By Anne Taylor Hartzell, on May 27, 2013

Family-friendly Seattle

When summer hits in Seattle, our family piles in the car and hits the road to explore the natural beauty around the Northwest. You hear it from the locals all the time – summer in Seattle is the best time of year to visit. ‘Tis the season for long days, the smell of marine air, vibrant orange sunsets, day trips, and weekend getaways around Puget Sound. Planning a trip to Seattle this summer? Here are three fun, family day trips to get out and about in Seattle with kids:

Photos Courtesy of Marination Ma Kai


Say Aloha to Alki Beach and West Seattle 

A fun way to get to West Seattle is to take a water taxi from Pier 50 on the Seattle waterfront to Seacrest park. First stop should be for lunch and shave ice at Marination Ma Kai on the West Seattle water taxi dock. Named after the Hawaiian phrase “near the sea”, Marination Ma Kai opened in October 2012 and serves a diverse menu of Asian-Hawaiian inspired meals such as kimchi fried rice, panko-crusted fish n’ chips, pork katsu and shave ice. After lunch, grab a beach bike cruiser at Alki Bike and Board for a long bike ride along the sparkling blue waters the 14 mile-long Alki Beach Bike path. Coined “Seattle’s oldest and friendliest bike shop,” this bike shop offers mountain, hybrid and road bike packages to rent, complete with an app with maps to keep you on track.  

Viewfinder Tip: Visit in July for the Bite of Seattle foodie event at Seattle Center. 

Savor Seattle’s Pike Place Market

There is no better way to experience the iconic Pike Place Market than to eat your way through its diverse shops and markets. Savor Seattle Tours, local tour company, offers guided culinary and cultural tours to take you behind the scenes to sample the best of the best. One tour includes 16 vendor stops and a chance to meet and sample some hot Daily Dozen Doughnuts and Beecher’s Mac and Cheese. On our family’s recent visit, we shook hands with the guys who throws the fish at Pike Place Fish, sampled fresh smoked salmon, tried an authentic Russian piroshky pastry for the first time (at Piroshky Piroshky), and got a whole new perspective on the food and people behind this historic 105 year old Seattle landmark.

Photo Courtesy of Savor Seattle Food Tours

Pack a picnic to hike Tiger Mountain

Seattle is blessed with miles of hiking trails and Tiger Mountain is a family favorite. Grab a picnic lunch and your hiking shoes and head east on 1-90 to Issaquah/Fall City, just a short 30-minute drive. Our kids love to hike the 4-mile Tradition Lake Trail, a relatively flat loop with signs describing Pacific Northwest plants and animals. The Washington Trails Association is a great resource to find hikes for all skill levels around Puget Sound, and Seattle’s Parent Map has three perfect Seattle hikes for kids that will be sure to inspire that next family day hike with your kids.


What are your favorite Seattle day trips to take with kids?