Seattle is known for its stunning scenery and great outdoor adventures in the nearby mountains, numerous parks, Puget Sound and lakes. But what do you do when your vacation is just rainy days?
While the sights may be a little less epic than expected, these Seattle rainy day activities have plenty of opportunities to explore the backcountry.
Although Seattle is not the wettest place in the United States, it is also known for an average of 38 inches of annual rainfall. However, if you’re planning outdoor adventures in the rain, don’t worry. Grab your raincoat and head to these wonderfully dry destinations.
Pike Place Market is perhaps Seattle’s most popular destination. Rain or shine, the food here is good. Plus, people watching is almost as much fun as flying fish when selling something at the fish market. With plenty of restaurants, shops and events, it won’t disappoint even when the skies open.
Although you may occasionally have to go outside, most vendors, shops and restaurants are indoors and dry. There are also areas where you can eat inside.
Some have spectacular views of Elliot Bay and the Seattle Wheel. Food favorites in the area are Piroshky Piroshky, Le Panier and Beecher’s Handmade Cheese.
Only the fish are wet at the Seattle Aquarium, making it one of the best rainy days in Seattle. The aquarium is fun for all ages who want to learn more about the local marine and bird life and ecology.
You can see many species of fish from the underwater dome, watch sea otters and harbor seals and spy crested puffins. Highlights also include a giant Pacific octopus and a circular jellyfish tank that you can walk through.
This is one of the many destinations you can visit with the Seattle CityPass. This pass offers discounts at indoor wonders like the Space Needle, the Museum of Pop Culture, and the Chihuly Garden and Glass.
The highlight for many visitors is the Space Needle. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, it is a sight not to be missed. With epic 360-degree views, you’ll get a great view of Seattle from above.
The Space Needle has two completely enclosed levels, one of which has a rotating glass floor (The Loupe). You can also grab a drink at Atmos Wine Bar or dine at Atmos Café (reservation required).
The 42-second ride to the top is a thrill, and you can choose a ticket to return in the evening. With a gift shop, exhibits and views, this destination will leave you alone.
Seattle Center is home to the Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and more. It was built for the Century 21 Exposition, also known as the Seattle World’s Fair. It was held from April to October in 1962 and attracted nearly 10 million visitors.
The Discovery Center of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is located next to the Museum of Pop Culture. This (free) space offers an opportunity to learn more about their work around the world. There are also practice rooms and exhibits where you can think about how your actions can lead to positive change.
Chihuly Garden and Glass is so clear inside that you forget the sky inside is dark. It features glass art by Dale Chihuly and his studio. Gallery after gallery showcases colorful treats and installations, including the famous glass chandeliers and Sea-themed areas. There are glassblowing shows, a cafe, a gift shop and the garden is also a wonder.
The armory as it is known today was built in 1939 as the Seattle Field Artillery Armory. Today, it’s a great place to grab a bite to eat or buy official merchandise from the Seattle Kraken (Seattle’s beloved National Hockey League team). Plays at the nearby Climate Pledge Arena).
This building is breathtaking and a recent update has created a large central area with tables and event space. Grab a meal or a snack and enjoy the history. Restaurants include Blue Water Taco, Matt’s Fish Basket, Seattle Fudge, and Starbucks (Seattle).
Another popular attraction in Seattle Center is the monorail. As fun today as it was in 1962, when it was the first full-size commercial monorail.
Although it is no longer the mode of transportation of the future, it provides an easy way to get downtown. Buy a ticket at the kiosk and hop aboard for the short ride to your next stop, Westlake Center.
SHOPPING, UNDERGROUND TOURS AND MUSEUMS
Fashion and occasion enthusiasts will love Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth. The well-known Spanish retailer ZARA is also active here.
Founded in Seattle in 1901, Nordstrom’s flagship store is across the street. Also nearby are Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Sephora and numerous independent shops, restaurants, galleries, markets and cozy coffee shops.
A short streetcar or bus ride away is one of Seattle’s most unique rainy day activities: the Bill Speidel Underground Tour, located in Pioneer Square.
They take you on a fun walk through the underground walkways and facades that were buried when the city was rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1889. It’s like stepping back in time as you travel beneath the city today.
Seattle also has several great museums that are great to explore on a rainy day. The Seattle Art Museum is within walking distance of Pike Place Market. It has a large collection of works from all over the world, from antiques to contemporary works.
Located along South Lake Union, the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) explores the area’s history and offers views of the lake. You may even see a seaplane take off. The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience is located in the Chinatown-International District.
The programs and exhibits fulfill their mission: “We connect everyone to the dynamic history, cultures, and art of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders by telling living stories and inspiring experiences to advance racial equality.” and social”.
SPORTS ACTIVITIES ON RAINY DAY IN SEATTLE
Even if your outdoor plans are put on hold for a day or two, you can still participate in fun indoor activities that get your heart rate up.
REI Seattle’s flagship store helps you plan your next outdoor adventure. Moreover, it offers you a little indoor adventure at the same time. REI Experiences offers REI Rock Climbing Pinnacle. Since opening in 1996, the 20-meter Climbing Pinnacle has been offering climbers spectacular views of the skyline.
REI is known for clothing, camping gear, hiking boots, shoes and more. This urban oasis is designed with an enhanced forested and organic environment so you can explore and plan when the clouds part.
Inspired to create a casual craft beer focused pub with a unique (and challenging) indoor miniature golf course. With food on the table and fun in mind, play mini golf or other original golf themed games: “Duffleboard”™, “Ball Jockey”™ and “stick putt”™. You can only find these here.
If your trip to Washington state turns out to be wetter than expected, rest assured that this region’s beautiful interior will provide you with many rainy days in Seattle.
For more information on planning your trip (rain or shine), visit www.visitseattle.org
BOOK THIS TRIP
Start planning your rainy day in Seattle today. Prepare yourself by exploring transportation, hotel and VRBO accommodations, local restaurants and more with TripAdvisor and Travelocity.
Plan for even more fun by booking unique Seattle activities, expert-led tours, and skip-the-line tickets to top attractions through GetYourGuide. Here you will find more information and you can already book your appointment.
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