Seattle, Washington Things to Do and Safety for Solo Female Travelers
Seattle is one of the best cities to visit for solo female travelers wishing for a strong culture and lots of local boutiques, shops, and restaurants. That makes Seattle perfect for those who tire of chain-run businesses and want something fresh. Seattle is also big for music–ranked second for most live performances. Located about an hour south of Canada, Seattle is also surrounded by the evergreen of Washington state, making it great for those with a heart for nature.
In this article you’ll learn everything you need to plan your dream vacation to Seattle, Washington. You’ll find information about the weather, best time to visit, where to stay, the most popular attractions, things to do, areas of caution, safety tips for women traveling alone, and covid restrictions and guidelines.
Things to Know About Seattle
Seattle is big for tourism, receiving about 40 million visitors every year. The city holds the nickname “Emerald City” because of the year-round greenery. Another popular nickname is “The Coffee Capital of the World,” for the many local coffee houses. It’s the hometown of the original Starbucks (located on 2000 Western Avenue, rather than the mistaken Pike Place Market).
Seattle is also home to the rapper Macklemore and the super-company Amazon. The city was founded in 1851 and was named after Native American Chief Seattle (sometimes: Si’ahl).
Weather In Seattle
The coldest month in Seattle is December, with highs around 46F and lows around 39F. The hottest months are July and August with highs around 72F and lows around 57F. The rainy season runs October to March, averaging 14 days of rain each of those months.
Seattle has a notorious allergy season running from February to September. All those beautiful trees and grasses give off lots of pollen. Unless you tend to have severe reactions, most over-the-counter allergy medicines will do the trick.
Best Time to Visit Seattle
Most people visit Seattle during the summer, so expect things to get more expensive and crowded during this time. The best time to visit Seattle is September or October, when weather is a little milder and crowds a little less pushy. You’ll likely still see some rain, but not enough to ruin your trip. For the budget aware, the cheapest time to visit Seattle is May or October.
Must See Attractions and Things to Do in Seattle
While it may not seem that Seattle has as much to do as other big cities, with big attractions and lots of museums, that’s not true. Seattle is one of the best cities to visit for local shops and entertainment. That’s where Seattle’s charm comes from.
The Chihuly Garden and Glass is located right next to the Space Needle and is a full gallery of glass art and a well curated garden. This is by far the most popular attraction in Seattle.
If you like airplanes and spacecraft, the Museum of Flight is for you. It is one of the world’s largest collections where you can see actual (retired) airplanes and rockets, space shuttles, and everything else used to keep humanity flying.
Pike Place is the oldest continuously run farmer’s market in the country. It’s a great spot for specialty and artisan foods. You’ll also find several small novelty stores like the Magic Shop.
The Washington State Ferries offer rides between islands in Seattle. The ferries are government owned and offer several different routes for those who wish to travel in a less traditional way.
Kerry Park is a small park that has a lot to offer for photographers. It has an overlook of downtown Seattle and has a small playground. It’s a great place to take a book and relax for a while.
The Sky View Observatory is in the Columbia center and offers the tallest overlook of Seattle. It’s awesome at sunset and at night when the city lights up. There is a bar inside as well.
Zoos are among the top attractions for solo travelers and are among the safest attractions for women. The Woodland Park Zoo has received over 65 awards and features over a thousand animals. It isn’t the biggest zoo in the United States, but it does have a lot greener than most, making it a very pleasant zoo to visit.
The Space Needle was originally designed on a napkin and was made for the World’s Fair. Today it can handle a 9.1 magnitude earthquake and winds up to 200 miles per hour. The glass floors allow you to look down at the city. There is also a restaurant-cafe with plenty of fine drinks as well as an espresso bar.
MoPOP, or the Museum of Pop Culture, is unlike any museum you’ll find anywhere else in the world. It’s full of memorabilia, antiques, and photos dedicated to the pop culture movements across the nation, music and celebrities included.
- Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park is great for those who want to climb, hike, or camp. The park has flat trails and trails for those who want a little more experience as well. The park also offers inns for those who want to experience nature but still have a place to sleep and shower. The multiple rivers offer plenty of waterfalls. Great for the adventurist, photographer, and those simply wanting a few minutes with nature.
Also known as SAM, the Seattle Art Museum offers exhibitions dedicated to everything from water to civil rights. The museum has over 25,000 pieces. Most visitors say the trip takes about three hours. The museum is quite popular for its artwork promoting feminism and racial equality.
The Seattle Aquarium feels like you’re walking through the ocean itself. It may not look like much from the outside, but the inside is a different story. It’s astounding. The aquarium features otters, sharks, touch-tanks, and sessions where you can watch scuba-divers feed the aquatic life. If you don’t visit any other attractions while in Seattle, visit the Aquarium.
Things To Do in Seattle
Seattle has a lot to do both inside and outside the city. One of the most popular activities is hiking through Olympic National Park or Mount Rainier National Park. There are tons of trails for beginners, experts, and everyone in between. If you go hiking, stick close to other adventurists in case something goes wrong, and make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen.
You can also get tours on ferries or go whale-watching. You can go to a nearby beach (Washington’s water is cold), or if you visit in the winter you can ski. Seattle also has lots of music, diverse dining, and local shopping.
Best Local Shopping in Seattle
Even if you don’t buy anything, these shops are worth checking out. They’re great for solo travelers because you can stay as long (or as short) as you want. These shops are really what make Seattle so great to visit and can be planned as part of your day trip as they’re so close to other big attractions.
This is one of the coolest new and used bookstores in the country, featuring affordable titles in every genre.
It’s a mall devoted to the showing and selling of all things vintage. It’s like a blast to the past walking through.
Pink Gorilla is one of the best video games stores in the world, featuring hard-to-get, rare, and foreign, and even normal games.
Evo is an outdoor gear shop featuring ski, snowboard, mountain bike, skate, surf, and wake equipment and apparel. They offer rentals as well.
Think of the coolest Comic bookstore, you can imagine. It’s well-kept and well organized, with thousands of titles as well as plenty of action figures and memorabilia.
Vinyl is coming back strong, and Easy Street Records is one of the best places to go to get records.
Glasswing is one of the top-rated clothing boutiques in Seattle, offering every sort of stylish clothing for both men and women. The shop also has tons of plants, which makes it a unique shopping experience.
It’s a store dedicated entirely to plants large and small. They’ve got exotic species as well as common stuff in every variety. The workers are also plant experts and can tell you everything you need to know about sun, water, pots, dirt, and other essential plant care.
It’s a novelty shop dedicated to selling the weirdest stuff people can imagine. There’s nothing practical about anything in the store, but you’ll have a blast looking around. You’ll find something photo-worthy on every shelf.
Something Silver is a designer jewelry store. It’s expensive, but it’s pretty. You can find standard rings as well as jaw-dropping necklaces, not like the standard stuff you find in department jewelries.
Where to Stay in Seattle
We’ve put together a list of some of the popular areas tourists stay while visiting Seattle to help you get an idea of where to book lodging. The following areas, while the most popular, are not the safest, which is a problem for solo travelers. To help you decide where to stay, we’ve listed the popular areas, the most dangerous areas, and the safest areas of Seattle.
The best place to stay for first time visitors is Downtown Seattle near the Pike Place Market. This will put you closest to the airport and the rest of the city’s attractions. You’ll be close to the light rail which means you’ll get around easier too. It’s a much more commercial though, so you won’t get as much green. Downtown Seattle also sees lots of homelessness, so it’s not a great place to be walking around at night.
Another option is Belltown (just north of Downtown). Belltown is great for food and shopping. It’s also more friendly for pedestrians, meaning it’s easier to explore on foot. Belltown will have many bars, clubs, and restaurants too, though the nightlife gets a little bit rowdy (and can be dangerous for females). It’s also not a great area for those with cars because parking is going to cost you so much.
This is probably one of the most hipster neighborhoods in America. You’ve got bars, theaters, lots of music, plenty of great food, boutiques. There’s also a strong LGBTQIA+ presence with rainbow painted sidewalks. It’s also a primarily black neighborhood. The neighborhood is loud at night though, given its top-quality nightlife, but may cost you a bit more for your stay. Capitol Hill is prone to protests, so be on the lookout for that.
South Lake Union
South Lake used to be shady until Amazon showed up. It’s a high-class area, with great food, though you won’t see a lot of local businesses. This area has some of the best (if most expensive) hotels. It’s located right next to a lake in the middle of Seattle, which is cool.
Okay, up to this point we’ve said that everything in Seattle will cost you a bit. Queen Anne is by far the wealthiest area of Seattle and will cost you more than a bit. It’s close to everything though, which makes it nice.
Fremont has a more residential vibe, making it quieter and slower for those who want a bit less city. It’s right near some of Washington’s best parks, which means lots of green. The problem with Fremont though is the lack of hotels, there’s only one. Hotels aren’t the only options though, as plenty of people make their homes available for weekend stays.
Areas of Caution
There are some parts of Seattle that statistically have high crime rates, making them especially risky for women traveling alone. Some of these areas are highly rated for hotels though, which makes it difficult for travelers to decide. Most of the reported crime is due to the higher populations of the homeless population and protests. Homeless people in Seattle are known to assault even during daylight hours, so be extra careful.
When planning a trip to Seattle, the best thing to do is make sure you’re staying in a decent hotel with plenty of security in place. If you drive a car, make sure it has a closed garage.
The most dangerous parts of Seattle ranked (according to Areavibes) are Sand Point, Belltown, First Hill, South Lake Union, Atlantic, Northgate, Haller Lake, Lower Queen Anne, International District, and Capitol Hill.
Safest Areas of Seattle
The safest places in Seattle are (in order): Hawthorne Hills, Blue Ridge, North Beach, Bryant, Matthews Beach, View Ridge, Wedgwood, Broadmoor, Arbor Heights, Laurelhurst, and Madrona. These areas are better for solo female travelers as you’ll be out of harm’s way, but you’ll have to sacrifice being closer to the city’s main attractions as these hotels are located farther away from downtown.
Safety Tips for Visiting Seattle
Seattle is moderately safe overall. Like other big cities, there are dangerous areas visitors should avoid, but tourist attractions are free of most crime. Washington state has a large homeless population which you should avoid. Don’t give them money and understand that just about every homeless person has some sort of weapon.
Covid Restrictions and Guidelines
The wearing of masks and getting vaccinations are strongly encouraged, but not required. Businesses will be at full capacity June 2022. You can check out the official Travel Advisory Website for updates.