15 Fun, Unique, Adventurous or Romantic Things to Do in Seattle
If you’re like most Seattleites, the second you see the sun emerge some time around early April, you have dreams of beaches, hikes, camping, summer adventures, and music festivals to fill all your summer days and then some.
Also, like most Pacific Northwest residents, you probably don’t have nearly enough spare time to do all the things you could possibly dream of. So, as your one-stop-shop for all things adventurous, the team here at Adventura thought we would put our heads together and compile a list of our favorite ways to spend our after work and weekend time.
Adventurous Things to Do in Seattle
Here at Adventura, our forte is Adventure. It’s what we live and breathe. We all feel fortunate to live in a location with such a variety of adventures to choose from. Here are some of our favorites:
- Climb on the adventure park at Adventura
- Hike Mount Si
- Kayak from Lake Union to the Puget Sound
Climb on the adventure park at Adventura
What is it?: The best darned aerial adventure park in the US with climbing obstacles and ziplining.
We know! We know! Who would list their workplace as the first place they would want to spent their free time? But, no joke, the team at Adventura chooses to spend time at the adventure park outside of work hours. Our adventure park provides opportunities to climb, jump, grab, haul, walk, swing and balance our way through and up to 50 feet off the ground. All of our team members are passionate about the course. Not only do we love spending time here, but it’s also the first place we recommend for summer adventuring to family, friends, and everyone we meet.
It’s a bit of a hop from Seattle, but it’s well worth the drive for a day of fun. Then you can spend the rest of the evening touring Woodinville’s gorgeous wine country.
Okay, so once you’ve spent some time at Adventura, here are our other favorite ways to spend time in the Seattle area:
What is it? If you’re up for the challenge: one of the toughest hikes in the area.
Where: SE Mt Si Road, North Bend, WA. From Seattle, take I-90 to exit 32. Turn left onto 436th Ave SE and follow it to its end at SE North Bend Way. Turn left. In three-tenths of a mile, turn right onto SE Mt Si Road. The entrance to the trailhead will be 2.4 miles down the road. A Discover Pass is required to park at the trailhead.
Both the most popular and the most challenging hike in the Seattle area, Mount Si features a brutal elevation gain of about 3,100 feet. You’ll trudge up nearly four miles of switchbacks, steadily gaining elevation the entire way. This high is so intense some even use it to train for the vigors of Mount Rainier.
Even with the challenge, more than 100,000 people a year undertake the hike. The trail winds through beautiful, dense forest the entire way up, offering only hints of the stunning view that rewards those tough enough to reach the peak. The trees that surround the trail are massive and old. They’ve survived fires, logging, and time.
When you reach the top of this trail, it truly feels like a reward. Hikers burst out of the forest into a magnificent clearing 3,100 feet above where they started and overlooking the entire region. On a clear day, you’ll easily see Seattle, Snoqualmie Valley, and the Olympics. Most people stop here, but the true peak of Mt. Si is the Haystack, a rocky outcropping jutting from the crown of the mountain. While you sit, rest, and enjoy your hard-earned reward, you’ll likely get some curious blue jays and other birds who might expect a little treat from you.
What is it? Kayaking tour of Seattle starting in Lake Union, passing through the Ballard Locks, and finally reaching the Puget Sound.
Where? 860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA
Adventura doesn’t include water adventuring (yet) and one of the most beautiful elements of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest is the bodies of water that wind through the region. So our staff makes an effort to spend at least a few warm-weather days on the crystal-clear waters of the Puget Sound. And one of the most invigorating ways to enjoy those bodies of water is kayaking.
There are quite a few different routes you can take on a kayak, but if you start at Lake Union, you can have an adventure that takes you all the way through Ballard and to the Puget Sound. Start at Gas Works Park, the Center for Wooden Boats, or nearly anywhere else along Lake Union. Head toward the bridges past Gas Works and you’ll be on your way to the Ballard Locks. At the right time of year, salmon and sea lions occupy the locks just as much as boats do. The locks are fascinating in and of themselves. Many people stop on the bridges just to watch boats make their way through the locks. Once you make your way through the Locks, you will be out on the wide open Puget Sound.
Make sure the company you rent the kayak from doesn’t mind you taking their kayaks into the salty water on the other side of the Locks. Otherwise, this is a great way to tour several regions of Seattle and have a little adventure along the way. You can pass the houseboat featured in “Sleepless in Seattle,” see Gas Works Park, experience the Locks, and, if you’re lucky, get up close with salmon and sea lions. This is an especially great way to show the city to people who have never visited before. A kayak trip serves as both a guided tour and a fun adventure. Even better, you don’t need to leave the city to do it.
Get your kayak from Urban Surf, Moss Bay, or the Northwest Outdoor Center (rates vary but are typically by the hour). Some places offer stand-up paddle boards in addition to kayaks. Or check out the Center for Wooden Boats to see historical boats or explore canoes, sailboats, and rowboats.
Fun Things to Do in Seattle
Seattle is an amazing city. We’re extremely excited to be a part of the neighborhood. You don’t have to go far to find something completely unique to do in this city we love. Here are our favorite ways to kill time around Seattle:
- Outdoor Summer Movies
- Get a Taste at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room
- Visit the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
- Take a Day Trip to Tour the Woodinville Wine Country
- Walk Pike Place Market
Outdoor Summer Movies in the Park
What is it? Scattered free movie nights around the city during the summer
Where? Various locations in and around the city
The worst-kept secret about the emerald city is that our summers are stunning. Yes, it rains for eight months of the year, but the remaining four months are some of most beautiful in the country. To accommodate our city spirits, combined with lovely weather, as soon as the sun peeks out, summer movie schedules come out. From Fremont to West Seattle, from Marymoor Park to Volunteer park, Couples, families, friend groups, and pets come out to play.
Giant movie screens will appear as thought out of nowhere overnight. Very mediocre comedy and trivia entertains audiences as they wait patiently for the sun to go down. There are a variety of movies to choose from including classics, cult classics, Disney favorites, and blockbusters from a few years ago.
Events are typically free with plenty of food truck choices to choose from.
Get a Taste at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room
What is it? The “Willy Wonka factory of coffee,” the Starbucks Reserve offers coffee and food.
Where? 1124 Pike St, Seattle, WA, 98101
Seattle is known for a couple of things: scenic beauty, rain, and coffee. At Adventura we have a handle on the scenic beauty and sometimes the rain. But, as the birthplace of Starbucks, there is a coffee shop on every corner in the city. The most noteworthy coffee shop (aside from the “first Starbucks”) is the Starbucks Reserve. Who wouldn’t enjoy the sights and sounds of witnessing the entire coffee-making process, from bean to brew?
But the Reserve isn’t just for tourists. Starbucks really brews coffee there every day. It features a specialty menu you won’t see in normal Starbucks stores, a library about coffee, eight different coffee-preparing methods. and some of the most passionate coffee makers in the world. Order a flight to get a taste of a diverse range of coffees, or just fall back on an old favorite made extra fresh.
Visit the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)
What is it? The MoPOP is a shrine to all things pop culture, from Star Trek to Jimi Hendrix to the hometown Seahawks. It’s arguably the most entertaining museum in Seattle.
Where? MoPOP is located within the Seattle Center, within view of the Space Needle. 325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA, 98109
People either love the blob-like MoPop (formerly the EMP) structure, or they hate it. We happen to love it. But it’s inside of the museum that is really worth seeing. The ever-evolving exhibits are constantly changing focus, so check their website before deciding to visit. Exhibits have included set pieces from Star Trek, an exhibit of science fiction and fantasy, classic gaming consoles, guitars from famous musicians, a horror movie experience, and more. You never quite know what you’ll get at MoPOP, but it will always be entertaining.
It’s also in a great location with easy access to the Space Needle, Lower Queen Anne, and Riding with the Ducks (if you decide you REALLY need to do that).
Pike Place Market
What is it? A giant outdoor market and one of the most famous locations in Seattle.
Where? 1st Ave and Pike St, Seattle, WA, 98101
If you’re local, you’ve fought Pike Place Market traffic through 1st Ave in Seattle. If you’re a tourist, it’s no doubt on your list. If you’ve never been to Seattle, you know about the fish throwing. If you haven’t already been there, obviously you’re obligated to visit. It has been featured in fictional TV shows, travel TV shows, reality TV shows, and the occasional movie. It’s not just about the fish though. There is delicious produce offered by local farmers, breathtaking views, delicious restaurants, quirky shops, and much more.
The market sits under the famous Pike Place Market sign. A golden pig statue will welcome you to the market. You can get a tour of the market from a perky and knowledgeable guide, but it’s also fun to explore on your own.
Of course, since it’s such a famous location, the market is usually extremely busy, so time your visit carefully to try to avoid some of the crowds. If there is a cruise ship in town, you can be sure the market is packed.
Take a Day Trip to Tour the Woodinville Wine Country
What is it? Our own little Napa Valley – various wineries scattered around the beautiful Woodinville landscape
Over the last ten years the Woodinville winery scene has evolved like crazy. More and more delicious wines are being created and produced from our picturesque little town. Locals and tourists would be well-served to take day trip out of the city to have some adventures at Adventura. Top the day off with a few more hours of travel to visit some of the local wine tastings and tours. That sounds like the perfect day to us.
The wine country is made up of 114 wineries, 14 microbreweries, cideries, and distilleries, and 30 restaurants. It’s broken up into four districts: Hollywood, Downtown, Warehouse, and West Valley. Visitors can arrange for a shuttle to safely transport them from location to location to taste wines worry-free.
We can’t think of a more relaxing way to enjoy the beautiful countryside while spending time with family and friends and trying some delicious wines.
It should also be mentioned that Adventura partners with a selection of local wineries, breweries and distilleries to offer free tastings to our participants after a day of playing on the course.
Romantic Things to Do in Seattle
With natural beauty and local restaurant galore, it’s not difficult to find a romantic option in the city. Here are our absolute favorites that will no doubt help you win over your beau.
- Get Dinner at the Teatro ZinZanni
- Walk the Arboretum
- Watch a Concert at Chateau Ste Michelle
Get Dinner at the Teatro ZinZanni
What is it? A unique and fun dinner experience a little outside the city.
Where? Current: 6046 West Lake Sammamish Pkwy NE, Redmond, WA, 98052 – Soon to share the Old Red Hook Brewery property with Adventura
If you didn’t pick up on it yet, Adventura is a little thrilled to welcome Teatro ZinZanni to the neighborhood. The amount of excitement and talent that will be coming with them is palpable.
You (and we) have never had a dinner theater experience quite like the one you’ll get at Teatro ZinZanni (if you’ve ever had a dinner theater experience). Zinzanni is part theater, part restaurant, and part circus. A ticket will get you a three-hour show that includes performers from an international cirque, comedians, and cabaret artists.
The show changes frequently enough that you should check back close to when you plan to visit to see exactly what they have in store.
The food is just as meticulously planned as the show itself. The food at Teatro ZinZanni would be worth the trip on its own. Chef Jason Wilson has designed a menu based on his award-winning regional American cuisine. Wine and cocktails pair perfectly with main courses such as a salmon filet or harvest tagine. And for dessert, ZinZanni currently offers the chocolate cake “Madame ZinZanni.” It can satisfy any sweet tooth.
ZinZanni might be a bit much for a first date, but if you are trying to impress someone with your choice for a night out, ZinZanni will certainly fit the bill. The show can be a very romantic setting, even while providing excitement and entertainment. It is a great option for a romantic night out that will be absolutely unforgettable.
Walk the Arboretum
What is it? A beautiful garden tucked away on the shores of Lake Washington and crisscrossed with walking trails.
Where? 2300 Arboretum Drive E, Seattle, WA, 98112
The Arboretum is one of the most serene and beautiful places in Seattle. It includes a visitor center, a Japanese Garden, and so many walking trails you can get happily lost for hours. While the Arboretum does offer tours, if you are looking for a romantic activity, walk the trails yourself. Take your time wandering among the beautiful foliage in this popular yet serene location. At Adventura, we always encourage our team members and guests to enjoy the outdoors as often as possible, and it doesn’t get any better than the Arboretum.
It also offers all kinds of activities, from classes and tours to birding and boating. Boating can be especially romantic on the tranquil waters within the Arboretum. You’ll be removed from the noise and bustle of other waterways like Lake Union and the Ballard Locks.
The Arboretum is such a beautiful and romantic venue that it is even rented out for weddings and other events from time to time. It also hosts nature classes on things like rain water, types of trees, seasonal plants and more.
For an extra romantic and special trip, check out the Japanese Garden. This 3.5 acre traditional Japanese stroll garden was built in the early 1900s and is as close to a real Japanese garden as you’ll get outside of Japan itself. The garden is magnificent all year round, but if you can visit in spring you’ll get the best possible experience. It is open from March 1 through November 30.
Watch a Concert at Chateau Ste Michelle
What is it? A summer concert series produced by the winery.
Where? 14111 NW 145th St, Woodinville, WA, 98072
Chateau Ste Michelle is a winery in Woodinville, but every summer they put on a concert series that can serve as a great outdoor getaway. Sip wine and listen to one of the bands the Chateau has on tap for that summer’s series. The artists change week to week, so you’ll have to check their website to see specifically who they plan to have come perform that week. Some of the artists they invited to perform in 2017 included Elvis Costello, John Legend, The Moody Blues, Santana, Allen Stone, ZZ Top & The Doobie Brothers, and many others.
The Chateau gets some big name artists for the summer concert series, so be sure to plan ahead if you want to have a romantic date here. The concerts can attract a lot of guests. You will need to get a ticket from TicketMaster. Ticket sales for the summer generally open up in March, so keep an eye on the winery’s website to see when you can get yours.
The ticket sales help fund the Chateau’s charitable contributions program, which helps hundreds of organizations. Before the show begins, spend some time browsing the wine shop or getting a snack from one of the food vendors on site. The summer concert series truly has a festival feel to it, with open lawn seating regardless of the weather. Some people even bring their own picnic baskets and non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy during the show. Wandering the Chateau before the show can make for a romantic and cozy afternoon that ends with music and a great bottle of wine.
Unique and Quirky Things to Do in Seattle
Along with its other great qualities, Seattle has a lot of quirks and curiosities. From a gum wall to a troll living under a bridge, Seattle is a land of its own. If you want to make one or two of those unique experiences a part of your day, here are some of our favorites:
- Check out the Kirkland Flatstick Pub
- Pet and Sip at Seattle Meowtropolitan
- Play Pinball at the Seattle Pinball Museum
- See the Seattle Underground
Check out the Flatstick Pub
What is it? More than just a bar, the pub also includes a full mini golf course that you can play.
Where? A variety of areas in and around the city.
Getting a beer has never been like this. The Flatstick Pub is a relatively new Seattle institutions, and it has been growing rapidly in popularity (and locations). It’s much more than just a bar. It also includes a 9-hole indoor mini golf course, as well as other games. This makes for a much more fun experience than your average night out for drinks.
Flatstick Pub takes pride in offering Washington-only beers and ciders, as well as other drink options. The pub is dog friendly, even having a “Yappy Hour” from 6 – 7 p.m. Monday – Friday and all day on Sundays. Just what is “Yappy Hour”? You’ll get $1 off a pint when you bring in your dog. And if you’re looking for a taste of what “Yappy Hour” is all about, you can search for the hashtag #flatstickpup to see other people posting pictures of their pups at the pub. It’s pretty hard to resist.
If you’ve ever been to Adventura, you probably have noticed that we love dogs. After a long day of work at the Adventure Park, Adventura Canine Ambassadors Mooki and Murphy love nothing more than relaxing with their humans at one of Seattle’s many dog friendly watering holes.
Adventura Canine Ambassador: Murphy
Adventura Canine Ambassador: Mooki
The mini golf course is a big attraction for those visiting the pub. There is a “risk-reward” show on every hole that is designed to stump even the most skilled mini golfers. It’s definitely not your average mini golf course, or your average pub. This makes Flatstick Pub a great option for dates, fun nights out with friends, and events.
There is an additional $6 fee to use the mini golf course, but for that price you’ll get some of the wackiest and most fun mini golf holes you’ve ever seen. In the Kirkland location, Hole 1, dubbed “Tap the Key,” has actual kegs on the course for added difficulty. Hole 7, “The Needle’s Eye,” challenges players to thread the needle with bank shots while avoiding the water behind the hole. Every hole has a unique and fun design that challenges players (especially if they’ve already had a pint).
Whether you brave the mini golf course or just stick to drinking and playing the other games, Flatstick Pub offers a night out that’s a little different from your usual haunts.
Pet and Sip at Seattle Meowtropolitan
What is it? A cafe where you can get your tea and coffee and drink it surrounded by cats.
Where: 1225 N 45th St, Seattle, WA, 98103
Adventura has yet to hire a “Course Cat”, but apparently “Cafe Cats” are already a thing! This cafe is a dream come true for cat lovers. Seattle Meowtropolitan has everything a normal cafe has – coffee, tea, snacks – but with one very special best part: cats. Cats everywhere.
The cats at Seattle Meowtropolitan roam the cafe freely. It is their home you’re walking into when you go to the cafe for a drink. They have toys, perches, and scratching posts. And they love company. Five of the cats are permanent residents of the cafe, and the others are up for adoption. The cafe encourages people to meet the cats and fall in love with them so they can find forever homes with cat lovers. The five who have firmly planted themselves at the cafe are Penguin, Django, Clouds, Robin, and Merlin.
The best part of the best part? You can sign up for Cat Yoga! It is an ordinary yoga class… but with cats.
Visiting the cats requires a reservation. You have to pay per hour to chill with the cats at the cafe, in addition to the price of any drinks or snacks you buy. This can make it a slightly pricey adventure, but if you or anyone you know is a cat lover, it’s worth splurging on a trip to Seattle Meowtropolitan at least once.
Play Pinball at the Seattle Pinball Museum
What is it? A private pinball machine collection that grew until it became a full-on museum.
Where? 508 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA, 98104
When you visit Adventura, be sure to ask who our resident pinball pro is. But, even if you aren’t a pinball fanatic, it’s worth visiting the Pinball Museum in Seattle at some point. The machines started their retirement as a married couple’s private collection, but the collection soon grew into its very own museum. The pinball collector community is a tight knit group, but Seattle’s collectors have opened their doors to the public. For the price of admission you get to play all the machines for free.
The collection includes tons of machines, some dating as far back as 1934, while others are modern pinball machines. For those in the know, some of the games are produced by Jersey Jack Pinball, Dutch Pinball, Spooky Pinball, VP Cabs. and Stern Pinball. And they aren’t done collecting. As of 2018, the collectors have announced that they intend to keep updating their offering of games. Some of the ones they offer include Godzilla, King Tut, Flash Gordon, Guns N’ Roses, Batman, and The Addams Family. There are more than 50 machines, so you’re sure to find some you want to play.
The museum also has food and beverages, as well as a multi-entry pass option. This lets you come and go all day and play as much, or as little, as you want. You can make the Seattle Pinball Machine into a quick side trip or an all-day adventure, depending on how you want to approach it and how much you love pinball.
See the Seattle Underground
What: A network of shops, bars, and hotels abandoned below Seattle’s streets.
Where: Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA, 98104
Once you’ve taken your adventures 50 feet up off the ground at Adventura, try taking them 20 feet underground. Topping all of the lists of things to do in Seattle, the Seattle Underground is truly unique to the city. The Great Fire of 1889 destroyed much of the city, causing Seattle to build on top of the debris. Those debris have become the Seattle Underground, where humorous tours take a look at Seattle’s buried history.
The tour takes about 75 minutes and involves walking the entire time. Walking the Seattle Underground is like being inside a time capsule of the city. The fire destroyed buildings still made from wood, before Seattle decided to build higher up with stone or brick masonry.
The man who started the tour was Bill Speidel, who became a preservationist after working for newspapers in the city. He founded the tour in 1965 and it is still going strong today.
The tour offers a unique view of the city as well as a gift shop, food,drinks, and entertainment. If you go near Halloween, there is a spooky version of the tour for those who are brave enough, called the Underground Paranormal Experience.