42 Free and Cheap Things to do in Seattle, Washington

South Lake Union, Seattle, Washington

42 Free and Cheap Things To Do in Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington, isn't just renowned for its innovation, music scene, and stunning natural landscapes – it's also a city brimming with affordable and, even better, free activities for locals and visitors alike. Whether you're looking for family-friendly adventures, a date night without breaking the bank, or simply craving a touch of the Emerald City's unique culture, there's something for everyone here. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, this post dives into 42 cost-effective outings sure to keep your Seattle sojourn delightful and wallet-friendly.

The quintessential Seattle experience at Pike Place Market

No visit to Seattle is complete without a stroll through Pike Place Market. Observe the famous fish throwing at Pike Place Fish Market, enjoy the buskers, and don't forget to visit the original Starbucks. Pike Place is one of those places that feels kind of touristy, but all the Seattle locals know that some of the best and freshest food in the city can be found there!

Cost: Free

Address: 85 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101 | Google Maps

Pike Place Market sign
Pike Place fish Market, Seattle

Leave your mark (literally) at the Gum Wall

While technically free, "The Market Theater Gum Wall" begs the question of just how much your dental work might cost in comparison. Located in Post Alley under Pike Place Market, this quirky attraction is a sticky, colorful canvas of chewed gum that's weirdly impressive. Yes it's gross, but it's also colorful and makes a fun photo op. Just watch your step because not all visitors are coordinated enough to get their gum to the wall and make pieces fall on the ground (gross).

Cost: Free

Address: 1428 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101 | Google Maps

Seattle gum wall
Seattle gum wall

A nature lover's paradise at Discovery Park

Discovery Park is an urban oasis spans over 530 acres and offers stunning views of both the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, walking and running trails, a beach, and the historic West Point Lighthouse. This is one of my absolute favorite places to visit in the city! It's a true gem that offers rest and relaxation inside city limits. It truly feels like a world away! I particularly love getting a quick trail run in there when I'm in town, but no matter your activity of choice, you're sure to enjoy Discovery Park.

Cost: Free

Address: 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199 | Google Maps

Wildflowers in Discovery Park, Seattle, Washington
Foggy morning in Discovery Park, Seattle
Discovery Park lighthouse
Hiking trails in Discovery Park

The Center for Wooden Boats – More than just for seafaring enthusiasts

Located on the southern shore of Lake Union, The Center for Wooden Boats is an interactive maritime museum that is entirely free. Explore the boats, join a workshop, or even take a free sail on Sundays. The folks who run this place love to share their passion of wooden boats with visitors and its a great way to learn more about these boats of the past.

Cost: Free

Address: 1010 Valley St, Seattle, WA 98109 | Google Maps

Immerse yourself in the great outdoors with a visit to one of Washington's three national parks

Washington state is home to three magnificent national parks: Mount Rainier, Olympic, and North Cascades. Each offers its unique breathtaking landscapes, from the towering volcanoes and lush old-growth forests of Mount Rainier National Park to the diverse ecosystems of Olympic National Park, and the rugged beauty of North Cascades National Park. Whether you're in the mood for hiking, wildlife viewing, or simply soaking in the natural beauty, these parks provide an unforgettable experience without the need for a hefty expenditure.

Cost: Varies by national park

North Cascades National Park (West Entrance): N Cascades Hwy, Marblemount, WA 98267 | Google Maps

Olympic National Park (Hurricane Ridge Entrance): 3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98362 | Google Maps

Mount Rainier National Park (Sunrise Entrance): White River Entrance, Enumclaw, WA 98022 | Google Maps

Checkout some of our Washington national parks travel guides!

Delight in the magic of the "Hogwarts Library" at the University of Washington

Unofficially named for its striking resemblance to the Harry Potter series, the Suzzallo-Allen Library is a stunning architectural feat. Wander through the grand Reading Room and the Graduate Reading Room, and feel like you've just entered a world of magic. If you're lucky enough to visit Seattle in the spring you might even get a chance to witness the beautiful cherry trees in bloom just outside the library!

Cost: Free

Address: 4000 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98195 | Google Maps

Suzzallo and Allen Libraries, University of Washington, also known as the "hogwarts libary"
Cherry blossoms at the University of Washington

Gather at the waterfront at Pier 62

One of the newer additions to Seattle's waterfront, Pier 62 is a gathering place with stunning views of the Puget Sound. Its expansive decks, picnic areas, and community spaces are perfect for a budget-friendly day out with friends or family. It's hard to beat a sunny days in Seattle spent next to the water and Pier 62 offers some of the best views in the city.

Cost: Free

Address: 1951 Alaskan Wy, Seattle, WA 98101 | Google Maps

Immerse yourself in art at Frye Art Museum

This art haven in First Hill is always free to the public. Explore its collection of 19th and 20th-century European paintings, plus rotating contemporary exhibitions that are sure to captivate. When we lived in Seattle I used to love visiting the Frye Art Museum when I was feeling stressed and needed to quiet my mind for a bit. I'd walk over the the museum, put my headphones in with some of my favorite music and walk around enjoying the art and space.

Cost: Free

Address: 704 Terry Ave, Seattle, WA 98104 | Google Maps

Explore the city on foot (or bike) using Seattle's Urban Trail System

Seattle's Urban Trail System guides you through the city's diverse neighborhoods, lush parks, and breathtaking waterfront, all while offering up-close-and-personal views of the local architecture and history. Our favorite trail is the Burke Gilman Trail since it connects to some of our favorite neighborhoods: Ballard, Fremont, and Wallingford. The Lake Union Loop is another great route as it takes you around the make lake right in the heart of the city. Bonus: bike across the Fremont Bridge and take note of the fun bike counter as you cross. Seattle is full of cyclists and the bridge's fun live time counter is a fun way to see just how enthusiastic this city is about getting around on two wheels.

Cost: Free

Witness the engineering marvel of Ballard Locks & Fish Ladder

Marvel at the boats passing from the saltwater of Puget Sound to the freshwater of the ship canal, and watch the migration of salmon at the Ballard Locks & Fish Ladder – an educational and fun outing, entirely free. Children especially love looking at the fish passing through the locks and I personally love watching the different boats that find their way through this region passing two and from Lake Union onto the greater waterways.

Cost: Free

Address: 2930 W Commodore Way, Seattle, WA 98199 | Google Maps

Ballard locks
Ballard locks fish ladder

Give in to your sweet tooth at Theo Chocolate

Theo Chocolate, located in the Fremont neighborhood, offers free daily tours that come with delicious samples. Learn about the bean-to-bar chocolate-making process in an ethical and sustainable environment. The tours aren't free but they are affordable. If you're not interested in a tour you can still stop into their shop and grab some delicious sweet treats. Theo Chocolate is some of my favorite and I always stock up when I'm back in Seattle!

Cost: Free to visit; Theo Chocolate Tours begin at $12

Address: 3400 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 | Google Maps

Relax at the beach – Alki Beach and beyond

With panoramic views of the city skyline, Alki Beach is the perfect spot for a picnic, a game of beach volleyball, or a leisurely stroll along the shores of Puget Sound. Get there early enough and you might be lucky enough to snag one of the designated fire pits for a beach fire (but always be sure to check local regulations regarding whether or not fires are allowed). If you visit in the morning we recommend grabbing a donut and coffee at Top Pot and walking along the beach.

Cost: Free

Address: 2665 Alki Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116 | Google Maps

Reach new heights at Seattle's Sky View Observatory

For breathtaking panoramic views of Seattle, the Sky View Observatory located in the Columbia Center stands as the city's tallest public viewing area. Offering a 360-degree unobstructed view, visitors can gaze upon the Space Needle, Puget Sound, and even Mount Rainier on a clear day. Whether you're capturing stunning photographs or simply soaking in the skyline, the observatory promises an unforgettable experience high above the city.

Cost: Adults (14-64): $25, seniors (65+): $22, military (with valid ID): $22, youth (5-13): $19, children (4 and under): Free

Address: 701 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104 | Google Maps

Sip a cup of coffee at Starbucks Reserve

Escape the lines at the touristy Original Starbucks and head to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. Watch the coffee-making process, take in the aroma, and treat yourself to a unique beverage or pastry. If you've never been to a Starbucks Reserve, know that they offer a much more unique experience (and far more drink options!) than that of a regular old Starbucks shop. I personally don't even really care for Starbucks all that much, but the Reserve is a cool experience.

Cost: Free to visit, drink prices vary

Address: 1124 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101 | Google Maps

Lace up and take a hike

Within an hour of Seattle there are so many incredible hikes for every skill level. From Poo Poo Point to Rattlesnake Ridge and Mount Si, the PNW is loaded up with hikes and Seattle is home to some of the best views around. You could spend a lifetime in Washington and still feel like you haven't seen all it has to offer!

Cost: Free to hike but some trails require the Discover Pass or a one time parking fee

Hiking at Rattlesnake Ridge, Pacific Northwest
Girl's muddy Keen hiking boots
Rattlesnake Ridge, Washington
Fall at Rattlesnake Lake, Washington

Float over to Bainbridge Island on the Washington State Ferries

Take a scenic 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island and immerse yourself in a blend of natural beauty and quaint charm. Once you arrive, explore the art galleries, local boutiques, and wineries that dot the landscape of this picturesque island. Don't miss the opportunity to stroll through the Bloedel Reserve, an exquisite 150-acre garden that offers serene walking paths and stunning landscapes. The ferry ride itself offers spectacular views of the Seattle skyline, making it as much a part of the adventure as the destination.

Cost: Ticket prices vary by age and route; WSF Monthly Pass Available

Address: Seattle Ferry Terminal 801 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104 | Google Maps

View of Seattle from Bainbridge Ferry, Washington
Riding the ferry to Bainbridge Island

Have an animal adventure at Woodland Park Zoo

The Woodland Park Zoo provides engaging habitats for animals from around the world. Check online for free admission days to make the most of this family-friendly experience. If you happen to be in Seattle during the warmer months you might be lucky enough to check a concert at Woodland Park. There is a concert venue at the zoo which is one of the best places to catch an outdoor concert in Seattle.

Cost: Adults (13-64): $23, children (3-12): $17, seniors (65+): $26, children (2 and under): Free

*Note: There is a 10% per ticket discount if you purchase your tickets online at least 4 days in advance. Discounts are also available for military (with valide ID), and those with disabilities.

Address: Seattle, WA 98103 | Google Maps

Marvel at botanicals at Volunteer Park Conservatory

Nestled within the heart of Capitol Hill, the Volunteer Park Conservatory offers a lush escape from the urban environment. This historical greenhouse is home to a wide variety of exotic plants, stunning floral displays, and seasonal blooms that enchant visitors year-round. Walking through its glass doors, you're transported into a world of tropical warmth and botanical beauty, making it a perfect spot for plant lovers and those seeking a moment of tranquility in the city.

Cost: Adult (18+): $6, youth (6-17): $4, children (5 and under): free, college students, senior (65+), military, adaptive: $4

Address: 1400 E Galer St, Seattle, WA 98112 | Google Maps

Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle, Washington
Colorful plants in the Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle, Washington
Sunset in the Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle, Washington
Inside the Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle, Washington

Watch the sun dip into the ocean at Golden Gardens Park

Golden Gardens Park is one of Seattle's most beloved spots for watching the sunset. Its expansive shoreline offers uninterrupted views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound, making it an idyllic location for evening picnics, bonfires, and leisurely walks along the beach. As the sun dips below the horizon, the sky erupts in vibrant hues, creating a breathtaking backdrop against the soothing sound of the waves. Whether you're wrapping up a day of adventure or seeking a tranquil spot to reflect, Golden Gardens Park provides a picturesque setting to experience the natural beauty of Seattle.

Cost: Free

Address: 8498 Seaview Pl NW, Seattle, WA 98117 | Google Maps

Take a botanical journey at Washington Park Arboretum & Japanese Garden

Spanning over 230 acres, the Washington Park Arboretum & Japanese Garden offers a tranquil retreat within the bustling city of Seattle. This beautifully maintained sanctuary features a diverse collection of plants and trees from around the world, with well-marked trails leading visitors through thematic gardens, wetlands, and woodlands. The highlight for many is the serene Japanese Garden, a meticulously designed landscape that invites contemplation and relaxation. Each season brings a new spectacle, from spring blossoms to autumn leaves, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and photographers alike.

Cost: The arboretum is free, but the Japanese Garden charges adults (18-64): $10, youths (6-17), senior adults(65+), students (with valid ID), adaptive, and military: $6, children (0-5): FREE

Address: 2300 Arboretum Dr E, Seattle, WA 98112 | Google Maps

Green plants at the Washington Park Arboretum and Japanese Garden
Stone pathway at the Washington Park Arboretum and Japanese Garden

Savor seclusion at Seward Park

Seward Park encompasses an atmosphere of peaceful seclusion amidst Seattle's bustling city life. This expansive park, boasting over 300 acres of beautiful landscapes, offers a variety of outdoor activities, including walking trails, biking paths, and ample space for picnicking. On a clear day, visitors are treated to some of the best views of Mount Rainier, presenting a splendid backdrop that complements the serene waters of Lake Washington surrounding the park.

Cost: Free

Address: 5900 Lake Washington Blvd S, Seattle, WA 98118 | Google Maps

Get the perfect skyline view from Kerry Park

For the quintessential Seattle skyline photo, a visit to Kerry Park is a must. Located on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill, this small park offers breathtaking views of the city, with the Space Needle standing proudly in the foreground against the backdrop of Mount Rainier and Elliott Bay. It's a favorite spot for photographers and tourists alike, especially at sunset when the city lights begin to twinkle. We recommend grabbing ice cream at the neighborhood location of Molly Moon’s, then walking the 3 blocks to the park. (Molly Moon’s is my absolute favorite ice cream in the country! You must try the honey lavender flavor.)

Cost: Free  

Address: 211 W Highland Dr, Seattle, WA 98119 | Google Maps

View of the Space Needle from Kerry Park, Seattle, Washington
Molly Moon's Ice Cream cone, Seattle

Paddle along Lake Union in a kayak

Kayaking on Lake Union offers an unparalleled urban adventure, blending the thrill of water sports with spectacular views of Seattle's skyline. Paddling through the calm waters, visitors have the unique opportunity to see houseboats, seaplanes taking off and landing, and the bustling activity of the city from a new perspective. Whether you're an experienced kayaker or trying it for the first time, exploring Lake Union by kayak provides a memorable experience that highlights the natural beauty and urban charm of Seattle. We've rented from Moss Bay before and had a wonderful experience with thei location, boat options, and service.

Cost: Free with your own kayak, rental prices for kayaks and paddle boards vary

Address to Moss Bay: 1001 Fairview Ave N #1900, Seattle, WA 98109 | Google Map

Kayaking on Lake Union, Seattle, Washington

Picnic with a view at Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park, situated on the north shore of Lake Union, offers some of the best panoramic views of Seattle's skyline. This unique park is renowned for its distinctive industrial remnants, providing an intriguing backdrop for visitors. It's a popular destination for picnics, kite flying, and simply enjoying a leisurely day outdoors. The park also features a large hill, perfect for watching Fourth of July fireworks or catching a spectacular sunset over the city. Whether you're seeking a place for active recreation or a serene spot to unwind, Gas Works Park delivers an unforgettable experience.

Cost: Free

Address: 2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103 | Google Maps

Walking up Kite Hill, Gas Works Park, Seattle
Paragliding on Kite Hill, Gas Works Park, Seattle, Washington

Catch a Mariners game at a discount

Experience the thrill of Major League Baseball by catching a Seattle Mariners game at T-Mobile Park. This iconic stadium, known for its spectacular views and fan-friendly atmosphere, provides an exciting opportunity to partake in America's favorite pastime without breaking the bank. Keep an eye out for special promotions and discount tickets that make attending a game more affordable for families and groups. One of our favorite cheap date nights when we lived in Seattle was to get the cheap tickets to a Mariners game and get a pretzel and a beer. It's hard to beat a summer evening in Seattle at the ball park!

Cost: Tickets vary by game

Address: 1250 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134 | Google Maps

Mariners baseball game
Crowd watching Mariners game

Get a bird's eye view at Lumen Field

For an unforgettable experience that towers above the rest, consider touring Lumen Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders FC. This impressive stadium is not only a hub for thrilling sports action but also offers tours that provide fans with a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of a world-class sporting venue. From exploring the locker rooms to walking out onto the field, visitors get a unique perspective of the stadium's architecture and the chance to stand where legends have played.

Cost: Adults (12+): $25, children (3-11): $18, seniors (62+) & Military: $18, children 2 & under: free

Address: 800 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134 | Google Maps

Appreciate art and nature at Olympic Sculpture Park

The Olympic Sculpture Park, a vibrant fusion of art and nature, offers an open-air gallery under the expanse of the Seattle sky. Situated along the waterfront, this park presents a dynamic array of contemporary sculptures set against a backdrop of stunning landscapes and city views. It's a place where art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike can wander freely, experiencing the interplay of human creativity and natural beauty.

Cost: Free

Address: 2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 | Google Maps

Cocktails and skyline at Smith Tower

Experience Seattle's history from a unique vantage point at the iconic Smith Tower. Once the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, Smith Tower today offers visitors a chance to enjoy craft cocktails and stunning 360-degree views of the city's skyline from its observatory and bar. The beautifully preserved interiors and the speakeasy vibe of the bar area transport you back to the Prohibition Era, making it not just a visual feast but a captivating historical experience. Whether you're savoring a drink or simply soaking in the panoramic views, Smith Tower provides a glimpse into Seattle's past, all while offering beautiful views of the Emerald City.

Cost: Adults (14-64): $22, seniors (65+): $21, youths (5-13): $18, children (4 and under): Free, military (with valid ID): $21, Students (with valid ID): $18

Address: 506 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104 | Google Maps

Smith Tower, Seattle, Washington
Cocktail at Smith Tower

Ride the Seattle Great Wheel

Experience Seattle from a different perspective by taking a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel on Pier 57. This massive Ferris wheel stretches over the city's waterfront, offering breathtaking views of the skyline, Elliott Bay, and the surrounding mountains. Each enclosed gondola ensures a comfortable ride, making it a perfect outing regardless of the weather. Whether you're looking for a romantic evening or a unique way to see the city with friends, the Seattle Great Wheel is an experience not to be missed.

Cost: Adults (12-64): $18, children (3-11): $13, seniors (65+): $16, Infants (0-2): Free

Address: 1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101 | Google Maps

Meet the Fremont Troll

Tucked away under the Aurora Bridge in the eclectic Fremont neighborhood, you'll find the Fremont Troll, a whimsical public sculpture that has captured the imagination of both locals and visitors alike. This towering troll clutches an actual Volkswagen Beetle and has become an iconic symbol of creative expression in Seattle.

Cost: Free

Address: North 36th Street, Troll Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 | Google Maps

Experience Amazon's Seattle Spheres

Step into a different world within the urban landscape at Amazon's Seattle Spheres, a remarkable architectural feat that combines the beauty of nature with cutting-edge design. These three interconnected glass domes house more than 40,000 plants from over 30 countries, creating a lush, tropical environment in the heart of the city. Open for public visits on select weekends, the Spheres offer an educational experience that emphasizes the importance of biodiversity and conservation. It's a must-visit for anyone interested in architecture, horticulture, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat from the city's hustle and bustle.

Cost: Free to enter, shopping and food varies by vendor

Address: 2111 7th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 | Google Maps

Lose yourself in words at the Seattle Public Library

The Seattle Public Library, specifically its Central Library located downtown, is more than just a place for books; it's a masterpiece of contemporary architecture that captivates visitors at first glance. Designed by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas, the building's striking glass and steel structure challenges traditional concepts of what a library can be. Its innovative design not only houses a vast collection of resources but also serves as a public space that encourages exploration and learning. The library's unique geometric shapes and transparent façade invite light into every corner, making it a luminous beacon of knowledge in the heart of the city.

Cost: Free

Address: 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104 | Google Maps

Diverse attractions at Seattle Center

Seattle Center, an iconic landmark nestled in the heart of the city, is a hub of creativity, technology, and culture. Home to the iconic Space Needle, the Seattle Center also includes the Museum of Pop Culture, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the Pacific Science Center, among others. It's a place where visitors can experience a blend of art, science, and entertainment, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Seattle. Whether you're interested in exploring the future at the Science Center or immersing yourself in the vibrant sounds of contemporary music at MoPOP, Seattle Center offers something intriguing for every type of visitor.

Note: The cost of visiting each of these places individually will quickly add up. If you're interested in visiting more than one of these popular attractions, we'd highly recommend snagging the Seattle CityPASS.

Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109 | Google Maps

View of Seattle Space Needle at night from Seattle Center

Pay respects at the Bruce Lee Grave

Visit the final resting place of martial arts icon and film star Bruce Lee, along with his son, Brandon Lee, at Lake View Cemetery. This solemn site draws fans and admirers from around the world to pay their respects to the Lees, who both left an indelible mark on martial arts and cinema. The gravesite is a place of quiet reflection where visitors can honor the memory and achievements of these cultural legends.

Side tip: Want to experience a taste of Bruce Lee's favorite place in Seattle? Visit his favorite restaurant, Tai Tung Restaurant in Seattle's international district.

Cost: Free

Address: 1554 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112 | Google Maps

Visit the real-life Up house

For those enchanted by Pixar's heartwarming tale Up, a visit to the real-life Up house in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood is a must. This vibrant and defiant little home, surrounded by commercial buildings, stands as a testament to resilience and the human spirit. Much like Carl Fredricksen's house in the movie, this home has its own story of battling against development pressures, becoming a symbol of tenacity for many. Though viewing is limited to the exterior, the sight of this colorful dwelling amidst a concrete landscape inspires a sense of whimsy and adventure in visitors and locals alike. To truly appreciate this little house, we'd recommend reading the story about it ahead of time.

Cost: Free

Address: 1438 NW 46th St, Seattle, WA 98107 | Google Maps

Fresh produce and flowers at one of Seattle's many farmers markets

Seattle is renowned for its vibrant farmers markets, where locals and visitors alike can indulge in the freshest produce, artisanal goods, and stunning floral arrangements. Each market has its own unique charm, but our favorite has to be Ballard Farmers Market. Distinct for being open year-round, this market offers a chance to enjoy seasonal delights irrespective of the weather. Its lively atmosphere and diverse selection of products make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the true flavor of Seattle.

Cost: Free

Address: 5345 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 | Google Maps

Fresh flowers at Seattle farmers market
Buckets of fresh flowers at Seattle farmers market

Witness the hustle and bustle at Lake Union Park

Lake Union Park offers a unique glimpse into Seattle's diverse ecosystem of recreational and commercial activity. Nestled at the edge of the water, this urban park is a bustling hub where kayakers glide beside historic ships and seaplanes soar overhead. It's an ideal spot for those looking to relax by the water or explore the rich maritime heritage of the Pacific Northwest. The park also provides a stunning view of the Seattle skyline, making it a perfect backdrop for an afternoon picnic or a leisurely stroll along the waterfront.

Cost: Free

Address: 860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 | Google Maps

Climb the Howe Street Stairs

The Howe Street Stairs boast the title of being one of Seattle's longest and most challenging public stairways, making it an exceptional spot for those seeking to boost their fitness levels. Locals, particularly, cherish this climb, often using it as a rigorous training ground to prepare for the lush, demanding hikes that Pacific Northwest summers offer. Amidst Seattle's rainy winter months, these stairs provide an excellent, albeit hefty, urban alternative to mountain trails, allowing residents to maintain their hiking stamina without leaving the city. It's a testament to the city's love for outdoor activities and staying active, no matter the weather.

Cost: Address

Address: 255-259 E Howe St, Seattle, WA 98102 | Google Maps

Looking down the Howe Street Stairs, Seattle
Looking up the Howe Street Stairs, Capitol Hill, Seattle

Savor the flavor with a self-guided food tour of Pike Place Market

No visit to Seattle would be complete without a deep dive into its culinary heart at Pike Place Market. This historic, bustling marketplace is not only a feast for the eyes but also for the palate, offering some of the best food Seattle has to offer. From freshly caught seafood to artisan cheeses, and a diverse array of international cuisines, the options here are endless. What's more, the streets surrounding the market are lined with an eclectic mix of eateries and food stalls, each serving up their own unique flavors that capture the essence of Seattle's rich culinary landscape. Whether you're in the mood for a quick bite or a lavish meal, Pike Place Market and its neighboring streets are sure to satisfy your cravings.

Must visit places at Pike Place:

  • Beecher's Handmade Cheese: Don't miss the chance to try their world-famous mac & cheese, made with a rich blend of their signature cheeses. It's a creamy, comforting dish that has earned accolades and fans globally.
  • Rachel's Ginger Beer: Perfect for a refreshingly spicy sip, Rachel's offers a variety of ginger beer flavors, including classic, blood orange, and caramelized pineapple. Pair it with a splash of their optional alcoholic mix-ins for an adult twist.
  • Piroshky Piroshky: Bite into a delicious and savory Russian piroshki, with a variety of fillings ranging from beef and onion to smoked salmon paté.
  • Pike Place Chowder: Experience the award-winning taste of America's best chowder, offering classic New England style alongside unique variations like smoked salmon chowder.
  • Daily Dozen Doughnut Company: Watch as mini doughnuts are made right before your eyes and enjoy them piping hot, sprinkled with your choice of sugar, cinnamon, or frosting.
  • The Crumpet Shop: For a taste of Britain, try their freshly made crumpets served with a choice of sweet and savory toppings, from rich Nutella to sharp cheddar cheese and egg.
  • Storyville Coffee: Seattle is famous for their endless number of coffee shops, and Storyteller is one of our favorites in town. Not only do they roast their own beans, but they also have a give back component to their brand which is really cool to support. On rainy days in Seattle, ducking into the Pike Place location of Storyville is a cozy treat. Grab a seat by the fireplace and stay a while!

Cost: Free to tour but cost of food varies from vendor to vendor

Address: 85 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101 | Google Maps

Gear up and get out at the REI flagship store

Adventure enthusiasts will find a paradise at the REI flagship store in Seattle, a mecca for outdoor gear and apparel. What sets this location apart is not just the vast selection of equipment for hiking, camping, biking, and more, but also its impressive indoor rock climbing wall and outdoor mini-trail for testing out bikes that are for sale in the shop. Visitors who plan on hitting the trail while in Washington can also rent gear from their rental department which is super handy when you don't want to check all your camping gear on the plane.

Cost: Free to visit, some classes and experiences an cost additional fee

Address: 222 Yale Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 | Google Maps

Tour and taste at Seattle's best breweries

Seattle's brewery scene is as rich and diverse as the city itself, offering everything from classic ales to innovative craft beers. For a truly authentic Seattle experience, make sure to check out these five must-visit breweries: Fremont Brewing, Stoup Brewing, Holy Mountain Brewing, and Reuben's Brews.

Final thoughts

Seattle stands as a vibrant, multifaceted city that beckons with its stunning landscapes, innovative culinary scene, and a deep-rooted love for the outdoors. Whether you're meandering along the historic waterfront, challenging yourself on the Howe Street Stairs, sampling the eclectic flavors of Pike Place Market, gearing up for an adventure at the REI flagship store, or savoring the artisan craft of local breweries, the Emerald City offers a palette of experiences that cater to every taste and interest. With each visit, Seattle reveals another layer of its diverse culture and beauty, inviting adventurers and food enthusiasts alike to immerse themselves in its unique vibe.

Like this article? Checkout these other Washington travel guides!

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