Seattle Activities

Local Favorites and Top Activities for Visitors

Seattle Southside is the perfect home base to explore the Pacific Northwest.
Eat, play, stay, and venture forth from Seattle Southside.


Choose your adventure.

Seattle is known as a city with such an abundance of activities for residents and visitors alike, it can be hard to know where to start.  Start by booking your hotel in Seattle Southside and you’ll be able to explore Seattle and beyond.

Whether it’s your first-time or tenth time visiting Seattle or you’re a local looking for staycation ideas or new experiences to add to your bucket list, we’ve put together a list of just a few of the most fun activities in Seattle to help you plan the perfect trip. Our list includes iconic Seattle “must-dos” like the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum as well as some local secrets you won’t find in most travel guides. Have you heard of Des Moines Beach Park, Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden, Seattle Chocolate Factory or Spice Bridge International Food Hall yet?

In addition, look for our links to memorable day trips, suggested itineraries and our picks on where to stay in Seattle. Be sure to sign up for our Travel Update Newsletter for the latest monthly updates on the best things to see and do in and around Seattle.

When the weather is uncooperative, there are many indoor activities to choose from, like shopping, sampling international cuisine choices, exploring The Museum of Flightbowling, and for the kids, nothing beats a trip to Defy in Tukwila, the world's largest extreme air sports and trampoline park, iFly for indoor skydiving, or Bullwinkle's Family Fun Center and arcade.


Choose Your Adventure from these popular Seattle Activities

Our-time tested list of the fun things to do for first-time visitors

From sporting events and concerts to theatre productions, symphonies, and museum exhibitions, there's always something fun and interesting happening in and around Seattle.  There are also plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as hiking, biking, zip lining, sailing, and kayaking.  Seattle is one of the most park-dense cities in the United States with botanical gardens, downtown green spaces, and parks along the waterfront where you'll find beaches, fishing piers, scenic viewpoints, and even a lighthouse or two.


Bainbridge Island Ferry Day Trip from Seattle Southside

Bainbridge Island

This 36-square mile island is home to 20,000 residents who enjoy its convenient access to Seattle, its gently rolling hills, pristine seashore and rich heritage.


Pike Place Market fresh flowers daily

Seattle's Pike Place Market

Visit more than 200 year-round commercial businesses at the nation's oldest operating farmers market.


Seattle Whale Watching

Seattle Whale Watching

You're sure to see gray whales, minke, humpback, or two types of orca on every trip.
The peak whale watching season in Seattle is between late Spring and early Fall.


Visit Mount Rainier in the Spring on things to do in Seattle list

Mount Rainier

This majestic 14,410-ft. volcano is the icon of Washington and is surrounded by meadows, lakes, and rainforests.


des monies beach park for things to do in seattle

Des Moines Beach Park

Enjoy this beautiful coastal park on the blue waters of Puget Sound with stunning views of the snow-capped Olympic mountains.


Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden

Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden

Enjoy this collection of Seattle's most treasured gardens, including the Seike Japanese Garden and Elda Behm's Paradise Garden.


Defy - Tukwila Kids Activity Zipline Attraction


The world’s largest extreme air sports park is in Tukwila! 


iFLY Indoor Skydiving is on best things to do in Seattle list

iFly Seattle

Safely enjoy the thrill of indoor skydiving in the vertical wind tunnel at iFly in Tukwila


Family Fun Center in Tukwila, Seattle Southside - Seattle Attractions

Family Fun Center

The activities, rides and attractions you’ll find at Family Fun Center Tukwila offer an endless array of opportunities for the entire family to have FUN!


Westfield Southcenter Shopping Mall for things to do in Seattle

Westfield Southcenter Shopping Mall

You'll find more than 200 stores & eateries plus a multiplex theater with IMAX at the largest mall in all of Washington state.


Seattle Seafair Hydroplane Race Events and Activities


The annual Seafair event on Lake Washington includes hydroplane races, the Blue Angels air show, a car show, and an endless array of events and activities for the everyone to enjoy.


Washington State Fair Events and Activities

Washington State Fair

The annual state fair in Puyallup is guaranteed fun for all ages, if you like sunshine, thrilling rides, games, funnel cakes and corn dogs, concerts, animal shows, and monster trucks.


Seattle Southside is Perfectly Placed

The cities of Tukwila, SeaTac and Des Moines together make up Seattle Southside.

Just 15 minutes south of downtown Seattle with quick easy access to Sea-Tac Airport (SEA), freeways and light rail stations.


Sea-Tac International Airport (SEA), located in Seattle Southside, is the gateway for visiting Washington. With the ocean (Puget Sound) on one side and Mt. Rainier and the majestic Cascade mountains on the other, there is no shortage of adventures to be had in our region, including touring wineries and exploring the dramatic natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Explore the Pacific Northwest from Seattle Southside

Map of Seattle Southside in reference to Seattle and Washington State

compass point explore seattle north

Venture North

To the north of Seattle Southside you'll find that most of these popular tourist spots are only 15 to 20 minutes away by Light Link Rail or car.

compass point explore seattle south

Venture South

And only 20 minutes to the south of Seattle Southside you'll find these popular attractions in the city of Tacoma:

compass point explore seattle east

Venture East

And to the east of Seattle Southside towards the Cascade Mountain Range you'll find these immensely popular attractions:

compass point explore seattle west

Venture West

And to the west of Seattle Southside explore these idyllic day trip destinations accessible by one of the Seattle Ferries:


Travel Itineraries

Des Moines Beach Park View from Pier

Which ever direction you choose to head first, our suggested itineraries can help you to kick-start planning your trip to Seattle.

Generate new ideas and customize one or more to make it your own.

seattle travel itinerary map icon


Travel Planner

Seattle Activities Travel Planner

Start your Seattle Southside journey off right by looking at the Seattle Southside Travel Planner. It includes everything you need to know:

  • Area information
  • Things to do: spas, gardens, shopping, museums, sports, outdoor activities, events and festivals
  • Dining: from family friendly to fine dining
  • Accommodations: a place to stay for any budget
  • Cruise information
  • Transportation options: tips and tricks
  • Itinerary suggestions
  •  Area maps

Seattle Area Events

The greater Seattle area has regularly scheduled annual events and activities that draw visitors from all over the world, including Sea Fair, the Washington State Fair, traveling exhibitions at nationally recognized museums, culturally diverse neighborhoods and popular tourist attractions.


Seattle's Annual Events

There’s fun to be had any time of the year. See our Seattle Annual Events page for a more complete list of Year-round fun events and activities.

Seattle Southside Events Calendar

There’s always something happening in Seattle Southside. Review the calendar of events to find things to do in SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines. 

Choose from Over 60 Hotels, 100 Restaurants, and Countless Fun Activities Near Seattle Airport (SEA)

FAQs about the Best Activities in Seattle


Is Seattle a fun city?

Seattle is definitely not short on fun activities for people of all ages. The city and surrounding area offers seemingly endless activities for singles, couples, families, and friends. Whether it's visiting iconic land marks like the Space Needle at Seattle Center, whale watching, hiking, biking, kayaking or visiting any of the world-class museums, Seattle is definitely qualified as a fun city!


Is Seattle good for tourists?

Yes! Seattle is great for tourists. This region is full of amazing natural beauty, unique attractions, cuisine, and culture you’ll only find here.


Is 3 days enough time to see Seattle?

You couldn't possibly see EVERYTHING that Seattle has to offer in 3 days, but if that's what you're working with, then its just enough time to get acquainted. Our Travel Planner and Suggested Seattle Itineraries may be just what you're looking for to map out your adventure.


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