Totally Seattle adores Seattle and the surrounding natural beauty that makes up our special corner of the United States. And, while we know that Seattle is great all year round, it is certainly not the same all year round. This guide has been put together to help you decide the best time for you to visit Seattle.
If anything we write in this guide inspires you to explore Seattle with a dedicated, highly experienced tour operator (that’s us!) then browse our stunning range of Seattle private tours and get in touch if you have any questions whatsoever. You don’t have to stress over planning your Seattle trip; let us do that for you!
Why Visit Seattle at any Time of Year?
Seattle is impossible to adequately summarize in a blog because so much of what makes the city great can only be experienced — not reported. But we’ll try!
Seattle is a vibrant and bustling city in the Pacific Northwest, renowned for its famous coffee shops, restaurants, beautiful parks, and museums. There is so much culture, history, music, and art to experience in Seattle, and more and more visitors — both domestic and international — are visiting Seattle each year.
If you’re visiting as a family, then check out our 5 Incredible Things to do in Seattle for Families Seattle — there’s something for everyone here and we want to help you have the best Seattle experience possible.
There are far too many reasons WHY we think you should visit Seattle, so you might as well give in to the inevitable… Now you just have to decide when you’re visiting Seattle…
Visiting Seattle in Summer (June – August)
Summer is the peak tourist season in Seattle, and this is for good reason, as the city is positively glowing with life and beauty during the summer. The weather is warm, with temperatures averaging around 75°F (24°C), and the days are long, with up to 16 hours of daylight.
For many reasons, Summer is the best time to visit Seattle; however, there are two reasons why Summer in Seattle isn’t perhaps for everyone: it is more expensive to stay here during Summer and it is also much much busier.
This is the perfect time to explore Seattle’s beautiful parks and gardens, such as the famous Seattle Japanese Garden or Chihuly Garden and Glass. Sound fun? (It’s a blast!) Our Seattle Art Gallery and Chihuly Tour is the best way to experience this Seattle staple!
If you don’t mind crowds, Summer in Seattle is the ideal time to visit many of the city’s iconic landmarks, such as the world-famous Space Needle and Pike Place Market. You can visit them at any time of year, but everything looks a little better bathed in sunlight!
Visiting Seattle in Fall (September – November)
Fall in Seattle is mild and relatively dry, with temperatures ranging from the mid-40s°F (7°C) to the mid-60s°F (16°C).
As you would probably expect, the crowds are smaller in Fall and the prices for accommodation and flights are usually lower than in the summer. This makes Fall a great time to visit Seattle if you’re on a tighter budget.
The best thing about visiting Seattle during Fall is that it’s when Seattle celebrates its arts and culture scene with various festivals, such as the Seattle International Film Festival and the Earshot Jazz Festival. If you’re into music, art and culture, then we’ve got you covered — we can design a custom Seattle experience around your favorite aspects of art and culture!
If festivals are your jam, then Fall is the best time for your big Seattle trip. And if you’re looking for things to do between the festivals, check out our 5 Off-the-beaten-path Spots in Seattle and browse our Specialty Experiences & Tours in Seattle (we have created incredible experiences in Seattle unlike anything else out there)!
Visiting Seattle in Winter (December – February)
Winter in Seattle is a little chilly and wet, a little dark and gray, but it’s much less icy and snowy than you might expect. In fact, with temperatures averaging around 45°F (7°C) you will definitely need a coat, but you can leave the snowshoes at home…
With cooler temperatures and the highest amount of rain, this is the perfect time to experience the city’s indoor attractions while also enjoying the cheapest hotel rates and other savings that come with visiting during the low season.
For some, the best thing about visiting Seattle during Winter is the low-season prices. This is, without doubt, the cheapest time you can visit Seattle.
You might like to visit the Museum of Pop Culture, the Seattle Aquarium, or perhaps brave the outdoors with a local guide who can drive you around all of the top sights and landmarks while mostly keeping you warm and dry. If the latter appeals to you, consider our carefully crafted Seattle City History and Landmarks Tour — designed to unlock the stories and secrets of this incredible city!
If snow and ice are absolutely your elements, you can also enjoy winter sports near Seattle: you can take part in skiing and snowboarding in the nearby Cascade Mountains, which are just a short drive away.
Visiting Seattle in Spring (March – May)
Spring in Seattle is a beautiful time. It isn’t quite as popular as Summer, but it’s the springtime bloom that transforms the city and transfixes visitors. The city comes to life with blooming cherry blossoms and tulips as winter thaws and temperatures range from the mid-40s°F (7°C) to the mid-60s°F (16°C).
With the bloom, Spring is the perfect time to explore Seattle’s natural beauty; you can check out the nearby Mount Rainier National Park and you can also attend the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival. Check out our guide to Seattle’s cherry blossoms if you’d like to make the most of a Springtime visit. We can also design a custom tour for you, taking you to all of the best cherry blossom spots. Let us take the hassle out of planning your trip — no hassle and all the joy!
You might also be interested in the Northwest Folklife Festival. Held annually in Seattle, this festival celebrates the diverse cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The festival began in 1971 and has become one of the largest free festivals of its kind in the country. This is a must for anyone interested in local culture and history!
Another thing worth doing in Seattle in spring is to head north to see the Tulip Festival in the Skagit River Valley. This experience only occurs in April; check out our Tulip Festival, Whidbey Island & Deception Pass Tour if this sounds like a wonderful way to spend a day in the Pacific Northwest!
It’s hard to wrap this blog up neatly as the perfect time to visit Seattle changes depending on who you ask. As Seattle is such a sensational seasonal city, it changes throughout the year. This also means you can come back for multiple visits, getting a different feel Seattle each time. We continue to fall more in love with Seattle and we’re sure you will too.
The best time to visit Seattle completely depends on your preferences and interests. If you enjoy warm weather and outdoor activities, Summer is the best time to visit. For everyone else, they can choose the Season of Seattle they are most drawn to.
We hope this blog inspired you to visit, and that a little of our passion for Seattle has been passed on to you. If you have any follow-up questions about our tours and activities, please feel free to reach out. Your big Seattle trip could be just a few clicks away!