Seattle Public Library Admire The Architecture
While visiting a library might not sound all that exciting this 11-story glass and steel structure is rather impressive. Located in the heart of downtown its easy to combine with many of the other destinations Ive mentioned.
Its a great place to take a break from the crowds and dont miss the Red Hall on the fourth floor.
Sleep In A Tree House
Book this House on VRBO
Did you know you can sleep in a treehouse in Seattle?! This has to be one of the coolest and most unique things to do in Seattle. Check out some great options from TreeHouse Point, just 30 minutes outside of the city and this Treehouse home rental on VRBO just 10 miles outside of the city!
This is truly one of the most unique experiences and stays you can have!
Fall In Love With Seattles Skyline
A post shared by Seattle on Jul 9, 2018 at 8:04am PDT
There are lots of viewing decks in Seattle with breathtaking skyline view but most of them come with a price. Kerry Park, on the other hand, equally has the same view but the most fantastic part is its for free. It will bring you on top of Seattle- a nice view of the city and the harbor. The iconic Space Needle one of the top Seattle attractions can also be seen from here .
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Hiking And Outdoor Activities
Beachcombing is a favorite activity for many in any season. Dress for the weather, of course. Its a great family activity even for young children or fun, casual date experience.
Day hikes can be as short as an hour or two or one that keeps you away from home all day. It can be a stroll on a flat urban path or into the hills and forests around the region. It can be a family activity that includes children and pets or a personal reverie.
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt to look for hidden caches. You find these geocaches using a smartphone app or GPS device. When you find a geocache, you sign the log, and share your experience with the geocache community. There are over 4,000 geocaches in the Seattle area and more than 3 million worldwide in over 190 countries. Geocaching HQ is located in the Fremont neighborhood and maintains the global list of geocaches, the primary geocaching mobile applications, and the Geocaching.com website to support the global game. To get started with geocaching, create a free account online or through the Geocaching® app from Groundspeak.
Orienteering is the sport of navigation using a map and sometimes a compass. You can practice orienteering alone or with friends or family as a casual outing. Its easy for anyone to learn. There are permanent orienteering courses that provide an introduction to the sport, using designated checkpoints set up within a park.
Enjoy The Impressive Line
Bumbershoot is one of Seattles largest music and cultural festivals with an extensive program of live music, dance, theater, comedy, film, and visual arts. The festival has taken place for the last 50 years, usually at the end of August or the beginning of September over Labor Day weekend, and has seen Foo Fighters, Sheryl Crow, and R.E.M. take to the stage.
Hot Tip: Keep your valuables safe at a crowded event with one of these fanny packs.
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Areas & Neighborhoods In Seattle
Seattle is more than its notable skyline and stereotype as a rainy destination. In fact, the Emerald City is brimming with art, culture, and lots of food. Whether you are interested in some of the best seafood in the country or soak in the independent spirit of local shops, there is a neighborhood aiming to please.
Downtown The downtown district holds the key to seeing many of the best things to do in Seattle, Washington. This hip, crowded district has tons of fresh food, art, and culture. Watch fish being thrown at the famous fish market or buy some artisan cheese and flowers from a local vendor.
Fremont Set aside time for a trek to Fremont to take a look at the public art installations, including and the famous troll under the Aurora Bridge.
Capitol Hill Anyone with a heart for vintage will want to put Capitol Hill on their itineraries. In this Seattle district, independent clothing stores and eateries abound .
Chinatown The Chinatown International District is not only historic, but also host to a huge amount of culture and food. Grab some of the best dim sum in the region and take a peek at the fortune cookie factory.
Free Things To Do In Seattle: The Center For Wooden Boats
The Center for Wooden Boats is a free-admission South Lake Union museum that strives to preserve the maritime history and culture of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, offering hands-on exhibits year-round for visitors of all ages. The museum is open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays during the morning and afternoon hours, originally established in 1968 as an extension of a local family’s boat rental business. Preserved historic vessels are showcased at the museum’s docks, with dockside exhibits showcasing pre-industrial maritime technologies such as knot tying, signal flags, and manual depth determination. Annual year-round programming includes maritime workshops, lectures, and field trips, though visitors should note that many additional activities require a registration fee.
1010 Valley St, Seattle, WA 98109, Phone: 206-382-2628
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Watch The Sunset In Golden Gardens Park
A post shared by Brian on Jul 7, 2018 at 9:35pm PDT
Not sure why this park is named the Golden Gardens when its all sand and sun down here. This beach in Seattle accepts thousands of tourists every year for a beach volleyball match, a picnic by the sea, or summer swimming. It also gives you a nice view of the Olympic Mountains. Sunset by this beach is magical and you can end your day with a bonfire.
Looking to visit Seattle soon and dont know where to stay yet? Check out the list of awesome hotels in Seattle here.
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Stroll Through A Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Market
While youre in Seattle, you might enjoy visiting one of the Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets. They help support local, sustainable and family-owned farms. Try some awesome and affordable Washington State produce and help local growers.
There are seven such markets in the U. District, West Seattle, Capitol Hill, Columbia City, Lake City, Phinney and Magnolia neighborhoods.
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Free Things To Do In Seattle Year Round: Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park is an award-winning free public sculpture park owned and operated as part of the Seattle Art Museum, originally opened to the public in 2007. The park spans nine acres along the city’s downtown seawall beachfront at Myrtle Edwards Park and was designed by Weiss/Manfredi Architects on the site of a former industrial area. As one of downtown Seattle’s only urban green spaces, the park is open to the public daily between dawn and dusk, with free tours available at select times throughout the year. Both permanent and temporary rotating exhibits are showcased at the park, including Mark di Suvero’s Bunyon’s Chess, Louise Bourgeois’ Eye Benches I, II, and III, and Beverly Pepper’s Persephone Unbound.
2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, Phone: 206-654-3100
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Four Seasons Hotel Seattle
If you are looking for a more high end option to stay in, the Four Seasons provides stunning, family friendly accommodation. Located in Downtown Seattle, its less then a five minute walk to both Pike Market and the Art Museum.
Get the most beauty out of your stay by enjoying the four seasons rooftop infinity pool overlooking the water and their outdoor fireplace. They also have a baby sitting service on hand if you want to spent some time in the hot tub or spa to get some relaxing in.
The hotel tries to stay true to the location by bringing pacific northwest design into the rooms and pacific northwest ingredients and cooking techniques to your plate.
With high reviews and ratings from guests, this hotel will meet your every need and go above and beyond with personalized service and attention to detail.
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Enjoy Nature At Washington Park Arboretum
Washington Park Arboretum is full of free things to do! This oasis on the shores of Lake Washington will surprise you with its lush green spaces and varied local flora. Some of the plants youll see at the Arboretum are collections you wont find anywhere else in the Northwest. Make sure you walk along the arboretums most iconic stroll a 3/4 mile path through the heart of the arboretum featuring azaleas, magnolias, dogwoods, and blooming cherries set against a backdrop of evergreen trees
The park is home to a network of 200 acres of trails that will wind through this beautiful landscape of plants and trees.
Wander The Galleries At The Seattle Art Museum
The Seattle Art Museum is downtown, one block from Pike Place Market. It’s a massive repository for world-renowned art and a must-see for casual observers and enthusiasts alike.
The museum’s collection is spread across four floors of expansive gallery space. The bottom three floors feature both rotating exhibits and pieces from the permanent collection. A few of the permanent displays include Native American Art, European Art, and Islamic Art. The museum also houses a robust collection of contemporary and modern art.
For even more aesthetic pleasure, SAM also oversees two other prominent art facilities. Less than a mile to the north on the waterfront, SAM operates the Olympic Sculpture Park, which is free to enjoy. And in Volunteer Park, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, SAM also operates the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
Address: 1300 1st Ave, Seattle, Washington
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Get Quirky On Capitol Hill
My Posses on Broadway! Yes, This song by Sir Mix-A-Lot is about this area in Seattle.
If youre looking for a unique thing to do in Seattle dont miss the progressive and welcoming neighborhood of Capitol Hill. Broadway is the main street running the length of the neighborhood and its packed with shops, bars & restaurants plus LGBTQIA+ clubs. You can find laid-back coffee shops and consignment stores open any time of the day and late into the evenings. But the real fun happens late at night when the locals on Capitol Hill emerge looking to have some fun.
Mohai: The Museum Of History & Industry
The Museum of History and Industry celebrates Seattle’s position as a leader in innovation and industry. This education facility also catalogs the events that led to Seattle’s rise as an important port city.
The True Northwest exhibit takes tourists on a journey through the region’s history, from Native American cultures through the present, exploring how geography and cultural events like the Klondike Gold Rush shaped the Emerald City. Visitors also enjoy the 360-degree views of the city using an authentic WWII-era Tang periscope in the Maritime exhibit.
The museum’s third major gallery focuses on how local inventors have put the region at the forefront of innovation and new technology. It includes interactive exhibits and a chance to get a sneak peek at concepts that are being explored. Permanent collections in the museum’s main gallery include a wide range of historical objects, from vintage clothing to locally invented products.
Adjacent to MOHAI, The Center for Wooden Boats is another popular community attraction. This non-profit strives to provide public access to water recreation and maritime travel. The center offers workshops, public sailboat adventures, and rentals throughout the week.
Address: 860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, Washington
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Sail For Free At The Center For Wooden Boats In South Lake Union
A mecca for anyone who appreciates sailing or wooden boats. Admission is free and they even offer FREE sailing trips every Sunday on Lake Union. This is one of my favorite hidden gems of Seattle.
Theres no better way to see Lake Union than by boat but you must sign up in person so get there early. Check out their website here.
Visit The Frye Art Museum
The Frye Art Museum is the place to go to see artwork from local and international artists. They also have events during the year, such as small concerts by different musicians.
As its a free thing to do in Seattle, it is a great activity to do on a rainy day in Seattle. You can stop at the cafe when you need coffee or a bite to eat during your visit to the museum.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm, Thursday, 11 am to 7 pm
Tip: Buy a CityPASS One of the best ways to save money in Seattle when you want to see the main tourist attractions is to buy a CityPass. For one price, youll have nine days to visit the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, and more.
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Free Parks And Gardens
Bellevue. Bellevue Botanical Garden is 53-acres of cultivated gardens, restored woodlands, and natural wetlands featuring plants that thrive in the Pacific Northwest marine climate and a delightful visit any time or the year. Open daily, including holidays.
Federal Way. Pacific Bonsai Museum is a grand outdoor setting with the elegance of a fine art museum, featuring 60 bonsai at a time from their collection of 150. Admission by donation. Open 6 days a week, closed Mondays.
Lakewood. Fort Steilacoom Park south of Tacoma offers 340-acres of trails, which you can navigate on foot or by bike. Open daily.
Seattle. Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop is a series of connected lakefront parks and open spaces, including Gasworks and Lake Union Parks, more than 35 pocket parks, plus other street ends and waterways that ring Lake Union. Open daily.
Seattle. Discovery Park Loop Trail at Discover Park is a designated National Recreation Trail, 2.8 miles long ans passes through both forest and open meadows, offers extensive views, good prospects for bird watchers, and can be enjoyed year-round. The Loop Trail begins near the Visitor Center. Find the trailhead next to a signboard at the north end of the parking lot. The sign has a park map and may have paper copies of the trail map available for the taking or can be downloaded before you go. Open daily.
Tacoma. Wright Park Tree Map details the parks collection of more than 600 trees in the 27-acre arboretum. Open daily.
See The Cherry Blossoms And Tulips
This seasonal activity is one of our favorite traditions living in Washington! During the spring, usually around April, Washingtons gloomy winter is brightened up by cherry blossoms at the University of Washington and tulips in the Skagit Valley. Both are absolutely beautiful and worth dealing with the crowds to experience!Cost: UW cherry blossoms are free, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is between $7-$10/person depending on which spot you choose.
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See Seattle On A Budget With These Free Things To Do In Seattle
Okay, so Seattle is not exactly a budget destination, BUT you can still see quite a lot of the city without spending a penny on attractions if thats what you want. These fun, cheap and free things to do in Seattle will keep you busy for days.
I was born in Seattle and lived nearby for the first 29 years of my life. I love exploring my hometown, and I hope you will too.
To help you plan your Seattle itinerary, Ive grouped sites and activities on this list geographically as much as possible.
There are so many amazing free things to do in Seattle. Dont miss out!
This post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See disclaimer.
Free And Cheap Things To Do In Seattle
Are you ready to explore the Seattle without breaking the bank? Keep on scrollin to read 30of the best free and cheap things to do in Seattle!While Seattle is an expensive city to live in, one thing that we loved about living in Seattle is how easy it was to find free and cheap things to do, both in nature or outside of nature. We have had some of the best weekends of our life here and 90% of them cost us nothing or very little.
From day trips to the mountains, to strolling around neighborhoods, to grabbing a cup of coffee, there are so many ways to enjoy Seattle on a budget without feeling like youre missing out on any of the fun. Here are PS: Want more ideas of things to do in Seattle? Check out our Seattle Bucket List and 3 Days in Seattle guide!
Before embarking on your adventure, please review the Leave No Trace principles to ensure you leave every place better than you found it, so that others can enjoy these beautiful places for many years to come!These seven principles include planning ahead and preparing, hiking and camping on durable surfaces, disposing of waste properly , understanding campfire rules and always fully extinguishing your fires, respecting wildlife, and being considerate of other visitors.
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