Yes, the rumors are true, it rains here! But while the streets may get wet, your enthusiasm for visiting Seattle doesn’t have to.
Whether you are planning a full-length rainy day itinerary, or are just looking for backup ideas in case the sky turns gray, here are a few of the many things you can do in Seattle on a rainy day.
1. Drink Your Way Along a Coffee Crawl
There are few activities more simple or enjoyable than a warm cup of artisan brew on a rainy Seattle day.
Being America’s coffee capital is a weighty title and one that Seattle takes very seriously. And with more than 800 coffee shops, Seattle has enough Joe to ensure that even the finest coffee connoisseur doesn’t leave disappointed.
So if coffee is in your genes, Seattle is the perfect city for you — rain or shine!
If you’re in the mood for a tastebud adventure, then join a coffee crawl. This will allow you to tour different coffee shops, sample various brews, and learn about the Emerald City’s proud coffee culture.
Here at Shutter Tours, our tour guides have inside knowledge on where to find the best cup of java and would be thrilled to take you on a coffee crawl during a classic rainy day in Seattle.
If you would like to schedule a coffee crawl, visit our custom Seattle tours page.
2. Join a Boeing Factory Tour
Seattle is home to the largest aircraft plant in the world — the Boeing factory. This massive facility employs over 30,000 people and receives 110,000 visitors each year.
The plant and its associated facilities, the Future of Flight and Strato Deck, are great things to do in Seattle when it rains.
Here at Shutter Tours, we offer fascinating tours of the Boeing factory that walk you through the history of the company and give you a front-row seat to the construction of massive Boeing planes.
Other notable aviation tourism locations include the Museum of Flight and Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection.
3. Sing-Along With Seattle’s Music Culture
As the birthplace of grunge, Seattle has deep musical roots and has seen the rise of numerous artists, including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Fleet Foxes. Music is a huge part of Seattle’s culture and every day you can find local musicians performing in venues across the city.
Get out of the rain by ducking into one of Seattle’s iconic music venues, like Neumos or The Crocodile, and singing along with local artists.
4. Explore Seattle’s Historic Underground
Do you like exploring mysterious locations with a touch of drama and history sprinkled in? If so, then you’ll love the Seattle underground — a web of basements and passageways which lie beneath the modern city.
The Seattle underground exists as a result of the 1889 Great Seattle Fire. This raging fire destroyed 31 city blocks of wooden buildings — which was terrible but gave the city the opportunity to modernize.
Seattle took advantage of this clean slate and constructed new buildings out of stone or brick and regraded the city streets to even out some of the hills.
A consequence of regrading was that the street level was moved up a full story in some parts of the city. This put the first story of many buildings underground and made the second story the new ground level.
Undeterred, Seattleites carried on using the now underground shops, using ladders and stairs to go down and do businesses under the streets.
Seattle’s underground continued being used for business until 1907, when the underground officially closed down.
Lucky for us, a small portion of Seattle’s underground has been restored and is able to be seen today, offering a unique look into Seattle’s past. Joining an underground tour and exploring the city’s colorful history is the perfect way to spend a rainy day in Seattle.
5. Visit One of Seattle’s Famous Museums
Love learning new and interesting facts about the city you’re visiting? If so, Seattle won’t disappoint you. Whether you are traveling alone or with kids, Seattle has enough museums to keep you occupied for an entire rainy day — or two!
Several museums that you can enjoy during a visit to Seattle include:
MoPop stands for The Museum Of Pop Culture. This museum focuses on current pop culture and creativity. Although the exhibits change from time to time, you can expect to see displays on popular movies or music artists.
The MoPop is perfect for adults or kids and is a fun and educational thing to do on a rainy day in Seattle.
Seattle Art Museum
If you enjoy the tranquility of art museums, the Seattle Art Museum or SAM is the perfect location to spend a rainy Seattle afternoon. You can view the Seattle Art Museum website to see what current exhibitions are going on or check the calendar for future exhibitions that you want to see.
The Museum of Flight
The largest non-profit air and space museum in the world, the Museum of Flight is a fascinating museum that could easily absorb your entire rainy Seattle day. With dozens of interesting exhibits, photographs, and almost 200 aircraft and spacecraft, the Museum of Flight is the perfect destination for any curious mind.
The Museum Of History And Industry, or MOHAI as it is commonly known, is an educational establishment that focuses on the working history of Seattle.
With entertaining exhibits for both adults and children, MOHAI introduces tourists to the history of Seattle and its many industries, making this the perfect activity for a rainy day in Seattle.
6. Get Festive on a Wine Tour
Did you know that there are more than 150 wineries in the Seattle region?
What can I say, we Seattleites love our beverages! So if coffee isn’t your cup of tea, we have a rich wine culture for you to explore.
Wine tasting in a local Seattle cellar is one of the most relaxing ways to spend a wet and rainy afternoon. And with dozens of wineries spread across the city, there is a wine for every palate.
If you would like to get out of the rain and experience Seattle’s wine culture with a local, consider booking a wine tour!
The team of Seattle experts here at Shutter Tours can put together a custom Seattle wine tour for you that hits all the top wineries and cellars.
7. Sky View Observatory
The tallest public observatory in the Pacific Northwest, Sky View Observatory offers a birds-eye view of Seattle’s cityscape.
Because of the observatory’s height, make sure that you don’t visit this location on a foggy day or when clouds are hanging low over Columbia Center, as these will impede your view.
Visit Sky View when the clouds are high and rain is falling from far, far above. In these conditions, the city will look mysterious and foreboding and you’ll feel like a character in one of Seattle’s famous TV shows.
8. Enjoy the Performing Arts
Use the rainy weather as an excuse to get inside and enjoy some of Seattle’s famous performing arts! From symphonies to modern dance to Broadway performances, the Emerald City has it all.
Notable locations for entertainment include:
- Paramount Theatre
- Moore Theatre
- Meany Hall for the Performing Arts
- Neptune Theatre
- Benaroya Hall
- The 5th Avenue Theatre
9. Get Spooked by the Oddities of Ye Olde Curiosity Shop
As a leading port city, Seattle has long been recognized as a doorway into the unexplored, attracting many eccentric individuals and their establishments.
One such location is Ye Olde Curiosity Shop.
The Curiosity Shop was founded in 1899 by Joseph Edward Standley, who packed his shop with artistic objects and oddities from around the world. It was an immediate hit and has continued to draw tourists ever since.
So if you’re in the mood for mystery, intrigue, and adventure, duck into Ye Olde Curiosity Shop during your rainy Seattle afternoon.
10. Embrace the Rain!
Don’t feel like spending your day inside? Do as the locals do and embrace the rain! We’ve learned to carry on regardless of what’s coming down from the sky and with a little practice, I’m sure you can too.
Strolling through rainy Seattle will give you the opportunity to experience the city in its natural state. And the rain will only enhance the ambiance of each location by keeping the crowds away.
If you’re ready to ignore the drizzle and keep exploring, join me on one of my popular Seattle city tours. We’ll hit all the highlights — Snoqualmie Falls, the locks, and even visit our infamous bridge troll.
Don’t let the wet weather deter you! There are hundreds of things to do in Seattle on a rainy day.