10 Things to Do in Seattle in August

Visiting Seattle in August is a dream come true. It's a favorite month for many travelers and here you'll find out why with all the things you can't miss on your vacation.

Katherine Betances

Katherine Betances

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Seattle in August

Seattle Waterfront | ©Glen Watson

Honestly speaking, exploring Seattle at any time of the year is a fantastic idea, but if you have the opportunity to experience the emerald city in ideal weather conditions, you will get the best of impressions.

Seattle is a charming destination with hundreds of things to see and do. The month of August in particular is loaded with outdoor fun including fairs, festivals, ocean rides and nature fun.

1. In August attend the closing parade of the Seafair Festival

Torchlight Parade| ©Trevor Dykstra
Torchlight Parade| ©Trevor Dykstra

The famous Torchlight Parade is a popular celebration that honors the cultural diversity and time-honored traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

It is one of the most fun summer activities to do in Seattle and takes place each year either the last week of July in Seattle or the first week of August.

The parade is the closing event of one of Seattle's oldest festivals that began in the 1950s. The commemorative closing event activities begin around 7:30pm or 8:00pm in the evening. If you want to participate, try to arrive early and find a good spot.

The event is attended by approximately 300 thousand people every year. It is a varied multidisciplinary artistic parade that includes performances by clowns and pirates, acrobats, university entertainers, equestrian exhibitions, luxurious and elaborate floats and much more!

Where it takes place

The colorful parade takes place in downtown Seattle taking as its backdrop Seattle's 4th Avenue. The route usually begins at the Seattle Center and ends near CenturyLink Field.

How to purchase tickets

Viewing the parade from the street is free to the public. However, grandstands and special seats are prepared in strategic locations; tickets are purchased online at the official website of the Seafair Organization and the price is between 30 ¤ and 60 ¤ per seat.

2. Get tickets for the Seattle Art Fair

Seattle Art Fair| ©Amp
Seattle Art Fair| ©Amp

If you are a fan or feel any kind of interest in modern and contemporary art you can not miss the Seattle Art Fair. It is an exhibition that takes place every year and its main objective is to showcase the talent of the vibrant Pacific Northwest community.

Although the event usually takes place in early August for 4 consecutive days, in some years it has been held in late July so I recommend corroborating the information a few days before your trip. The best way is to visit the Seattle Art Fair website.

The fair brings together the best talent in the region but also has international guests and galleries from all corners of America; as well as innovative talents to have a conversation around the local and global art scene.

Where it takes place

The venue chosen to host the exhibitions is the CenturyLink Event Center. Located in the heart of Seattle, the best way to get there is by taking the T1 city streetcar.

How to purchase tickets

This is a multi-day event and you can purchase tickets for a particular day or multiple days. The best way to purchase tickets is to visit the official website Seattle Art Fair in the section of Tickets details of price and time of the exhibition for each day are presented.

The one-day pass is usually around 25€, the all-day pass is around 50€ per participant.

3. The best month to see Mount Rainier from Seattle.

Hiking Mount Rainier| ©dennis dahn
Hiking Mount Rainier| ©dennis dahn

August is the best time of the year to visit Mount Rainier, due to its perfect weather conditions. During this month, wildflowers invade the park's meadows, offering visitors breathtaking scenery.

In addition, the dry and warm weather provides the perfect conditions for hiking in the mountains.

Take a trip to Mount Rainer from Seattle if you enjoy hiking and scenery and are looking for an excuse to experience the wilderness of the northwestern United States.

Mount Rainer National Park is open year-round, but it's worth doing this one in August or July, when weather conditions lend themselves to enjoying the natural environment at its best.

During the winter months in Seattle many areas remain closed due to high humidity which makes some trails dangerous.

How to get to Mount Rainier National Park

The park is almost 2 hours from the city. The best way to get to this part of Washington State is by organized tour.

Fortunately it is one of the most sought after experiences for travelers and one of the best tours to do from Seattle.

Duration of the experience

Organized tours to Mount Rainer from Seattle usually last at least 10 hours, including round-trip transportation from Seattle. You will need to reserve a full day for this experience. The approximate cost of the tour is around $170.

Book a tour to Mount Rainier

4. Visit the Skagit Valley for the Skagit County Fair.

Skagit County Fair.| ©KingD
Skagit County Fair.| ©KingD

The Skagit County Fair is an event designed for the whole family where you can find various animal exhibits to play with and feed; ride horses; enjoy an arts and crafts fair; and enjoy games and various food booths.

Leave the urban atmosphere behind and spend a fun day getting to know northern Washington at an event that allows you to get an up-close look at American culture and traditions: a county fair. If you attend, you can visit Skagit County, an area famous for being home to the largest commercial flower industry in the country.

I recommend taking advantage of the visit to see Skagit's world famous tulip fields, which provide visitors with a breathtaking spectacle.

It is an impressive scene that will make you think you are in the old world touring the flower fields in Holland.

Where it is held

The fair is held in the Skagit Valley located in the region of the same name north of Seattle. The way to get there is to rent a car in town. By road, it takes about 1 hour, without stops.

How to buy tickets

You can purchase tickets upon arrival and you can get information about prices and the exact date of the event by visiting the official Skagit County website.

5. In August you will be able to watch whales in Seattle.

Whale watching in Seattle| ©Bernie Duhamel
Whale watching in Seattle| ©Bernie Duhamel

During the month of August the whale season in Seattle is at its peak. You can take a whale watching tour in Seattle, these tours depart from the port at Seattle Center and head to the Salish Sea.

The Salish Sea is a marginal area of the Pacific Ocean that borders the State of Washington and the Canadian province of Columbia. In this area the cetaceans like to spend the summer months and have fun in the warm waters. Later, with the arrival of the cold autumn, the whales migrate to warmer waters in the south.

Where to go

Seattle whale watching tours depart from Pier 69 at Seattle Center. This adventure is rated as one of the best Seattle boat tours to take during the summer season.

Schedule and duration of the experience

The schedule may vary slightly depending on the company you hire for the experience. Generally there is one tour each day departing at about 10 am; the tour lasts between 4 to 6 hours depending on the itinerary. The half-day tour costs about 160€, approximately.

Book a boat tour in Seattle

6. Attend Magnolia Summerfest in downtown Seattle

Magnolia Summerfest| ©Dyane D
Magnolia Summerfest| ©Dyane D

Magnolia Summerfest is an event that celebrates summer and has been a part of the community since its founding in the 1950s.

This summer festival is held every first weekend in August. It lasts several days, making it easy to include in your plans even during a short trip, such as 3 days in Seattle or less.

A large area of downtown Seattle is set up to provide visitors and locals with all kinds of fun.

Magnolia Fest activities include live music by local and guest artists; inflatable toys for the kids, talent shows, parades and lots of food and drink booths!

Where it's held

The event takes place at Seattle's Magnolia Playfield. You can get to this part of town using the Seattle bus, specifically the 24 and 31 lines. The Magnolia Fremont Central Magnolia station is just a few minutes walk away.

How to purchase tickets

The event is organized on a volunteer basis for the community and visitors to Seattle, so it is free to all audiences.

7. Bid farewell to summer like the locals by attending the Evergreen State Fair.

Evergreen State Fair| ©Jmabel
Evergreen State Fair| ©Jmabel

The Evergreen State Fair is billed as the largest county fair in the Pacific Northwest. The event welcomes thousands of visitors, who gather to enjoy numerous activities designed for family fun.

It is a celebration that lasts 12 days, beginning in mid-August and culminating with the celebration of Labor Day in the United States (the 1st Monday of September).

The fair is ideal if you are going to Seattle with children and are looking for a family fun option, with entertainment for all audiences.

Among the amusements you can expect to find are: equestrian shows, food and beverage market, craft market, arts and crafts booths, live music and an area for mechanical games.

Where it is held

The event is held in the small town of Monroe, located about 40 minutes outside of Seattle by car. Renting a car in town is currently the best way to get there.

How to purchase tickets

Tickets can be purchased directly at the gates of the event or in advance on the Evergreen Fair website.

8. The annual Duwamish River Festival is held in August

Annual Duwamish River Festival.| ©Paredmap
Annual Duwamish River Festival.| ©Paredmap

In mid-August an event takes place in town that nature lovers and eco-travelers will enjoy. It's the annual Duwamish River Fair; a family-friendly event where you'll find: food fair, games with prizes, live entertainment, environmental education activities and more.

The Duwamish River in Elliot Bay is considered one of the most polluted rivers in the country, which is why several local organizations have joined forces to raise funds to invest in improvements.

It is a one-afternoon event that you can easily combine with a tight itinerary, such as a short 5-day trip to Seattle or less.

Where it is held

Each year the event is set up on a dedicated vacant lot with fabulous views of Elliot Bay. The site is located at 8700 Dallas Ave. S.

How to purchase tickets

No tickets are required as this event is free to the public.

9. This is the perfect time of year to enjoy rooftop bars.

Frolik| ©Jim Culp
Frolik| ©Jim Culp

Seattle is by default a city with a high rainfall rate. However, August is one of the driest months of the year, an ideal situation to enjoy many outdoor activities in the city.

Taking a tour of the best rooftop bars to enjoy the incredible scenery of the city in conjunction with the good weather in August is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Seattle at night

Here is a list of interesting options to consider.


Located in the heart of Seattle, Frolik is a luxurious and elegant establishment that will make you feel like you're in an old Hollywood movie.

From the rooftop terrace you will get the most spectacular views of the Seattle metropolitan area, specifically 5th Avenue and its beautiful buildings.


It is located on a 14th floor and is one of the best rooftop bars in the South Lake Union area. I recommend going to MBar on an empty stomach and trying the eclectic and very original menu offered by chef Jason Stratton.

The Pink Door

Located on pretty Pike Place, The Pink Door may seem hard to find, but the sparkling views of Seattle's waterfront make the effort fully rewarded.

Enjoy a tasty dinner while watching performers and dancers leave their souls on stage to entertain during show nights.

The Nest

The Nest is a fabulous venue that offers visitors postcard views to remember your trip to Seattle.

The place has become famous for its cocktails, with a menu that mixes classic and contemporary drinks seeking to satisfy even the most demanding tastes.

10.Take a gastronomic tour in Seattle

Pike Place Market| ©Daniel Schwen
Pike Place Market| ©Daniel Schwen

If you go to Seattle in August, I recommend that you do not leave the city without taking a gastronomic tour. This month is ideal for such a tour through the streets of Seattle.

Although the itinerary may change depending on the company you hire, some tour options center their tour around Pike Place Market.

This is not only home to amazing eats, but the space also offers breathtaking views of downtown Seattle and sunsets.

Hours and duration of the experience

Seattle food tours run at different times several times a day and while the specifics may vary from company to company, they generally run from 10am onwards.

From the start of the tour, you should reserve about 2 hours of your itinerary to complete the experience. Gastronomic tours cost about 100€ per participant and include food tasting.

Book a food tour of Seattle

Tourist flow in Seattle in August

In Seattle| ©Michael Gwyther-Jones
In Seattle| ©Michael Gwyther-Jones

The beginning of August coincides with the highest peak of visitors in Seattle, mainly due to the school vacations that mobilize a large flow of tourists in the big cities of North America.

August is one of the busiest months of the year, but also one of the best months for walking and outdoor activities.

To avoid the problems associated with the high influx of tourists, I recommend planning your activities in advance.

Prices in the city of Seattle in August.

Money in Euros| ©Pixabay
Money in Euros| ©Pixabay

Due to high demand, summer is one of the most expensive seasons to visit Seattle You're going to find that both airfare and lodging will be a bit higher than other months of the year.

If you can afford a spring trip to Seattle or a fall trip to the city, both seasons are ideal for saving money on your vacation.

However, choose the date of your visit carefully to avoid the very cold or rainy months that will end up making your visit more complicated.