Welcome to the ultimate Seattle summer bucket list!
Today is the summer solstice, aka the first day of summer! There’s nothing quite like summer in Seattle. If you’re looking for ways to take advantage of the perfect Seattle summer weather with its long, sunny days and mild temperatures, we have quite the list of ideas for you.
Whether you want to get outside and enjoy the warmth or you prefer to escape from the sun’s rays inside museums and restaurants, Seattle has endless options for summer fun. The best part is that many of these Seattle summer activities are cheap or even free!
Read on for the ultimate Seattle summer bucket list!
1. Go to Stranger Things: The Experience
One of the coolest events happening in Seattle this summer is Stranger Things: The Experience. This immersive experience lets you become part of the world of this hit Netflix show. You’ll go on a hero’s journey, get some epic photo opps, and even have a chance to purchase food and drink and some cool merch. Tickets are on sale now!
2. See the Empire Strips Back: A Burlesque Parody
This should be a memorable night! The Empire Strips Back is a live show coming to Seattle this summer that combines burlesque with a Star Wars parody. You can get tickets now for select performance dates this summer!
3. Have a romantic evening at a Candlelight Concert
The Candlelight Concert series will make for a romantic date night in Seattle this summer. The concerts take place at stunning venues throughout the city and you can choose from a variety of genres, from classical to pop. See all the upcoming Candlelight Concerts in Seattle.:
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Beyoncé at Sparkman Cellars
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Adele
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder
- Candlelight: Featuring Mozart, Bach, and Timeless Composers
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Radiohead
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Queen and More
4. Go to Concerts Under the Stars
The Concerts Under the Stars series makes for the perfect romantic night out in Seattle. You’ll get to listen to talented performers’ renditions of classics from the likes of Sinatra while sipping on a cocktail and enjoying the ambiance at a stunning Seattle venue. Get your concert tickets now for one of the upcoming dates this summer:
- Amy Winehouse Under The Stars at The Olympic Rooftop on June 8 and July 27
- Sinatra Under The Stars at The Olympic Rooftop Pavilion on June 22 and August 10
- From Ella to Alicia Under the Stars at The Olympic Rooftop Pavilion on July 13 and August 24
5. Dance it out at the Capitol Hill Block Party
Don’t miss out on this three-day music festival in Capitol Hill! It’s a highlight of the summer in Seattle. See our guide to this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party.
5. Camp out at a music festival
Want more music fest fun after the Capitol Hill Block Party? There’s nothing like spending a weekend at summer music festival with friends. Check out our guide to all of this summer’s music festivals in and around Seattle.
6. Join friends for outdoor brunch
We all love a good brunch year-round, but a summer brunch outdoors is unbeatable. Here’s our guide to the best outdoor brunch spots in Seattle.
7. Have a cocktail on a rooftop bar
Why not take in a stunning view of Seattle while sipping a cocktail at happy hour? We rounded up some of the best rooftop bars in Seattle.
8. Paddle out on Lake Union
A day on Lake Union should be at the top of your Seattle summer bucket list. You can rent a kayak or paddle board (or even a hot tub boat!) and take in a soaring view of the city from the water while getting up-close to charming house boats.
9. Bike the city trails
Do you love biking? There are plenty of ways to take yourself on a bike tour through Seattle this summer. Check out our list of scenic Seattle bike trails.
10. Go on an epic weekend hike
11. Have a picnic in a scenic Seattle park
Seattle has endless options if you’d like to have a picnic in a park: there’s Volunteer Park, Discovery Park, Gas Works Park, Green Lake, and many pocket parks in each neighborhood. If you’d like to picnic in a park with a stunning view, try Ella Bailey Park (pictured above) or see our list of Seattle parks with views.
12. Cool off at a beach or pool
Golden Gardens (pictured above) is a go-to beach spot for Seattleites. There’s also Alki Beach in West Seattle, Madison Beach, and Madrona Beach, among others. You can also see a list of beaches and public pools in Seattle that are open this summer here.
13. Explore a nearby island
There are several islands scattered around Seattle, giving us plenty of options for summer weekend trips. Check out our guide to visiting Vashon Island. You may also want to explore Whidbey Island, Bainbridge Island, and the San Juan Islands (pictured above).
14. Go on an easy day trip
Sometimes you just want to get out of the city. We created a guide to some of the coolest locations near Seattle that lend themselves well to a quick day trip, plus a roundup of the most charming small towns near Seattle.
15. Road trip through a national park
There are three national parks in Washington state: Olympic National Park (pictured above), North Cascades National Park, and Rainier National Park. These three parks could keep you busy all summer with all that they have to offer. Read our road trip guide for Olympic National Park here.
16. Treat yourself to ice cream
The hardest part about getting ice cream in the summer in Seattle is choosing where to go! We love Frankie & Jo’s, Molly Moon Ice Cream, and Salt & Straw. You can also catch this soft serve pop-up a few days a week this summer or get soft serve in a croissant cone.
17. Visit a winery
If you’d love to spend a summer day at a winery, we recommend embarking on the short drive to Washington state’s oldest winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, WA. They have a hugely popular summer concert series that’s been around since 1984!
18. Do a brewery hop
Seattle is well-known for its brewery scene. If you’re in the mood to try some craft beers this summer, the neighborhood of Ballard has a dense population of breweries. Also, Seattle’s first Black-owned brewery just opened last summer in the Central District.
19. Enjoy free live music downtown
Downtown Summer Sounds provides live music for free all summer. You’ll find local performers in Westlake Park, Occidental Square, Bell Street Park starting on July 7 and continuing through September 8.
20. Visit a fragrant lavender farm
Lavender Hill Farm on Vashon Island is only a short ferry ride from Seattle! You can buy bunches of fragrant lavender and other lavender products to bring home with you.
21. Enjoy free activities at Summer at SAM
Swing by the Olympic Sculpture Park on Thursdays and Saturdays to partake in free activities, yoga, live music, food trucks, and more! Read all about Summer at SAM here. And while you’re there, be sure to get lobster rolls and slushies from MARKET at the Park.
22. Spend a day alongside the Seattle waterfront
From the aquarium and Great Wheel to Olympic Sculpture Park and tide pools, there’s always plenty of fun summer activities at the Seattle waterfront. Make sure to get a bite to eat at a waterfront restaurant while you’re there.
23. Do free yoga at Gas Works Park
Join other Seattleites and local yoga instructors every Thursday evening at Gas Works Park for free yoga this summer! We compiled all the important details here.
24. Spend a day at Green Lake
Head up to north Seattle for a day of fun at Green Lake. You can go swimming, paddling in your kayak or on your paddle board, stroll along the lakeside path, or have a picnic. There’s also plenty of yummy restaurants in the area—our favorite is Frelard Tamales!
25. Go on a camping trip
June is national camping month, and there are tons of stunning camping locations in and around Seattle. See our guide to the best campsites here.
26. Get fresh flowers and produce at Pike Place Market
Brave the summer crowds for fresh flowers, local produce and seafood, and all kinds of handmade creations at Pike Place Market. You can also get a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants and eateries at the market.
27. Eat your fill at Ballard SeafoodFest
Ballard SeafoodFest is a free, family-friendly event that happens every July. Of course there is tons of delicious local seafood, but you will also find other cuisines, craft beers, activities, live music, and more. Read all about Ballard SeafoodFest.
28. Eat and shop at Seattle weekend markets
There’s the South Lake Union Saturday Market, the Fremont Sunday Market, and also the occasional summer night market! There’s always plenty of delicious food, eclectic shopping, and free fun. See our list of Seattle weekend markets that gets updated every week!
29. Spend a night out in Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill is well-known as one of the younger, livelier Seattle neighborhoods. It’s the best place to go bar-hopping, dancing, or just searching for a late night meal. See our guide that’s full of things to do in Capitol Hill.
30. Explore the many Seattle farmers markets
Summer is the perfect time to do your shopping at a local farmers market. Here is our complete guide to shopping at Seattle farmers markets.
31. Catch a Mariners game
What’s more summery than baseball? Make sure you eat a Seattle dog, cream cheese and all. You can even bring your dog, thanks to Bark at the Park!
32. See the Sounders play
Seattle Sounders fans are unmatched! You’ll have a great time being a part of the enthusiastic crowd. See the upcoming schedule for Seattle sports events this summer.
33. Get weird at the Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade
Seattle’s quirkiest neighborhood puts on a show every summer solstice with the Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade in June. Don’t miss the longstanding tradition that is the Fremont naked bike ride.
34. See a show
Seattle is known for its music scene! There is no shortage of concerts happening all summer in Seattle. To get you started, here are five of the best places to enjoy live jazz music in Seattle.
35. Pull up a chair for an outdoor movie
Marymoor Park offers a fun lineup of outdoor movies all summer. They’ve recently switched from drive-in to walk-in. Read all about Movies at Marymoor.
You can also catch outdoor movies under the Space Needle starting the last weekend of July! Movies at the Mural are free and take place on Fridays at dusk. Read more about these outdoors movies under the Space Needle
36. Visit the Woodland Park Zoo
Summer is a great time to visit Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll get to see one of the zoo’s newest baby animals.
37. Tour the rose garden for free
The Woodland Park Rose Garden is right next to the zoo and it’s free to visit! The best time to see the roses in full bloom is June through July.
38. Visit every Seattle museum
There’s the Seattle Art Museum, Museum of Pop Culture, National Nordic Museum, Seattle Asian Art Museum, The Museum of Flight… If you try to visit every Seattle museum this summer, you’ll never get bored. Best of all, you can take advantage of free museum admission days every month!
39. Explore Washington’s state parks
There are over 100 state parks in Washington and you can access them all for free on free state parks days throughout the summer. To help you narrow it down, we have a handy guide to some of the best Washington state parks!
40. Cool off in Lake Washington
The largest lake in King County, Lake Washington offers plenty of options for summer fun, whether you like swimming or boating or kayaking.
41. Visit a wine bar
Even though Seattle is better-known for its breweries, there are many cute wine bars in Seattle for you to explore this summer. We recommend Light Sleeper and Purple Cafe & Wine Bar, just to name two.
42. Spend a day on Alki Beach
Located in West Seattle, the beach from Sleepless in Seattle is a hot spot in the summer. You’ll be treated to an amazing view while you’re there. Afterwards, head to one of the many delicious West Seattle restaurants.
43. Have a sunset picnic at Discovery Park
Discovery Park is massive, so you can easily spend a whole day there exploring. You’ll love the incredible view from the top of the bluff, and the beach offers up tide pools during low tide. Pack a picnic and get there just before sunset for a romantic date night.
44. Celebrate Pride
June is Pride month and you’ll find there’s no shortage of Pride events in Seattle all month long. See our guide to Pride in Seattle.
45. Watch the Fourth of July fireworks
Don’t miss the stunning fireworks display over Lake Union this summer! Read all about this year’s 4th of July fireworks in Seattle.
46. Shop at a flea market
We recommend going to the Georgetown flea market and the SODO flea market in the summer! These monthly markets offer up all kinds of cool vintage and handmade finds. The Georgetown flea is on the first Saturday of each month and the SODO flea is on the second Saturday.
47. Enjoy free summer concerts at the Ballard Locks
Throughout the summer, you can visit the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard to enjoy a free concert series. See more info about the Ballard Locks free summer concerts.
48. Have fun at Seafair
A Seattle summer tradition since the 1950s, Seafair is a multi-week festival with events running from June to September. The most well-known events are Seafair Summer Fourth—featuring fireworks for the Fourth of July—as well as the Seafair Torchlight Run and the Seafair Weekend Festival in August. Most of the events are free!
49. Go to an art fair
The Seattle Art Fair and the Alki Art Fair are just two options for adding to your art collection in the summer.
50. Visit the octopus and otters at the Seattle aquarium
The Seattle Aquarium is a great place to cool off from the summer heat. See their hours and visiting info on the aquarium website.
51. Compete in the library’s summer book bingo
Challenge yourself to complete this summer’s book bingo, presented by the Seattle Public Library. In addition to the satisfaction of completing every square, you’ll also be entered to win prizes. Read more about it on the library’s website.
52. Visit the Seattle Spheres
The Seattle Spheres are a must-see, but you can’t just walk in off the street. See our guide to securing your entry to the Spheres.
53. See a stunning view of Seattle
There are several fantastic options for seeing Seattle from a birds-eye view. One iconic viewing spot is the Space Needle, pictured above. You can also visit the Smith Tower this summer for an amazing view as well as brunch, movie nights, and more.
54. Explore tide pools at low tide
Did you know you can explore tide pools at several beaches around Seattle? See our Seattle tide pool guide here.
55. Try a Seattle food truck
Food trucks are plentiful in Seattle, and many can be found outside of breweries. They offer a casual, affordable way to try out many different types of cuisines. To start, we recommend trying some authentic po’boys from Where Ya At Matt.
56. Visit the Starbucks Reserve Roastery
Get an iced coffee or even an espresso martini at this next-level Starbucks in Capitol Hill. They have a unique food and drink menu at this massive location.
57. See the view from the Great Wheel
The Great Wheel gets lit up with a light show on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. Also, did you know you can enjoy a private four-course meal while you ride the ferris wheel?
58. Get a picture with the Fremont Troll
This is a must if you find yourself in the neighborhood of Fremont. If you don’t pay your respects to the Troll, you run the risk of being followed by bad luck. While you’re in the area, get some Fainting Goat Gelato and go for a stroll along the Fremont Cut.
59. Explore the Volunteer Park Conservatory
This conservatory is located in Volunteer Park in Capitol Hill. The park is a lovely place to have a summer picnic and the conservatory will be lush with growth.
60. See a Shakespeare play in the park
GreenStage is bringing Shakespeare to Seattle parks. There will be multiple performances at various parks to choose from between now and August, and the best part is they’re all free! You can see the full schedule of upcoming Shakespeare plays with times and locations at the GreenStage website.
61. Be awestruck at the Chihuly Glass Museum
Perk up a boring summer day with a visit to this museum that has incredible works of colorful glass art.
62. Get creative at Seattle Selfie Museum
This selfie museum by Pike Place Market just updated their creative setups in time for summer. Get all the info before you go here.
63. Go on a whale watching tour
Summer is one of the best times to spot a whale in the Seattle area! We have a comprehensive guide to whale-watching in Seattle.
64. Eat a meal on the waterfront
Soak up that sunlight every chance you get! There’s nothing like the smell of Puget Sound to sharpen the appetite. See our guide to the best Seattle waterfront restaurants.
65. Savor some fresh, local oysters
It’s hard to find better oysters than the ones in Seattle. See our guide to the best seafood restaurants in Seattle.
Have fun completing your Seattle summer bucket list!