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Summer Activities in Seattle

Seattle summer activities

Seattle is often the butt of jokes relating to our famously gloomy weather. But as any PNW local could tell you, the summers here are actually delightful. Not too hot, not too cold, and plenty of warm, long summer nights to enjoy with family and friends.

If you’re looking for some creative summer activities in Seattle, we’ve got you covered. This list covers fun outdoor activities and adventures that you can enjoy in the greater Seattle area this summer and fall.

Go whale watching

The best time to spot orca whale pods in the Seattle area is typically April through September, when pods are at their most active in our local waters. There are several companies offering half-day and full-day whale watching adventures, departing from either downtown Seattle or up in Edmonds. FRS Clipper and Puget Sound Express are two popular options.

Whale watching tours take visitors out to wherever the whales happen to be that day — so you won’t be sure where you’re heading until the day of! In addition to whales, be on the lookout for porpoises, seals, and a variety of seabirds.

Chill on Alki Beach

West Seattle’s own Alki Beach is a favorite summer hangout for locals and visitors alike. While it gets busy, there is usually plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the sun.

Alki offers plenty of activities, from volleyball to bike rentals and stand up paddle boarding. Many of West Seattle’s top-rated restaurants and bars are also located along the shores of Alki, making it a simple destination for a full day’s activities and dining.

Enjoy a ferry ride

Hopping on a ferry on a clear sunny day provides a unique view of Seattle, the stunning Olympic mountains, and the beautiful waters of the Puget sound. From Seattle, it’s a quick ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, which is easily day-trippable. You can also venture out to Vashon island on a ferry departing daily from West Seattle.

Check out the WSDOT website for more details on ferries and to book in advance.

Bike the Burke-Gilman trail

Stretching from Ballard to Woodinville, the Burke-Gilman trail is a favorite path for bicyclists and walkers year-round. The trail stretches 19 miles, making it a solid half-day journey to bike the whole trail and back. The trail is paved and has clearly marked road crossings, making it a family-friendly trail for a summer bike ride in Seattle.

Visit a Seattle farmers market

While many farmers markets run year-round, summer is when the stalls are absolutely bursting with local produce from the region’s local farms. During the summer months you’ll find fresh berries, tomatoes, greens, pasture-raised eggs, carrots, and much more.

There are many markets spread throughout Seattle, with locations in the University District, West Seattle, Capital Hill, Lake City, Magnolia, Ballard, Wallingford, and more. See the Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets association website for details.

Go berry picking

Here’s a fun idea for a short summer adventure: Visit a local berry farm to pick your own! Most of us buy all our food in neatly packaged containers, so it’s a refreshing experience to go out to an actual farm and pick ripe berries by hand!

There are several farms within a short drive of Seattle, including Harvold Berry Farm and Bolles Organic Berry Farm. For more information, check out PickYourOwn.org

Kayak or paddleboard on Lake Union

Lake Union offers stunning views of the Seattle skyline, plus an intimate look at some unique nooks and crannies of the Seattle community — including several thriving houseboat communities. The Northwest Outdoor Center rents kayaks, tandem kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards from their location on the West shore of Lake Union.

Enjoy the view and a cocktail at a Seattle rooftop bar

Getting up above the noise of crowds of the Seattle streets provides a unique way to spend an afternoon or evening. Rooftop bars also offer a very unique view of the city we know and love. Some of the best rooftop bars in Seattle include The Nest, mbar, The Fog Room, and Smith Tower.

 

What’s your favorite Seattle summer activity? Let us know in the comments!

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