Pacific Coast Highway Travel’s advice on the best time to visit Seattle, covering the weather and climate from month to month and season by season.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through each month and season in Seattle, painting a picture of the Seattle weather, the city's rhythm, and those special events that infuse an extra dose of excitement to your trip. So, let's dive in!
January reinforces Seattle's reputation as a rainy city, with an average of 18 days of rainfall and chilly temps around 37°F (3°C). The city eases into the New Year with fewer tourists, making it a great time to explore its museums in peace. Lower hotel rates are an added perk during this month.
Come February, the city's vibe starts to lighten with the onset of Valentine's Day and the city's famous Northwest Chocolate Festival. Temps hover around 42°F (6°C), with about 14 rainy days. This off-peak season still promises lower hotel prices and less crowded attractions.
March in Seattle is a hint of spring. Temperatures start to climb to an average of 49°F (9°C), although you can expect 17 days of rain. The city starts to bloom, inviting you to enjoy outdoor activities like the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
April showers are a thing in Seattle, with around 13 rainy days. However, temperatures improve to around 54°F (12°C), making it a pleasant time to explore the city's vibrant neighborhoods. The blooming cherry blossoms at the University of Washington are a must-see.
May ushers in more sunshine as Seattle preps for the summer. Expect average temperatures of 60°F (16°C) and rainfall for about 11 days. The city starts to buzz with events like the Northwest Folklife Festival, making it an exciting time to visit.
June kicks off the summer season with an average temperature of 66°F (19°C). The Seattle weather is at its finest, with only (!) nine days of rain on average. The city's popular Pride Festival takes place this month, but expect a bit of a hotel rate hike.
July is Seattle's driest and warmest month, with temperatures around 72°F (22°C). It's a busy time of the year, thanks to events like the Bite of Seattle and Seafair. While the city is lively, keep in mind the increased hotel rates.
August matches July with its warm temps around 72°F (22°C) and an average of seven rainy days. Expect Seattle to be buzzing with tourists, and plan for higher hotel rates. The renowned Hempfest takes place this month, attracting a multitude of visitors.
September brings a less crowded Seattle, still offering pleasant temperatures around 67°F (19°C) and about nine rainy days. The city's vibrant Bumbershoot Music Festival happens this month, making it an attractive time for music lovers to visit.
October marks the onset of autumn in the city with temperatures around 57°F (14°C) and about 15 rainy days. As the crowds thin, you'll be able to enjoy places like Pike Place Market at a leisurely pace. Hotel rates start to drop, making it a good time for budget-conscious travelers.
November brings in winter vibes with temps hovering around 47°F (8°C). Expect around 18 rainy days, but don't let that stop you from enjoying the city's Thanksgiving festivities. Hotel rates continue their downward trend, offering some great deals.
December is a festive time in Seattle, with cool temperatures around 41°F (5°C) and 17 rainy days. The city is beautifully lit up for Christmas, promising a magical experience. Hotel prices remain favorable, so it's definitely worth considering a winter trip!
Spring (March to May) in Seattle welcomes you with blooming cherry blossoms and the city in full swing with cultural events. While the Seattle weather may still see some rainy days, the increasing temperatures make it easy to explore the city's outdoor attractions.
The tourist crowd remains manageable during this time, and you can score some good deals on accommodations.
Summer (June to August) in Seattle is an absolute delight - think warm temperatures, plenty of sunshine, and tons of exciting events. It's no surprise that this is the peak tourist season, so be prepared for bigger crowds and higher hotel rates. However, the vibrant Seattle climate makes the extra planning totally worth it!
Fall (September to November) is a fantastic time to visit Seattle if you prefer fewer tourists and lower hotel rates. The city transitions into fall with its beautiful changing foliage, and the Seattle weather remains pleasant enough for outdoor explorations. Plus, you can enjoy some of the city's popular festivals without battling large crowds.
Winter (December to February) in Seattle may be cold and rainy, but it also brings its own charm. The city slows down considerably, offering you a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere. The hotel rates are at their lowest, making it an ideal season for budget travelers who don't mind packing an extra layer or two.
In essence, the "Best Time to Visit Seattle" comes down to what you want from your trip. If you're a fan of warm weather and bustling events, summer is your season. If you prefer a quieter, more laid-back experience, consider visiting in fall or winter.
Remember, whichever time you choose to visit, Seattle's charm won't disappoint. Be it exploring the iconic Space Needle, indulging in the delicious seafood, or immersing yourself in its rich music scene, the city promises a memorable experience.
From the hilariously entertaining Fremont Solstice Parade in summer to the brilliant display of holiday lights in winter, every season in Seattle offers unique festivities that add a layer of charm to your trip.
If you're a fan of food festivals, time your visit around Bite of Seattle in July or the Chocolate Festival in February. For music enthusiasts, Bumbershoot in September or the Northwest Folklife Festival in May are absolute must-see events.
In the end, any time could easily be the best time to visit Seattle. It's not merely about the perfect weather, but the right mindset—one that's open to experiencing the city's many wonders.
So, whether you're planning a brief stopover or an extended stay, Seattle promises to be a destination that will linger in your memories long after you've left. Safe travels!
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