Amazing how many people ask at the Visitor Center what they can do on a “rainy day”. RAINY DAY? Oh dear – hasn’t the world figured out yet that when it drizzles in Seattle, we don’t hold up in our homes and refuse to go out?
Granted, there are some attractions which may be more desireable when the weather’s perfect: Views from the Space Needle … trips to whalewatch in the San Juan Islands … day jaunts to Mount Rainier … all are probably somewhat enhanced when the sun is shining (although I’ve done each on sunny and rainy days and found each experience to be positive and memorable), but I wouldn’t put them on a don’t-attempt-in-the-rain list.
With that said, we’re a city abundant in indoor experiences:
The Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum offer (at a minimum) a half-day experience of hands-on experience and awe. Housed in the Frank Geary-built ‘blob’ at the Space Needle’s base, the EMP is stunning rain or shine (and even reflects different colors based on the weather!). http://www.empsfm.org/
The Pacific Science Center (centrally and conveniently located within walking distance of the two aforementioned attractions) boasts science-related activities and exhibits for visitors age 2-102! I enjoyed it with my kids when elementary-aged, and love it just as much as they’ve grown to adults. http://www.pacsci.org/
The Seattle Art Museum hosts 4-stories of artistic creativity – from native American exhibits, to specialized shows (usually 2-4 within a year), the SAM is more than just a respite from the rain. http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/
Seattle’s Public Library holds not only tomes of books and information, but sits as a shining example of architectural excellence. Designed by world-renowned Rem Koolhaas, the library has become an indoor/outdoor magnet for Seattle visitors. http://www.spl.org/default.asp?pageID=branch_central&branchID=1
Step out of the rain into the Klondike Gold Rush Museum in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, and step into the history that put Seattle on the map. Learn about relationships bewteen Seattle and the Yukon, while feeding your inner history-lover. http://www.nps.gov/klse
Learn about Seattle’s Chinese and Asian-American heritage at the Wing Luke Museum (just a few blocks away from the Klondike Museum). Our city’s beginnings were due in part to the Chinese immigrants working to bring the railroad across the United States – opening Seattle up to rail trade with the nation. The Wing Luke speaks specifically to the struggles and celebrations our Chinese community has endured over the years. http://www.wingluke.org/
Pike Place Market – touted as being the longest continually-operated farmers market in North America – is also a welcome respite in a sprinkle. Within the market’s 8-acre location are multiple buildings with a labrinth of ramps, stairways, alleys and walkways. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not fully open-air – only the day-vendor stalls are on the open-air level. Meander into the ‘down under’ (3 stories down below are the market’s truly hidden treasures – a trove of unique shops and restaurants just asking for exploration!) or continue down the Pike Place Hillclimb to the bustling waterfront piers below. Do not miss the gum wall (just down the cobblestoned ramp behind the info booth at 1st & Pike). This sticky kaleidoscope of ABC gum is one of the most talked-about parts of the market! http://www.pikeplacemarket.org/
So don your fleece … grab your umbrella (if you must) and enjoy Seattle – rain or shine!