5 Must-Do Summer Activities in the Seattle Area

While Seattle has a reputation for being a city with endless rain, summer is one of the driest and sunniest times of year in the Emerald City. Get out and enjoy these sunny-day activities this summer.


Go Whale Watching

The best time to spot orca whales migrating through the Pacific Northwest is from mid-April to September. Several tour operators are based right in downtown Seattle that run half-day and full-day excursions to the San Juan Islands, which is the best place to spot whale pods passing by. If you’re lucky you might also get a glimpse of bald eagles, porpoises, and seals.


Paddle Around Puget Sound

Seattle is surrounded by bodies of water. Getting out on a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddle board is a great way to explore the beauty of this city. You’ll find plenty of places to rent kayaks around Shilshole and Elliot Bays. Most companies also offer two-hour tours so you can go out with a guide and learn more about the local flora and fauna.


See an Outdoor Movie

Parks all over the city take advantage of the warm, dry evenings by putting on outdoor movies all summer long. The most popular movie spots are at Allan Yorke Park, Battle Point Park, Crossroads Park, and there’s even a drive-in movie theater at America’s Car Museum. Pack snacks, bring a blanket, and arrive early to get a good spot on the grass.


Sun and Sand at Alki Beach

A short 15-minute water-taxi ride from downtown Seattle will take you to the West Seattle neighborhood where you’ll find the relaxing Alki Beach. While you may not want to do more than dip your toes in the 55-degree Elliot Bay, you can still lay back on a beach towel and soak up the sunshine. Volleyball nets are available and free to use, plus there’s a paved promenade for rollerblading, bike riding, and taking a stroll.


The view back over Seattle is unbeatable from Alki Beach. You’ll be able to see the skyline and the space needle as well as a few seals enjoying the sunshine along the rocks. Alki Beach is accessible by car, but arrive early to get one of the coveted parking spots.


Hike Mount Rainier

There’s no better time of year to hike along Mount Rainier. Start at the visitor’s center to learn about the best paths to hike that day, and then get on your way. You don’t have to walk very far to catch a glimpse of the snowy peak. Be sure to pack a lunch and plenty of water, and never hike alone, even if you’re an experienced hiker. Bringing a rain jacket that you can fold up into your backpack is always a good idea in case the mountain weather changes.


There are so many outdoor activities to keep you busy this summer in Seattle. The hardest part is finding the time to fit it all in before summer is over!


Photo by Jonathan Miske | Licensed under cc BY-ND 2.0