12 Best Things to Do in Seattle When It Rains

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Seattle When It Rains
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Ever wondered how Seattle turns its famous rain into something magical? Well, you’re about to find out! Join me as we uncover the city’s best-kept secrets that come alive when the rain starts to fall.

Rainy days in Seattle? No problem! When those clouds roll in, I always say it’s the perfect time to explore the city’s cozy indoor spots. Strolling through the vibrant Pike Place Market, you’ll find its lively energy undampened by the drizzle. If you’re wondering what to do in this Washington State gem on a rainy day, you’re in for a treat.

From the countless visits I’ve made, I’ve uncovered some real indoor treasures that shine brightest when it’s pouring outside.

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Picture yourself sipping a warm cup at Anchorhead Coffee as you watch the rain paint the streets, or exploring the vivid displays at the Seattle Art Museum, where the art seems to come alive on cloudy days. Think of me as your rainy-day tour guide, minus the umbrella (you’ll need your own for that authentic Seattle experience!).

So, let’s embrace the mist and explore. I promise, by the end of this, you’ll be as excited about Seattle’s rain as the city is about its coffee!

The top places to visit in Seattle when it rains

Seattle’s Best Rainy Day Attractions

Let’s not let a bit of Seattle rain dampen our spirits! In this city, the rain is just another reason to explore some really cool spots, offering a glimpse into the Washington State lifestyle. Think of it as Seattle showing off its cozy side.

I’ve got a list of awesome places perfect for those drizzly days.

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From quirky museums to chill coffee shops, each spot is a little slice of Seattle’s rainy day charm.

Ready to see what makes Seattle amazing, rain or shine? Let’s get started!

1. Visit the Seattle Aquarium

On a classic Seattle rainy day, I always recommend a trip to the Seattle Aquarium. Located on Pier 59, it’s the perfect escape from the drizzle and a hit, especially if you’ve got kids in tow.

Open from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM, it’s easy to fit into your rainy day Seattle itinerary. I recommend checking out the otter exhibit first. Those playful guys seem to love the rain as much as Seattle does! The touch pools are also a must-try. Feeling a sea star’s texture is surprisingly cool – and it’s educational too.

Don’t miss the giant Pacific octopus; it’s like meeting a celebrity of the sea world. And for a real slice of local sea life, the “Window on Washington Waters” exhibit is a mini-version of what’s happening under the Puget Sound waves.

At the aquarium, you’ll not only find shelter from the rain but also a chance to engage closely with marine life. Trust me, it’s one of Washington State’s coolest places to visit. You’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for marine life and maybe a souvenir or two!

Visiting the Seattle Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Seattle when it rains.
Visiting the Seattle Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Seattle when it rains.

2. Explore Pike Place Market

Rain in Seattle? No problem! I always say it’s the perfect excuse to explore Pike Place Market. This iconic spot buzzes with energy, rain or shine. It’s covered, so you can enjoy the bustling market atmosphere without getting soaked.

Open 7 days a week, Pike Place is ideal for a casual stroll among the vibrant stalls. Don’t miss the famous fish-throwing spectacle – it’s even more amusing with an umbrella in hand! The market is also home to some of the best bakeries and coffee shops in Seattle, perfect for a warm treat on a damp day.

For a unique experience, visit the quirky gum wall. It’s a bit odd, but hey, it’s a fun, colorful spot for a rainy day selfie. And if you’re into crafts, the local artisans here will amaze you with their creations.

I recommend ending your visit with a warm bowl of clam chowder. It’s a Seattle must-do and tastes even better as you listen to the rain. So, if you’re looking for fun things to do in Seattle when it rains, head straight to Pike Place Market. You won’t regret it!

Explore the covered Pike Place Market for a bustling atmosphere without getting soaked.
Explore the covered Pike Place Market for a bustling atmosphere without getting soaked.

3. See the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit

If you’re wondering where to go in Seattle in the rain, the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit is my go-to recommendation. The vibrant glass artworks here seem to come alive against the gray skies. It’s like stepping into a kaleidoscope of colors, perfect for brightening up any dreary day.

Inside the exhibit, you’ll find yourself in awe of Dale Chihuly’s vibrant glass creations. The Glasshouse, with its stunning centerpiece, is especially magical. Rain or shine, it’s a sight to behold, but I think that the raindrops add an extra sparkle.

If your itinerary allows, consider visiting in the late afternoon. The glass art takes on a whole new life as the day winds down. Also, the exhibit often hosts special events and workshops, so check their schedule in advance to make the most of your visit.

Chihuly Garden and Glass is more than just an art exhibit. It’s a perfect Seattle gem and a rainy day activity. This place turns a dreary day into an extraordinary experience of color and light.

Visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit for vibrant glass artwork to brighten up any dreary day.
Visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit for vibrant glass artwork to brighten up any dreary day.

4. Enjoy Live Music at The Crocodile

When the Seattle skies open up, I always say it’s the perfect time to enjoy some live music. And there’s no better place for that than The Crocodile. This music venue is a Seattle institution, known for hosting legendary acts over the years.

Located in the heart of Belltown, The Crocodile is easy to find and a great spot to duck out of the rain. They’ve got shows almost every night, so you’re almost guaranteed to catch something good. My advice? Grab a ticket in advance, as the best shows tend to sell out.

Inside, the vibe is electric. The sound is top-notch, and there’s a sense of intimacy that makes every performance feel special. Whether it’s a local band or a well-known artist, the experience is always memorable.

Pair the music with their awesome pizza and a local brew, and you’ve got yourself a quintessential rainy night in Seattle. Trust me, spending an evening at The Crocodile is one of the coolest things to do in Seattle when it rains. It’s a surefire way to turn a dreary evening into a night to remember!

Head to The Crocodile for live music, a legendary venue hosting iconic acts over the years.
Head to The Crocodile for live music, a legendary venue hosting iconic acts over the years.

5. Attend a Show at the Paramount or Moore Theater

If you loved the idea of The Crocodile, here’s another one for you. On a rainy Seattle evening, catching a show at either the Paramount or Moore Theater is a fantastic choice. These historic theaters offer a different vibe – think grandeur and elegance – but the entertainment value is just as high.

The Paramount, with its stunning interior, hosts everything from Broadway shows to concerts. It’s a place where you can dress up a bit and enjoy a classy night out. My tip? Check their schedule online; there’s always something exciting happening.

The Moore Theater, on the other hand, is a bit more intimate. It’s perfect for those who love a cozy atmosphere. From comedy shows to indie music performances, the Moore offers a diverse lineup. And there’s something about watching a performance here while it’s raining outside that feels incredibly cozy.

Both theaters are centrally located, making them easy to reach even on the wettest days.

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So, for a memorable rainy night, I highly recommend these iconic Seattle venues. They’re two of the most fun places to visit in Seattle on a rainy day, offering a unique blend of entertainment and cultural richness.

Catch a high-value show at either the historic Paramount or Moore Theater for a different vibe of grandeur and elegance.
Catch a high-value show at either the historic Paramount or Moore Theater for a different vibe of grandeur and elegance.

6. Experience the Seattle Underground Tour

A dreary day in Seattle is a perfect time for an underground adventure! The Seattle Underground Tour is a unique experience I always recommend. It’s a fascinating journey through the hidden subterranean passages of the city’s historic Pioneer Square.

Starting at Doc Maynard’s Public House, the tour takes you beneath the streets to explore the forgotten 1890s storefronts and sidewalks. It’s both eerie and captivating. The guides are full of quirky stories and fun facts. They make history come alive in a way you’ve never seen before.

The tours run rain or shine, thanks to the sheltered underground paths. They usually last about an hour, giving you plenty of time to soak up the history without getting soaked by the rain. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes – those old cobblestone pathways can be uneven.

This tour isn’t just a way to avoid the rain. It’s a chance to uncover a hidden side of Seattle. Take it from me, it’s one of those unique Seattle things to do in the rain that you’ll be talking about long after your visit.

Experiencing Seattle Underground Tour is one of the best things to do in Seattle when it rains.
Experiencing Seattle Underground Tour is one of the best things to do in Seattle when it rains.

7. Tour the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

When the Seattle skies are grey, I suggest a colorful escape to the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP). This museum is a vibrant celebration of music, sci-fi, and pop culture. Perfect for a rainy day!

Located at the Seattle Center, MoPOP is hard to miss with its unique, futuristic architecture. Inside, you’ll find exhibits ranging from the history of indie video games to the magic of the fantasy genre. My personal favorite is the sound lab. Here, you can jam out on various instruments.

MoPOP opens from 10 AM to 5 PM, and they’re closed on Wednesday. It’s a great place to spend a few hours, especially since each exhibit offers an interactive experience. If you’re a music lover, a sci-fi fanatic, or just looking for a fun indoor activity in Seattle, this place has it all.

And here’s a fun fact: the building’s design is even more striking on a rainy day, with the water adding an extra sheen to its already impressive exterior. So, for anyone searching for cool things to do in the rain in Seattle, MoPOP is a must-visit. It’s an immersive journey into the world of pop culture that’s as entertaining as it is educational.

In Seattle's grey skies, find a colorful escape at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP).
In Seattle’s grey skies, find a colorful escape at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP).

8. Have Fun at the Seattle Pinball Museum

After exploring MoPOP, why not keep the indoor fun going? My next rainy day pick is the Seattle Pinball Museum. It’s a paradise for gamers and nostalgia seekers, especially when the Seattle rain sets the perfect backdrop for some indoor entertainment.

Situated in the International District, this museum is a colorful arcade haven. With a flat entry fee, you get unlimited play on a range of vintage and modern pinball machines. It’s open from 12 PM to 6 PM, ideal for an afternoon of pinball wizardry. Keep in mind that the Seattle Pinball Museum closes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

I always find it fascinating to see the evolution of pinball machines, from classic to high-tech models. And the best part? You can actually play them!

The Seattle Pinball Museum offers a unique blend of history, fun, and a bit of friendly competition. It’s one of the best places to go in Seattle when it rains where you can easily lose track of time. Grab a friend, and see who can rack up the highest score. It’s a surefire way to turn a dreary day into a delightful one!

Visit the Seattle Pinball Museum for indoor fun in the perfect rainy backdrop.
Visit the Seattle Pinball Museum for indoor fun in the perfect rainy backdrop.

9. Take a Tour of Theo Chocolate Factory

There’s nothing better than the sweet aroma of chocolate when the rain falls. That’s why I always suggest the Theo Chocolate Factory Tour to anyone looking for cool things to do when it rains in Seattle. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream come true!

Located in the Fremont neighborhood, Theo’s tours offer you the chance to see the chocolate-making process from bean to bar. And yes, there are plenty of samples – trust me, they’re delicious!

What I love about this tour is not only the chocolate but also learning about Theo’s commitment to fair trade and organic ingredients. It’s a treat that feels as good as it tastes.

Remember to book your tour in advance, as they tend to fill up quickly, especially on rainy days. And don’t leave without stopping by their gift shop. It’s a great place to pick up some unique gifts (or a treat for yourself!).

If you’re looking for fun things to do in the rain in Seattle, Theo Chocolate Factory is a must. It’s a delightful way to spend an hour or two, indulging in some of the best chocolates while learning about their sustainable journey.

Indulge in the sweet aroma of chocolate at the Theo Chocolate Factory Tour.
Indulge in the sweet aroma of chocolate at the Theo Chocolate Factory Tour.

10. Sip a Cappuccino at Anchorhead Coffee

If you’re a coffee enthusiast like me, then a visit to Anchorhead Coffee is a must in Seattle – rain or shine. In a city famed for its coffee, I firmly believe that Anchorhead offers the best coffee in Seattle.

Tucked away in downtown, it’s the perfect spot to escape the rain and immerse yourself in the city’s coffee scene. They open at 7 AM, which makes it ideal for early risers or those seeking an afternoon retreat.

Anchorhead’s menu offers creative takes on coffee classics. Their quaffle is a must-try – imagine a croissant and a waffle having a delicious baby. Paired with their smooth cappuccino, it’s a combo that’ll make any rainy day brighter.

For those wondering what to do in Seattle in the rain, spending time in a top-notch coffee shop like Anchorhead is a great choice. Here, you can enjoy free Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, and a view of the bustling city life, all while savoring some of Seattle’s best coffee. What more could you ask for?

For the best coffee in Seattle, rain or shine, visit Anchorhead Coffee.
For the best coffee in Seattle, rain or shine, visit Anchorhead Coffee.

11. Visit the Seattle Art Museum

The Seattle Art Museum, or SAM, is where I head when I want a dose of culture, especially on those typical Seattle days when the sky is a canvas of gray. This museum is a vibrant world of art, spanning ancient times to the present.

In the heart of downtown, SAM is a treasure for art lovers. Each gallery is a gateway to different stories and styles. The variety is astounding – one moment you’re with European masters, the next, you’re admiring contemporary pieces.

I always find something new here, thanks to their rotating exhibits. And if you’re like me, curious about the stories behind the art, their guided tours are enlightening. The museum shop is a bonus, offering unique art-inspired items.

The next time the rain starts to pour, head to SAM. As one of the best things to do in Seattle on a rainy day, it promises an experience that’s as enriching as it is enjoyable.

Find a dose of culture at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), a vibrant art world spanning ancient times to the present.
Find a dose of culture at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), a vibrant art world spanning ancient times to the present.

12. Relax at the Central Library

As we reach the end of our rainy day journey in Seattle, there’s no better place to conclude than the Central Library. This architectural marvel offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city.

The library’s striking design is a sight to behold, with vast, light-filled spaces that are perfect for reading, relaxing, or just watching the city life outside. I often find myself here, book in hand, lost in a story while the rain gently taps on the massive glass windows.

With free Wi-Fi and plenty of cozy corners, it’s an ideal spot for anyone needing a break from the hustle and bustle. And if you’re into architecture, the building itself is worth exploring. Its unique structure and layout are a testament to modern design.

For a quiet, contemplative end to your rainy day explorations, the Central Library is my top suggestion. It’s one of the coolest places in Seattle when it rains where you can unwind and reflect on the day’s adventures. Believe me, it’s a serene haven that perfectly captures the spirit of Seattle.

Exploring Central Library is one of the best things to do in Seattle when it rains.
Exploring Central Library is one of the best things to do in Seattle when it rains.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do When it Rains in Seattle:

Still unsure what to do in Seattle on a rainy day? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you decide which rainy day attractions in Seattle to enjoy.

Is it true that it rains a lot in Seattle, Washington?

Yes, it’s true. Seattle is known for its frequent rain, but it’s usually more of a light drizzle or mist rather than heavy downpours. The city has a reputation for being one of the rainiest places in the U.S., but it’s actually more about the number of days with rain than the total amount of rainfall. However, despite the rain, Seattle boasts some of the coolest places to explore in the city.

Sidewalk in Seattle during light rain
Sidewalk in Seattle during light rain

What is the rainiest city in the USA?

While Seattle is famous for its rain, the title of the rainiest city in the USA actually goes to Mobile in Alabama. Mobile sees more total rainfall annually. Seattle’s rain is more about consistent light rain rather than heavy rainfall, making it an interesting aspect to consider when deciding where to stay in Washington State.

Is Seattle rainy in the summer?

Interestingly, no! Summers in Seattle are quite dry and beautiful. June through August typically sees less rain and more sunny days. It’s a great time to visit if you prefer to avoid the rain.

What is the best month to visit Seattle, WA?

From my experience, the best time to visit Seattle is from late June to early September. The weather is warm and there’s less rain. You’ll get to enjoy the outdoor activities and festivals. However, if you’re a fan of the cozy, rainy atmosphere, late fall and early spring are ideal for deciding when to stay in Seattle.

The top things to do in Seattle when it rains for all types of travelers
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