Best of Warm-Weather Seattle: All the Outdoors!

In More Travel, North America, Seattle, Travel Inspiration, Travel Tips & Advice, USA, WIYB Family's Recent Adventures by Anya2 Comments

Hi everyone! Its finalllllllyyyy SUMMERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!  The past month has been getting very, very warm in Seattle…the sun has been shining and there hasn’t been much rain at all! It’s been a very nice change, and warmer weather always means more outdoors, especially for our family! We absolutely love doing anything outdoors…hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, running, zip-lining, etc. etc.  There are SO MANY fun outdoor things to do here in Seattle…so whether you live here or decide to pay a visit here…your outdoor activities are covered! In this post I list everything you need to know about the outdoors in Seattle…Trust me, a warm day in Seattle is a perfect day.

A List of Everything...

    • Day Cruises 
    • Flight/Helicopter Tours
    • Hot Air Balloon Tours
    •  520 Floating Bridge
    • Green Lake
    • Arboretum Seattle
    • Interlaken Park
    • Burke-Gilman Trail
    • Magnuson Park (not to be confused with Madison Park)
    • Myrtle Edwards Park
    • Sammamish River Trail
    •  Maple Leaf Park
    • Seward Park
    • There are many, many more trails — these are just some that I have gone on and loved, and my recommendations!
    • Little Si/Mt. Si
    •  Mt. Rainier
    • Mt. Baker
    •  Rattlesnake Hike
    • Cherry Creek Falls
    • There are many, many more hikes to go on around — these are just some that I have enjoyed, and my recommendations
    • Magnuson Park
    • Lake Washington
    • Alki Beach
    • Puget Sound (it’s always cold though!)
    • There are definitely other beaches and places to swim around Seattle…but these are the closest and what I recommend:)
    • Bellevue Zip Tour
    •  High Trek Everett
    • Seattle Space Needle
    • The Great Wheel
    • MoPop (Museum of Pop Culture)
    • Seattle Aquarium
    • Pacific Science Center
    • University Village

Tours

There are some great tours in Seattle that you will definitely enjoy. Tour guides are also (usually!) very friendly and well-acclimated with the Seattle area. You can book a tour for almost anything in Seattle…but for most things going on your own without a tour is sometimes better, as you can take your own time and do what you want at your own pace. For some things, however, taking a tour can benefit you. The following are my recommendations for tours that we have used and enjoyed.

Day Cruises:  

The Argosy Cruises are truly wonderful cruises that take you on picture-perfect day trips on the water. The best Cruise that we have taken with them is the one that goes through Lake Union. Visit the Argosy Cruise’s website HERE for more information on tickets prices, tour timings, and other cruises with them!

Note:  The cruises that we have been on with them are more for sight-seeing and the scenic views.  They are not really the tours that will give you information or history on Seattle. If you are looking for tours like those, then I suggest going on tours of the Seattle Space Needle and Pike Place Market. The only problem with those tours, is that you may not get to spend the time that you want at the location, or end up spending more time than you really need. 

Flight/Helicopter Tours:

There are many gorgeous tours that take you up in the air and give you a magnificent view of the water. Out of the many tours, the one that I highly recommend is the Lake Union Seaplane Flight from Seattle. This tour gives you a scenic view of Seattle, taking off from Lake Union and giving you a birds’ eye view of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle and Great Wheel, the downtown skyline, and more! In addition, you’ll get a chance to see Seattle’s famous Mount Rainier from a distance! Click HERE for the Lake Union tour, and HERE for other Seattle Flight Tours!

Hot Air Balloon Tours:

Let’s be honest, hot air balloons are seriously just AMAZING. Going up in a Hot Air Balloon in Seattle, of all places…ever better! Left and right Seattle has spectacular views of the city, greenery, and the mountains! Click HERE for more information on Hot Air Balloons and tours!

Note:  If you are trying to decide between taking a Flight/Helicopter Tour or a Hot Air Balloon Tour, I’ve weighed some of the pros and cons of both below.  

Pros of Flight/Helicopter Tours

  • Water views
  • More Downtown-centered
  • Quick, fast tour, doesn’t require an entire day

Cons of Flight/Helicopter Tours

  • Only 20 minutes
  • Less options for tours, less to see
  • Expensive for only 20 minutes

Pros of Hot Air Balloon Tours

  • Much longer, around 3 hours
  • Very scenic, multiple views
    • Mountains
    • City
    • Downtown
    • etc.
  • Have the option of Sunrise/Sunset Tour!

Cons of Hot Air Balloon Tours

  • You will probably need to set aside an entire day
  • Expensive, but longer tour
  • Goes away from the city

Based on all of that, if I were trying to decide on which tour to take, I would take the Hot Air Balloon Tour because, even though it is much more expensive, you would get a lot more out of it and really get to experience Seattle.

My Tips for taking Tours in Seattle:

Taking a tour in Seattle for certain things is recommended, but overall, touring Seattle on your own is probably the better option. For certain things like the Day Cruises, Flight/Helicopter Tours, and Hot Air Balloon Tours, you absolutely have to take a tour. However, for things that don’t necessarily require a tour, such as kayaking, visiting Pike Place Market or the Space Needle, etc, then it would be a waste of time and money to take a tour.  You would get a lot more out of your visit to Seattle if you did things that do not require a tour on your own. Again, entirely up to you and your preferences, these are just some of my tips! Enjoy:)

My Recommended Trails: Biking/Running/Walking

All over the Seattle area, there are some excellent trails for so many things…below I’ve outlined a few of my favorites, and which ones I highly recommend visiting!

520 Floating Bridge

thanks mom for the pic!!

The 520 Bridge is a classic. It doesn’t really count as a “trail”, but is perfect for biking, walking, running, rollerblading, etc. The 520 Floating Bridge connects the East side (Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville, etc.) to downtown Seattle. University Village, an outdoor mall filled with shopping and eating, is not too far from the Seattle side of the bridge. Note: there is an area to park your car before heading on the bridge. Take the 92nd Avenue exit and you will see an open parking area:)

Green Lake

Green Lake used to be one of my favorite trails in Seattle…until a few years ago when it started getting very crowded. Green Lake is definitely gorgeous, being a 3-mile loop right next to the water…however, it does get very crowded.  Just like the 520 Floating Bridge, it is great for walking, running, rollerblading, etc, but biking can get frustrating because of the amount of people that can be on the trail. Green Lake is located very close to outdoor tennis courts!

Magnuson Park

I recently went to Magnuson Park for the first time, and was so surprised that I had never been before! It is absolutely perfect for pretty much anything…running, biking, walking, rollerblading…and SWIMMING! On warmer days, the water at Magnuson Park is the perfect temperature for swimming, and it doesn’t get too deep very fast either! I highly recommend Magnuson Park! Again, it is located pretty close to indoor tennis courts!

Seward Park

haha can you see my head poking out of the car lol!

If you are trying to decide on ONE park, out of the many, to go to, then I highly recommend going to Seward Park. It is very similar to Green Lake…but what makes it better is that it isn’t too crowded (Green Lake can be very crowded). Just like at Green Lake, the trails are all paved, and are perfect for biking, running, rollerblading, etc. Biking at Green Lake can be frustrating because of the crowds, but at Seward Park the crowd isn’t bad at all. Also, the views and pictures you can get from Seward Park are amazing! We did a few portraits there…

Other Trails….

    • Arboretum Seattle (great for walking)
    • Interlaken Park
    • Burke-Gilman Trail
    • Myrtle Edwards Park
    • Sammamish River Trail
    •  Maple Leaf Park

There are many, many more trails all over Seattle — these are just some that I have gone on and loved, and my recommendations! You probably will not have the time to visit each and every one, so I gave some options!

Great Hiking Trails

Seattle has an endless supply of great hiking trails! The really good hikes are a little farther away, but so worth it!  I’ve outlined some of my absolute favorite hikes below!

Little Si/Mt. Si

i've used this picture as backgrounds on a few pages on this site...but i took it at little si! the tree branch had just fallen across some logs perfectly!

Little Si and Mt. Si both have excellent trails with great views. Little Si is easier to get to, and doesn’t take the entire day. Going to Mt. Si would take a lot longer.  I highly recommend Little Si because it is easier to get to, and still has amazing views. It is a very refreshing hike!

Mt. Rainier/Mt. Baker

Both Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker are absolutely amazing. Mt. Rainier is the largest mountain in Seattle, and a few hours’ drive from Seattle. Mt. Baker is yet another beautiful mountain, and a little closer than Rainier.  Mt. Rainier is visible from many areas in Seattle…if you are only able to visit one mountain, I highly recommend Mount Rainier because there are a lot more trails there!

A Couple More…

    • Rattlesnake Hike
    • Cherry Creek Falls

There are several other hikes in Seattle, but if I listed them all this post would never end! Those are just a few of my absolute favorites!

Perfect Areas for Swimming (other than a pool!)

There are some great areas to swim in Seattle during the summer…when you don’t want to be indoors…

Magnuson Park (again!):

The water’s temperature at Magnuson Park is great…and the water isn’t very deep, either! It is a great place to take a picnic, bike around the park, go for a run, and hop in the water! 

Lake Washington

Lake Washington is the place to rent a boat for an afternoon…(you will need to be licensed to drive, but it’s not too bad!).  If you are looking for a place to just take a boat out onto the water to go water tubing, or even swimming, go to Lake Washington!

A Couple More…:

    • Magnuson Park
    • Lake Washington
    • Alki Beach
    • Puget Sound (it’s usually always cold though!)

Zip-Lining!!

Zip-Lining is honestly the BEST thing to do. Anywhere. Whenever there’s a zipline…Annika and I will be on it haha!  There are 2 great ziplines around Seattle…the Bellevue Zip Tour, and High Trek Everett!

Photo-Apr-23,-10-32-48-AM-compressor
thank you dad for the pic!

Bellevue Zip Tour!

This zip line is not the most adventurous, but also not super easy. It’s great for families, or if you’re looking for a zipline not too scary! Click HERE for tickets and more info!

High Trek Everett!

High Trek Everett not only has ziplines, it also has high ropes courses (my absolute favorite!).  I highly recommend High Trek Everett if you have been ziplining before and enjoy heights! Click HERE to learn all about what they have to offer! Highly highly recommend.

Other Things to Know About Seattle...

Weather

Anybody who lives in Seattle knows this…the weather here changes so fast, you need to be prepared for anything. Just because it may look sunny doesn’t mean it won’t rain.  AND when the sun comes out in the summer, it is VERY harsh here, so always have sunscreen!

Vegan Corner

Go Vegan! Thank you so much to all of you who support veganism in any way…click HERE for my post on the BEST Vegan Dining in Seattle!

WELCOME!

Hi, I’m Anya, a traveller with a backpack full of delightful memories from around the world. My website will inspire you to travel the world and see all the places you want to see. Not only that, on this website I help people understand that traveling is educational and fun. My mission is to promote travel around the world, and keep students and adults alike interested in educational, but fun travel. Have Fun Traveling!

Public or Private Transport?

Transport Post:  HERE

Depending on what you are doing in Seattle, and where you will be, depends on whether or not you will need a car. If you will mostly be in Downtown Seattle and/or biking, then public transportation is honestly the best route to go! 

More in Seattle...

Comments

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