Rainy days don’t have to be gloomy or oh so blue, especially when you are out and about in the Emerald City—the queen of all long, gray, and stormy winters. Even if the weather outside is dreary, there are plenty of ways to have fun via covered activities that’ll keep you nice and toasty without breaking the bank. Here are the eight best places in Seattle to go on a rainy day.
Spend A Rainy Day In Seattle At These 8 Places
1. Pike Place Market
It’s more than just a farmer’s market, it’s a community—an absolute must-go-to in the city where you can find local art, antiques, clothing, gifts, pottery, food, baked goods, coffee, book stores, a magic shop, a wind-up toy store, a record store, a barber—the list goes on. The Pike Place Market District goes all the way from Western Ave. to First Ave. and Virginia St. to just beyond Pike Street.
Enter from the corner of First Ave. and Pike Street and be sure to snap a shot of the historic Public Market Center clock and neon sign that’s been greeting people at the entrance since the late 1930s. Better yet, start your adventure early on in the morning with a stop at Daily Dozen Doughnuts in the Economy Market building.
2. Seattle Central Library
Take advantage of the pouring rain by grabbing a book, geeking out, and embracing your inner intellectual. Seattle is no doubt a city of book readers and tech lovers—hence, it’s got amazing libraries all around town to show for it, especially this downtown treasure, which is far more than just another place to explore rows and rows of good reads. It’s perhaps one of the most unusual libraries in the world, a glass building designed by acclaimed Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas that features neon-lit escalators, unique sculptures, floors of wooden letters, a large computer area, as well as a deep red meeting room level, and an impressive tenth floor view.
Spend hours wandering the building or attending one of the numerous events and talks by national authors. There are even free self-guided tours via an information sheet at the main desk or a podcast. Next time the sun decides to take a break, check the online calendar to see what’s happening.
3. Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room
Go cuckoo for coffee and have a one-of-a-kind tasting experience at this bean lovers paradise, a flagship Starbucks location housed in an old auto dealership on Seattle’s Capitol Hill that’s got all the brand’s best Reserve coffees on site.
Sip a cup of Joe while watching the roasting process and feel free to ask questions. It’s an incredibly beautiful space mixing industrial equipment and Pacific Northwest design with local artist work.
4. Admiral Movie Theatre
What’s better than rainy days and old movies? Nothing. Head on down to this historic little movie theatre on California Ave. which has 345 seats, as well as a beer and wine tavern upstairs. The space itself has a beautiful ship like quality and still contains original murals from the 1940s0-- as well as decades-old sea-horse etched chandeliers. Enjoy the cinematic experience within a real neighborhood theatre with a fascinating history that’s especially great for taking in a solo movie on any pouring wet day.
Trek off to a faraway place – or at least to the largest Asian grocery and gift store in the Northwest by wandering around this cool beans spot in Seattle’s International District. It’s got a history that dates back to 1928 and has become a necessary stop within the surrounding neighborhood. Featuring all the basics you’ll ever need from both the United States and Asia, you’ll find groceries, home goods, gifts, a deli, and even a butcher case, which on some days, will have incredible ground meat sculptures.
Also in the complex is an excellent food court for fantastic cheap eats and the Seattle location of Japanese bookstore chain Kinokuniya Book Store, which is filled with books, paper, writing utensils, and gifts from around Asia.
6. Seattle Aquarium & Seattle Zoo
Get fishy and go wild with the animals—indoors. This major Seattle attraction offers several hours of enjoyment for the entire family and is a great diversion for kids and adults alike on any rainy day. Situated right on the waterfront as part of the waterway, it’s newly renovated and has got tons of great exhibits to keep everyone amused.
For those wanting even more time with the critters, be sure to take a Rainy Day Tour at the Seattle Zoo, which offers numerous different indoor exhibits where you can see animals without getting drenched to the bone. They even offer a Rainy Day Tour map to make it easy for you!
7. Theo Chocolate
Take a chocolate tour at this local artisan chocolate company, which offers tours of its production facility for just ten bucks a person. The hour-long journey includes plenty of sweet samples, as well as an in-depth lesson about the origins of chocolate and how cocoa fruit is turned into such a delicious treat. You can even see where Theo bars and other confections are made.
What’s more is that this Seattle-based chocolatier is proud to be the first organic, fair trade bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the entire United States. Yep, go satisfy those choco cravings now.
8. Art & Music Exploration
See classic artwork in all its glory at Frye Art Museum, a popular First Hill neighborhood space that emphasizes on paintings and sculptures from the nineteenth century. Artists who are more intrigued by cutting-edge contemporary art will find that a trip to Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA) also makes for an awesome way to spend a rainy day.
In addition, music lovers out there will adore spending time at EMP Museum, an amazing tourist attraction that’s a must-see for all music fans. The exhibits on site capture the true essence of many different types of music by adding an interactive, entertaining, and educational component that typically lasts all day and well into the night. Make sure to take advantage of all the free days and special events that occur. Plus, it’s a non-profit organization dedicated to contemporary popular culture and was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen so you can bet that it’s uber cool!
This article was written by Pamela Chan.