Things to do in Seattle with guests

Things to do in Seattle with guests

It’s summer in Seattle which can only mean one thing: bring on the guests! When all of your family and friends live on the East Coast – also known as the sticky, humid coast – the Pacific NW can provide a more than welcome summer reprieve, not to mention there are some pretty great people here to see ūüėČ

Total, we have over three weeks of guests this summer – a record for us! It can be easy to fall into your own routine after you live in one place for a few years and you might forget what it’s like to be a visiter.¬†So, what do you do¬†with your friends and family when they come to visit?

Here’s how with my list of top things to do in Seattle with guests:

  • Discover¬†something new: Whether it’s a food tour of Pike’s Place market, a tantalizing walk through Theo’s Chocolates, or up in the trees at the Treehouse Master’s headquarters, a guided tour can show even the most settled Seattle native that there’s always something new to see and learn. You could¬†even take a class, like Issaquah’s Art by Fire’s glass-blowing class, where you’ll not only learn something new, your guests will take home a one-of-a-kind¬†souvenir!
  • Get high: I mean off the ground, not the other way (even though that’s technically legal here). Seattle has the most beautiful backdrop I’ve ever seen and what better way to see it than from high up. From the top of the Space Needle (or the cheaper and taller Columbia Tower), to a lookout¬†on a surrounding mountain (the “Issaquah Alps” offer great views of the Snoqualmie Valley), to up in the air on a scenic flight by seaplane, take your guests breaths away (along with your own) every time.
  • Head¬†out of town: Seattle has a lot to see, but what about all of the great day trips? Especially great for returning visitors! What’s on our list this summer? Bainbridge and Whidbey islands are a short ferry ride away, Mt. Rainier is famous for it’s summer wildflowers and Leavenworth & Wenatchee are full of outdoor adventure and yummy wine.
  • Attend an event: ¬†Summer food and music festivals, outdoor concerts, theatre performances, and even farmer’s markets are a great way to get any visitor out among the locals. This summer, I’m looking forward to taking my parents to see Ringo Starr on the lawn of Chateau Ste. Michelle and seeing¬†The Book of Mormon with my in-laws at the Paramount!
  • Show off the local flavor: Eat, drink, and eat some more of the best food the city has to offer. Seattle is well-known for seafood, so we always plan at least one big seafood dinner with guests. We also just like to take guests to our favorite restaurants like The Pink Door¬†and The Tin Table, not to mention I’m¬†always willing to show off all of the wineries and breweries that call Washington home, like Patterson Cellars and Seapine Brewing Company. Finally, take guests to those little, quirky joints¬†that make your town unique. For us, that means taking my folks to Issaquah’s own¬†Triple XXX for a greasy burger and a big mug of ol’ fashioned root beer. Seriously, check it out, it’s quirky and dang good!
  • Take a hike: To me, the term “hike” can sometimes sound scary, like a 10-mile glute-burning, CamelBak drinking, hot and sweaty trek. Even though the Seattle region has its share of mountains, there are plenty of hikes (aka scenic walks) that are far from arduous. From flat paved paths to rocky uphill climbs, there’s a perfect hike for all of your guests. You can identify which hikes are best for you by using the Washington Trails Association Hiking Guide where you can filter hikes by mileage, difficulty level and trail attractions, and often features a narrated video of the actual trail so you can get a real¬†sense of how tricky¬†or picturesque it may be.

Although I called out many Seattle-specific things to do and see with guests, you can apply all of these activities to any city, anywhere! Basically, entertaining out-of-town guests¬†this summer doesn’t have to be the same ol’ museums and cheesy attractions¬†that trap all the other tourists. You’re a local, give your friends and family the local¬†experience and show off all your home has to offer. Who knows, maybe you’ll even see, learn or do something new along the way!

Seattle Summer: The best activities and events of the season

It’s another gray day in Seattle. Even though I’ve lived here for over almost 4 years, I’m still not used to the consistent gloomy weather. No wonder people in this city love their local beer and wine – it’s a survival mechanism to get through the drizzle and cold we typically see November-May/June. ¬†I’ve actually become Vitamin-D deficient. It’s no surprise that I spend the entire rainy season dreaming about Seattle’s perfect summer weather and all its glory.

This summer, I hope my husband and I can take every weekend to catch up on our Vitamin D. If you’ll be in the Seattle area this summer, check out my list of what I’m looking forward to most:

Rattlesnake Lake: ¬†We discovered Rattlesnake Lake through a local hiking guidebook. The hike up to the rocky ledge (Rattlesnake Ledge) overlooking the lake wasn’t too long or intense (be warned if you’re afraid of heights…or falling off a cliff) and the view of the bright blue water and surrounding green mountains is amazing. This year, we hope to make this one of our prime picnic spots but we’ll have to get there early – parking near this North Bend, Wash. lake is limited, overflow cars have to park on the side of the road. We’ll be investing in a rolling cooler so we can easily get our picnic gear the quarter-mile or so from the car to the lake shore.

Seattle summer activities Rattlesnake Lake

View from Rattlesnake Ledge (don’t fall!). Look at that blue water!

Snoqualmie Falls: Another awesome site nearby is Snoqualmie Falls. The Falls can be seen from the upper viewing deck (who doesn’t love a great misty waterfall?). Ever since we moved out to Seattle, the main trail leading to base of the falls has been closed for renovation however it’s just recently reopened and I can’t wait to finally get the chance to take on this easy hike. You can take a virtual tour of the updated trail on the Falls website.

Seattle summer activities Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls: So cool and so close by!

Whitewater rafting: Every year, my husband and I drive a couple hours east to ride the “rapids” of the Wenatchee River. I say “rapids” because we typically wait until late July or early August when only a few big rapids remain (I’m not hardcore enough to go in June when you still have to wear a wetsuit). For someone who is not overly adventurous outdoors, our whitewater rafting experiences have been a blast. We raft with¬†Blue Sky Outfitters¬†and have never had any issues and always a lot of fun. The guides are skilled, passionate about rafting and full of stories about crazy times on the river. Without too many wild rapids, you can spend more time enjoying the scenery around you – bald eagles, beautiful riverside homes, and the occasional modern-day bearded gold miner

Washington Brewer’s Festival: Held Father’s Day weekend each June, the Washington Brewer’s Festival marks my official start of summer. Over 150 breweries from across the state keep a booth at this outdoor beer fest where a token gets you a 3 oz. pour (or a 5 oz. pour if you upgrade – we do every year!). This is a chance to not only taste the beers that are the pride and joy of local breweries but also to try those weird beers with flavors like sour cherry or spicy habanero. Whatever your beer fancy (there’s some wine and cider on hand, too), you’ll definitely find it here. The festival’s annual keg toss competition is really just the manly icing on the cake.

Seattle summer activities beer festival

WA Brewer’s Festival: It’s definitely worth it to upgrade.

Whidbey Island: Accessible by both car and ferry, Whidbey Island is a fun day trip for a couple good hikes and walks along stoney beaches in Deception Pass State Park, followed by lunch with a view further down the island in Coupeville.  For dessert, stop at Whidbey Pies Cafe for a sweet slice, and before the ferry ride home, try some of the wineries found mostly at the far south end of the island.

Seattle summer activities Deception Pass

Deception Pass State Park makes for an amazing day trip!

River tubing: If you miss the rafting boat…er…raft, you can always grab a tube down the river once the rapids die out in August. There’s two types of tubing experiences – a wet one, and a dry one. The first time we went tubing, we went with¬†River Riders¬†just outside of Leavenworth. That tubing course was pretty exciting but you had to be alert since low water meant a few small rapids with made big splashes, large rocks to circumnavigate, and frankly, some bumps on your butt if you weren’t paying attention. Our second tubing experience was much dryer (and less painful on the tush) with the¬†Leavenworth Outdoor Center, where the entire course is flat water with just a couple swift points. Flat water means more opportunities to get out of the river along the way, or simply, just more opportunity to relax. Choose the course that is most comfortable for you – we had fun on both!

Chateau Ste. Michelle: ¬†If you like Rieslings, you might already know Chateau Ste. Michelle. Even though it’s Washington state’s largest and most famous winery, the winery’s main campus and concert grounds in Woodinville, Wash. make this huge company seem much more down to earth. The grounds feature tall trees, a fountain, duck pond, and a few vines actually growing on the property – a perfect picnic setting with a chilled bottle of wine you can purchase, along with picnic supplies and snacks, from the tasting room shop – BYOG (bring your own glass). If you’re lucky, you might even see one of the winery’s wandering peacocks. My most favorite part of the Chateau experience is the summer concert series, where the winery transforms into a rocking outdoor concert venue with plenty of lawn seats. Most of the acts are the “oldies” but oh man, they are the goodies. Next up this year: a return of Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band. I can’t wait!

Seattle summer activities Chateau Ste. Michelle

Nothing like an outdoor evening with good music and good wine..

Home DIY: What’s a summer without a little DIY around the house? I’d much rather be working out in the yard on a sunny day than a rainy one, that’s for sure. This summer, I hope we can tackle a few outdoor projects to make our front porch and small backyard seem more like “outdoor living” than “outdoor avoiding.” Our front porch is great, a good size – except for the sun beating down on you in the afternoon until you’re burnt to a crisp. To fix this problem, we’ll install a pull-down sun shade to give us a little more privacy and a little less risk of skin cancer. In the backyard, I hope to use some simple planter boxes and maybe even some creative lighting to make our postage stamp-size backyard feel cozy instead of ¬†dingy. The fence is getting re-stained, too. Basically, stay away from my house this summer or I’ll find something for you to do.¬†You can follow my backyard idea board on¬†Pinterest.

Just 5 more months of the rainy season before these dreams can become a reality. Until then…I’ll be waiting.