Whether you’re more of an artsy, indie coffeehouse type of person, or more the outdoorsy, greenery-loving type, Seattle has something for you. You don’t even have to be a Starbucks aficionado to fall in love with this popular Pacific Northwestern city – but if you are, you’ll have no shortage of locations to choose from!
But when deciding the best time to visit Seattle, it may not be too obvious because of the prevailing impression that it’s always raining in Seattle. The good news – and maybe the bad news if you live for rainy weather – is that this isn’t true. But it does rain a lot, so it’s best to know Seattle’s typical weather conditions so that you can plan and prepare accordingly.
Seattle sees an average of 150 days of rain – which sounds like a lot. But, when you look at it from the perspective of total inches of rain, Seattle isn’t even in the US top 15. This means that – while it may rain often – there isn’t so much rainfall.
Rain is light and often just misty – and the 150 days typically fall within November through January. So if rain and cold isn’t your thing, you won’t find winter to be the best time of year to visit Seattle. The average winter temperature is a high of 48℉ (9℃) and low of 40℉ (4℃) with a monthly average of 5 inches of rain.
This is our INSIDER GUIDE for the best times to visit Seattle!
If you’re looking for the city’s warmest and sunniest weather, you’ll find that summer is the best time of year to visit Seattle. Just keep in mind that many other people seek out these sunny days to best take advantage of outdoor activities – making these months Seattle’s high season. The average summer temperature is a high of 71℉ (22℃) and low of 54℉ (12℃) with a monthly average of 1 inch of rainfall.
What months are the best time to visit Seattle?
Most people find that the July and August months are the best time to visit Seattle, which also happens to be Seattle’s warmest and driest. The hottest month of the year is August, at an average 76℉ (24℃) and less than 1 inch of rain.
If you don’t mind cooler temperatures and prefer less tourist-crowded months – May, June, September and October – are lovely months to consider. Though a bit more unpredictable weather-wise, these months usually see average daytime temperatures between 60-65℉ (15-18℃) and 1 ½ – 2 inches of rainfall.
Seattle is a fun-loving and outdoorsy place, so you’ll find happenings year-round. When figuring out which months are the best time to visit Seattle, it’s worth considering both weather conditions and selection of events taking place by month before making your final decision.
Read below for information about Seattle weather in January (Photo credit – hollandamerica.com)
Seattle Weather in January
January is Seattle’s coldest month of the year with an average high of 45℉ (7℃) and low of 2℉ (6℃). You’ll find consistently rainy days with 5.2 average inches of rain. You can still do a lot with the proper weather and water-proof gear, but if cold and showers aren’t for you, you likely won’t find January to be the best time to visit Seattle!
Seattle Events in January
Polar Bear Plunge (January 1)
Participate in this fun – albeit somewhat crazy – annual Seattle tradition of starting the new year with a plunge in the Puget Sound’s freezing-cold waters at Matthews Beach Park. If you can stand to submerge yourself neck-deep, you can proudly carry home a Commemorative Badge of Courage as proof of your true grit!
First Thursday Art Walk (first Thursday)
Support the Seattle arts by participating in the first art walk of the year. Every first Thursday of the month, galleries welcome patrons to Pioneer Square – Seattle’s art mecca – to enjoy an evening of art and community.
Free State Park Day (Mid January)
On MLK Day, enjoy free entry to any of Washington State’s national parks. Popular Mt. Rainier is just a couple of hours away from Seattle and is well worth the trip to experience all its natural splendor – even more so when you can do so for free!
Read below for information about Seattle weather in February (Photo credit – blogs.seattletimes)
Seattle Weather in February
February is one of those fickle months where the weather could be as cold and rainy as January, or it could decide to bring sunny days back early. On average, you’ll typically find temperatures ranging from a high of 48℉ (9℃) to a low of 37℉ (3℃) with 4 inches of average rainfall.
Seattle Events in February
Lunar New Year (early February)
The Chinatown-International district comes alive with a variety of Lunar New Year celebrations including martial arts performances, lion and dragon dances, amazing food and more.
Seattle Wine and Food Experience (mid-late February)
If food and wine are two of your favorite things, this experience is for you! There are 4 separate events you can purchase: Comfort food and craft brews at SODO Park, Pop! Bubbles and seafood at The Sanctuary Seattle, The Grand Tasting with a showcase of wine, drinks and food at the Bell Harbor International, and Sunday Supper at Block 41 for a unique dinner experience organized by Seattle’s top chefs.
Hops & Props (mid-late February)
Enjoy live music, food, and 3 oz. tastings of 100+ brews – ranging from the best craft beers of the Northwest and from around the world – at the Museum of Flight.
Read below for information about Seattle weather in March (Photo credit – bekinsmovingandstorage.com)
Seattle Weather in March
March usually warms up, bringing more sunny days and cherry blossoms! But don’t pack your rain jacket away, as rainy days are still common and likely to pop up. March temperatures typically range from a high of 52℉ (11℃) to a low of 39℉ (4℃) and about 3 inches of rain.
Seattle Events in March
Emerald City Comic Con (mid-March)
Downtown Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center transforms into a pop culture galaxy of sci-fi, fantasy and more. Panels, screenings, exhibits and booths along with popular writers, actors and artists make this an anticipated event.
Seattle’s St. Patrick’s Parade (mid-March)
You may expect beer-loving Seattle to go all out for St. Patrick’s Day – and you’d be right! Get your fill of marching bands, dancers, pipers, cheers and a whole lotta green at this lively spectacle. Irish pubs get crowded, but luckily, Seattle has its fair share of them, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one!
Taste Washington Grand Tasting (mid-late March)
A fun 2-day weekend event to taste samples and offerings from 65 local restaurants and 230 wineries at the CenturyLink Field Event Center. Cast your vote for your preferred winner of the annual Best Bite competition!
Read below for information about Seattle weather in April (Photo credit – tworldfranchise.com)
Seattle Weather in April
April continues to see slight increases in temperature and longer days at the height of Spring. You can still expect a varied mix of sunny and rainy days. Seattle’s April temperatures range from a high of 58℉ (14℃) to a low of 43℉ (6℃) and close to 2 inches of rain.
Seattle Events in April
Earth Day Run (mid-April)
Support the environment and get your workout by running or walking in the Earth Day 5k, 10k or half marathon – kids can also participate in 400-meter kids dash! Not only will the Mangrove Action Project plant a mangrove for every runner/walker to cross the finish line, but each participant gets a sapling tree that they can plant themselves at the Tree Hugger Station or any location of their choosing.
Tulip Festival (month of April)
Make a trip to Mount Vernon to see the wondrous display of endless fields of tulips in bloom. Visit local tulip farms – both large and small – and enjoy a lovely day outdoors. Have your camera ready!
Bunny Bounce & Easter Baskets for the Animals (Easter weekend)
Seattle is teeming with Easter egg hunts for kids of all ages. A local favorite is at the Woodland Zoo where egg hunts, Easter crafts and bunnies await. Families can enjoy watching the zoo animals nibble on their specially made Easter basket treats!
Read below for information about Seattle weather in May (Photo credit – mymodernmet.com)
Seattle Weather in May
May brings Seattle the first true signs of summer weather. Temperatures are warmer, days are longer and outdoor activity really comes to life. Average highs linger at a mild high of 64℉ (18℃) with an average low of 47℉ (8℃). Rainfall continues dropping to an average of 1 ½ inches in May.
Seattle Events in May
Seattle International Film Festival (mid-May – early June)
This 25-day film festival is a real treat for movie buffs, particularly those with an affinity towards documentaries, foreign and indie films. The festival showcases over 400 films from nearly 90 countries around the world. As one of the country’s largest, you can be sure the calendar of events has plenty to offer.
Seattle Beer Week (early to mid-May)
Various breweries and bars throughout Seattle host a number of events involving beer tastings and food pairings to please every palate. You can count on 10 days of beer-themed activities!
Northwest Folklife (Memorial Day weekend)
This community-focused event has been a local favorite since 1972. As a celebration of the Pacific Northwest’s diversity, the festival involves over 20 stages, over 500 performers and hundreds of vendors offering wholesome fun for everyone.
Read below for information about Seattle weather in June (Photo credit – weather-us.com)
Seattle Weather in June
June is a beautiful month to visit Seattle if you’re looking to enjoy the outdoors and take advantage of the many festivals and events. Average highs continue increasing and reach an average of 69℉ (21℃) with an average low of 11℉ (8℃). Rainfall continues dropping to an average of 1 ½ inches in May.
Seattle Events in June
Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon and ½ Marathon (early June)
A fun weekend for runners and spectators alike. Run, walk or cheer as bands perform all along the racecourse. Concerts and a two-day Health and Fitness Expo are part of the schedule leading up to Sunday’s big event.
Fremont Solstice Parade (late June)
A unique, local-favorite parade that’s open for public participation where all are encouraged to declare their message “through creative expression.” The only rules: no motorized vehicles, and no printed words or logos allowed. The rest is fair game, resulting in some interesting sights!
Seattle Pride Parade (end of June)
Experience this lively and vibrant 4-hour Pride parade – the largest LGBTQ event in the Northwest. It runs along 4th Avenue in the heart of downtown Seattle and ends at the site of Seattle PrideFest, where you’ll find plenty of food, drinks and live entertainment!
Read below for information about Seattle weather in July (Photo credit – X)
Seattle Weather in July
If your priority is experiencing the Emerald City at its warmest and driest, then July is your safest bet as the best time to visit Seattle. You’ll enjoy a pleasantly warm, average high temperature of 72℉ (22℃) with an average low of 54℉ (12℃). Rainfall average is at its lowest at just over ½ inch.
Seattle Events in July
Seafair (month of July)
If you want an authentic experience of Seattle, you can’t get much better than attending one of the many Seafair events that take place all month long. Originating as a celebration of Seattle’s nautical roots, Seafair has become one of the area’s finest full of street parties, festivals and major events.
4th of July at Lake Union (July 4)
For the best 4th of July fireworks show in the area – also considered one of the best in the country – Lake Union is the place to be. You can watch the amazing display from anywhere around the lake and enjoy all-day fun at Gas Works Park.
Bite of Seattle (mid-late July)
If food festivals are your thing, this weekend event is for you! Seattle Center booms with over 200 food vendors, craft beer tastings, over 70 live bands, outdoor beer gardens, and much more.
Read below for information about Seattle weather in August (Photo credit – http://usa.um.dk)
Seattle Weather in August
For the same reasons as July, August is also considered the best month of the year to visit Seattle. You can expect to get Seattle’s warmest weather, with an average high temperature of 73℉ (23℃) with an average low of 55℉ (13℃). You’ll enjoy dry conditions as the rainfall average stays low at just ¾ inch.
Seattle Events in August
Seafair Weekend (first weekend of August)
For the ultimate Seattle tradition experience, you’ll want to join the crowds to watch the hydroplane races and an air show featuring the Blue Angels. Other events on the weekend’s calendar include the Seafair Classic Car Show, BMX stunt bikes, a KidsZone and much more!
Seattle Art Fair (beginning of August)
Four days full of modern and contemporary art as the public, art collectors, museums, local and international galleries, come together to appreciate the thriving art community.
South Lake Union Block Party (early-mid August)
A free community festival offering fun for everyone. Live music concerts, a beer garden, food trucks, community and local restaurant booths and a kids’ play area are just some of the things you’ll find!
Read below for information about Seattle weather in September (Photo credit – 123rf.com)
Seattle Weather in September
You’ll quickly feel fall weather conditions settling in once September arrives. Temperatures drop and rainy days slowly start making their way back – although sunny days haven’t completely gone yet! You can expect cooler average highs of 67℉ (19℃) with average lows of 52℉ (11℃). The monthly inches of rain makes its way back up to over 1 ½ inches.
Seattle Events in September
Bumbershoot (early September)
Celebrate Labor Day weekend at this popular music festival that also includes art, comedy and film throughout 13 venues at the Seattle Center. Attend concerts by both local talent and major headliners.
Fremont Oktoberfest (late September)
Enjoy some serious Oktoberfest fun with 80+ beer offerings, food, live music, pumpkin carving artists and more family fun. Kids – and dogs – get in free!
Luminata (mid-late September)
A gorgeous celebration to bid summer farewell and welcome the start of autumn. The public is invited to participate by bringing lanterns, glowing costumes, or any other luminous accessory of their choosing to march around the lake at Green Lake Park. Enjoy live music, art installations and other exhibits displayed throughout the park.
Read below for information about Seattle weather in October (Photo credit – wheninyourstate.com)
Seattle Weather in October
If you’re a lover of chilly autumn weather, you just may find that October is the best time of year to visit Seattle! Fall has settled in completely with cool temperatures, rainy days and plenty of fall-themed events. The average high is 59℉ (15℃) and average low is 47℉ (8℃) with over 3 inches of rainfall.
Seattle Events in October
Earshot Jazz Festival (month of October)
Various locations across Seattle feature over 70 artists and performances from top jazz talent from near and far. If you’re a jazz fan, this festival won’t disappoint!
Great Pumpkin Beer Festival (early October)
For those who truly love pumpkin beer, this is one you don’t want to miss! Over 80 pumpkin beers are available for tasting and take part in the festival tradition – an enormous pumpkin weighing a few hundred pounds is scooped out, filled with pumpkin beer, sealed up and tapped for all fest-goers to enjoy!
Carnevolar (late October)
A spine-chilling and spectacular Halloween-themed circus extravaganza featuring flying trapeze artists and a variety of acts. Everyone attending is invited to show up in costume, so feel free to get spooky and creative!
Read below for information about Seattle weather in November (Photo credit – tripsavvy.com)
Seattle Weather in November
If rain, wind and cold aren’t your favorite things, you may not find November to be the best month to visit Seattle! It’s one of the rainiest months of the year with an average of 5 inches of rainfall. Average daily highs barely break 50℉ (10℃) and average lows dip down to 40℉ (4℃).
Seattle Events in November
TedxSeattle (mid-late November)
Feed your mind with a full line-up of speakers giving educational, inspirational and motivational 18-minute speeches on a slew of subjects based on the event’s annual theme.
Gingerbread Village (late November)
For over 25 years, the Sheraton Grand Seattle has been housing the charming Gingerbread Village, featuring extravagant gingerbread displays constructed by local chefs and their talented teams. Don’t be surprised if you’re struck with a sudden gingerbread cookie craving!
Macy’s Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting (Thanksgiving weekend)
Partake in Seattle’s beloved holiday tradition by viewing the parade – complete with Santa and his sleigh – followed by the Macy’s giant tree lighting in downtown. Then be dazzled by the fireworks show and really feel yourself get into the holiday spirit!
Read below for information about Seattle weather in December (Photo credit – city-data.com)
Seattle Weather in December
As far as weather, December is about as cold as it gets in Seattle. But it does create a festive atmosphere for those who enjoy cold-weather holiday cheer! You can expect an average high of 47℉ (8℃) and an average low of 38℉ (3℃) with almost 5 ½ inches of rainfall.
Seattle Events in December
Christmas Ship Festival
A Seattle holiday tradition since 1949, thousands of people gather onshore for the arrival of the Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship. Every year, the Argosy sails to over 45 waterfront communities for a special holiday 20-minute choir performance.
Chock-full with everything Christmas, the Seattle Center features a month of lights, model trains, carolers, dancers, ice sculptors, live entertainment and ice skating at Fisher Pavilion. Plenty of fun for everyone – and free admission!
New Year’s at the Needle (December 31)
Ring in the new year with a spectacular lights extravaganza below Seattle’s iconic landmark, the Space Needle. A 30-minute lighting show choreographed to music is followed by a 10-minute fireworks display that’s sure to impress!
What is the best time to visit Seattle weather-wise?
When figuring out the best time to visit Seattle based on weather, it really depends on what you consider to be the ideal conditions. For you outdoor activities-loving types, ideal weather conditions probably mean warmer days with as much sunshine – and as little rainfall – as possible. In that case, July and August are the best choices for you!
For you cold-weather accustomed folks who enjoy attending some outdoor festivals, strolling through art galleries or sipping on wine or a craft brew in a hip city bar, or lounging in a cozy coffee shop – and therefore enjoy cooler weather and don’t mind sporadic showers – you’ll find late Spring (April, May and into June) and early fall (September and early October) to be the best time to visit Seattle.
And unless you really love cold and rainy weather and want to spend most of your time indoors – or have Seattle-style holidays on your bucket list – you may want to avoid November, December and January all together!
Final thoughts on the best time of year to visit Seattle
Chances are that you’re not choosing Seattle because you’re looking for a hot, tropical travel destination. That being said, the best time of year to visit Seattle and enjoy its many gems depends on what you want to see and do. The good news is that – rain or shine – the Emerald City has activities aplenty to choose from all year round. No matter what, you’re in for a good time, and you can be sure you’ll be going back for more in no time!
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Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.