Best Time to Go to Seattle: Your In-Depth Seasonal Guide

Discover Seattle’s charm in every season! From budget-friendly travel during shoulder seasons to exploring waterfalls at their peak, our in-depth guide covers the ideal times for various activities.

Seattle, one of the most popular cities in the United States known for its rain. Its reputation for rainy weather might deter some travelers, but if we gave you just the right information, maybe you’d find that the answer to the question “When is the best time to visit Seattle?” would be, for you, in May more than July.

We’re not going to tell you there’s a perfect month with no rain at all. But by the time you read to the end, you’ll understand when is the best time to visit Seattle based on what you want to do and see in the Emerald City. Whether you’re dreaming of facing majestic waterfalls or experiencing the best festivals in town, you’ll know when to go.

Best Time to Visit Seattle on a Budget

Wondering when to visit Seattle on a budget? The best month to visit Seattle is during shoulder seasons, from May through June and September to October. During shoulder season, airfares are lower and hotels typically offer promos due to reduced tourist demand.

The most popular attractions remain open throughout the year. With fewer visitors, this means you’ll likely find shorter lines in the places you’re planning to explore. Additionally, the temperature during the shoulder seasons is still considerably comfortable enough to explore outside, just not dry enough! There are a few more clouds in the mix with slightly lower temperatures (around 66-71 degrees Fahrenheit (19-21 Celsius). Expect rainy days too, of course.

For a wallet-friendly trip to Seattle, check out discount tickets to attractions offered exclusively by Tripster. It’s also possible to save up to 45% by bundling attraction tickets with your hotel of choice.

pink, purple, and blue skies as the sun rises over Seattle, Washington, USABest Time to Visit Seattle for Good Weather

The best time to go to Seattle for good weather is during the summer season–June, July and August. Visiting during this time means being graced by warm weather, less chance of rain, and longer sunlight hours.

You can count on glorious and sunny days during the summer. But you know what that means too! You won’t be the only one traveling to the Emerald City. The warm weather also happens to be the high season, meaning room rates soar and demand also goes up. If you’re thinking about planning a summer vacation in Seattle, be sure to book your accommodation and attraction tickets early!

Related Post: Seattle Indoor Activities: Exploring New Adventures When the Rain Pours

You can book tickets to popular attractions like the Space Needle and Sky View Observatory online. Ticket prices typically don’t increase even during high season, but some attractions limit the number of daily entries to ensure a pleasurable experience for visitors. Meanwhile, some public attractions like the Pike Place Market (home of the Gum Wall!) remain free and do not typically restrict the number of visitors in a day.

Summer is also the best time to enjoy outdoor attractions in and around Seattle. You could hike up the Olympic National Park or Mount Ranier National Park, both teeming with blooming flora and thriving fauna. For aquatic adventures, make a day trip to the San Juan Islands for whale watching. You’ll have the best chance of seeing orcas (killer whales), particularly the Southern Resident killer whales, which are the most famous and frequently sighted. If you have more time, explore more of the Puget Sound region to spot bald eagles, herons, ospreys, and more!

Summer is also a good time for wine tasting in Woodinville. This period offers warm and dry weather, ideal for vineyard tours and wine tastings. Book a Woodinville Warehouse Wine Pass to taste some of the finest wines of Woodinville’s Warehouse District!

Wide shot of an Argosy Cruise Boat on the water with lights on on a snowy winter day in Seattle, Washington, USA
photo credit: Argosy Cruises via Facebook

Best Time to Visit Seattle for Waterfall Hiking

For waterfall chasers, the best months of the year to see the falls in their full glory are roughly from May through July. Spring and early summer are ideal because the snowmelt from the mountains feeds the waterfalls, making them fuller and more dramatic.

As for weather conditions, the days during spring and summer are longer. This gives you more daylight to enjoy the hiking trails! The weather is also more predictable, making it safer and more comfortable for hiking. It’s the best time of the year to visit Seattle if you want to visit as many of the popular waterfalls around Seattle as you can. However, always remember to be careful around fast-flowing water and slippery rocks.

If you happen to visit in May, surely you won’t just be visiting for the waterfalls! Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start of summer in Seattle, so you’ll be treated to more events, activities, and cultural celebrations. Take time to explore the best of Seattle with a private walking tour or if you’re a foodie, a mouthwatering Pike Place food tour!

Wide shot of Snoqualmie Falls with the sun over it in Seattle, Washington, USA
photo credit: Snoqualmie Falls, Washington via Facebook

Best Time to Visit Seattle for Festivals

Wondering when is the best time to visit Seattle Washington for the energetic festival scene? That’s a tough choice because festivals are held in Seattle year-round!

Capital Hill Block Party, a three-day music festival featuring local and international music acts, typically kicks off during summer (July to August). It’s the most popular time of the year for music festivals in and around Seattle.

Related Post: Free Things to Do Seattle – 19 Must-Try Activities

Meanwhile, the Seattle International Film Festival, one of the largest film festivals in the United States, occurs during late spring (May to June). And of course, we also have the Northwest Folklife Festival happening around the same time, a major event that celebrates the Pacific Northwest’s ethnic art and culture.

pathway covered with leaves
photo credit: Cesar-Evan Losentes Mayol via Facebook

Best Time to Visit Seattle for Fewer Crowds

Want to explore Seattle but without the crowd? The best time to travel to Seattle is anytime from late October to April. This is generally when the Seattle crowds clear out. Families will usually go back to school and work, and then some of them to warmer countries for vacation.

Although late Fall to Winter is the Seattle best time to visit to explore with fewer visitors, remember that there’s a reason why the crowds disperse during this time. The rainy season will be in full force, which means more rainy days than ever. Don’t expect clear skies, especially when temperatures begin to drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celcius). This is probably the best time to hit up breweries and get cozy in a coffee shop.

With fewer crowds in Seattle, you can also take advantage of hotel prices. Hotel deals run rampant, a couple of the best rates available on Tripster. It’s not a great time for sightseeing, but you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding during the day, and then snuggle up in a Seattle hotel of your choice.

If you happen to be in Seattle in early spring, head over to the Quad at the University of Washington! It’s arguably the most famous spot in Seattle for cherry blossoms. The Yoshino cherry trees in full bloom against the backdrop of the university’s historic architecture are a favorite subject for outdoor photography.

Walking path in Madison Park Seattle, Washington, USA
photo credit: Madison Park, Seattle via Facebook

Seattle Vacation Packages for Your Ideal Time to Visit

No matter what time of the year you want to visit Seattle, you can always count on Tripster’s vacation packages to offer budget-friendly deals! Bundle a stay at a hotel of your choice with discount tickets to places you really want to explore.

With a tailored vacation package, you decide where to stay and what fun stuff to do. No matter if it’s sunny or rainy, your Seattle trip can be just how you want it.

What Did We Miss?

Have anything to add to our guide? Leave us a comment below!

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Written by Nicole King

There are only two things that make Nicole really happy–books and travel! When her head’s not buried in a book, she’s most likely...

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