One thing I love about living in Seattle is there’s always something to do. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities to participate in with your friends or want somewhere more relaxed, you’ll never get bored here. There are also many romantic things to do in Seattle, making it perfect when you need a date night in Seattle.
Whether you’re looking to have a special Valentine’s date in Seattle with your spouse or want a fun Seattle date night idea, I’ve got you covered. My husband and I have been on hundreds of dates all over the city – sometimes it’s fancy cocktails at the Smith Tower, and other times it’s a casual waterfront stroll ending at a brewery.
From wine tasting to amazing French food to exploring the city, there’s no shortage of things to do in Seattle for couples (or friends if you’re having a Galentine’s Day!). I’ve compiled a list of the best Seattle date ideas, from places to go to where to eat to where to stay, so read on to start planning a fun day out.
This post was first written in 2018 and last updated in January 2024.
13 Romantic Things to Do in Seattle
If you’ve seen the Oscar-nominated romance film ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, then you’ll certainly know that this city is the perfect setting for falling in love. From exploring the city’s abundant parks and beaches to having panoramic views from the Great Wheel, there are so many things for couples to do in Seattle.
1. Go on a Harbor Cruise
If you’ve been to the city many times, you may be ready for a new view. That’s why I suggest taking your date on a romantic harbor cruise that treads along the major city attractions, such as the Space Needle. I only recently took my first one a few years ago, and now I bring friends from out of town here.
This is a perfect plan for things to do for your anniversary in Seattle. As an added bonus, you’ll have the chance to ask your knowledgeable and entertaining tour guide any questions, such as what you’re looking at or the history of Seattle, as you cruise around.
I’ve lived here most of my life and still found out new facts about Seattle when I went a few years ago. It’s one of the more educational couple activities in Seattle, plus it’s just a fun transportation method around Seattle.
Want a bit more adventure? Book a thrilling whale-watching tour in Seattle!
2. Take Pictures at Kerry Park
In my opinion, some of the most romantic places in Seattle are the parks. The city’s reputation as the ‘Emerald City’ owes to its being extremely green and filled with parks, and we have dozens of them around the city. This is a free activity in Seattle that also makes a great Seattle date night idea.
This reputation can be attributed to the Olmsted Brothers. In 1903, the brothers designed a landscaping scheme to infiltrate more parks and beach areas in the city.
Their idea was successful, and today you’ll find parks everywhere you look (Discovery Park and Volunteer Park are two of my favorite ones). There are many parks to enjoy, but I suggest you head to the one with the best views of the Seattle skyline.
Kerry Park’s highland view may seem familiar to you because photographers flock here to capture the panorama of the city. Many famous published photographs of the city have been taken here.
It’s also rated as one of the most Instagrammable spots in Seattle. Why not go all out and do a little couple’s photoshoot on Valentine’s Day here (or if you’re like me and my camera-shy husband, just enjoy the sunset)?
The park is perched on the southern slope of Queen Anne Hill, allowing for skyline views of the city, Elliott Bay, and the snow-peaked Mount Rainier. The view alone makes for an amazing Seattle date idea.
I suggest strategically arriving just before sunset for this scenic couple things to do in Seattle, to take advantage of the situation by taking a photo at one of the best free viewpoints in the city. This is one of the most romantic dates in Seattle when you’re looking to impress someone.
If you’re ready for more after the sun goes down, head down to Lower Queen Anne and visit McMenamins for beer or Ozzie’s if you’re feeling like a dive bar plus karaoke (it’s a blast – I used to go all the time in my 20s!).
3. Stroll Along the Seattle Waterfront
Seattle is an extremely walkable city, and I love nothing more than walking along the waterfront. You’ll also love one of the easier cheap date ideas in Seattle, and it’s a memorable activity during a Seattle one day trip.
You’ll go by Elliot Bay and some of the major piers that have souvenir shops, restaurants, and notable attractions like the Seattle Aquarium. If you’re up for a long walk, I suggest starting at the Olympic Sculpture Park and going all the way down the waterfront to the ferry.
You could choose to walk it or bike along the route and add some fun to your date. Either way offers the opportunity to admire the city’s high-rise buildings and take in the fresh smells of the bay’s saltwater, and it’s one of my favorite things to do in Seattle.
Once you’ve completed the walk, head for a meal at one of the many seafood restaurants (here’s a list of the best Seattle eats) along the waterfront for a scenic date night in Seattle. My husband and I always go to Aqua by El Gaucho if we’re looking for a fancy dinner or The Crab Pot for a completely opposite but fun, casual seafood experience.
You could even combine these two fun things for couples to do in Seattle. Ride bikes in the daytime and at night, and admire the city’s multi-colored skyscrapers and structures – both are some of the best romantic Seattle dates.
Buying a Seattle CityPASS is a great way to save money on ticket costs, as you’ll be able to see multiple Seattle attractions for one price!
4. Take a Ride on the Seattle Great Wheel
This large Ferris wheel actually used to be the biggest of its type globally at the time of its construction in 2012. Once at the top, you’ll be 175 feet above the ground. This height offers the most expansive views of Puget Sound on one side and the entire city skyline on the other.
This is one of the top couple things to do in Seattle and would be a great idea for a Valentine’s Day date in Seattle. Bring along your camera for photos, or live in the moment with your partner while you ascend into the sky.
Doing this activity during sunset would be ideal, so plan in advance to ensure that you won’t miss it. Because the gondolas are enclosed, it’s also a great rainy day activity in Seattle and a fun thing to do in Seattle for an anniversary.
Looking for the ultimate Seattle travel guide written by a local that tells you all the best places to go and what to see? My new ebook is now live, so click here to buy your copy!
5. Rent a Boat at Green Lake Park
If you head north of downtown, you’ll get to the Green Lake neighborhood, which I used to frequent all the time when I lived closer to Seattle. They have a three-mile paved walking and bike path that goes around the lake and is fun whether you want to slowly stroll around it or go for a run.
You won’t need to travel far to get here for one of the more active Seattle date ideas. If you’re more of the adventurous type of couple, there’s also stand-up paddleboarding available to try out. I love doing SUP here because the water is calm and ideal if you’re a beginner.
Summer is the best time to visit (although parking can be a nightmare, so allow time for that), as you can get out on the lake without being too cold. Stop by the Green Lake Boathouse to rent stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, paddle boats, and more and grab a coffee while you’re there.
Afterward, there are tons of restaurants and bars to visit. Some of my favorite Greenlake restaurants include Shelter Lounge, which is fun on the weekends for brunch with specials like their POG Mimosa and pancakes, as well as Duke’s Seafood for their Lobster Mobster chowder.
6. Explore Nearby Wineries Together
If you’re finding things to do in Seattle for couples to be limited to summer activities in Seattle, then a trip to Woodinville will solve this. It’s only about 30 minutes away from Seattle and one of the most popular for date ideas in Seattle, as there are dozens of wineries in the area.
You can easily dedicate an entire Seattle day trip to your romantic date in Seattle (and I have many times!), as there are 130 wineries to explore. This is the perfect way to break the ice with a first date or to rekindle the spark on a Seattle Valentine’s date with your soulmate.
Some of my favorite wineries in Woodinville include:
- Chateau Ste Michelle for outdoor wine tasting and live concerts during the summer
- Alexandria Nicole Cellars for a cozy place to wine taste during winter (they have a fireplace that I love sitting by)
- Cave B Estate for their delicious sparkling rosé (plus I love their Quincy location)
If you want to make it an overnight trip, I suggest staying at Cottage Lake Bed and Breakfast as a fun anniversary idea in Seattle.
Don’t feel like driving but want to visit multiple breweries? Hire your own limo so you’ll stay safe.
7. Visit a Speakeasy Bar
Known for their illicit liquor sales during the Prohibition era, speakeasy bars were a staple of the Roaring Twenties. Modern bar owners have made efforts to recreate the roaring twenties vibe by incorporating vintage furnishings and vibrant colors.
Hidden away in cafés, hotels, and alleys are the modern-day equivalents of the speakeasy bars that were popular in the Roaring Twenties. I absolutely love going to these because they have such a fun feel to them and always have amazing cocktails.
Here are a few I recommend for fun date night ideas in Seattle:
- Bathtub Gin & Co.
- Knee High Stocking Co.
- Backdoor at Roxy’s
You can also go on specialty cocktail tours during Halloween time in Seattle.
Coming from the airport? Here’s how to get from the Seattle airport to downtown.
8. Go on a Hot Tub Ride
One of the best fun things to do in Seattle for couples is to take a hot tub boat ride. I’d seen this on Instagram forever, so I was thrilled when my husband and I finally had the chance to go on one. We went in the winter, but it’d also be great to do this as a Seattle spring activity when the weather gets a bit warmer.
You’ll get to steer the boat yourself and float yourself around Lake Union. I loved seeing views of downtown Seattle, Queen Anne, and Gas Works Park. You can also hook up your phone to Bluetooth speakers to play whatever music you’re in the mood for.
9. Have Happy Hour With a View
One of my favorite places to go for a view of the city during dinner is the Mountaineering Club. This romantic restaurant in Seattle is located in the U-District on the 16th floor of the Graduate Hotel.
You can make an online reservation in advance and ask to sit inside or outside. Weather permitting, I recommend sitting outside so you have a view of the U-District and downtown Seattle. I went in the fall and it was a little chilly, but I didn’t care – I had on a warm jacket and was too distracted by the beautiful views of downtown.
They have specialty cocktails, but I always get a flute of champagne because it just feels like that kind of place. You’ll get even more bonus points for your Seattle date night idea if you surprise your partner with this!
10. Book a Romantic Dinner in Seattle
There are plenty of amazing romantic restaurants in Seattle I’ve been to, so it’s hard to narrow it down, but here are a few of my favorites.
AQUA by El Gaucho
This is easily one of the best romantic restaurants in Seattle, and my husband and I have gone here for our wedding anniversary time after time. You’ll want to request a table outside so you have beautiful views of the waterfront and can watch ships passing by.
The menu is always changing, but I tend to get the seasonal salad and whatever salmon dish they have. This is one place you’ll want to save room for dessert, as they have mouthwatering dishes such as caramel bread pudding.
When it was first built in 1914, the Smith Tower in Pioneer Square was the tallest skyscraper outside New York City. While businesses still occupy this building, you’ll want to head to the observatory on the 35th floor, which provides one of the best views of Seattle. Even though it’s definitely a splurge, I’ve been here multiple times with my husband because we love it so much, and it’s one of the best date spots in Seattle.
You’ll need to make a reservation at the restaurant to make sure you have a place to eat, and I highly recommend doing it just before sunset. Once there, you’ll check in on the ground floor and then walk through the museum, which shows numerous photos and artifacts from the early 1900s.
After that, take the golden elevator up to the 35th floor and put your items on your seat, order one of the many specialty cocktails, and then walk around the 360-degree deck while they make your drink.
When you’re done, come back inside, enjoy your drink, and order food off the menu for happy hour or dinner. It’s by far one of the most romantic things to do in Seattle at night.
For a longer date, check out the best islands near Seattle to visit for the day or overnight.
11. Explore a Waterfall
I’m obsessed with hiking, and if the hike can end up at a waterfall, even better. I love them so much that I have an entire article on the best waterfall hikes in Seattle, but here are some easier ones I recommend:
- Snoqualmie Falls actually has a small hike you can do to the bottom, and you’ll be able to walk along the river to get a different vantage point
- Bridal Veil Falls is off Highway 2 and you only need to hike a few miles to find a giant waterfall (pictured above)
- Wallace Falls is a fun one because there are three different waterfalls, so you can either make this a short or a long hike
12. Relax at a Brewery
Having two young kids, my husband and I sometimes want a low-key Seattle date night idea where we don’t have to worry about dressing up. That’s why we love nothing more than visiting a brewery or two and relaxing by watching the local sports game on TV or playing a board game.
There are so many brew pubs in Seattle, so it’s impossible to list all of them, but here are some of my favorite breweries and taprooms in the area:
- Pike Brewing is convenient if you’re already downtown, and they have a vast selection of beer, so I recommend getting a sampler to try a half dozen
- Old Stove Brewing is also downtown and right on the water, so you’ll have beautiful views
- Stoup Brewing is on Capitol Hill, has dozens of beers to choose from, and is nearby tons of restaurants to visit after
13. Explore the City
Even if you’re a local, chances are you haven’t explored every part of Seattle, and a guided tour will help you with that when you’re looking for things to do for couples in Seattle.
Here are some of the top Seattle tours to check out:
- The Haunted Seattle Ghost and Pub Tour is a “spirited” tour that will take you to some of the most haunted bars in Seattle while telling you spooky stories.
- The Seattle City Tour will take you via bus to some of the most popular spots in the city, so you don’t have to worry about finding parking or reading a map.
- The Seattle Donut Tour will take you to the best places in Seattle to get donuts – do I really need to convince you further?
Romantic Places to Stay in Seattle
No romantic Seattle experience would be complete without charming accommodation options to stay at. From stylish inner-city hotels to surrounding nature escapes, here are some of the most romantic places in Seattle to stay.
Salish Lodge and Spa
For those of you who don’t mind being a little outside the city, then this luxurious nature resort is your best option. Being 30 minutes from downtown Seattle, Salish Lodge and Spa is actually situated on the top of the almost 270-meter Snoqualmie Falls.
It took me years to finally come here, but now that I have, I’m hooked and agree that it’s easily one of the most romantic spots in Seattle. This was probably one of the most relaxing hotel stays I’ve ever had and I regretted only booking one night here.
You can easily spend an entire day here without leaving – visit the award-winning restaurant overlooking the Falls, book a spa treatment for the morning, or end your night at the bar. They also have a fun firepit for patio rooms where you can go outside and roast s’mores, which I loved.
You’ll also have direct access to skiing, swimming, and hiking nearby. This is definitely the best place to spend a romantic anniversary in Seattle. Read more about it in my review of Salish Lodge.
Check rates and book your room for Salish Lodge.
Fairmont Olympic Hotel
If you and your partner are spending time downtown, Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel is a great option. It’s a unique hotel with French-design finishes and is even inscribed on the National Register of Historic Places, so stay here for one of the most memorable Seattle date night ideas.
The hotel comes equipped with an indoor pool for you and your partner to laze at on Seattle winter days. It’s also conveniently near some of the city’s best beaches to enjoy in the summer.
The location is central and near all the Seattle landmarks, but it also has lots to offer within its proximity. From an oyster bar to a piano bar to drinking cocktails on the terrace, it’s perfect for romantic date ideas in Seattle.
Check rates and book your room for Fairmont Olympic.
The Edgewater Hotel
When you need Seattle anniversary ideas, consider a stay on the water with the best views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains. Staying at The Edgewater Hotel will ensure lots of quality time with your partner and direct access to the on-site full-service restaurant. You may not ever want to leave this hotel!
This hotel is certainly one of the most romantic places in Seattle, where you won’t have to worry about the sounds of rushing cars or street noises. Rather, you’ll hear the sweet sounds of the seagulls and the crashing of the waves.
This luxurious hotel may be scenic, but it’s only 15 minutes away from downtown Seattle, so it combines convenience and privacy in one.
Check rates and book your room for The Edgewater.
You’ll love all the romantic things to do in Seattle, no matter what time of year it is. Whether you’re looking for anniversary ideas in Seattle or just general date night ideas in Seattle, you’ll find something for any occasion.