Seattle is a stunning city. There is no other city in the world with views of the tremendous, white capped Olympic Mountains that jut out from behind the deep blue Puget Sound waters. There’s a reason why Seattle has so many transplants moving here from all across the world. But one thing we hear from recent transplants is “what should I learn or do to be more like a local” and “how best should I spend my time in this every changing city?” Well for one thing, there are so many opportunities and things to do in and around Seattle that we decided to create a list of recommended hobbies and activities to share for anyone wanting to learn how best to take advantage of all that Seattle and its surrounding areas offer.
We created a fun list of activities or hobbies that we recommend checking out for yourself and adopting if you truly want to become a more like a local.
- Water sports: With 8 lakes in the immediate Seattle area, of which, Lake Union and Lake Washington are the largest, there’s a wide range of water sports and activities to choose from. Each body of water can offer something different, boating, water skiing, fishing, or sailing. Lake Washington and Green lake are easy accessible fresh water lakes to swim and paddle board, or on warm summer days you can lazily float on a unicorn or pizza raft instead.
- Hiking: It would be impossible to count the hundreds if not thousands of hikes in and around the Seattle area. You can be sure that there are plenty and they are abundant for every level of hiker. Forest walks can be done year-round in the temperate climate, and you’ll almost never be far from a refreshing water source in the summer months. In the winter time prepare for rain with a poncho in your pack and always check the weather as well as the trail reports on the Washington Trail Association’s website before heading on any hike.
- Biking: The biking trail system in Seattle and the surrounding areas is fantastic and it’s getting better and better with major plans in the works. One of the longest city trails is called the interurban trail it is made up of a North and South portion. The North runs 24 miles from Edmonds to Everett including several towns on the way. The South portion is 1 miles and runs from Tukwila to the town of Pacific. Under construction right now is a central corridor that will link all of the East side trails together, with 16.5 miles of old railroad being converted to bike trails there will soon be a way to ride from Woodinville in the North all the way to Renton in the safety of tree-lined pathways.
- Running: If you love the outdoors then you’re in luck, there are more than enough trail options for whatever kind of environment you’re looking for. Not only are there ample urban or more rustic running trails to go to, there are also multitudes of races to choose from! There’s a race almost every single weekend, including in the mild Seattle winters. You can sometimes choose from up to 8 races in one day if you’re looking for a challenge. From 5k fun runs, trail runs and marathons there is something for every type of runner. With over 18 running clubs in the area you don’t need to train alone, join one and meet some like-minded Seattleites or new transplant
- Get a dog: If you have yet to own a furry friend then you might be shocked to know that dogs actually outnumber children in Seattle proper. So if you are looking to grow your family with a dog then know that there are 14 recognized dog parks in Seattle that you can take advantage of. Magnuson and Westcrest parks both have over 8 acres for your dog to run. Most also offer doggie drinking fountains and special areas for small or shy dogs to feel safe and comfortable.
- Camping: If you prefer to venture out, there are over 30 State parks to choose from all within 2 hours of the city of Seattle. Or if you’re fairly new to camping and you don’t want to leave the city to set up a tent or rent a rustic cabin then you don’t have to. Camp Long is right here in town, complete with a ropes course, fire pits and events spaces, it’s the perfect place to test your camping skills before heading out to more rustic environments.
- Yoga: It might not surprise you that with all of the athletic adventure around Seattle there is also a thriving yoga culture. Whether you are looking for slow flow, pre-natal, vinyasa, Bikram, Yin or Kundalini there is a studio for you to shed your rush hour stress. If you’re shy to trying group yoga, you can also request private training if you choose to go that route.
If none of the activities listed above are your speed then you might enjoy our more relaxed approach recommendations to becoming “one of us”. There are plenty of hobbies and activities to do in Seattle that don’t include having to plan out an entire weekend.
- Beer Tasting: Seattle is one of the original cities known for its craft beer brew pubs and has more of them than you could visit in a week. No, that is not a challenge. But with fabulous outdoor seating and delicious menus, I doubt you’ll meet a beer that you don’t like. Fun fact: Eastern Washington is the Hops Capital of the World so you can be sure we know how to brew some tasty beer.
- Wine Tasting: Washington state is known for wine, with almost 70 varietals, it is the second largest producer of wine in the United States. Over the mountains on the Eastern (dry) side of the state they know a thing or two about wine. With over a dozen tasting rooms in Seattle, the wines of Eastern Washington have come to you.
- Board Games: You don’t have to sit in your home to play board games anymore, there are fun and interesting bars for that in Seattle. There are a handful of board game bars, with some being family or dog friendly as well. We recommend trying out Mox Boarding House or the The Raygun Lounge for the best board game bar experiences, as well as going online to check out their lively events calendars if you’re interested in tournaments.
- Restaurants: We don’t know if eating mass quantities of food can be considered a hobby, but why not? We all eat several times a day and Seattle has such beautiful cuisines it would be a shame not to recommend attempting to try them all. Seattle’s specialties include anything with fresh fish, traditional NW chowder, Asian and other international influences. With the city growing at such a rate, chefs are coming and bringing creativity and flavors from all over the world with them.
Seattle is a bustling city with something for everyone to enjoy, even your furry friends.