Let’s face it, you didn’t plan a trip to Seattle to soak up the sun. Although Miami and New York City actually see more annual rainfall than the Emerald City, you’ll use your umbrella nearly every day here. While the weather makes planning an outdoor event or activity a bit of a challenge, thankfully, most of the popular Seattle tourist sites are inside, so you can rest assured that you’ll have no shortage of things to do in Seattle – regardless of the forecast.
Explore Pike Place Market
Drawing over 10 million visitors every year, Pike Place Market is a must-see attraction in Seattle. The market spans several city blocks and features vendors selling just about everything you can think of, from scarves to salmon. Since it opened over 100 years ago, the market has expanded to include several restaurants, bookstores, antiques dealers, produce stands, and gift shops. As you wander around the space, you’ll notice live music, eclectic artwork, and the iconic Gum Wall in Post Alley, underneath the market itself.
Admire the marine life at the Seattle Aquarium
If you plan to visit Seattle with kids, then the Seattle Aquarium definitely deserves a spot on your itinerary. The massive institution includes exhibits on local Pacific Northwest and Washington-specific marine life, including a man-made coral reef, a wave tank, and a collection of local birds and sea mammals.
Curl up with a book from the Elliott Bay Book Company
A stroll around the quaint streets of Capitol Hill is always a good idea, but once the rain starts, duck into the Elliott Bay Book Company and peruse the shelves in search of your next favorite read. The store organizes frequent events, including author readings and kids’ storytime, and has a cafe where you can grab a warm drink or a snack.
Relax in your Seattle vacation rental or hotel room
Sightseeing is fun, but sometimes you just need to relax. There’s nothing wrong with taking a couple of hours for yourself in the comfort of your Seattle accommodations. Whether you’ve booked a hotel room or one of the many fabulous Seattle vacation rentals, nothing beats streaming a show or savoring some take-out with your shoes off and your pajamas on.
Learn about your pop culture faves
If you think museums are boring, then the Museum of Pop Culture will change your mind. Forget the dinosaur skeletons and Renaissance paintings; this museum is all about modern-day music and culture. The exhibits here are all about creativity, technology, and expression. Check out the permanent collection, which includes instruments from Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Jimi Hendrix, and rotating exhibits about video games, science fiction, and horror movies.
Be amazed at the Chihuly Garden and Glass
The Chihuly Garden and Glass is the perfect Seattle attraction: enjoy the nice weather in the outdoor garden area, and when it starts to rain, head inside to the museum. The site showcases the iconic blown-glass pieces created by Washington-born artist Dale Chihuly, which you may recognize from museums around the world.
Grab coffee at one of Seattle’s best cafes
As the birthplace of Starbucks, it’s no secret that Seattle is obsessed with coffee. Head inside to a cozy coffee shop to escape the rain wherever you are in the city. If you’re near Pike Place Market, you might want to check out the original Starbucks location, but if the line is too long, opt for Storyville Coffee Pike Place or Seattle Coffee Works. Near the Seattle Center, some local picks include La Marzocco Cafe and Konvene Coffee, and in Capitol Hill, Analog Coffee or Espresso Vivace.
Watch a play or a concert
For audiophiles, Seattle always has something on offer. Catch a rock concert at The Showbox, listen to the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall, or tap your toes to some jazz tunes at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley. Capitol Hill also has a few notable venues, like Neumos and Chop Suey, which host alternative and indie bands.
Rain or shine, you’re sure to have a great time in Seattle with these 8 indoor things to do on your agenda.