Where to Go on a Date This Spring in Seattle

From memorable museums to romantic row boat trips, these are the best ways to spend quality time in Seattle.

Spring has almost sprung here in Seattle, and the signs of warmer weather are everywhere: think birds chirping, sun (sometimes) shining, and a general temperature increase that feels long overdue. In other words, it’s time to come out of winter hibernation and give dating another go (or, if you’re in a relationship, it’s simply time to leave the house). Whether it’s a classic dinner date or something more involved—like, say, a DIY weaving class or a glass-blowing demo at Chihuly—Seattle has fun and memorable things to do for every couple. All that’s left to do is put on your best tie (or apron, or demo goggles) and get out there.

Lastly, you may or may not have heard that Governor Inslee is lifting the statewide mask mandate on March 12. This doesn’t guarantee, however, that you won’t need a mask on your date—so we’d recommend bringing one along just in case.

Capitol Hill
For a less conventional museum date, try Museum of Museums in Capitol Hill—the contemporary art space that’s celebrating its one year anniversary this March, with a slew of exhibitions centered on Women’s History Month. Later on this spring, they’re also hosting a Mother’s Day pop-up exhibit on Sunday, May 8—find the details on visiting (and submitting your own work!) here.

The Works Seattle
The Works Seattle

Yesler Terrace
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.

Sky View Observatory at Columbia Center
Sky View Observatory at Columbia Center

Columbia City
If you’ve never been to the Sky View Observatory, a clear day in spring 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.

Skagit Valley
Skagit Valley | RuthChoi/Shutterstock

Skagit Valley
Mark your calendars: the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is back, and it’s happening the entire month of April—meaning there’s no excuse not to pay this postcard-worthy landscape a visit. Tickets for a few of the events are already available (the calendar is here), but if you’re not much of a planner, that’s ok too. Stopping by without an agenda is perhaps the best way to revel in the beauty, sans timeline.

Downtown
If you’re aching to spend some time in the sun this spring (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.

The Center for Wooden Boats
The Center for Wooden Boats

South Lake Union
The Center for Wooden Boats’ free peapod program is open year-round, but spring 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.

Belltown
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 Shannon And The Clams, Wet Leg, Caroline Rose, and Amber Mark are all scheduled to pay a visit this spring. Check the full calendar here.

Chihuly Garden and Glass
Chihuly Garden and Glass

Uptown
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.

Courtesy of La Dive

Capitol Hill
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.

Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum

Downtown
It isn’t spring in Seattle without a whole lotta rain. Subsequently, many outdoor dates are off the table, but not to worry: SAM always delivers, and has enough current exhibitions to satisfy the most eager art enthusiasts. Pro tip: Start with “Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water” which opens on March 18.

Dough Zone spread
Dough Zone

International District
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.

Goose Magees Vintage Mall
Goose Magees Vintage Mall

Capitol Hill
Shopping is the daytime activity that never gets old, and almost always keeps you dry. Case in point: The new-ish Goose Magees vintage mall, which opened last fall inside the building that used to be home to Totokaelo (RIP). Do some light shopping with your date (old school Nikes, anyone?) then pop in to Oddfellows afterwards for a bite to eat, which is right next door.

Kenmore Air
Courtesy of Kenmore Air

Kenmore, Washington
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.

Mukai Farm & Garden
Vashon Island Chamber of Commerce

Vashon
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 by appointment only.

Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park | TonelsonProductions/Shutterstock

Belltown
If you’re going on a first date and still taking precautions when it comes to social distancing, let us suggest Olympic Sculpture Park—with nine acres of expansive green lawn to tour, you’ll have plenty of room to stay six feet apart. And now that the PACCAR Pavilion is back open, you’ll be even better equipped to explore to your heart’s content.

Umi Sake House
Courtesy of Umi Sake House

Belltown
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.

Ballard
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 within a few blocks of each other) with coronavirus precautions in mind.

Highside Distilling
Courtesy of Highside Distilling

Bainbridge Island 
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. 

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Emma Banks is a contributor for Thrillist.