There are many reasons people move to Seattle—the coffee, the culture, the progressive politics—but the thing that stands out most for many Seattlites is the outdoors. No matter where you are in the city, you’re practically guaranteed to be surrounded by ocean views, mountainous backdrops, and towering trees. It’s hard not to be enthralled with the natural beauty offered by the Emerald City. But being surrounded by such beauty—and rain—24/7 sometimes means we don’t actually get out and enjoy it as much as we might like to.
If you’re committed to making the outdoors more of a priority for you in 2020, check out these 7 Seattle activities.
1. Ferry to Lopez Island
If you haven’t been out to the San Juan Islands yet, make sure you do so ASAP. Lopez Island is the third largest of them, spanning 29.81 square miles of greenery, wildlife, and quaint homes and small businesses. A ferry to the island is only a quick 40 minute journey with stellar views the whole way through.
As far as lodging goes on Lopez Island, many of the homes double as vacation rentals if you want to explore the outdoors while still having the luxury of a shower and household appliances. For added grit and adventure, there are plenty of opportunities to camp on the island. Lopez Farm Cottages offer both camping space and they rent out cottage stays.
2. Trail running at Discovery Park
Another fun way to discover nature in Seattle is to hit the many trails the city has to offer. Slide on your best trail running shoes and head to Seattle’s largest public park, Discovery Park. The park has 11.81 miles of trails with gorgeous views of the Puget Sound and if you’re lucky, Mt. Rainier on a sunny day. Check out the Lighthouse Loop trail for a highly rated 4 mile loop.
3. Climbing off Exit 38
If you’re in search of an adrenaline boost in the outdoors, climbing might be your activity of choice. Luckily, Seattle’s climbing scene is one of the most enthusiastic in the country. With climbing gyms and outdoor routes a plenty, you’ll never be bored here.
If you haven’t been climbing before, we’d recommend joining a climbing gym in Seattle first. This way, you can learn the basics, improve your skill, and nail down safety procedures before heading to the outdoors. When you’re ready to test your skill, check out these popular spots:
- Exit 38
- Gold Bar
- Little Si
4. Warm up at Olympic Hot Springs
After you summit Gold Bar or loop through Discovery Park, you might need a place to recharge and relax your muscles. Olympic Hot Springs is just the place to do it. Olympic Hot Springs has nine natural pools to choose from located 12.5 into Olympic National Park. You can access them by hiking 2 miles from the Boulder Creek Trailhead.
5. Ski at Snoqualmie
If you’re not afraid to brave the elements this Winter and Spring season, you might want to give skiing a go. There are tons of resorts just outside of the city area to explore. Of course, skiing isn’t one of the most affordable sports or outdoor activities to participate in. To cut some of the cost, search for discounted lift tickets online.
6. Do yoga at Seattle Art Museum
Summer in Seattle is seriously special. When you get months of rain and a lack of sun, pretty much everyone wants to spend their waking hours soaking up the sun. One fun way to catch some rays—and some exercise—is to do free yoga at the Seattle Art Museum. The museum actually offers several classes throughout the summer for the whole family, including:
- Vinyasa yoga
- Hatha yoga
- Arts and crafts
7. Float on the Snoqualmie River
Another fun summer activity is to gather a group of friends and spend a day floating around and picnicking at the Snoqualmie River. Add to the experience by picking up a block of your favorite PNW handmade cheese, some accoutrements, and of course some craft beer.
Use these tips to help you explore the wonderful outdoor scenery and activities Seattle has to offer!