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Discover the Emerald City: A Guide to Visiting Seattle in May

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Best of Seattle Small Group Walking Tour W/ Space Needle

$239

Best of Seattle Small Group Walking Tour W/ Space Needle

$239

Best of Seattle Small Group Walking Tour W/ Space Needle

$239

Ammara Younas2024-05-10

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The Pacific Northwest comes alive with a burst of energy in May. There are film festivals, artistic affairs, and cultural displays which will carve a permanent place of the Emerald City in your mind. The weather also warms up nicely in May so you can actually do everything summer-y without breaking into a sweat. If you need more convincing as to why you should visit Seattle in May, I've made a guide of everything you need to know about your visit. Let's dive in! 

Embark on the Best of Seattle Tour featuring Space Needle + Boat Tour!


Is May a Good Time to Visit Seattle?

Short answer: yes. Long answer: of course! The weather is absolutely perfect—warm enough to be outdoors but cool enough to not get dehydrated and exhausted by the high temperatures. This makes for a perfect backdrop for you to immerse in Seattle's culture by getting out and visiting every festival you can in May. 

Space Needle

Luca Micheli / Unsplash

Reasons to Visit Seattle in May

Nice Weather:

I know I've mentioned it before, but I can't stress this enough, the weather is absolutely perfect in Seattle in May. There is warmth in the air, color in the season, and longer daylight hours to stay out more—what’s not to love?

Events, and More Events:

Events never seem to end in Seattle in May. There's the Seattle International Film Festival for film aficionados and the Northwest Folklife Festival for the cultured ones. Another highlight is the Opening Day of Seattle Boating Season when a myriad of boats crowd the Montlake Cut for celebration.

Vibrant Culture: 

Seattle has an ever-thriving cultural scene. You can come here anytime and leave feeling rewarded with a rich taste of the Emerald City's Culture. From art exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum to live performances at the Climate Pledge Arena (with multi-hyphenated singer-songwriter-surrealist artists like Melanie Martinez headlining,) Seattle never disappoints.

Outdoor Adventures: 

May is the perfect time in Seattle to shed your light jackets, get outdoors, and live life fearlessly (too corny? But seriously, get out of your houses, flats, or hotel rooms). A must-do outdoor adventure is the visitors’ favorite whale watching tour. Then there is the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery Tasting Tours, which are a must if you like to sample different types of wines. A visit to the iconic Pike Place Market (one of the best farmers markets in not just the city but also Washington State) is also highly recommended. 

Seattle May Weather

May in Seattle shines bright with no gloomy sights of snow or fog. You can bask in the sunshine for 8 hours straight every day. The average temperatures range from the mid-40s to the mid-60s degrees Fahrenheit. You're sure to get more outdoorsy stuff done in May than in other months because of fewer rainy days. 

Things to Do in Seattle in May

Explore Pike Place Market: 

Can you really experience the Emerald City without ever going to the Pike Place Market? In Hugh Grant’s voice: Don't be absurd. Yes, you might get lost in a warren of stalls here, but you'll get out with a bargain or two. There's fresh seafood to indulge in, artisanal cheeses to sample, and the freshest local produce you'll get in Seattle. 

Eat Your Way Through Pike Place Market With A Small-Group Food Tour!


Visit the Space Needle:

The Space Needle. How can you forget the Space Needle? Erected in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, this massive observation tower was constructed for the 1962 World’s Fair but later became popular with tourists. This attraction is not just a spectacle with its glass benches, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a rotating glass floor, but also an experience in itself. You'll see gorgeous 360-degree views of the sky, the city, and beyond. 

Space Needle

Alex Mertz / Unsplash

Attend the Seattle International Film Festival: 

This one is for the film enthusiasts, but even if you're not one of them, why not attend anyway to try something new? This prestigious film festival is spread out all over the city in eight venues, playing a wide slew of films (over 200 of them) from indie narrative features and shorts to documentaries. Whether you're in for fact or fiction, this event will be one of the best things you'll do in Seattle (and later brag about).

Experience the Northwest Folklife Festival:

The greater Pacific Northwest is awash with cultural wonders that go beyond your imagination. You can see these wonders being recreated and weaved in a rich tapestry of artistic expression at the Northwest Folklife Festival. 

Every year, the Seattle Center comes alive with a celebration of folk arts and crafts, music, dance, and local cuisine of the Northwest folk—a celebration that has been going on for over 50 years. Every year, there is a theme that lets you learn more about the diverse cultures and traditions of the people of the Pacific Northwest. Come and immerse yourself in the extravaganza! 

Discover the Seattle Center: 

Your first introduction to the Seattle Center might be the Northwest Folklife Festival. Although this festival presents an accurate snapshot of the deep cultural reverence that this event venue holds, there's much more to this place than the festival of the Pacific Northwest folk. 74 magnificent acres of space is home to thousands of cultural events, concerts, and festivals that millions of people come and watch every year. 

Home to iconic landmarks such as the Space Needle and the Climate Pledge Arena, the Seattle Center has something for people of all ages. There are interactive exhibits at the Pacific Science Center, and contemporary art at the Chihuly Garden and Glass, to fuel your love for arts and learning. You can also catch a live concert or sporting event at the Climate Pledge Arena. The Seattle Center never runs out of things to dazzle you with!

Embark on a Scenic Seattle Night Walking Tour featuring Space Needle!


Go Outdoors: 

Seattle is home to verdant forests, sparkling waters, and unspoiled beauty. How can anyone even imagine staying indoors when they're surrounded with such natural beauty? From the wildflower meadows of Mount Rainer National Park and the indigo waters of Puget Sound to the hiking trails of Mount Si and the swimming spots in Lake Washington—there’s so much you can do. Hiking in Discovery Park, kayaking on Lake Union, or cycling along the scenic Burke-Gilman Trail, are some of the must-do activities in Seattle in May.

Seattle

fffunction studio / Unsplash

Indulge in Culinary Delights: 

Seattle is a food lover's paradise, with a rich culinary scene brimming with fresh seafood, farm-to-table cuisine, and innovative gastronomic creations. Dine at award-winning restaurants, sip craft cocktails at trendy bars, or explore the city's vibrant food truck scene—you’ll always be full in Seattle.

Go Whale Watching: 

Hop on a boat tour for a thrilling whale-watching excursion from Seattle's waterfront and witness majestic orcas, humpback whales, and other marine wildlife in their natural habitat. With experienced guides leading the way, you'll enjoy an unforgettable adventure on the waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Explore the University of Washington: 

Take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque campus of the University of Washington, renowned for its stunning architecture, lush green spaces, and scenic views of Lake Washington and Mount Rainier. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the university's museums, botanical gardens, and historic landmarks.

Let's Wrap It Up

To wrap it up, May is an excellent time to visit Seattle, offering visitors the perfect combination of mild weather, vibrant events, and exciting activities. Whether you're exploring the historic streets of downtown Seattle, sampling fresh seafood at Pike Place Market, or soaking in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, the Emerald City has something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to discover the magic of Seattle in May!

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