Vacations do not always have to be expensive. In every city in the world, you can find many things to do that are absolutely free. And Seattle is a good place to do that because there is quite a bit of free entertainment.
Whether you’re visiting alone or on a family vacation, there are activities for everyone to enjoy. From beaches to parks and art galleries to museums, Seattle has a plethora of free places to go no matter whether you are there for one day or several. Don’t forget to find a place to leave your backpacks and bags behind while you explore. Luckily, there are quite a few suitcase storage facilities in and around Seattle to choose from:
See Some Artwork
- Frye Art Museum
Frye Art Museum opened in 1952 with a unique collection of art owned by Charles and Emma Frye and was Seattle’s first free art museum. It started with 232 paintings and now has over 1,500 works of art. From 1787 oil by Copley to the 2018 digital video from Nestler, the collection has a bit of everything.
- Olympic Sculpture Park
The nine-acre park boasts a variety of sculptures as well as a beach and other park amenities. The Seattle Art Museum rotates major art in the park routinely, so there is always something new to see. Some of the most popular include Alexander Calder’s 1971 The Eagle and the 2011 Echo by Jaume Plensa.
- The Roq La Rue
Roq La Rue features underground and pop surrealism contemporary art that has found its niche in Capitol Hill. The small but airy shop has large windows with a lot of sun to emphasize the beauty of the art inside. This gallery features showings year-round from artists like Adam Alaniz to Madeline von Forester.
Enjoy the Parks
- Discovery Park
With more than 500 acres, Discovery Park has a lot to uncover as the largest park in Seattle. Located on Magnolia Bluff above the Puget Sound, you get gorgeous views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. Enjoy a walk on one of the 12 miles of trails, hit the beach, or learn the history of Fort Lawton.
- Gas Works Park
Another great public park, Gas Works Park is small but important as the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Plant. Besides the historic gas generator towers, the park also features a play barn and picnic shelter to enjoy. Walk the Burke-Gilman Trail along the railroad that takes you to Log Boom Park.
- Volunteer Park
The 48-acre Volunteer Park was bought for $2,000 in 1876 by the City of Seattle. It was named after the volunteers who served in the Spanish-American War. The Puget Sound Dahlia Association provides hundreds of dahlias to make the park vibrant and you can also visit the Asian Art Museum for free.
Enjoy the Flowers
- Washington Park Arboretum
If you want to see even more flora, the Washington Park Botanic Gardens boasts seven different gardens. The Pacific Connections Garden, Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden, Woodland Garden, Shoreline & Foster Island, Rhododendron Glen, Azalea Way, and the Japanese Garden. It’s 230 acres of beauty.
This may be the strangest garden you have ever seen but it is also the most memorable. This amazing sculpture of glass and white metal is a work of art as well as a home to over 40,000 plants from over 30 countries in the cloud forest areas. Every inch of the structure is bursting with green biophilia.
- Seattle Rose Garden
Woodland Park Rose Garden is perfect for flower lovers. Meander through almost three acres of landscape with almost 3,000 roses in more than 200 different species. The immense variety of roses effortlessly blend with the rose garden’s architectural design to produce a stunning place for photos.
- The Log House Museum
Built in 1904, William Bernard and family moved into the Log House on Alki Beach to enjoy the place all year. Over the years, it has been a restaurant, veteran’s home, boarding house, and club lodge. In 1997, it opened as a museum to preserve the authentic artifacts and structure from the early 1900s.
- The Alki Point Lighthouse
Also on Alki Beach, the lighthouse was built in the late 1880s on the point of Elliot Bay in the Puget Sound. After being sold to the government in 1910, the present lighthouse of 37 feet tall was built onto the signal building. Although the lighthouse is no longer active, it is still open to the public for free.
- Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
To preserve the trek of the Klondike Gold Rush from the 1890s, the Klondike historical park was formed. It was joined with the Chilkoot Trail, Yukon River, and Dawson Historic Complex. Some of the highlights along the trail include the railway depot, Mascot Saloon, Pantheon Saloon, and the Peniel Mission.
More Free Fun
- Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market has been operating since 1907 and is one of the longest-running markets in the United States. The huge market has different sections like the Crafts Market, Specialty Foods, Restaurants, Shopping, and special services like tarot and palm readers, tattoo parlors, salons, and even theater.
- Free Walking Tour
This unique tour package includes several venues, and they are all free. They tell you that you only pay what you want, so people usually pay something. But you do not have to. They offer the Market Experience of Pike Place, Seattle 101 along the waterfront, and a tour of the Old Seattle Cemetery.
- Seattle Center
For 74 acres of entertainment, culture, and arts in the middle of Seattle, the Center is home to the Space Needle, Monorail, Mercer Arena, Chihuly Garden, Museum of Pop Culture, the Pacific Science Center, and a piece of the Berlin Wall. You can also see the Kobe Bell, John T. Williams totem pole, and more.
Although eating is not free, you have to eat, so be sure to enjoy some of the local favorites like the Seattle Dog, which is a hot dog with cream cheese. The city is also known for its seafood. No matter what, you have to try the oysters and the sushi if you like seafood and Dick’s Drive-In, which is famous.
We hope these suggestions have helped you start planning an affordable vacation for you and your family.