by SmarterTravel Staff

Home to great food, wine and spirits, arts, and culture, Seattle is the Pacific Northwest's new "it" destination. Use this travel guide to discover insider secrets about Seattle's funky neighborhoods, fine art, and best farm-to-table venues.
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  • high season: May to October
  • low season: November to April

Seattle's wet climate may affect the winter months, but summers bring plenty of sunshine. The most popular time to visit is May through October because of dry weather, cruise season, conventions, summer festivals, school breaks, and outdoor activities.

September can be an ideal time to visit, with warm afternoons, cooler evenings, fewer crowds than earlier in the summer, and lower prices. Prices can also be less expensive during late fall and winter, but heavy rain and cooler temperatures should be expected. The spring brings less rain and warmer weather.

Weather Information

Summers bring dry weather and sunshine, with temperatures reaching 70 to 75 degrees. May and June are usually wetter, with warm weather and clear skies typically appearing by the Fourth of July and lasting through September. Fall can be cooler, with temperatures dropping from 70 in September to 47 in December. The city sees most of its annual rainfall of 38 inches during the fall and winter months. Spring brings sporadic showers and warmer weather, with temperatures ranging from 55 to 65 degrees.

Crowd Information

Seattle hosts many festivals and events throughout the year, with several occurring in the summer such as the Pike Place Market Street Festival and Northwest Folklife in May, the Seattle International Film Festival in May and June, the Fremont Fair in June, Seafair in July and August, and Bumbershoot in September.

Closure Information

Hotels, restaurants, and attractions remain open throughout the year.

When to Save

November through April can be an inexpensive time to visit due to the rainy weather and a drop in hotel demand. Not only are hotel rates at their lowest, but many attractions offer discounts or add value. The Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau, for example, offers the Super Saver Value Guide, a way to save money at more than 80 hotels year-round.

When to Book

Last-minute lodging is available year-round, but it's a good idea to book at least one month in advance to obtain a specific room on a specific date. Book at least three months in advance for visits during the high season or popular events to ensure availability.

Those with flexible travel plans can take advantage of low last-minute airfares. However, those with a set schedule should book flights at least three weeks in advance to obtain lower prices and ensure availability, especially for travel during the high season.

Information provided by Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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