Summer in Seattle

Countless broken heat records and weeks of sun indicate that this summer will be a warm one. However, Seattle summers always include cooler days. It is difficult to keep up with the constantly varying weather, and even harder to plan activities that match the current climate. This comprehensive guide of summer activities takes into account all types of Seattle weather, whether it is a cloudless, 75 degree day or overcast sweater weather.

It has been very warm in Seattle recently, and the hot weather is showing no signs of letting up. The best place to go on the hottest days is the beach. There are so many beaches in the Seattle area, all with cool water and ample shade. A great beach to hit on sunny days is Green Lake.

Green Lake has a small beach with a roped off swimming area and a dock with a diving board. In addition, Greenlake also provides many watersports for rent. Families and teens alike can rent stand-up paddleboards, rowboats, and more. If the weather cools down, the three mile loop surrounding the lake is a great place to run, walk, bike, skateboard, or rollerblade.

After a long day of fun in the sun, it is important take a break and recharge. Greenlake has a small snack shack that stocks quick snacks and ice cream. For more snack options, Starbucks, Menchie’s, and PCC are all a few blocks away. Greenlake Beach is also in the heart of excellent and eclectic brunch restaurants. Shelter Lounge and Greenlake Bar & Grill are delicious and walking-distance options. Dish Cafe, Phinney Market Pub, Rock Creek, and UNEEDA Burger are other eateries close by.

Greenlake has everything for a perfect beach day. Here are a few more locations to hit on sweltering summer days:

Of course, not every summer day permits lake swimming and tank tops. Going to the beach can be daunting when it is 65 degrees and cloudy. Luckily, Seattle is filled with cloudy-day activities that are just as fun as lakeside lounging.

The best place to visit on cooler days is downtown Seattle. One of the most interesting cities in the state, the possibilities are endless when planning a fun day. Visit Pike Place Market to peruse goods and groceries and take pictures. Not far from the market, the Seattle Art Museum is an educational activity that is interesting as well as indoors. The museum houses countless exhibits, such as African Renaissances and France: Inside and Out. When all else fails, downtown Seattle is also home to countless shops and cafes. Pacific Place is great for shopping and a movie. You can also grab a snack at Cherry Street Coffee House or one of the countless Starbucks throughout the city. Here are some of the countless other activities to try when the weather is chilly.

Finally, there are some summer days when the mountains are calling and the only thing on the agenda is a hike. It can be difficult, however, to choose the rights trail. Below is a comprehensive guide to the best trails in the area.

  • Twin Falls 
    • This is a moderate and scenic hike. The trail is three and a half miles through forest. At the top are two waterfalls that owe the hike its name.
  • Franklin Falls 
    • A hike for hot days. This route is a short two-mile hike that ends in a large, powerful waterfall. Bring friends, a swimsuit, and a GoPro.
  • Denny Creek Waterslide 
    • Denny Creek is a great hike that is equal parts trek and swim. The trail is three miles to the top, and ends in a natural waterslide. This hike is longer and more populated than Franklin Falls, but just as enjoyable. Wear bug spray and your swimsuit, and do not forget a towel.
  • Snow Lake 
    • This is a difficult hike with stunning views. The trail is 7.2 miles round trip, with some switchbacks and steep climbs. The views at the top is incredible. The mountains and the lake are breathtaking, especially on sunny days. Make sure to bring friends or music to prevent boredom, and don’t forget trail snacks.
  • Rattlesnake Ledge 
    • This hike is a comfortable four miles, with a stunning lake view at the top. Bring a camera to capture the scenery.
  • Other places to go for an outdoor adventure:

Regardless of the weather, there is plenty to do in Seattle. Whether the skies are blue or gray, this guide will show you the best day ever.

Thumbnail photo courtesy Michael Riffle