24 Top Seattle Travel Tips for 2024

Seattle cityscape featuring the Space Needle

From Seattle’s natural beauty, to its gripping arts and culture, to the area’s diverse restaurant offerings, there may have never been a better time to visit Seattle. The balance of 2024 holds a wealth of reasons for visitors to enjoy attractions in the Emerald City of the Pacific Northwest. Don’t simply take our word for it – AFAR has named Seattle one of the world’s top destinations for 2024.

To celebrate the exciting year ahead, Visit Seattle has put together the following list of some of the 2024 happenings around the city spanning entertainment, sports, arts and culture, hospitality, and more.

1. For Art Fans – Calder at the Seattle Art Museum (now through Aug. 4, 2024)
Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection at the Seattle Art Museum is the first comprehensive public display of 48 seminal works from every decade of the American artist Alexander Calder’s career. The exhibition will offer an extensive look into the prolific output of Calder (1898-1976) and will be accompanied by a new catalog and robust programming. https://calder.site.seattleartmuseum.org/the-exhibition/.

2. Discover Indigenous Contributions to Science (now through March 3, 2024)
Explore the rich tapestry of Indigenous knowledge and its intersection with scientific advancements in Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science. at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). Through interactive displays, immersive experiences, and videos, guests will embark on a journey that celebrates the enduring wisdom of Native cultures while highlighting their contribution to scientific inquiry. https://mohai.org/exhibits/roots-of-wisdom-native-knowledge-shared-science/

3. Be Amazed by Teatro ZinZanni in Residence at Lotte Hotel Seattle (now through March 31, 2024)
Teatro ZinZanni, the legendary theatrical cirque experience, is bringing its magical show to the luxurious Lotte Hotel Seattle. This one-of-a-kind entertainment experience promises an opulent, world-class extravaganza in the breathtaking setting of the hotel’s largest venue, the Grand Ballroom in The Sanctuary. https://zinzanni.com/seattle/

4. Get Inspired by Seattle’s Rowing Culture (now through June 2, 2024)
In anticipation of The Boys in the Boat film to be released Dec. 25, 2023, explore a selection of rare artifacts and photographs related to the 1936 Olympic Gold medalist rowing team from the University of Washington through Pulling Together: A Brief History of Rowing in Seattle at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). https://mohai.org/exhibits/pulling-together-a-brief-history-of-rowing-in-seattle/

5. See the Annual NHL Winter Classic® Held in Seattle for the First Time Ever (Jan. 1, 2024)
Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, the home of the Seattle Mariners, will host the 2024 Discover NHL Winter Classic® between the Seattle Kraken and Las Vegas Golden Knights on New Year’s Day.  The annual event, hosted on the West Coast for the first time, will transform Seattle’s ballpark into an outdoor ice rink for a special game pitting the NHL’s two newest teams against one another. https://www.nhl.com/kraken/fans/winter-classic

6. Delve Into Seattle’s Museums at Half Price (February 2024)
For the entire month of February, visitors to the Emerald City can receive half-price admission to the region’s top museums as a part of Seattle Museum Month. By booking a room at a participating hotel in Seattle, guests can receive passes good for 50% off admission for up to four guests, with no limit to the number of museums guests can visit. Museums that people can visit as part of the promotion include The Museum of Flight, Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Burke Museum, and the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP.) https://seattlemuseummonth.com/

7. Discover Hank Willis Thomas LOVERULES Exhibition (Feb. 24-Aug. 4, 2024)
This February, conceptual artist and activist Hank Willis Thomas’ groundbreaking exhibition, LOVERULES debuts in Seattle at the Henry Art Gallery, located on the University of Washington campus. The exhibition, featuring works drawn from the collection of the Jordan D. Schnitzer Family Foundation, explores the impact of corporate branding; the construction of gender, race, and race relations; stereotypes and exploitation; and the struggle for liberty and equality. https://henryart.org/exhibitions/hank-willis-thomas-loverules

8. Enjoy Daffodil Day at Pike Place Market (March 19, 2024)
Pike Place Market celebrates Daffodil Day every year to highlight the beautiful, home-grown selection of flowers to support local flower farmers and vendors. In years past, visitors have received free daffodils as part of the festivities. https://www.pikeplacemarket.org/

9. Sample Unexpected Flavors at Taste Washington (March 10-18, 2024)
Washington state is the U.S.’ second largest producer of premium wine, with the region producing a wide range of varietals from Cabernet Sauvignon to Grenache. Taste Washington, the nation’s largest single-region wine & food festival, celebrates the state’s diverse wine and culinary offerings. The Grand Tasting, the flagship event of Taste Washington, entices visitors to taste a wide range of food and wine, all in one place. In 2023, The Grand Tasting boasted more than 250 wine producers and a slew of the region’s top restaurants. https://tastewashington.org/

10. Marvel at Seattle’s Iconic Cherry Blossoms (March 2024)
March is the perfect time to visit Seattle if you want to catch a glimpse of the city’s iconic cherry blossoms. Most notably seen at University of Washington’s Quad, guests can experience the bloom of beautifully historic cherry blossoms that are nearly 90 years old. Check out the Cherry Blossom Cam from the University of Washington to watch for peak bloom. https://www.washington.edu/video/campus-webcams/

11. Discover Independent Movies at Seattle International Film Festival (May 9-19, 2024)
Calling all film lovers! Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) will celebrate its 50th year of discovering the world’s best independent films in May 2024. Guests will get to experience all different genres of film from the next generation of filmmakers and cinematographers. New for 2024, the SIFF has recently acquired the beloved Cinerama movie theater downtown, one of just two operating cinemas in the world capable of screening three-strip Cinerama films on its 97-foot curved screen and known for its chocolate popcorn. https://www.siff.net/

12. Commemorate 50 Years of Pride in Seattle (June 2024)
In 2024, Seattle will celebrate its 50th annual pride month celebration with this year’s theme, ‘Community Voice.’ As one of the country’s largest free Pride festivals, visitors can expect a month filled with events, parades, and festivals including the Seattle Pride Parade and Seattle Pride in the Park. https://seattlepride.org/seattle-pride-month

13. Get In The Swim With Seattle Aquarium’s New Ocean Pavilion (Summer 2024)
Anticipated to be completed in summer 2024, the Seattle Aquarium’s Ocean Pavilion shares the story that we have the power to save our oceans. In the Ocean Pavilion, visitors will be able to witness the exquisite biodiversity of a reef ecosystem in the Coral Triangle, a marine area in the tropical Pacific – coming face-to-face with sharks, rays, schooling fish, mangroves, seagrasses, and nearly 30 species of coral. https://www.seattleaquarium.org/explore-the-aquarium/campus/ocean-pavilion/

14. See Spawning Salmon at the Locks
July through November, witness three species of Pacific Salmon passing through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, also known as the Ballard Locks. See as many as hundreds of salmon per day through huge glass windows at the fish ladder as they return upriver to spawn. An average of 15,000 Chinook salmon pass through the Locks each year, with peak viewing in August.

15. Listen to Seattle Sounds at Bumbershoot (Labor Day Weekend 2024)
Following a successful return and 50th anniversary celebration in 2023, the beloved Bumbershoot has re-emerged as a major PNW arts and music festival. Music lovers are already eager for the Labor Day weekend festival’s anticipated 2024 return. The quirky 2023 edition of Bumbershoot included a cat circus, a fashion show run by teenagers, and a roller-skating rink as well as headliners Thunderpussy, Sleater-Kinney, and Sunny Day Real Estate. https://bumbershoot.com/

16. Plunge Into Glass Art During Refract (Oct. 10-13, 2024)
Seattle is regarded as a global hub for glass art, with over 700 glass artists calling Washington home. In the fall of 2024, the glass art community will gather in Seattle for ‘Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience’ where art enthusiasts and newcomers can enjoy artist parties, open studio tours, special gallery exhibitions, and exclusively offered intimate glass blowing demonstrations. https://refractseattle.org/

17. Create Holiday Memories in Seattle (December 2024)
Each year, Seattle entices visitors as a holiday hotspot. In 2023, the festivities included Magic at the Market at Pike Place Market with free photos with Santa, as well as WildLanterns illuminations at the Woodland Park Zoo. New for 2023, the Seattle Christmas Market transformed Seattle Center into a holiday heaven inspired by the centuries old yuletide tradition of German Christmas Markets. Stay tuned for more information on 2024 festivities. https://seattleholidays.com/

18. Check Out the Fairmont Olympic Hotel for its 100th Anniversary (December 2024)
Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle recently underwent $25 million worth of renovations just in time to celebrate its 100th year anniversary in December 2024. This staple of the Emerald City, first opened in 1924, has revamped its social spaces including a re-design of its lobby, bar, restaurant, and meeting spaces under the vision of Spanish design studio Lázaro Rosa-Violán (LRV). New restaurant, American brasserie The George, is known for its standout lavish design and locally sourced dishes. https://www.fairmont.com/seattle/

19. Immerse Yourself in the Nature of Three National Parks Near Seattle
Three national parks – Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, and North Cascades National Park – are within driving distance of Seattle, making the city a fantastic basecamp for outdoor exploration. From stunning lake hikes to fall colors, to wildlife sightings of pikas, mountain goats, and marmots, there’s lots to love about our state’s national parks. Don’t forget to hit up a local brewery after your outdoor forays. https://visitseattle.org/things-to-do/outdoors/national-parks/

20. Applaud Musical Theater
Seattle is home to one of the country’s largest and most vibrant theater communities. At The 5th Avenue Theatre, one of America’s leading musical theater companies, travelers can check out shows like Something’s Afoot (March 1-24, 2024) or Spring Awakening (June 7-30, 2024). Seattle Rep, the largest nonprofit resident theater in the Pacific Northwest, has an exciting 2024 season planned including the return of beloved Seattle icon and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Winner Jinkx Monsoon with musical prodigy Major Scales in a new show called Together Again, Again (May 31-June 23, 2024). Theater lovers of all ages can also head over to The Paramount Theatre to catch famous Broadway productions like Beetlejuice (April 2 – 7, 2024), Disney’s Aladdin (April 24 – 28, 2024), Girl From the North Country (June 25 – 30, 2024) and Company (July 23 – 28, 2024). Visit https://visitseattle.org/things-to-do/arts-culture/performing-arts/theatre/  for a full list of theater events.

21. Savor Seattle’s Food Scene
Three Seattle area restaurants were named in The New York Times’ 2023 Restaurants List: LTD Edition Sushi, Seabird, and Canlis. Notable restaurant openings in 2023 include Driftwood, an understated restaurant in West Seattle that is hyper focused on quality, local ingredients; and Darkalino’s, an Italian deli in Pioneer Square that doubles as a clothing and sneaker shop. Don’t sleep on Seattle’s emerging bagel scene either, with spots like Old Salt Fish and BagelsOxbow (from the team behind renowned bakery Sea Wolf), and Mt. Bagel all opening within the past couple of years. Among the anticipated restaurant openings in late 2023 is Lioness, a wine bar and Italian spot from Renee Erickson’s Sea Creatures Group, opening in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood.

22. Catch a Concert at Climate Pledge Arena
Climate Pledge Arena, the world’s first net-zero carbon arena, will host critically acclaimed musical artists in 2024 worth traveling for. These artists include acts such as Madonna (Feb, 17-18), Playboi Carti (Feb. 28), Tim McGraw (March 29), and Luis Miguel (April 4). You can also catch the infamous Cirque Du Soleil from Jan. 17-20. https://climatepledgearena.com/

23. Stay Sustainable at Hotel Westland
Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood is getting a new hotel in 2024. Located in RailSpur, a sustainable micro-district that includes three historic warehouse buildings, the hotel will include 120 guestrooms and suites, signature indoor and outdoor restaurant on activated “Railspur” alley, as well as a rooftop bar. Hotel Westland is anticipated to be one of the most sustainable hotel openings in the U.S and only the second hotel in the country to be “carbon-positive.” https://railspurseattle.com/hotel/

24. Say Hello to the Trolls
Acclaimed Danish artist Thomas Dambo created an ambitious public art project titled Northwest Trolls: Way of the Bird King. The publicly accessible sculptures are located around the Pacific Northwest (two in Seattle, with five total in Western Washington) where each whimsical troll sculpture is part of an underlying environmental story. The project celebrates the human experience of art by amplifying the connections of cultural heritage between Coast Salish tribal communities and Scandinavian traditions. https://www.nwtrolls.org/

For more ideas on things to do in Seattle, visit visitseattle.org  or follow along on FacebookXTikTokInstagram, and YouTube.

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