowds the good weather brings.
There are tons of hikes to choose from and we recently posted a blog with our 37 favorite hikes in Washington that can hopefully give you a nice list to start from. We especially recommend alpine lake hikes in the summer, as there’s nothing more refreshing than an ice cold dip in the water after a long hike–don’t forget your pool floaty!
Leave No Trace Principles
Before embarking on your adventure, please review the Leave No Trace principles to ensure you leave every place better than you found it, so that others can enjoy these beautiful places for many years to come!
- Plan ahead & prepare. Make sure you research and prepare for every adventure so that you know the rules, stay safe, and to minimize resource damage.
- Travel & camp on durable surfaces. Stay on the trail and only camp in designated areas, as well as the required length away from water sources.
- Dispose of waste properly. Whatever you pack in, pack it out! Make sure to carry out your trash, as well as any trash you find. If you have a dog, please do not leave poop bags on the trail. For human waste, use a trowel to dig a hole far from water sources or use a wag bag (sometimes required).
- Leave what you find. Do not take any items from the trail with you, including rocks, plants, or artifacts.
- Minimize campfire impacts. Know the rules of where you can and cannot have campfires and if allowed, use designated fire rings. Use local firewood to prevent bringing any pests or diseases to the area you’re visiting and make sure to fully extinguish your fire.
- Respect wildlife. Keep your distance from wildlife, control your pets on the trail, and never ever feed them! Make sure to keep your food stored properly as well (we like this bear canister).
- Be considerate of other visitors. Be respectful to others on the trail. Hikers going uphill have the right of way on hikes and it’s always courteous to let those quicker than you pass. Avoid playing music out loud, talking loudly, and having your pets bother others.
Cool off with some ice cream
I scream, you scream, we’re always screaming for ice cream! We’re HUGE ice cream fans and we definitely use the warmer weather in the summer as an excuse to eat more of it. 🙂
Lucky for us, Seattle is home to tons of great ice cream spots and we’re slowly working our way through them all. After Kathryn learned she had a super bad egg sensitivity, we are gravitating more to spots with egg-free or vegan options, which thankfully is becoming more of the norm.
Some of our favorite ice cream shops include: Frankie & Jo’s, Salt & Straw, and Molly Moon’s. We also hear great things about Parfait Ice Cream, Husky Deli, Sweet Alchemy, and Kurt Farm Shop!
Catch a game
One exciting thing that we gained when we moved to Seattle, that we didn’t have in Austin, were professional sports teams! Adam is a huge baseball and soccer fan and we love spending an afternoon or an evening at a Mariners or Sounders game, especially when the Astros or Dynamo are in town (he is a diehard Houston sports supporter).
Even if you aren’t a huge sports fan, the environment at the games, the food, people watching, and the awesome views of downtown and the Puget Sound from the stadium make it a fun outing for anyone!
Go on a ferry adventure
Washington is home to many islands, a handful of which are accessible by ferry. While the ferries are wonderful year round, they are extra fun when it’s warm and sunny (especially if you want to soak up the view from outside!).
We have visited Bainbridge, Whidbey, and Orcas Island so far and they all have small town charm, hikes, and beautiful scenery. We can’t wait to explore the others!
If you’re looking for things to do while on some of the islands, particularly Whidbey and Orcas Islands, check out our 6 Seattle Day Trips Guide!
Stroll around the farmers markets
Every Sunday year round, rain or shine, the streets in Ballard and Fremont are transformed into an awesome outdoor farmers market. While it’s fun to go to any time of the year, it’s even better when the weather is nice!
We love to spend a Sunday morning strolling through the vendor booths, trying out samples, listening to the street musicians play, and grabbing lunch. It’s a great way to support local farmers and merchants!
Beyond the Ballard and Fremont farmers markets, there are tons of smaller neighborhood farmers markets that are open just for the summer (we love ours in Queen Anne!) and are open on different days of the week.
No matter which one you choose, you’re bound to leave a little less hungry and with a lighter wallet.