Spring Sale: Save up to 20%, RT ferry + 2-night hotel. Book Now and enjoy some of the best things to do in Seattle this spring!

It’s no wonder so many of us are thinking about some of the best things to do in Seattle this spring. The urge seems almost unstoppable this time of year. The weather is starting to warm again, the crocus, daffodils, tulips, and many other flowers are bursting into bloom. Plus, all of that moisture over the winter means the landscapes are particularly lush and green.

Whether it’s sprinkling or the sun is peeking out behind the clouds, Seattle and the entire Puget Sound region have a wealth of attractions and adventures on offer. Now is the perfect time to begin working your way through this list of the 38 best things to do in Seattle this spring, on your own, with a date, or with your family and friends.

1.  Escape to Seattle

A getaway to Seattle not only brings the chance to enjoy the city’s many delights. How about soaking up the springtime sunshine with a day on the water? Save on your trip and take a stroll right onto the Clipper fast ferry from Victoria’s Inner Harbour. You’ll enjoy a fun and scenic three-hour ride across the Salish Sea, landing at Pier 69 just steps from the Olympic Sculpture Park. Plus, you can be within short walking distance of numerous waterfront attractions, shops, and restaurants right from your hotel.

See Seattle's skyline as you cruise into the Emerald City.
See Seattle’s skyline as you cruise into the Emerald City.

2. Discover Olympic Sculpture Park

Speaking of Olympic Sculpture Park, as noted, it is right on the waterfront only from the FRS Clipper terminal. So, that makes it the perfect spot to while away a sunny spring afternoon for those who arrive or depart on the Clipper! This is Seattle’s largest downtown green space and a fabulous place for a walk, picnic or just relax and enjoy the view. You’ll be mesmerized by the vision of Puget Sound, the boats that come and go, and the craggy peaks of the Olympics beyond. Of course, as the name suggests, there are also sculptures and art installations to see as you stroll the winding paths.

3. Whale and Other Wildlife Watching

Spring is a great time to spend a few hours on the water just outside downtown Seattle searching for the region’s showstoppers! Gray whales can be seen in the area during their annual migration through mid-May. March and April are the best months to see them. But throughout the season on a half-day Seattle Wildlife & Whale Watching Tour with Clipper Vacations, an expert onboard naturalist will help you spot other marine life too. You might see transient orcas, humpback whales, sea lions, and much more!

If you want to focus on the annual migration of the gray whales, book the Seattle Gray Whale Watching Tour with Clipper Vacations! Traveling within a short window once a year, this is your best bet for encounters with our 35-ton friends visiting our waters on their 5,000-mile journey.

Watch orca whales breach, splash and play in their natural habitat on a whale watching excursion.
Watch orca whales breach, splash, and play in their natural habitat on a whale-watching excursion.

4. Experience the Seattle International Film Festival

One of the largest festivals of its kind in the country, the Seattle International Film Festival returns for its 50th celebration in 2024. The festival features a diverse assortment of more than 250 films from across the globe. Because it takes place at theaters and other venues throughout the city from May 9 – 19, followed by a week of virtual screenings that run May 20-27, 2024, you’ll have numerous opportunities to attend. Not only are professionals encouraged to go but film enthusiasts as well.

5. Catch a Seattle Mariners’ Game

One best things to do in Seattle this spring, and frankly, every spring, is to cheer on the home team. The Seattle Mariners’ home opener is scheduled for March 28, 2024. You can soak up the spring sun thanks to the stadium’s retractable roof, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate, there are no worries when it comes to rainouts. Seattleites are nothing if not weather-prepared!

Plus, with T-Mobile Park in close proximity to a variety of excellent hotels, you won’t have to travel far. Just follow your nose to enjoy hot dogs, peanuts, or even a classic Ivar’s chowder bread bowl along with fresh-poured beer.

Seattle Mariners
Head out to the ballpark to cheer on the M’s! Photo: Malingering

6. Watch the Action at Lake Washington Ship Canal

The Ship Canal passes through Lake Union, Portage Bay and Union Bay, linking Lake Washington’s freshwater and the saltwater of the Puget Sound. The Ballard Locks provide the perfect spot for a stroll with a view and to admire the maritime culture of Seattle. Watch the ships pass through the complex system, or walk across Montlake Bridge where you can peer down at the kayakers passing through the Montlake Cut.

7. Snap a Sunset Selfie at the Space Needle

Did you know that sunsets tend to be more vibrant in the spring? Without the constant cloud cover of winter, the golden hour is spectacular. That makes capturing a sky-high selfie one of the best things to do in Seattle this spring. Check out the world’s first and only rotating glass floor and indulge in some delicious locally-curated sips and bites while taking in the views from 605 feet above. The Space Needle is always an unforgettable experience that’s truly not to be missed.

Space Needle Sunset
Guests soak in stunning PNW views with a sunset at the Space Needle. Photo: Space Needle

8. Walk Seattle’s Waterfront

Hang a right as you leave FRS Clipper’s Seattle terminal. “Why?” you might ask. Well, you’ll be heading in the perfect direction to enjoy over a mile’s worth of seaside views while strolling Alaskan Way toward the Seattle Great Wheel, Seattle Aquarium, and scenic Waterfront Park. There’s so much to see and do here when you want to take a break. Walk up an appetite? Treat yourself to some local fare at seafood mainstays like Anthony’s at Pier 66, Elliott’s Oyster House, or Ivar’s Acres of Clams.

9. Romantic Views & More at Golden Gardens Park

Set along the Ballard waterfront, Golden Gardens Park is a local favorite just north of downtown. It offers sandy beaches and exceptional views of Puget Sound, Bainbridge Island, and the dramatic peaks of the Olympic Mountains. You can also embark on a hike through the forest, let the kids explore the nautical-themed playground, or wander through the wetland areas. The wetlands attract local tortoises and waterfowl, so keep an eye out! The park is also another one of the best vantage points for watching a glorious sunset. If you’re looking for a romantic date, complete it with a picnic or fixings for S’mores, and some firewood.

Golden Gardens Park
Take in golden hour over the water at Ballard’s Golden Gardens park. Photo: SK

10. Explore Pike Place Market

From famous fish tossing, fresh flowers, and buskers to specialty food shops and craft vendors, a day of exploration at Pike Place Market is always chock-full of fun. Spring is a special time of year here with nearly an endless array of colorful blooms and lots of fresh produce. The change of seasons brings an abundance of new crops like rhubarb, asparagus, artichokes, and more. Toward the end of spring, don’t forget to pick up a basket of juicy, just-picked strawberries!

11. Stroll Through Seattle’s Gardens

It might be the most obvious of the best things to do in Seattle this spring, but we can’t leave out the city’s gardens. Now that the sun has finally decided to show up, there is no better way to celebrate Seattle’s season of bloom than to stop and smell the flowers. From hidden neighborhood pocket parks to sprawling acres of botanical gardens, the Emerald City can even give Victoria a run for its money come springtime.

Stroll through Woodland Park Rose Garden to see some 3,000 roses with 200 playfully named varieties such as All That Jazz and What a Peach. Looking for something a little more off the beaten path? Pay a visit to Queen Anne’s Parsons Gardens. It’s often referred to as a “secret garden for non-tourists – you’re sure to feel like a true Emerald City insider!

Fragrant blooms abound at the Woodland Park Rose Garden. Photo: Asad Nazir

12. Take in a Live Show

There’s always something happening in Seattle. The spring of 2024 is no exception – it will be buzzing with great live shows. By staying at one of the many outstanding accommodations in the heart of the city, you’ll be within a short walk of a wealth of outstanding venues. Whether you’re in the mood for live music, comedy, or anything else there’s sure to be an event that fits the bill.

The season kicks off with comedian and former Daily Show host, Trevor Noah at the Paramount Theatre, Mar 19 – 24. The always hilarious Tina Fey and Amy Poehler come to the WaMu Theater on April 13. Or, catch rock legends The Rolling Stones at Lumen Field on May 15 and Billy Joel at T-Mobile Park on May 24.

13. Check Out Unique Gas Works Park

With sweeping views of the Seattle skyline alongside antique machinery from a bygone gas plant, Gas Works Park is unquestionably one of the most unique city parks. In a true lemons-to-lemonade turn, the city made good use of the lingering gas plant equipment. They turned some into picnic shelters, painting others for use in the children’s play area, while allowing the rest to sprout out of the lawns like modern urban park art.

Gas Works Park - Dave Risney
Sunny skies make for a perfect backdrop over Lake Union and Seattle at Gasworks Park. Photo: Dave Risney

14. Sample Tasty Craft Brews

While delicious brews can be enjoyed anytime in Seattle, after a day of exploring the city on foot, you’ve earned yourself a cold one. Fortunately, there is a wealth of breweries and taprooms scattered throughout the city. Even better? Many are within walking distance of our downtown terminal!

Pop into the pint-sized microbrewery Cloudburst for an impressive selection of beers ranging from double IPAs to barrel-aged English barleywine. Or head to Pike Place Market’s mainstay, Pike Brewing. It’s been cranking out classics like Space Needle IPA and Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale for over 30 years. Want to pack a lot of local flavor into one stop? Pull up a chair in a taproom like Seattle Beer Company or The Taproom at Pike Place, and treat yourself to a flight of beer to sample a selection of suds.

15. Marvel at Puget Sound Sealife at the Seattle Aquarium

Become an expert on the extraordinary sea life in Puget Sound at the Seattle Aquarium. It’s not only fun, it’s educational! Meander through the immersive underwater exhibits that put the marine creatures high above, and watch the playful harbor seals splash about or stroke a sandpapery starfish in the touch tank. You’re sure to walk away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of our waters and their inhabitants.

Make some otterly adorable new friends at the Seattle Aquarium. Photo: Seattle Aquarium

16. Sunday Public Sail at Center for Wooden Boats

Perched on the edge of the stunning South Lake Union waterfront, the Center for Wooden Boats is an experiential maritime museum and a long-standing local favorite. It offers a place where boat lovers can come together through a shared passion for wooden boats, aquatic skills, and history, or simply share their love of the water. Spring marks the start of the popular Sunday Public Sail which runs from late April through October, with the first on April 28, 2024. Volunteer skippers and crew will take you out on an electric boat, steamboat, sprit boat, schooner, or occasionally a yacht. And, can you believe it doesn’t cost a thing? But you’ll need to arrive early, especially on a sunny day.

17. A Foodies’ Delight: Taste Washington

Foodies rejoice as Taste Washington arrives with wine, spirits, food, and music. It’s one of the best things to do in Seattle this spring. Although, it does technically begin in late winter, running from March 14-24, 2024. Learn from top chefs, winemakers, and growers through chef demonstrations and educational seminars throughout the week. Of course, there will be plenty of tastings too. The most coveted ticket is arguably The Grand Tasting held over the weekend of March 16-17 at the Lumen Field Event Center. You’ll be able to treat your palate to tastings from 200 wineries alongside 50 of the region’s greatest restaurants.

18. Fremont Sunday Market

The opening day for the Spring/Summer Fremont Sunday Market is on April 7, 2024. It brings dozens of food trucks, 165 outdoor vendor booths, vintage and antique shopping, local art, and live music to the trendy bohemian neighborhood. Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., it’s pet-friendly, bike accessible, and free to browse. Plus, it’s a lot more than a market, it’s a gathering place where locals come to mingle.

19. Cotton Candy Blooms at the University of Washington Quad

The University of Washington’s acclaimed cherry trees have long marked the arrival of spring. Celebrate the season with an afternoon spent strolling among the cotton candy-hued trees and velvety green lawns at the historic campus. The peak bloom typically begins during the third full week of March and runs through the end of the month.  The UW even has a visitors’ website dedicated to the cherry blossoms, including tips for maximizing your viewing experience.

UW Cherry Blossoms - Michael Matti
Delicate pink cherry blossoms transform the University of Washington quad into a springtime utopia. Photo: Michael Matti

20. U District Cherry Blossom Festival

While it’s always enjoyable to walk beneath the canopy of pink at the UW Quad, take the fun up a notch by attending the U District Cherry Blossom Festival. Because it coincides with the peak of the blooms, you can take advantage of it all. The festival includes 80 different businesses in the U District offering unique menus for a wide range of mouthwatering bites. You’ll find everything from cherry and blossom-themed savory bites to sweet treats, coffee drinks, cocktails, brews, and more! Shopping enthusiasts will be able to work out their wallets too.

21. Dance, Learn, Play, & More at the Northwest Folk Life Festival

A regional cultural epicenter, the 53rd annual Northwest Folklife Festival will take place over Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-27, 2024. Held at the Seattle Center, it’s a free and immersive artistic and musical experience right in the heart of the city. As it features more than 6,000 performers across 20 stages, there’s bound to be plenty to love no matter what your tastes. Plus, it offers a space to learn, dance, play, and perhaps try something new.

22. Cheer on the Seattle Sounders 

What better way to get to know Seattleites and have a good time than to be among the raucous local Sounders fans? The Seattle Sounders will be playing quite a few games at Lumen Field this spring. That includes:

  • April 6 vs. Montreal
  • April 20 vs. Vancouver
  • May 5 vs. LA
  • May 18 vs. Vancouver
  • May 29 vs. Salt Lake

Afterward, continue the fun by celebrating the victory with a frosty pint in one of the enticing neighboring waterholes. Or, we don’t want to jinx it but if they don’t win, you can always drown your sorrows.

Seattle Sounders Game - Art Brom
Catch the electric energy cheering on Seattle’s hometown soccer team. Photo: Art Brom

23. Catch a Kraken Hockey Game

You have until around mid-April to enjoy a Seattle Kraken hockey game at Climate Pledge Arena. It’s nearly new, opened in 2022, and impressive! Because the indoor stadium is a total redevelopment of a historic landmark, it’s now considered the world’s most sustainable arena for sports and entertainment. Grab a bite or a drink from one or several of the 20 different marketplaces. There are options for those who are gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan, with the IMPOSSIBLE™ Korean BBQ Bowl a favorite.

24. Pick Up Fresh PNW Bounty at Ballard Farmer’s Market

One of the best things to do in Seattle this spring if you’re looking for fresher than fresh, is to load up on Northwest bounty at the Ballard Farmers Market. The city’s first year-round community farmers market, it’s been around for nearly a quarter-century. Operating along a historic cobblestone stretch of Ballard Avenue NW, it became so popular that it expanded onto 22nd Avenue, extending to NW Market Street in 2016. You’ll find local produce, freshly baked bread, and seasonal flowers. Live music complements the experience, all enjoyed in a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere.

Take a stroll through the Ballard Farmers Market to sample, smell and stock up on some fresh spring goodies. Photo: Heather O’Neill

25. Enjoy the Beauty at Kubota Gardens

Tucked away in South Seattle, Kubota Garden is worth an entry of its own. It features 20 lush acres of landscape that blend traditional Japanese garden concepts with native Northwest plants. The spectacular grounds are comprised of hills and valleys interlaced with streams, waterfalls, ponds, ornate bridges, and rocky outcroppings. It also boasts a rich array of plants that come alive with color during the spring.

26. Beach Day at Alki Beach

Take a beach break in Seattle’s own backyard with a visit to Alki Beach. Just a short and scenic ride on a water taxi can make for a day filled with beach volleyball, sunbathing, kayaking, or just soaking up magnificent views of the downtown skyline. Want to keep the beachcomber vibe going through lunchtime? Enjoy a classic crab melt from Salty’s or Aloha pork sliders at Marination Ma Kai.

Enjoy all the fun of a day at the beach with a unique view of downtown Seattle at Alki Beach. Photo: TIA International Photography

27. Be Wowed at the Moisture Festival

Get ready to laugh and be wowed by attending the unique Moisture Festival which features a variety of jaw-dropping acts. Similar to a circus, each artist performs anywhere from approximately three to 15 minutes, accompanied by a live band. Acts include tap dancers, acrobats, magicians, and more. The 20th Anniversary Season will be celebrated in 2024, running March 21-April 14. Tickets and additional information can be found at the event’s official website.

28. Classic Family Fun at the Washington State Spring Fair

By venturing a short drive south from Seattle to Puyallup, you can enjoy the Puyallup Spring Fair. The biggest celebration of spring in the state, it takes place over two full weekends starting on April 11, 2024. Soak up the local flavor while enjoying the usual fair attractions and much more. That includes roller coasters and other rides, laugh-filled events like the pig races, classic games, live music and comedy, and plenty of typical North American fair foods.

29. Daffodil Day

If you visit Pike Place Market on the first day of spring, March 19, 2024, you can celebrate the season at the 27th Annual Daffodil Day. And, you’ll even get free flowers!  Pick up your bundle of daffodils, grown by Pike Place Market farmers within 100 miles of the city, and then pose for a photo in front of the market artist. Afterward, you might grab ingredients for a picnic or a table at one of the many eateries.

30. Daffodil Festival

There’s an even bigger way to celebrate spring and the daffodils: the Daffodil Festival. With the 91st Annual Daffodil Festival Grand Floral Parade taking place on April 6, 2024, you can choose your destination. It will travel through Tacoma starting at 10:15 a.m., Puyallup at 12:45 p.m., Sumner at 2:30 p.m., and Orting, beneath the shadow of Mount Rainier, at 5 p.m.

31. Easter Egg Hunts

Want to bring the kids on an Easter egg hunt? You’ve got a few great options. On March 30, 2024, Seattle Parks and Recreation will host free spring egg hunts at community center sites across the city and several park locations through the Rec N the Streets program. Keep an eye out for the bunny!

32. Yuri’s Night at the Museum of Flight

To celebrate the day Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit the Earth, April 12, 1961, the Museum of Flight in Seattle will host a space-themed dance party. Yuri’s Night combines art, dance, music, and technology as a tribute to the celestial journey on April 8, 2004. And, how much fun will it be to dance the night away to electronic DJs in a museum gallery turned intergalactic nightclub?

Head to the Museum of Flight for Yuri’s Night, a space-themed spectacle that’s one of the best things to do in Seattle this spring

33. Best of the Northwest Spring Show

The NorthWest Art Alliance will host the 35th annual Best of the Northwest Spring show on April 13-14, 2024 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Taking place in the historic Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park, it will feature handmade art in all mediums by 100 different artists. Not only can you check out all sorts of impressive work, but you can meet the artists. And, perhaps pick up the ideal piece for your home or a unique gift. All-ages art activities are hosted and there will be Seattle area food trucks along with fine wines, thanks to Martedi Winery.

34. Celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration takes place at the Armory Food & Event Hall at Seattle Center on May 4, 2024. Because it’s part of the Seattle Center Festál, a series a year-round series of free cultural festivals, you won’t have to pay a thing. Enjoy a range of engaging activities, holistic experiences, and the chance to delve into the culture through music, art, film, dance, food, and more.

35. U District Street Fair

The U District Street Fair is now entering its 53rd year, taking place on May 18-19, 2024 on NE 43rd Street. While it’s still technically spring, the arts and crafts fair is considered the kick-off to the city’s summer event season. Look forward to 10 blocks featuring over 40 food trucks and booths, and free live music and performances.

36. Hood Canal Fjord Fest

As spring starts to wind down, Memorial Day weekend brings the Hood Canal Fjord Fest to Brinnon on the Olympic Peninsula. What better way to enjoy some spring sun than to celebrate the bounty of the Hood Canal? But whether the sun is out or not, it makes a great day trip from Seattle with activities for all ages. Enjoy activities, crafts, rides, food booths, and a beer and wine garden. While you’ll need a license, the tides are usually low enough during this time to harvest oysters and clams on the public beaches nearby too.

37. Seattle Symphony: Copland Appalachian Spring

From April 4-6, 2024, Ray Chen, acclaimed violinist will be bringing the sound of old Hollywood to Seattle with Korngold’s lush Violin Concerto. Appalachian Spring is an ode to early American settlers. The Pulitzer Prize-winning work is said to evoke both the adventures and the challenges some of the first immigrants faced.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Enjoy the blanket of blooms at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Photo: Paweesit

38. Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Last but certainly not least, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival might just be the No. 1 thing to do in Seattle this spring. But, you say, it’s not actually in Seattle, Skagit Valley is about 70 miles north. You would be right, of course. Because people come from across the globe to attend, you know it’s going to be worth the drive! You’ll be able to witness 500 acres of tulips in an array of brilliant colors stretching nearly as far as the eye can see. With a backdrop of the Cascade Mountains, there are endless Instagrammable photo-ops. The largest tulip festival in the country, it takes place throughout the month of April and includes a variety of activities and events from a street fair to art shows.

Feature photo: Oakie via Unsplash