Visit Seattle: How to Plan a Trip to This Underrated Family Travel Destination
Despite its rainy reputation, Seattle is an amazing city for family travel. With tons of activities that families will enjoy — many of them cheap or free — and family-friendly neighborhoods to call home during vacation, Seattle is the kind of city families return to again and again.
It’s also a great place for those who like to incorporate a little mindfulness into their vacations so that they can fully recharge and feel better equipped to live their best lives.
The Best Way to Get to Seattle
The Sea-Tac Airport is just over 10 miles from downtown Seattle, making it an easy drive, Uber, or light rail into the city. You can find direct flights from most cities in the western U.S. as well as a number of other cities including hubs like Boston, Atlanta, and Dallas-Fort Worth.
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, consider driving to Seattle instead. Seattle is surrounded by gorgeous nature, and as Greg’s Japanese Auto notes, driving is a great opportunity to see Snoqualmie Falls. Or you can ride a ferry across the Salish Sea, or enjoy one of Seattle’s many other scenic attractions.
Where to Stay in Seattle
If you’re staying a while, many families find booking a vacation rental ideal. While they don’t have all the perks of hotels, vacation rentals are a more private space for your family. And whether you want to run around the backyard with the kids or you’re trying to soothe a screaming baby at 2 a.m., privacy is a great thing to have. They’re also cheaper in many cases, especially if you’d need a hotel suite to fit your whole family.
Booking a vacation rental can be trickier than picking a room in a downtown hotel, however. Rather than picking the cheapest stay, Turnkey notes it’s easy to find affordable rentals near the neighborhoods and attractions you plan to visit. Queen Anne and Belltown are great bases for visiting Pike’s Place, the Space Needle, and the Seattle Aquarium. If you’re looking forward to exploring Gas Works Park and the Chittenden Locks, the Ballard and Fremont neighborhoods are a better fit.
What to Pack for a Seattle Family Vacation
They’re not joking when they say Seattle is rainy. According to Weather & Climate, it rains an average of 150 days a year in Seattle. Luckily for visitors, most rains are just a drizzle, and Seattle’s mild temperatures more than make up for the wetness. However, it does mean you’ll need to make some special considerations when packing. Here are a few things you’ll want on your list:
- Rain jackets and waterproof shoes.
- Warm socks and gloves.
- A scarf.
- Quick-drying clothes you can layer.
- Water-resistant hiking shoes and daypack for outdoor adventures.
- Reusable water bottles and a cloth bag.
- A travel stroller or carrier.
Seattle’s Best Family-Friendly Attractions
Still not sure what to do on your trip to Seattle? These family-friendly attractions are always a hit:
- Alki Beach Park
- Artists at Play playground
- Gas Works Park
- Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
- Olympic Sculpture Park
- Pacific Science Center
- Pike Place Market
- Seattle Children’s Museum
- Seattle Pinball Museum
- Space Needle
- The Museum of Flight
- Volunteer Park
- Woodland Park Zoo
As you can see, there’s no shortage of things for families to do in Seattle! Whether you’re looking for an indoor activity on a rainy day or want to explore Seattle’s great outdoors, you’ll have no trouble finding things your whole family will enjoy. Of course, you won’t be able to do it all on your first stay in Seattle — but that’s the perfect excuse to come again!