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9 Outdoor Things to Do in Seattle This Summer

Seattleites know that in the Pacific Northwest you have to get outside while you can. And while it’s true you can undertake most of these activities year round with a rain jacket, it’s all the more enjoyable when the sun is high in the sky. There’s no bolder invitation to explore than waking up to clear blue skies. In the summer, days like these are the norm. Make the most of them by partaking in a few of these outdoor activities, Seattle style.

Ballard Locks

The Ballard Locks are among Seattle’s most popular tourist attractions during the summer months. Officially called the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, the Ballard Locks are a true piece of Pacific Northwest culture. Ships pass through the Ballard Locks from Lake Union to the Puget Sound. The Locks exchange fresh water for salt water (or vice versa) as the vessels move from one waterway to the next. At the Locks, you can also take a peek at the fish ladder or stroll through the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden.

Frolik Rooftop Concert Series

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You’re invited to sip and dance with Seattle’s own at Frolik’s Rooftop Summer Concert Series. Enjoy a live music show, good times and cocktails on the rooftop in the heart of Downtown Seattle. Shows start at 6pm and tickets can be purchased in advanced at Eventbrite.com

Gas Works Park

This 19-acre park is what Seattle summer dreams are made of. Overlooking Lake Union and the Seattle skyline along with it, Gas Works Park is a nexus for the activities summer is all about: picnicking, sightseeing, and soaking up the sun. Reserve a picnic site in advance or arrive at the park early to snag the perfect spot in the grass.

Woodland Park Zoo

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You’re never too old for a trip to the zoo, especially when that zoo is Woodland Park. Woodland Park Zoo’s exhibits feature more than 1,100 animals and 300 species, including some of the world’s most endangered. As you walk through the 92-acre zoo you’ll cross through diverse habitats, from the African savanna to a temperate forest and more. Don’t miss the new baby giraffe, born May 2019.

Alki Beach

Name a more dynamic duo than summer and the beach. Though Seattle may not scream beach day for most, Alki Beach is unique and scenic enough to put other locales to shame. What it lacks in white sand it makes up for in city views and a lengthy beach strip perfect for a long walk or jog, volleyball playing, beach combing, and sun bathing.

International Fountain at Seattle Center

A holdover from the World’s Fair, the International Fountain is a fixture at the Seattle Center. In the summer, parents lounge on the lawn as their children play in the fountain bowl and even get up close to the fountain’s central silver dome. As for the water? It’s probably the cleanest in the city as it receives three types of treatment before it reaches the fountain.

Events at Downtown Parks

Seattle makes the most of the summer season by way of its many parks. Downtown parks come to life with events of all kinds, each of which make use of the long, warm summer days. Go dancing ‘til dusk, learn salsa in the park, or watch an outdoor movie. Nearby Westlake Park offers outdoor movie nights rain or shine all summer long.

Farmers Markets

Though markets like Pike Place are open year round, some of the city’s best open up shop during the summer season only. Washington is an agricultural mecca, which is why the city farmers markets feature some of the freshest produce and most vibrant flowers you’ll find. Stroll through an area market or two to interact with local growers and taste some of the flavors unique to Seattle.

Green Lake

Every day, thousands of Seattleites flock to the urban oasis that is Green Lake Park. As a nature preserve, Green Lake Park is home to hundreds of species of trees and plants along with countless birds and water fowl. A 2.8-mile path around the lake beckons runners, bikers, skaters, and walkers alike. While there, you can also make use of the athletic fields, pick the perfect spot for boating or swimming and bring your favorite four-legged friend to Green Lake’s dog park – the perfect place to bring your pup for an outdoor summer adventure!

Set Sail on Lake Union

Nothing says summer like getting out on the water. In Seattle, skip Elliott Bay and head to Lake Union instead. With a little pedal power, you can glide across the lake on a rented paddle boat. Try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking. If you have a taste for the upscale, you can also rent a hot tub boat, which features a wood-fired hot tub on board.

Imagine waking up in Seattle, with the summer sun high in the sky, illuminating the distinct skyline and glimmering Elliott Bay. Days like these are synonymous with summer in Seattle. Explore the city by way of its best outdoor sights, all beneath a clear blue sky.

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Where Seattle gets social. By design.

Make your way to the fifth floor on 5th Avenue for downtown Seattle’s best rooftop happy hour hotspot, Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails — consistently voted among the best rooftop bars in America.

Come for the handcrafted cocktails, stay for Chef Adam Stevenson’s locally-inspired menu, featuring wild seafood, foraged mushrooms and the best of the Pacific Northwest.

And do come to play. Warmed by two gorgeous outdoor fireplaces and vibrant lighting in edgy urban patio style, you’ll want to start some mischief of your own with a little shuffleboard, LED ping-pong and a rotating cast of live Seattle musicians and DJs.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner — and weekends for brunch. See what’s on the menu or reserve your table below.

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