I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Seattle’s had quite a lot of rain recently.
For the second year in a row, Seattle has broken a century-plus record for rainfall, enduring almost 50 inches of rain since the beginning of October. Usually, the city gets just over 30 inches by this time, so it would be an understatement to suggest that it’s been moist lately. In fact, the whole of Western Washington seems to have been caught in the deluge. Quillayute in Clallam County, for instance, has received more than 100 inches of rain since the beginning of October, or more than 10 feet. To put that number in perspective, if you were to clone me (because why not?) and perch my double on top of my shoulders, our combined height would be only slightly taller than the amount of rain that’s fallen in Quillayute.
Some of you (all the transplants from California, I expect) might balk at this veritable monsoon. However, I’ll take the opportunity to be bold and suggest that life in Seattle is at its finest when experienced under a constant curtain of drizzle.
I’ve already written about how much I love rain in Seattle, so I won’t bore you by waxing poetic about grey skies or slick streets. Instead, I think it’s worth exploring just how much you can do in Seattle when it rains because, as it turns out, you can do rather a lot. But don’t take my word for it; check out my ideal rainy day itinerary below.
Call me crazy, but going for a rainy-day walk is surprisingly relaxing. When it rains in Seattle, it’s usually not the downpour you get in other places. In fact, it’s more often a kind of heavy mist or gentle pitter-patter on the roof. As such, you should be fine embarking on a brisk stroll, as long as you wear your galoshes and bring along an umbrella. And, once you get out and about, you’ll most likely find the cold weather invigorating and energizing.
Though Seattle has plenty of ideal spaces for strolls in the rain (the Green Lake loop is particularly scenic) my favorite has to be the Japanese Garden. In fact, the Garden’s 3.5 acres of wandering paths, koi-ponds, and delicate maples are probably best experienced under the calming quiet of a light rain. Since few visitors are likely to brave even a drizzle, you’ll have the Garden almost entirely to yourself, allowing for a much needed, meditative retreat from the big city.
Of course, there’s no need to wander around outdoors for too long, and the best part of a cold-weather walk is getting inside out of the damp. Since you’re in the coffee Mecca of the United States, why not cap off your stroll with a piping hot mug of Joe?
Choosing a coffee shop in Seattle can be borderline anxiety-inducing, as there are almost too many options to choose from. However, remember that you’re looking for the perfect cafe for a rainy day, and that demands a certain standard of coziness. One of my personal favorites, the Fremont Coffee Company, is the epitome of welcome, serving up fair-trade coffees in a repurposed bungalow. And, if you still haven’t gotten enough of the fresh air, you’re welcome to drink your coffee while lounging in one of the covered porch’s many inviting chairs.
If you’re looking for something a little sleeker (or if you harbor an inexplicable hatred for all things Fremont), check out nearby Ballard for some alternatives. The Anchored Ship Coffee Bar serves tasty brews in a snug atmosphere, while Slate Coffee offers up artisan java with a minimalist aesthetic.
Every so often during high school, I played hooky and hopped on a ferry to Seattle. However, rather than getting into trouble like a normal teenager, I generally wandered the stacks of the Elliott Bay Book Company, one of my favorite independent bookstores. It’s a delightful place characterized by wooden floors, wandering stacks, and secret nooks. Unsurprisingly, it’s even better on a rainy day, when you can cast off the guilt associated with browsing late into the afternoon (or, in the case of my 18-year-old self, tragically forgetting about that physics mid-term) and simply lose yourself in the store’s cornucopia of rare books, signed copies, magazines, journals, and more.
If it were up to me, I’d spend every rain day doing exactly what I’ve just outlined. Of course, this is only a suggestion, and there’s more than enough to do in Seattle during inclement weather. So, before you bemoan Seattle’s rainy days, why not give the city’s drizzle a chance?
Reach out to the Pickett Street team today- they’ll help you get settled in the perfect Seattle neighborhood.