Folks in Seattle get very excited about summer (IT’S TODAY!!!). For one thing, it’s the only time of year we get away from the rain. For another, it’s the only time of year we get away from the rain. So yes, locals are very much looking forward to it. And tourists flock to Seattle in the summer as well and wonder why we cry (literally) about the rain. How do you think everything got, and stayed, so green in the summer??!!

Excuse me.

With that out of the way, Seattle truly is stunning in the summer and to all the tourists that are clogging our streets, I’m here to help steer you to the right places so you can get out of our way.

The Space Needle

space needle seattle

Yes, you’re definitely going to go to the Space Needle so you might as well get it out of the way. It actually is a beautiful structure and in the summer, the views are stunning. You could also consider going to the Columbia Center, which is actually higher, but is hardly as iconic. Plus, the Seattle Center, where the Needle is located, has some other cool things to check out. For those with kids, the Pacific Science Center and the Children’s Museum are both great options. The Children’s Museum is for younger kids (2-6) while all kids can enjoy the PSC, though it’s better for kids 4 and older. You can also visit the Chihuly Glass Museum, which has a stunning array of glasswork from Dale Chihuly. For you music aficionados, the EMP is here as well.

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market Seattle

Another place you’re definitely going to visit is Pike Place Market. Set by the water, it also is a beautiful and quirky place, where fresh food is available daily and you’ll find the first Starbucks (and get to enjoy its even longer lines). There are also restaurants here, many of which have views of the water, so plan to spend hours here if you’re eating. For those that want a less formal dining experience can pick up food from one of the many stalls and head to the park at the north end of the market to look out onto the water. Get some Rainier cherries if they’re in season! They don’t last long.

Any of the areas of water

Lake Washington

Undoubtedly, you’ll come across water many times during your visit so make sure to hop on a boat or other water transportation at the many lakes here. Lake Washington is the largest lake and has many outlets where you can rent boats, canoes, paddleboards, etc. Lake Union is another popular option in the summer, with free boat rides on Sundays as well (sign up in the morning as it gets quite busy).

Ferries and Islands

Orcas Island and Ferry

While you’re out here, you may have planned a stay to one of the islands. That’s a great choice and of the many out there, the San Juans are always the most popular. You can run into orcas, engage in any number of water activities and enjoy a simpler island life, with good food and boutique hotels. Other popular islands are Bainbridge (can even be a day trip and the ferry ride is gorgeous) and Whidbey Island (look at hiking Deception Pass). No matter which you choose, you’ll definitely enjoy the natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle.

That concludes the touristy part of Seattle. Enjoy these once or multiple times, but make sure you take some time out to read Part 2 about the less-popular areas. Coming soon!