Growing up in Seattle gave me an amazing appreciation for nature, and I wish that everyone could know the magic of the Northwest’s mountains, forests, and coast. In between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Portland, Seattle is an ideal destination for Northwest adventures, offering a fantastic mix of nature and culture.
My family loves the multi-sensory joys of the Pike Place Market, the fascinating workings of the Ballard Locks, and the lush forest and beautiful views of Discovery Park. For rainy days, we love the cozy havens of museums, bookstores, and coffee shops. But mostly, we act like Seattleites and simply dress for the rain! Here are my tips for three days of family fun, rain or shine.
Rainy, cloudy weather is the norm—dressing in layers is key.
If you only have time for one thing, make it the Pike Place Market, a fun diversion for everyone.
Take the World Fair-era monorail to the Pike Place Market (a short ride with several blocks of walking) to explore the market's labyrinthine shops, gourmet eats, and lively atmosphere. Then check out the historic Pioneer Square, visionary Seattle Public Library, and Capitol Hill. A whole world exists beneath your feet here—learn about it on an underground tour of the city.
Ballard is a historic fishing village with Scandinavian roots. Once solidly blue-collar, the beloved neighborhood is now known for its storied music joints and hip eateries. Kids will enjoy a visit to the Ballard Locks, where boats transfer to and from the Puget Sound at sea-level to the higher level of Lake Union. A short jaunt east will get you to the artsy Fremont enclave, home to the Fremont Troll sculpture and Theo Chocolate Factory.
As the birthplace of Boeing, it’s no surprise that the Museum of Flight—one of the largest air and space collections in the US—is located in Seattle. After checking out the 175 aircraft and spacecraft displayed, visit the giant Hat n’ Boots in Oxbow Park or get a bite to eat in the Georgetown neighborhood.
Take the afternoon to head to Snoqualmie Falls, a beautiful 268-foot (82-meter) waterfall east of Seattle (about a 40-minute drive). Adults might recognize it as the falls in the 1990s-era television series, Twin Peaks.