Welcome to the Secret Seattle guide to things to do in West Seattle!
Out of the many different areas that make up Seattle, West Seattle has always been the most independent. This peninsula to the west of Seattle is connected to the mainland via the West Seattle Bridge. West Seattleites became accidental islanders, in a sense, when the bridge closed for over two years for essential repairs. The West Seattle Bridge finally reopened in September 2022 and it’s high time you explore all that West Seattle has to offer.
From delicious restaurants and lively bars to shopping and events, West Seattle offers all the same things that greater Seattle area does—plus an incredible sandy beach! You may find that it’s more family-friendly than some Seattle neighborhoods and that there is a more leisurely, community-oriented way of life there. Whether you’re looking for activities to do with your kids or in search of more grown-up fun, there’s something on this list for you. The best part is that most of these West Seattle activities can be enjoyed year-round, and many of them are budget-friendly or even free!
Read on for the top 30 things to do in West Seattle:
1. See the famous West Seattle flower houses
You can’t miss these flowering houses on Alki Avenue. The owner, Randie Stone, started the garden when she moved to West Seattle from Hawaii. Stone doesn’t sell anything and this is a private residence, but you can politely snap a pic as you pass by!
Location: 1396-1400 Alki Ave SW, Seattle
2. Spend a day at Alki Beach
Alki Beach Park has a half-mile of sandy shoreline where West Seattleites love to gather year-round. In summer especially you’ll find families and couples cooling off in the water and playing volleyball.
Location: 2665 Alki Ave SW, Seattle
3. Get oysters and cocktails at Harry’s Beach House
Harry’s Beach House has a casual yet classy coastal vibe. Their weekend brunch menu has everything from oysters and smoked salmon Benedict to biscuits and gravy. Their outdoor seating is lovely on a sunny day.
Location: 2676 Alki Ave SW, Seattle
4. Shop and see a show at Easy Street Records
Easy Street Records is an independent record store that has been in West Seattle since the ’80s. It is known for having live performances of absolute icons of music such as Pearl Jam and Patti Smith, a tradition that continues today. Even if there isn’t a show scheduled on the day you visit, you’ll still be treated to an epic collection of records and a delicious diner-style cafe.
Location: 4559 California Ave SW, Seattle
5. Celebrate Pride on the beach
Every June, West Seattle comes together to celebrate Pride on Alki Beach. If you’re in West Seattle in June make sure to stop by for food, music, activities, and fun. For the upcoming Pride dates you can check their website.
6. Get drinks at a pirate-themed bar
The Benbow Room in West Seattle has a long, storied history with lots of twists and turns. It recently reopened as a pirate-themed bar, having been returned to its roots. You can read our story about it here.
Location: 4210 SW Admiral Way suite A, Seattle
7. Explore Lincoln Park year-round
This 135-acres park is a great place to spend the day year-round. It has lovely forest trails, a paved one-mile path along the beach, and a playground. In the summer you can swim in the heated saltwater Colman Pool.
Location: 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle
8. Get sustainable sushi at Mashiko
This popular sushi spot in West Seattle is worth the hype. Mashiko focuses on completely sustainable seafood, even going so far as to stop using single-use plastic for crafting sushi rolls (a common practice in sushi restaurants). Try the sesame ice cream!
Location: 4725 California Ave SW, Seattle
9. Take your furry friend to the off-leash dog park
Westcrest Park in West Seattle has a large off-leash dog park area, in addition to a playground and a view of the Seattle skyline. Your dog will love exploring the 8.4 acres with plenty of shade and water supplied.
Location: 9000 8th Ave SW, Seattle
10. Take a ride on the West Seattle water taxi
The West Seattle Taxi makes the 10-minute crossing between downtown Seattle and West Seattle multiple times a day, seven days a week. Of course we’re celebrating the West Seattle bridge being reopened, but if you’re already downtown and want to skip the drive, the water taxi is a fun way to travel all while enjoying some amazing views.
11. Tour the Alki Point Lighthouse
This active lighthouse is near Alki Beach and is open to visitors during the summer (typically from the end of May to Labor Day weekend). Tours are free! Keep in mind that there are no restrooms, pets are not allowed, and the tour is only for children aged 6 and up.
Location: 3201 Alki Ave SW, Seattle
12. Get breakfast or a milkshake at Luna Park Cafe
This diner is popular in West Seattle for its retro 1950s-style interior and its all-day breakfast menu with amazing milkshakes. Also check out Avalon Glassworks next door, which sells hand-made glass gifts and decor.
Location: 2918 SW Avalon Way, Seattle
13. Try sugarcane juice and more at Natalie’s
Natalie’s on Alki is a newer expansion of Natalie’s Sugar Cane and Desserts in Tukwila. You can get refreshed with beverages like bubble tea, smoothies, and sugarcane juice (plus Vietnamese bites).
Location: 2532 Alki Ave SW, Seattle
14. Get dinner at JaK’s Grill
This traditional steakhouse is popular in West Seattle for steaks and burgers, although you can also order items such as lobster mac ‘n cheese, roast chicken, and mushroom risotto. It’s a great place to go and enjoy a few glasses of wine on date night.
Location: 4548 California Ave SW, Seattle
15. Cool down with ice cream at Husky Deli
This beloved deli counter offers sandwiches and cold cuts, but you really gotta go for the house-made ice cream. Good luck choosing from a list of over 40 flavors that includes Swiss chocolate orange, pralines and cream, and maple walnut (plus vanilla, chocolate, and all the regulars as well).
Location: 4721 California Ave SW, Seattle
16. Sip on margaritas at El Chupacabra
This Mexican restaurant in West Seattle is a great choice when it’s warm and sunny out. You can enjoy tacos and margaritas while gazing out at Alki Beach from their outdoor seating. It has a fun environment indoors as well.
Location: 2620 Alki Ave SW, Seattle
17. See the Seattle skyline at Hamilton Viewpoint Park
One of the best things about West Seattle is its incredible views of the Seattle skyline across the water as well as the Cascade mountain range. You’ll get some stunning photos from Hamilton Viewpoint Park. If it’s nice out, pack a picnic to enjoy there.
Location: 1120 California Way SW, Seattle
18. Tour the Seattle Chinese Garden
This 4.6-acre garden at South Seattle College has beautiful views and changes with the seasons. You can take a self-guided tour around the grounds, book a private group tour, or check their calendar for classes and events like a Mid-Autumn Kite Festival. See all the info on the Seattle Chinese Garden website.
Location: 6000 16th Ave SW, Seattle
19. Get a treat at The Original Bakery
This family-owned bakery in West Seattle was started in 1936 and continues to be hugely popular today. Make sure to check out their menu to see the daily donut specials; the Applesauce Donut on Fridays, in particular, always sells out fast.
Location: 9253 45th Ave SW, Seattle
20. Join the West Seattle Art Walk
The West Seattle Art Walk happens on the second Thursday of each month year-round from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. It is hosted by local galleries and businesses, and as you walk around enjoying the art you can also take advantage of extended happy hours and restaurant specials. What better way to support local artists and find some unique art for your home?
Location: California Ave SW & Southwest Alaska Street, Seattle
21. Get a delicious meal for under $15
Eating out on a budget? Looking for a cheap meal in West Seattle? We got you (and your wallet). West Seattle is home to several of Seattleite’s favorite cheap eats, including Hawaiian restaurant Marination (pictured above). For more affordable restaurants recommended by locals, go to our guide to the best cheap eats in Seattle and scroll down to West Seattle.
22. Join the West Seattle Silent Book Club
If you’re looking for some quiet reading time and a sense of community that doesn’t involve a lot of socializing, join the West Seattle Silent Book Club! They meet on the first Thursday of every month from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The locations vary, so be sure to follow them on Instagram for updates.
23. Visit a neighborhood bar that locals love
We asked Seattleites to share their favorite bars in the city, and several West Seattle spots popped up among the answers. Otter on the Rocks (pictured above) was mentioned more than once; one West Seattleite likes their jazz, open mic, and comedy nights. For more, check out the full list of the best bars in Seattle.
24. Browse a used bookstore
Pegasus Book Exchange has been around for over 40 years and is perhaps the most popular used bookstore in West Seattle (and they now sell new books as well). They’re open daily.
Want to do even more book shopping? Paper Boat Booksellers is another cute independent bookshop in West Seattle that you might like to check out.
25. Shop at a local boutique
One of our favorite West Seattle boutiques is Fleurt Collective (pictured above), which is a chic family-owned boutique selling plants, women’s clothing, and more.
Another is Alair, which is an adorable gift shop where you can get West Seattle merch, curated gift boxes, greeting cards, clothes, and more.
26. Explore the West Seattle Junction
The West Seattle Junction is always putting on events year-round such as the Harvest Festival (pictured above), Christmas and holiday celebrations, and Summer Fest. Check out the West Seattle Junction website to learn more about upcoming events and their curated local marketplace.
27. Climb the second-longest outdoor staircase in Seattle
Want to challenge yourself to a next-level workout? Try to climb the entirety of the Thistle Stairway in West Seattle, which is the second-longest outdoor staircase in Seattle with 367 steps. You’ll be rewarded at the top with a view. Find them at Fauntleroy Ave next to Lincoln Park.
28. Join a year-round ultimate frisbee game
Twice a week, the West Seattle Ultimate Family Frisbee group meets up for a year-round pickup game of ultimate frisbee: Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. at West Seattle Stadium and Sundays at 10:00 a.m. at Walt Hundley Playfield. All are welcome.
29. Shop at the West Seattle Farmers Market
Support your local farmers and craftspeople at the West Seattle Farmers Market. It takes place year-round on Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at California Ave SW & SW Alaska. Read more about Seattle farmers markets.
30. Explore the tide pools at low tide
West Seattle has several beaches that are ideal for exploring tide pools at low tide. If you don’t feel confident exploring them on your own, you can join Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists at West Seattle’s Constellation Park/Richey Viewpoint beach for a winter evening beach walk. The next one is on February 18 at 8:00 p.m. and you can get more info on the Seattle Aquarium website. You can also read more about tide pools in Seattle.