Edited by Holly Stark
Home to around 700,000 people, dynamic restaurants, craft breweries, late night cafes and classy bars, Seattle is a quirky city that blossoms when the sun sets. With its locals and visitors often out late - eating, drinking and exploring the Seattle’s nightlife and undiscovered gems - there are plenty of experiences to dive into. From the vibrant downtown area to cool hipster spots, discover the neighbourhoods where there is a seamless balance between the urban and the natural and immerse yourself in the best things to do in Seattle at night. Ingrained within the culture of the city lies a kick for life; a friendly balance of hard work and a desire to enjoy the opportunities Seattle has to offer. Seattle nightlife has late night galleries, live shows and performance.
The lesser known path
The best things to do in Seattle at night are often the lesser known, and there are plenty of off the beaten path places to enjoy your evening. The city is, on the whole, a laid-back, bohemian metropolis crammed with the best craft breweries, sports games, music museums and a quirky nightlife with lots of little hole in the wall places. Anyone who visits can have a good time and you’ll see people from all walks of life enjoying Seattle’s nightlife areas. It’s a city welcome to all. Here’s your guide to the best things to do in Seattle at night.
Strolling around the Capitol Hill neighbourhood is the ultimate Seattle nightlife experience. Catch the sunset and enjoy the neighbourhood of fusion restaurants, some of the coolest bars in Seattle, LGBTQ+ clubs, karaoke bars, laid-back Seattle coffee shops, night markets and independent stores. A vibrant area of serene outdoor activities, intriguing, off-the-wall, impressive breweries and eateries, as well as dynamic art and music spaces; Capitol Hill is home to a friendly crowd of night owls. The area has plenty of options for food and drink; Comet Tavern; a punky venue with local rock bands, beer and pinball, Rhein Haus, German Beer Hall and Lil Woody’s burger and fries joint. If you’re feeling sleepless in Seattle, head to one of the many cocktail bars or craft breweries. If that’s not your thing, head to Volunteer Park, the heart of leafy walking trails, a plant conservatory, 360-degree stunning city views and the Art Deco Asian Art Museum.
Check out Fremont; where boutique indie shops, chilled bars, quirky coffee shops and a bohemian vibe are thriving. Find Seattle art, the eclectic, weird, off the beaten path and less-crowded spots as you walk through the north bank of the canal, see the quirky outdoor sculptures and the gigantic, infamous Fremont Troll, a two-ton behemoth made of steel rebar and concrete beneath the Aurora Bridge. Check out unusual gifts, gadgets, and products at Portage Bay Goods. Wander the arty, antique shops and stop to play a board game at Fremont Brewing; a spacious family-owned joint that welcomes families with dogs and pours everything from local IPAs to limited-edition community beers like Pride Seattle Kölsch.
Wondering what to do in Seattle at night? Soak up the best of Seattle at night at Ballard, a historic neighborhood home to relaxed eateries, a blossoming craft beer scene, and Seattle attractions that celebrate its Nordic and maritime roots. Try a Monte Carlo cocktail and the Poisson du Jour at Bastille; a stylish French bistro and bar with seasonal menus and vintage decor. The rooftop garden is a produce and herb haven which produces the freshest ingredients for the restaurant. The space is committed to organic, sustainable agriculture and is a Seattle food experience not to be missed.
Olympic Sculpture Park
Seattle is brimming with culture, visual art and music - if you know where to look. From major institutions like the Seattle Art Museum to pop-up galleries inside studio apartments, there's always something new to see - and somewhere new to see it. The 9-acre outdoor sculpture museum and park is home to great art, views and a beach. Fully rehabilitated into an ecosystem of native plants and sustainable design, the park is home to more than 20 pieces of monumental sculpture, bike paths, and also has an amphitheater for outdoor events. As one of the more eclectic and off the beaten path Seattle attractions, the Seattle Olympic Sculpture Park is great for any contemporary art or architect enthusiast seeking man-made and naturally beautiful things to look at. With a Z-shaped green platform, the arty Seattle attraction is close to the water and capitalises on the beautiful skyline and Elliott Bay. Revitalizing the waterfront into open and vibrant green space for art, the park is one of the lesser-known, newer Seattle hidden gems and gives locals and visitors the opportunity to experience a variety of sculpture in an outdoor setting, while enjoying the incredible views and beauty of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. Admission is free, and it’s a great spot to catch a sunset.
See a Show
Seattle is teeming with venues from the large to small, quirky to iconic. Check out KeyArena, Paramount Theater, and 5th Avenue Theater which lead the way for larger, grand shows and headliners. Benaroya Hall and McCaw Hall showcase the best for culture. Smaller venues like Neumos and Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, are great fun. In Belltown, check out live-music spot The Crocodile, where you can grab a pint and enjoy the iconic rock venue which has been serving music lovers since 1991. Home to some of the most iconic local and international artists, the Croc has hosted numerous acts including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Green Day, The Strokes, Yoko Ono, R.E.M and Beastie Boys.
Cloudburst Seattle, a 7000 square foot warehouse with a changing roster of taps that could include a stout brewed with oyster shells, a market fresh saison with cranberries and sage, a blonde ale laced with grains of paradise and coriander, or beers with names like Space Dust IPA, Gourdgia On My Mind, is fronted by Steve Luke; an experimental, mastermind brewer. At Cloudburst, there are a few staples on tap, a TV, which makes it the perfect space for enjoying a game, and a tasting house. The area is dog-friendly, you can bring your own food and try as many beers as you want. Don’t miss it.
Head to Seattle hidden gem Bad Jimmy’s Brewery next for smooth beer and a fun atmosphere. It’s the best place in the city; home to fantastic drinks and a cool, communal environment. One of the lesser known breweries, Bad Jimmy’s is my favourite place in the city. I go there often and knew the owners before they opened it. One of the best bars in Seattle, the spot has a cosy environment and most importantly: delicious, premium, craft beer. One of my ultimate Seattle hidden gems, Bad Jimmy’s has a canine-friendly tasting room with an outdoor area, pouring bold-flavored brews in a former warehouse with a BYO food policy. Taste any speciality beer; IPA’s, a cocoa, vanilla porter or the the raspberry blonde.The owners can assist you in pairing the best beer to your meal. It’s a small, friendly place, easy to miss and with a communal feel; great for watching a game with family or friends. It’s located in Ballard which makes a great night out in Seattle.
Other Food Spots
Check out Westlake Park Food Truck Pod, where the revolving choice could include anything from falafel to Korean barbecue. You could pair you meal with a yummy beer from Pike Brewing Company. Sit down and enjoy a classy Italian meal at Barolo Ristorante. With its hanging chandeliers and gauzy drapes, it’s one of the best-kept secret restaurants of Seattle; they have a great happy hour on from Monday to Saturday 3:00 - 6:30 pm then from 10:00 pm - midnight and all day on Sundays starting at 3:00pm, with 50% off the bar menu.
Something for everyone
Walking the city’s urban and natural streets, you will discover there is something for everyone. You’ll see people from all walks of life enjoying Seattle’s hidden gems; from families with dogs to young lovers on their skateboards. There are so many night activities in Seattle to experience it at its best like a local. I love that there is something for everybody; bars, loud music and dancing, and lots of tiny hole in the wall places for people who like to go out in small groups. From the arty Sculpture park to cozy hidden Seattle bars and pubs and Labrinth green spaces, the Emerald City won’t leave you disappointed.
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