Where to Go on Your Next Date in Seattle This Summer
From memorable museums to romantic rowboat trips, these are the best ways to spend quality time in Seattle.
Following months of rain, the coldest (read: most miserable) spring in a decade, and a delayed summer that threatens to never actually appear, it’s safe to say that Seattleites are more than ready for a change in seasons. At this point in the year, we simply need to go outside sans raincoat, and once there, let the dates commence. Think beach picnics, movies on the lawn, dinners on the water, and lots and lots of ice cream. It’s going to be easy to find suitable date ideas this summer, and hard to narrow down your list. Ahead, 20 things to do on your next romantic rendezvous—whether it’s your first date or your 100th.
Dock & Drink is the kind of place you can bring your seaplane or sail boat, but even if you, like most of us, simply arrive by car, this seasonal pop-up on the shores of Lake Washington will still meet the requirements of peak dinner date—namely due to a seafood-forward menu with a sushi bar, an oyster bar, and a poke bar, plus a weekly local artist showcase and a calendar full of upcoming live music.
Capitol Hill is never a bad idea for a date, given its seemingly endless supply of things to do, but here’s one specifically that you don’t wanna miss: On The Block. Hosted every second Saturday of the month on East Pike and 11th Avenue, this day-long street-fair-slash-block-party is chock full of art, music, vintage shopping, and more, with all donations, fees, and other proceeds going directly to “paying local artists, stabilizing neighborhood arts spaces, and supporting future events.”
Though the West Seattle Bridge still hasn’t reopened since its closure in 2020, you can still take the long way around to Alki Beach, where stunning views of Bainbridge Island and the rest of the Puget Sound await. For a date with a sweet tooth, you have two options: grab a cone at Homefront Smoothies & Ice Cream, or make s’mores at sunset over a beachfront fire pit. Either way, you can’t go wrong here.
Seattle Center’s annual outdoor movie tradition is back this summer just in time for picnic season, with showings happening once a week from July 30 - August 27. Catch old favorites like The Princess Bride and Labyrinth, plus newer movies like In The Heights, all of which will be preceded by a short film feature from students at the Cornish College for the Arts.
South Lake Union
Perched on the newly unveiled Lake Union Piers, LAKESIDE opened just in time to host your next summer date night, with a five-course prix fixe dinner menu featuring locally sourced Pacific Northwest favorites, like pecan-crusted wild Alaskan salmon and grilled Walla Walla onions, plus a weekend brunch and a “sip-and-savor” a la carte menu.
For a less conventional museum date, try Museum of Museums in Capitol Hill—the contemporary art space housed in a mid-century medical building that is also home to monthly market Mall with MoM. This summer, featured exhibits include “Hollaback to the Future,” an Afrofuturist group exhibition, and Orly Anan’s immersive installation, titled “Salon Delicatessen.”
There’s no shortage of art in this town, but how about creating some of your own? In the heart of downtown, The Works offers a plethora of DIY classes, ranging from “Craft Your Own Terrarium” and “Watercolor 101” to “Block Printing on Botanical Paper” and “Weaving 101.” Try a hobby on for size in person, or take a class to-go with one of their DIY Kits.
If you’ve never been to the Sky View Observatory, a clear day in summer is the perfect time to visit. The 76-story tower offers the best views of Seattle in town—not to mention the Puget Sound and surrounding islands—plus a bar and cafe at the tippy top. Just keep in mind that the observatory is only open Friday - Sunday.
If you’re aching to spend some time in the sun this summer (who isn’t?), let us suggest an afternoon exploring the downtown waterfront. Here, you’ll find the Seattle Great Wheel, the Seattle Aquarium, Ivar’s Fish Bar, and a host of passenger ferries—not to mention, of course, nine historic Piers, originally built to serve the railroad industry and the Alaskan Gold Rush.
South Lake Union
The Center for Wooden Boats’ free peapod program is open year-round, but summer feels like the perfect time to give this hobby a try. For one hour, you can row you and your date around Lake Union, free of charge, and take in some spectacular views of the city while you’re at it. Reservations are highly recommended as this is a popular activity; make yours here.
After being closed for the majority of the pandemic and relocating, the Crocodile finally reopened in the old El Gaucho building in Belltown last December. The new space is a serious upgrade, and artists like Los Bitchos, Sean Kingston, Derek King, and Wolf Parade are all scheduled to play this summer. Check the full calendar here.
Chihuly Garden and Glass opened almost a decade ago in Seattle Center, and it’s been one of the most popular destinations in the city ever since. It’s not hard to see why: Glass-blowing is an equally demanding and beautiful art form, and seeing it IRL is pretty magical. Prepare to spend a few hours here and, pun intended, to be blown away.
If orange wine is the booze trend that just keeps on giving, then La Dive is the bar in which to enjoy it. Here, sip on some of the best skin contact wine in Seattle, order some snacks to keep you going, and you’re all set for an afternoon of extremely tasteful day drinking.
Everyone has their favorite dumpling spot, but Dough Zone arguably trumps them all. Take your date to the ID for a casual, cozy lunch of fresh soup dumplings, dim sum, milk tea, and more. Or, if you’d rather cook at home, just grab a packet of their frozen dumplings to go.
Is there anything more romantic than an (almost) private plane tour? For $99 (and up, depending on where you go), you can buy a seat on one of Kenmore Air’s scenic flights, which depart from the Kenmore terminal on Lake Washington and fly all over the greater Seattle area. Expect stunning views and a one-of-a-kind bird’s eye perspective of the Emerald City.
There is no shortage of picturesque islands in the Puget Sound, nor ferries to take you there—and Vashon just happens to be one of the largest and most scenic. Check out Point Robinson Park for those aforementioned scenic views, then pay a visit to Palouse Winery for some adult refreshments, which is currently open Friday through Sunday 12 - 5 pm.
Sushi is the name of the game in Seattle, and almost no one does it better than Umi Sake House. Grab a table in the back for some extra romantic vibes, complete with cozy sofas, sky lights, and lots of greenery. As far as food, we recommend sake (duh), agedashi tofu, tempura udon, crispy calamari, and lots and lots of sushi.
Seattle is like the Mecca of craft beer, so we won’t limit you to just one brewery. Instead, take a self-guided, socially distant pub crawl and pay a visit to the likes of Fair Isle Brewing, Stoup Brewing, Reuben’s Brews, and Lucky Envelope, all of which are open and conveniently located within a few blocks of each other.
Highside Distilling is not your average gin distillery, so be prepared for a taste of something truly unique. Other than gin, this Bainbridge Island institution also specializes in amaro, fernet, and single-malt whiskey. Order a tasting flight for a taste test of all five spirits, or go for a classic cocktail, like a Negroni or a fernet and coke. You really can’t go wrong here.
Pike Place Market
The Gum Wall is obviously a tourist trap, but consider reclaiming it to commemorate the occasion of actually going on a successful date (no small feat). As you probably already know, it’s literally right next door to Pike Place Market, so you have your pick of activities pre- or post-photo-op.