Should You Visit Seattle?

Are you thinking about visiting Seattle, Washington? Here's what you need to know before planning your trip.


Is Seattle worth visiting?

Yes, it's worth visiting this city for two to three days because of the many great activities. Located on the beautiful Puget Sound, Seattle is a quintessential Pacific Northwest city. It is filled with outdoor recreation, water activities, and an amazing restaurant scene. Pike Place Market is an iconic waterfront setting, but the famed Space Needle is the most recognizable sight of the city. Seattle is also at the heart of the country's tech industry, serving as the headquarters for large companies such as Microsoft and Amazon. We first visited in 2007 and have returned several times. During our time here, we fell in love with the coastal setting and wonderful Pike Place Market. Seattle is loved by visitors for many reasons, and is routinely on national "best of" lists, including Money's Best Places to Travel in 2023.

Seattle, Washington Seattle, Washington

Reasons to Visit Seattle

Museums
The city's most iconic landmark is the Space Needle. There's also a zoo, aquarium, and a handful of nice museums. Several favorites include the Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Museum of History & Industry, and the Seattle Art Museum.

Food
The city has many diverse dining options that make it a popular foodie destination. The seafood is world-class with many restaurants offering fresh caught salmon and oysters. There are also many great Asian restaurants with Pho, sushi, and dim sum all being popular around town. Seattle is also famous as the birthplace of Starbucks coffee, and both chain and independent coffee shops are common. Finally, make sure you check out the donuts at Pike's Place Market.

Nightlife
The city is known for its breweries and eclectic nightlife scene. There is a thriving theater scene as well as many bars and trendy restaurants. The best neighborhoods for nightlife include Capitol Hill, Belltown, and Downtown.

Music
The city has developed its own music culture around several genres including alternative rock and grunge.

Hiking
It's famously an outdoorsy city and the hiking will not disappoint. Within a half hour drive of town you'll find beautiful forests and stunning natural beauty. Head into the Cascades, to the coastal rainforests, or around Mount Rainier for all kinds of diverse landscapes. Seattle is well situated for you to experience hiking through the diverse Pacific Northwest landscapes.

Theatre Productions
There are a handful of theaters where you can enjoy traveling Broadway shows or smaller productions.

Beaches
The city is surrounded by water so there are a number of rocky and sandy beaches nearby. Some beaches are more popular with locals while others attract a large amount of tourists. Alki Beach Park, Discovery Park, and Golden Gardens Park are among the best.

Shopping
Shopping in town has an eclectic mix of high end brands, local vendors, and vintage shops. There are farmers markets as well as the famous Pike Place Market, but also major malls with all of the standard department stores.




Is Seattle worth visiting in the Summer?

Summer is the high season for travel in Seattle, so expect more visitors and higher prices. This destination is quite popular with tourists, and in the high season it's even busier than usual as this is when most people like to visit. Expect crowds to be large, and prices to be a bit higher than normal. However, there's plenty to do here this time of year, too. Summer is the driest and best time to visit if you're hoping to spend a lot of time outside.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during summer with average temperatures around 19°C (67°F).

The nearby hiking this time of year is a must-do, so take some time to get out on the trails, take in some fresh air, and enjoy the scenery. The activities of the city are numerous, and this is a great time of year to explore all of them. From family-friendly attractions to romantic getaways, as well as budget-friendly things to do, there's something for everyone. Famous landmarks, museums, tours, and more are all available. You'll also find it quite easy to get around on foot, because this is a very walkable city, especially in the nice weather. You'll find plenty to do during summer, as you'll be able to lounge on the beach, go hiking, and spend time at the museums. Also, you can discover the big city activities and dance the night away.


Summer Weather in Seattle
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
July 19°C (67°F) 22 mm (0.9 in)
August 19°C (67°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
September 17°C (62°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)

Is Seattle worth visiting in the Autumn?

This is the shoulder season for travel in Seattle. This destination is quite touristy, so in the shoulder season you can still find plenty of crowds, but better prices.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during autumn with average temperatures around 12°C (54°F).

Autumn is a great time of year to explore the numerous museums and landmarks around town. They are fun for the whole family as well great for couples. During this season it's fun to experience the beautiful scenery, the museums and landmarks, and the big city activities. Also, you can check out the hiking and the live music scene.


Autumn Weather in Seattle
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
October 12°C (54°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)
November 8°C (47°F) 144 mm (5.7 in)
December 6°C (42°F) 152 mm (6 in)

Is Seattle worth visiting in the Winter?

The weather in Seattle can be quite cold during winter, and averages around 5°C (42°F). But be prepared for much lower temperatures, too.

The low season for travel in Seattle is during the winter. This destination is quite touristy, but in the low season you'll see fewer crowds and much better prices. You can expect cooler temperatures and shorter days during the winter months in Seattle.

This is a great time of year to wander through the museums, take in a show, and sample the delicious cuisine. Also, you'll be able to take advantage of the local nightlife, listen to some live music, and enjoy the city's energy.


Winter Weather in Seattle
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
January 5°C (42°F) 136 mm (5.4 in)
February 7°C (45°F) 102 mm (4 in)
March 9°C (47°F) 96 mm (3.8 in)

Is Seattle worth visiting in the Spring?

Spring is the shoulder season for travel in Seattle. This destination is quite touristy, so in the shoulder season you can still find plenty of crowds, but better prices.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during spring with average temperatures around 11°C (51°F).

You'll find plenty to do during spring, as you'll be able to find the best deals at the shops, browse through museums, and admire the wonderful scenery. Also, you can experience the live music and the nightlife.


Spring Weather in Seattle
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
April 11°C (51°F) 64 mm (2.5 in)
May 14°C (57°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
June 17°C (62°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)

Things to Consider Before Visiting Seattle

Not As Family-Friendly
While there are some family activities, it's not as child-friendly as other destinations.

The Cost
Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, Seattle might be an expensive destination for you. You can find out the travel costs for Seattle here or see if Seattle is expensive here.

Related

What is Seattle most famous for?

Seattle is most famous for its beautiful waterfront setting, diverse culinary scene, thriving art and cultural venues, and being the home of many international tech companies. The city is very popular for its museums, food, nightlife, music, and hiking. Also, it's known for theatre productions, beaches, and shopping. It is often described as bustling, progressive, cultural, outdoorsy, and laid-back.

What is the most famous sight in Seattle?

The most popular sight in Seattle is The Space Needle. You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in Seattle on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for The Space Needle and other attractions here.

How touristy is Seattle? Is it a popular city to visit?

Seattle is a popular city for tourists and travelers. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)

  • Tours at Climate Pledge Arena: $44
  • Henry Mural Tours - 3 hour Immersive Tour of Seattle: $72
  • Capitol Hill Neighborhood Tour: Indie shops, nightlife, history and attitude!: $149
  • Discovery Park Electric Bike Tour: $135
  • Insider's Breakfast and Culture Tour of Pike Place Market: $89
  • Seattle Waterfall Experience: $75
  • Chef Guided Happy Hour Tour - Cocktails, Bubbles and Bites: $140
  • Space Needle & Seattle Center Small Group Private Walking Tour: $162

How long should I spend in Seattle?

The ideal length of time for a trip to Seattle is two to three days. Since Seattle has activities such as hiking, museums, dining, and nightlife, many visit for up to three days.

If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Seattle? and Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Seattle?.