Though it doesn’t rain all year long like people believe, Seattle does get pretty gray and wet throughout the autumn and fall (and, if we’re being honest, spring…). Fortunately, while the skies outside may be dark and cloudy, there is plenty to do inside to chase the blues away.
Catch up on your reading
Grab a book at Elliot Bay Book Company and stay for a while in the little shop café. This independent bookstore is a longtime Seattle favorite (for over 40 years!) and a unique spot to peruse some new – or classic - titles.
While Pike Place Market is open year round, it does get chilly! Instead, head to one of Seattle’s indoor markets like Melrose Market, consisting of several local and artisanal food producers, or the flea market held in Century Ballroom throughout part of November and December. Billed as “curated collections of stuff you won’t find anywhere else,” happy treasure hunting!
Marvel at exotic flora and fauna
Located just north of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the historic Volunteer Park Conservatory features a beautiful Victorian greenhouse and wide variety of palms, cacti and seasonal plants. As a registered US Fish and Wildlife repository for confiscated plants, the Conservatory also acquires, quarantines, and later displays rare orchids, cycads, and other plants.
Tour the Theo Chocolate Factory
North America’s first free-trade, organic, bean to bar chocolate factory can be found in a small brick building in Seattle Fremont neighborhood. Known for its crazy flavor combinations (Ghost chile! Coconut curry!), Theo Chocolate offers $10 daily tours through its warm factory to see the chocolate-making process firsthand…and lets you sample plenty of delicious bites along the way.
See a tropical rainforest
Visiting with kids? Head to the Pacific Science Center and be transported from rainy Seattle to a steamy rainforest in the Tropical Butterfly Room, home to hundreds of exotic butterflies and plant life. You can also visit the award-winning Tropical Rain Forest bioclimatic zone at the Woodland Park Zoo where you’ll find South American birds, snakes, poison dart frogs, and more.
Find a fireside coffee shop
Of course, Seattle is known for Starbucks, but there are plenty other cozy coffee shops to settle into. Warm up by the fire at Storyville Coffee in Queen Anne or Pioneer Coffee Roasting Company or Assembly Hall Juice and Coffee on 6th Avenue downtown. One thing’s for sure, wherever you are in the city, there’s bean roasting nearby.
Sweat it out at yoga
When the weather is gray you can still work on finding your inner chi with hot yoga. With studios heated to around 100 degrees, hot yoga is like a work out, physical therapy and sauna session in one. Check out some Urban Yoga Spa downtown on 4th Avenue or Sweat Hot Yoga in Fremont.
Try your hand at glassblowing
One of the most unique souvenirs you can bring home, Seattle Glassblowing studio offers tours, events and classes in its studio in Belltown where the furnaces get up to 2,400 degrees! Lacking the creative juices to make your own masterpiece? The gallery is fun to peruse, too.
Meander through a museum
If you’re feeling down and looking for some colorful inspiration, head to a museum for a boost of creativity. For art and sculpture enthusiasts, try the Seattle Art Museum on First Avenue or the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park.
Catch a show
Heat things up by heading to a concert for some fun after dark. Venues like the Showbox and The Triple Door always have well-known artists and musicians passing through, while several theaters and restaurants, such as The Pink Door and Teatro Zinzanni, offer more unique nighttime entertainment with regular cabaret, burlesque and circus shows.
Seattle’s rain doesn’t have to get you down - which one of these local spots would you check out first?