We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Best time to visit?

Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
39 posts
245 reviews
Save Topic
Best time to visit?

My wife and I are planning on visiting Seattle next year. When is the best time? I know it rains in Seattle and weather can be very unpredictable. We've heard a lot of mixed responses. Thanks!!!

Green Valley...
Level Contributor
18,004 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Best time to visit?

This should help: www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3…

Basically, June can be OK, but July, August, September are typically beautiful weather months.

How long would you be here? We can help with itinerary such as:

Options for self drive itineraries in the Seattle region, with websites. tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60878-c112037/Seattl…

Renton, WA
Level Contributor
4,077 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Best time to visit?

We've had .02" of precipitation since July 23rd, and that "fell" in 14 minutes on September 2nd. But this has been an unusual year.

western WA
Level Contributor
8,997 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Best time to visit?

I would come in very late August or very early September. The crowds will be a little bit less, and the rainy days will likely not have started yet.

Labor Day weekend is a busy one, though. Check out the Bumbershoot festival. If it sounds good, you can sign up to be a Bumberfan and prebuy tickets in December or January to save quite a bit of money. It is also the weekend of the PAX Prime convention downtown. This is something run by Penny Arcade. It sells out annually as soon as tickets are released in May.

Port Townsend...
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
Level Contributor
9,355 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Best time to visit?

September.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
46 posts
48 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Best time to visit?

July/August.

Seattle
Level Contributor
156 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Best time to visit?

Another vote for September. Less crowded and weather is often lovely.

Seattle
Level Contributor
44,230 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Best time to visit?

May or September

suze

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
1,198 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Best time to visit?

September

Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
Level Contributor
6,141 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Best time to visit?

When were you thinking of visiting?

Last week in July, 1st week in August characteristically has the warmest, sunniest, driest days, which is why the Bellevue Arts festival is scheduled for one of the last weekends in July, and Seafair is typically the first week in August.

While much of the country starts to enjoy summer in June, here, June can be very unpredictable, though the upside is that June will have our longest days - in late June we have daylight from 5am until well after 9pm.

Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
Level Contributor
2,777 posts
179 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Best time to visit?

It depends on what you want out of your visit.

The weather is most likely to be dry and sunny through much of July, August and September and it is gorgeous here during those months.

However during this peak season it does get crowded and particularly when we have one, two or even three cruise ships in (plus conventions etc.) there can be big big crows at Pike Place Market, the Space Needle etc. Then again there are a LOT of special events typically going on -- particularly July and August, when we have Seafair and all of the associated neighborhood events around town. Every week for over a month there are neighborhood festivals, free live music, outdoor movies and more. Seafair culminates the first week in August with fleet week, the big air show, the hydroplane races on Lake Washington.

It is also light late in the Summer. The longest day this year was just under 16 hours with sunrise at 5:11am and sunset at 9:11pm with useable light past 10pm. Even at the end of August dawn was at around 6:30 and sunset was just before 8pm. Of course you have have useable light from around 6am to about 8:30pm.

Mt. Rainier and the higher altitude hiking trails are not necessarily going to be clear of snow until late July to mid August but as they start warming up and the snow melts there are spectactular wildflower meadows in bloom. I was up at Mt. Rainier the first week of August and there was quite a bit of snow at Paradise but the wildflowers were a riot of color. It was also very very crowded -- even first thing in the morning we had to park in the ancillary lots. After Labor Day the trails will be clear and the crowds reduced.

In general campsites all over Washington are hard to come by on weekends in the high season as well so consider booking those as far in advance as possible. Hotels in the San Juan Islands can also be booked solid and there may be longer waits for ferries.

In Eastern Washington there are often fires in August and September.

September is a very nice month. Labor Day, as mentioned, is busy. You should book well in advance. A few people noted that there were few rooms available around downtown. Crossing the border into Canada on holidays can be a huge hassle so take that into consideration if you are thinking about driving to Vancouver for example.

On the other hand the the harvest season is starting, farmer's markets and other special events are still going on around town (like the Fremont Octoberfest). The college and pro football seasons are going on as well as baseball and soccer.

October starts showing an increased propensity for rain but I still love it. Halloween season is fun, fall sports and all of the tourist attractions and parks will be quieter.

There was a recent question about the holiday season here and that is another good option. Lots of fun activities like Yule fest at the Nordic Heritage Museum, the Lenin lighting in Fremont, the Christmas ship parade. Lots of theater, music and dance. Outdoor events are more limited although not out of the question.

I would not generally recommend January to March and even April and May can be gloomy but around Memorial Day we have a massive folk life festival and from May into June there is the Seattle International Film Fest. Mid June is the Fremont Solstice Parade and Fremont Fair which are a combination of mardi gras like floats, bands, stilt walkers, nude bicyclists, live music performances around the neighborhood, booths, activism and more. They estimate that 100,000 or more go to Fremont for the fair every year.

If you have some particular interests -- are looking for specific kinds of events etc, let us know.

-K