Is Seattle Worth Visiting? 10 Reasons That’s a Yes

Seattle, Washington is the jewel of the Pacific Northwest. But some people are still on the fence about whether this notoriously rainy city is worth the trek. I’ll lay out the pros (and even some of the cons) about the Emerald City and help you answer this tricky question for yourself: is Seattle worth visiting?

Seattle Waterfront

Given the title of this article, it’s pretty clear I’m on Seattle’s side in this one. This city is unbelievably gorgeous, has delicious food on every corner, and has the feel of a small town with the convenience of a big city. 

But, as with any city, there are a few downsides. No place is perfect, right? Before making the trip here, it’s always good to know some of the pitfalls to look out for. Before we get into the good stuff, let’s address the haters. 

Why some travelers avoid Seattle

Yes, it rains often

Rainy Seattle

I’m not going to lie to you…Seattle does get its fair share of rain. The weather can be a bit gray and cloudy, plus it’s known for being a little unpredictable. You can find foggy skies in the morning, clear blue in the afternoon, and rain in the evening. 

But this rainy reputation is a bit unfair. While Seattle does have about 150 days of rain per year, the actual amount of rain is quite low. When you look at cities with the highest amount of rainfall, Seattle doesn’t even crack the top 10.

The best way to tackle the uncertain forecast is to just wear layers that you can easily take on or off. 

The high cost of living

View of Amazon the Spheres at its Seattle headquarters and office tower in Seattle WA D.C USA.
Editorial credit: Miune / Shutterstock.com

This one should sound familiar. Like many other major cities in the country, the rise of tech companies like Amazon has caused the cost of living in Seattle to skyrocket. The cost to buy a house and to even rent in the city has become almost impossible for many locals.

If you’re just coming here as a visitor, however, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. You may find the price of hotels or Airbnbs to be a bit expensive, but there are always bargains to be found. The cost of other things like food or entertainment is similar to what you would expect for a major city.

Have you heard of the Seattle Freeze?

Lonely girl

While the city overall is known for being welcoming to tourists from all over the world, some of the locals may not have the same reputation. People say it can be difficult to make new friends in Seattle, a phenomena that they refer to as “the Seattle Freeze.”

While those in the Pacific Northwest are known for being a bit more standoffish, take this belief with a grain of salt. Like any new place, you’ll meet a wide range of different personalities. If you go into the city expecting people to be cold and distant, you might give off the vibes that you’re not so friendly yourself. 

Why is Seattle worth visiting?

1. It’s stunningly beautiful

Mount Rainier skyline

Just take one look at the city skyline with Mount Rainier rising in the background and it’ll take your breath away. Don’t bother choosing between bustling city and serene nature, Seattle is somehow able to combine both. 

The city is sprawled across the enchanting Puget Sound, an important waterway that serves as a highway and a place to relax. I don’t have time to list all the countless amazing hikes and scenic drives in this article, but trust me when I say there’s lots to see here.

2. A coffee lover’s paradise

Tourist visit the first Starbucks Coffee which opened in Pike Place, Seattle USA.
Editorial credit: Robert Mullan / Shutterstock.com

Now I’m not actually a coffee fan myself, but I know that Seattle is the mecca. It’s the home of the first Starbucks and several other chains like Seattle’s Best. Coffee lovers from all over flock here to try some of the country’s best brews.

If chain coffee isn’t your thing, there are plenty of smaller, independent shops brewing up some pretty delicious cups of joe. So whether you’re a total coffee nerd or just enjoy the nice coffee shop atmosphere, you’ll feel right at home here.

3. The landmarks are iconic

Museum of Pop Culture in a sunny day, Seattle, Washington, USA
Museum of Pop Culture. Editorial credit: S-F / Shutterstock.com

You already know about the Space Needle. But what about the ultra-modern public library? The enchanting Fremont troll? The Frank Gehry-designed Museum of Pop Culture? I could keep going for days. 

There are so many amazing buildings and statues that are worth traveling for. Each one shows a different side of Seattle’s many-faceted personality. I love that Seattle mixes elements of modern architecture with quirky artistic touches. 

4. Enjoy some of the country’s best seafood

Customers at Pike Place Fish Company wait to order fish at the famous seafood market
Editorial credit: f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Picture an enormous market full of fresh seafood and other local goods. Now imagine fish soaring through the air, making its way from monger to monger with an athletic toss. Welcome to the Pike Place Market. 

If you prefer your fish to stay on your plate, there are plenty of local spots with amazingly fresh seafood. Depending on the season, you can get oysters, salmon, or crabs that were swimming that morning. I can’t think of anything more delicious.

5. Asian food here is unbelievable

Asian cuisine. Chicken fillet in sesame seeds, teriyaki sauce and Chinese chopsticks on a black stone plate

Okay maybe I lied. The seafood is delicious, but the teriyaki here is also unreal. A city is allowed to have more than one delicious food. Because of the strong Asian influence here, Seattle is known for having really good food from several different Asian cultures.

One of the most popular dishes is teriyaki. You’ll find a plethora of teriyaki restaurants all around the city. There are debates over which is the best, but I always like to say that the best is the one that’s closest to your mouth. You really can’t go wrong with any local spot. 

6. It’s green in many ways

Marijuana plants

Seattle gets the nickname “The Emerald City” due to the lush green foliage you’ll find in the area. Turns out that rain we talked about is actually good for something. But in recent years, Seattle has become famous for another type of green: legal marijuana. 

If you’re over 21, you can enjoy some of the city’s dispensaries and explore the wide world of weed. The local “budtenders” can answer any questions and steer you toward the right product. A word of advice, if they give you a recommended dose or amount for any of the edible products, take their word for it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

7. Small city personality with big city living

fremont. troll
Editorial credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock.com

This city has all the conveniences of a major city. You’ve got your public transportation, readily available Ubers and taxis, and any fast food restaurant you can imagine. But what makes this city special is its unique personality. 

From the naked biking festivals to the obsession with Sasquatch, there are things that you can only find here. I know that Seattle has changed pretty drastically in the last few decades, but there are still some weird wonders out there if you’re willing to take a closer look.

8. You’ll be a fan of the sports culture here 

A fan with face paint and a mohawk before a Seattle Seahawks game.
Editorial credit: Scott Heaney / Shutterstock.com

The only things Seattleites love more than their city are their sports teams. The Seattle Seahawks are the most popular, and their “12th man” fans are famous for being wildly devoted. Their stadium is notorious for being one of the loudest and rowdiest in the NFL.

Baseball lovers will thrive at a Mariners game, and NHL fans will enjoy the newly minted Seattle Kraken. The Kraken are known for their elaborate pregame shows with impressive light displays. Soccer addicts can enjoy the local Sounders, and basketball nerds will have to plead for the Sonics to return just like the rest of the city. 

9. Bottoms up with some local booze

Flight of beer

Seattle prides itself on doing things its own way, so it’s no surprise that alcohol is something they like to make themselves. With distilleries pumping out everything from vodka and gin to whiskey and absinthe, take your pick of the local liquor.

Beer and wine fans can also enjoy a drink produced right here in Washington. Dozens of micro breweries are scattered around the city, and wine from the Columbia Valley is widely available. I love being able to try new drinks that are only available in this region.

10. Dog lovers, rejoice

International Water Fountain with two dogs and the Seattle Space Needle on a clear blue sky day.
Editorial credit: Michael Warwick / Shutterstock.com

Because of its proximity to nature and readily available green space, Seattle is famous for being very dog friendly. You’ll see a wide range of pups here, from tiny terriers to big Bernese mountain dogs. 

Local restaurants are known for having doggy bowls outside and sometimes even feature dog-friendly menu items. Nearby hikes and, of course, neighborhood dog parks are popular places for spotting some adorable pooches. 

Mountain landscape, lake and mountain Seattle, Washington state, USA.

There are always more reasons to visit Seattle, but some of the fun is coming and finding them for yourself. I’ve laid out 10 different ones that I hope are enough to convince you that Seattle is definitely worth visiting.

Whether you love the outdoors, great food and drinks, unique culture, or the hustle and bustle of a big city, you’ll find it all right here in Seattle. Don’t let the rain, the relatively high cost, or the sometimes standoffish locals scare you away. There are so many different things to explore in Seattle that make it undeniably worth the trip. 

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