How to Spend a Rainy Day in Seattle

February 10, 2014 by

Local Recommendations, Things To Do

A rainy day in Seattle. Photo courtesy of wonderlane on Flickr.

A rainy day in Seattle. Photo courtesy of wonderlane on Flickr.

Anyone who’s lived there or visited before will know a rainy day in Seattle is not that uncommon; over 200 days of the year are cloudy, and when taking into consideration the number of precipitation days, it’s one of the rainiest cities in the country; however, the rainfall itself isn’t at all record-breaking, and a ‘rainy day’ usually just means drizzle.

The city also gets the least amount of sunlight in the continental U.S., which made it a prime setting for setting for the Twilight Saga (after all, vampires can’t be out in the sun, can they?). That said, none of this makes Seattle any less fun to visit; the surrounding areas get much more rain than the city itself, and the moody weather complements all the cultural idiosyncrasies for which Seattle has become known.


Staying out of the cold may inevitably involve a hot (or sweet) cup of coffee, and although you may have had Starbucks before in one of the chain’s 20,000 stores, something about the coffee tastes that much better when you’re drinking it in the city that began it all; the original Starbucks is at Pike Place Market (well, it’s the second location of the very first Starbucks, which was founded in 1971 but moved right here in 1976).

Live music

Another idea for staying indoors would be to explore Seattle’s music scene; the city is well-known for being the home of bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. Jimi Hendrix was born here, too. With independent labels, tons of venues for catching some unique live music, and a talented and passionate underground music community, Seattle is continuing to evolve its indie scene (and it’s so much more than ’90s grunge!). Check Seattle Weekly Music for upcoming shows, tickets, top-notch clubs, DJs, and events.


Museums are the cliché ‘rainy day’ activity for tourists, but in Seattle it won’t feel cliché at all. Try the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, the Museum of Flight, or the Experience Music Project (EMP). You could also see the Seattle Aquarium, which has seahorses, fur seals, river otters, eels, touch pools, and an Under Water Dome. The Woodland Park Zoo even offers a rainy-day package, which has a tour of the indoor and covered attractions.

Indoor tours

While Seattle offers much for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy, there are many ways to stay inside and still have an interesting day. Sign up for a Boeing Factory Tour from Seattle to see where Boeing aircrafts are built and tested; experience Teatro ZinZanni for a 5-course meal paired with comedy and cabaret; and travel in a Mercedes-Benz to local craft distilleries for a true taste of local culture in a Seattle Craft Distillery Tour with Tastings. These are just a few of the many excursion options that will keep you out of the rain.

Of course, you could always just continue on as you normally would—after all, it’s just rain! Don’t let some wet weather ruin a perfectly good vacation. As you’ll see, some Seattle residents don’t even bother with umbrellas. Frankly, the water gives the streets a nice glow, and the wind makes popping into that cafe for a break that much cozier. Think of it as the real Seattle experience!

 -Natalie Grant

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