Why Locals Love Seattle (and You Will Too)

This Emerald City native knows there’s way more to it than rainy days

A picturesque Mount Rainier is one of many reasons why Seattle is beloved.


Years ago, before I moved here, I heard a lot of warnings (from non-locals) about how there are no fun things to do in Seattle because it’s so dreary and wet. Once I settled in, I noticed a few things: For one, it’s not as rainy as you’d think given all the hype and, two, even on those gray days, no locals would be caught using umbrellas or letting the rain get them down. If it does rain, it’s not heavy, it usually doesn’t last long, and clear skies are often not far behind. Yet no matter the weather, one thing I have come to love about Seattle is that locals love to spend their time outdoors.

This is a thriving cultural city, home to fabulous food and drink, legendary coffee roasters and year-round festivals. In other words, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Seattle. Discover five reasons why locals love this waterfront city where you can play onshore and offshore.

We’re all about coffee

How do you take your cup of joe? Because Seattle takes its coffee pretty seriously. We host annual expos and festivals to celebrate this glorious beverage, but one of the fun things to do in Seattle is to find your daily cup with a stroll down any given block. You’ll find indie cafes like Elm Coffee Roasters, Herkimer Coffee, and Tin Umbrella Coffee Roasters dotting the streets of every neighborhood, making it easy to find fabulous local flavor.

We play outdoors, rain, shine or snow

On your way to or from Alki Beach, catch some great views of the Emerald City skyline.

For scenic views of the city, take the King County Water Taxi to Alki Beach. In addition to water sports along the beach, Alki has a 2.5-mile pathway for cycles and pedestrians. If you prefer the rush of downhill skiing, The Summit at Snoqualmie is a short drive from downtown. This family-friendly terrain is great for beginners. If you visit Seattle on a clear day, you might hear a local say, “The mountains are out.” That means our skies are clear enough to catch the full beauty of Mount Rainier. Year-round, Mount Rainier National Park is home to many of the fun things to do in Seattle. It’s an active place with trailheads for all skill levels, bird-watching, astronomy programs and ranger chats among its many offerings.

We celebrate art and culture

The Pacific Northwest is home to an incredible assortment of festivals and cultural celebrations throughout the year. One of the fun things to do in Seattle is dress the part for Emerald City Comic Con or get fancy at the Chamber Music Festival. In often-dreary February, you’ll find us in good spirits at the Wintergrass Music Festival enjoying the sounds of bluegrass. Plus, according to Rolling Stone, we have one of the best multi-arts festivals in the U.S.—Bumbershoot. For one-of-a-kind creations, we love the indie craft show Urban Craft Uprising. And we’re proud that Seattle International Film Festival is one of the largest and longest-running film fests in the country.

We know how to eat

Widely considered one of the city’s best burger joints, Dick’s Drive-In has been serving customers since 1954.

Fresh seafood is just part of who we are here. For an amazing assortment of local flavors, I always head to Ballard Seafoodfest, a family-friendly tradition since 1974. You’ll also find popular fish eateries along our active waterfront. Warming up with Ivar’s chowder is pretty much a rite of passage. But even if you aren’t a fan of seafood, there are plenty of other delicious options in our city. From late night burgers at Dick’s Drive-In to our must-try Top Pot Doughnuts, you’ll find something to satisfy your cravings. We even have Vegfest, a full festival dedicated to vegetarian eating.

We always have something good on tap

Another fun thing to do in Seattle is enjoy a cold bottle to cool off after a hearty hike or following a day at the beach. We have about 60 craft breweries within the city limits, and you’ll find 500 beers from our state at the annual Washington Brewers Festival. A few local favorites include Fremont Brewing and Pike Brewing Company, but you’ll find unique city brews in every neighborhood. We also welcome out-of-towners to show off their best at the Seattle International Beerfest.

Written by Lori A. May

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