Attractions

Sleepless in Seattle: Romantic Date Ideas for This Summer

seattle
Written by Derek Edwards

Seattle is just as romantic as the movies make it out to be. Between its incomparable views and moody weather, there’s plenty of reasons people consistently rank it as one of the most romantic cities in the U.S.

If you’re new to the area and are looking for a romantic city to fall in love — look no further. As the weather gets warmer and the city comes to life, there are plenty of romantic date spots you can visit in the city of Seattle.

Whether you’re looking for something fun to do, somewhere quiet to talk, an indoor event, or an outdoor adventure, take a look at the following romantic date spots for your next outing:

Visit Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island is a great day trip and a ferry ride away from the heart of Seattle. Spend some time with your date on the bow of the boat, or enjoying the view from the large windows inside of the ferry.

Once you arrive, check out the forests of Bloedel Reserve and its landscaped gardens and trail, or explore nearby parks and campgrounds facing the beach with views of the Cascade Mountains and Puget Sound. You can also visit the eco-friendly Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, with rotating exhibitions by a variety of contemporary local artists. There are also plenty of shops to explore before your cozy ride back to the mainland.

Kayaking in Puget Sound

puget-sound

Kayaking can be a great workout, a relaxing recreational activity, or a romantic date — and there’s no better place to paddle than Puget Sound. An inlet of the Pacific Ocean, and part of the Salish Sea, Puget Sound has plenty of romantic adventure right off the coast of Washington.

Behold the beauty of Seattle from a distance, where you can see mountains, skylines, and a breathtaking sunset over the sound. You can also try a double kayak if you’d like to make your adventure even more romantic.

Boat watching at the Ballard Locks

Speaking of Puget Sound, the Ballard Locks divide it from Lake Union and boats pass through regularly. If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy a view, consider taking your date there during the summer. With the warmer weather, more boats and fish will be visible.

Take a ride on Seattle’s Great Wheel

Make it a memorable night with a ride on the great ferris wheel on Pier 57 in the heart of the city. You can have a romantic dinner in the sky if you plan ahead and make a reservation, or just enjoy a trip around the Great Wheel.

During the summer, Seattle’s Great Wheel will have longer hours as well, so you’ll be able to enjoy the 174-foot view by day or night.

Book a flight on a Seattle plane tour

If you want to splurge a little, your date will never forget an exciting tour on a seaplane. You can choose from extended scenic flights, romantic dinner flights to neighboring islands, and private charters.

Whether you choose to fly over Lake Washington or Lake Union, you’ll have plenty of options for itineraries to make the day truly special.

Explore Seattle coffee

What better way to get to know someone than having some quality conversation over coffee in the founding city of Starbucks?

Known for its vibrant and innovative coffee scene, this city is the perfect place to explore new flavors and discover the best Seattle coffee shop atmospheres around. If you want to take your experience further, look into the Seattle Barista Academy for a lesson or two.

Backpacking the Olympic Coast

The northwestern U.S. is known for having some of the most attractive backpacking destinations in the country. If you and your date are feeling adventurous, consider hiking the beautiful Olympic Coast outside of Olympic National Park.

Resting in the Olympic Peninsula, a large arm of land on the west coast of Washington that lies across Puget Sound from Seattle, Olympic National Park contains everything you could want from a landscape oasis — forests, mountains, rivers and lakes, coasts, and alpine meadows. You can see some astounding natural landscapes and check another national park off your bucket list — or start one together!

Beachside trails at Discovery Park

If you’re looking for a more casual outdoor experience, Discovery Park has miles of gorgeous trails to walk along the coast across 534 acres, as well as historic lighthouses, forests, and meadows to make your date special.

You can bring a picnic lunch and have your choice of views as you get to know each other in the largest natural park in the city of Seattle.

Lunch at the Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market is one of the country’s oldest farmer’s markets and is a great option for those who like to explore craft vendors, sample a variety of foods, pick out some fresh flowers, and enjoy the local buzz.

Spend some time with your date perusing the market and enjoying local music, and then have a casual lunch together for a memorable and fun first date! You can even book a tasting tour for a more guided experience.

Try something new, like glass blowing

In a city known for glass art, there are plenty of studios around town that teach glass blowing classes. If your date enjoys crafty activities, this could be the perfect date idea for you. And as a bonus, you’ll get to take your masterpiece home, or give it to your date as a keepsake!

There are also glass museums and exhibits around town that you can visit if blowing glass for yourself feels a little too intimidating for a romantic first date.

Take a cooking class

If you’re not feeling up to the heat of glass blowing, maybe the kitchen is a more familiar setting. Cooking together can be quite romantic, and Seattle has plenty of cooking classes available to you — The Pantry, PCC Natural Food Markets, and Book Larder, just to name a few.

You can also take advantage of virtual classes currently, so you could get the best of both worlds and spend a night in while also experiencing something new together.

Whale watching

seattle-whale-watching

Book a whale watching tour to enjoy some of Seattle’s marine life with your date, like seals, sea birds, whales, dolphins, and orcas. Summer is the peak season for spotting whales — orcas, humpbacks, or minke — and during mid-June to early September, many whale watching tour companies report seeing activity on over 90% of tours.

You’ll also have plenty of time to talk and get to know each other while you wait to spot something.

Discover a museum or two

Something about learning together brings you closer, so don’t underestimate the power of a museum date. No matter what your date is interested in, there’s a museum in Seattle that’s sure to be fun and entertaining.

MoPop at Seattle Center has plenty to see for pop art and music lovers. Art lovers shouldn’t miss the Seattle Art Museum. History lovers will enjoy the Museum of History and Industry. Culture buffs should check out the Wing Luke Museum or National Nordic Museum. And science lovers should check out the Pacific Science Center.

Visit the Arboretum

Whether you’d like to walk the beautiful trails or rent a boat paddle through the beautiful Japanese gardens, the Washington Park Arboretum is a stunning setting for any summer date.

There are guided tours, night hikes, or self-guided adventures you can choose from. You can even offer to come back for another date once the leaves change in the fall.

Go to the Woodland Park Zoo

Unleash your youth with a trip to the Woodland Park Zoo. This animal sanctuary has received more than 65 awards across multiple categories, and has been home to approximately 1.4 million domestic & international visitors. It’s also a wonderful place for a romantic day date. There are plenty of animals and habitats to see, so you don’t have to worry about awkward silences or lulls in conversation.

If you’re feeling warm in the summer heat, cool off at the Seattle Aquarium to keep with the animal theme and enjoy some marine life. The jellyfish tank also makes a great background for cute selfies.

Watch the sun set at Kerry Park

Want to find the best view of Seattle and Mount Rainier? Look no further than Kerry Park. End your evening with an astounding, romantic sunset and some deep conversation with a perfect view of downtown Seattle.

Check out a rooftop bar

What’s better than a great cocktail, deep conversation, and a view of downtown Seattle? Not much…

During the summer, you can visit Smith Tower in Pioneer Square, mbar in South Lake Union, The Mountaineering Club in the U-District, and The Nest in the Thompson Hotel Downtown for a variety of views and cocktail experiences. The famous Space Needle also offers drinks on the deck, for something extra special.

Travel back in time and go swing dancing at Century Ballroom

If you want to make the night extra special, bring your date to one of Century Ballroom’s many dance events throughout the week, such as tango Tuesday, swing Saturday, salsa Monday, and many others.

You can get dressed up and enter another era for a few hours — learning to dance to music of the world and enjoying a classic cocktail with your date.

Explore the city

Exploring a city together is another romantic date night idea. You can explore on your own or take a guided tour if you don’t want to miss any of the big sites.

Check out the Pike Place Market Food tour, the Theo Chocolate Factory tours, or a self-guided food crawl. If you’re feeling spooky, there are also ghost tours in Pioneer Square.

Catch a few laughs at Jet City Improv

Ready to laugh until you cry? Get a taste of Seattle’s best improv group at Jet City Improv for a night of fun and hilarity that will surely leave you and your date with wonderful memories.

There are also a few other comedy clubs if that’s what you enjoy bonding over — such as the Parlor in Bellevue,  Laughs Comedy Club in the U-District, and Club Comedy Seattle in Capitol Hill.

Wine tasting

If you and your date are wine connoisseurs, try hunting down the best wineries in the Pacific Northwest! There are a ton of urban wineries in Seattle, so you can hit quite a few in a single day.

If you’re not into wine, you could also do a Seattle brewery crawl, where there are about 12 places to taste craft beer within walking distance of one another. Whatever your preference, there’s a libation out there for you to discover together.

Hot air ballooning

Is there anything more romantic than a hot air balloon? Take a private flight in a Seattle hot air balloon and blow your date away with a peaceful, gorgeous ride above the city with views of rivers, lakes, and farmland from 3,000ft – 5000ft. in the air.

Most rides last about an hour and cover about 6-10 miles, spanning across downtown Seattle, Tacoma, Lake Tapps, Auburn, and the beautiful Cascade and the Olympic Mountains, and the majestic Mt. Rainier. There’s no better way to say you love someone than by giving them the world from a new perspective.

Conclusion

When it comes to first dates, and second dates, and third…atmosphere can make or break an evening. As you sift through your options and think about what you and your date will enjoy the most, consider trying something new. Exploring a new place or new activity together can take some pressure off of your conversation.

Seattle is full of adventures and opportunities, and certainly makes for a romantic date spot. Next time you have a romantic evening planned in the Emerald City, remember that the possibilities are endless and all you have to do is let the city set the mood.

About the author

Derek Edwards