Growing up in Seattle, you kind of just know that summer starts after the 4th of July – don’t ask me why, that’s just the way it is. That’s generally when the weather is really nice and the sun shines all the time. Which is why most outdoor events are in July and August. School is out and people flock to the few beaches we have, picnics in the many parks are a daily occurrence, and evening BBQs and music events are what people live for.
First things first, 4th of July! The biggest party that happens is the Seafair Summer Fourth! The party is on both ends of Lake Union, Gas Works Park on the North and South Lake Union Park, not surprisingly, on the South. You can get tickets to both on their website. Gates open at noon for both, and they offer live music, food, and a beer garden to keep you entertained until the real show starts around 10pm. If you can’t make it to the event, or maybe if crowds aren’t your thing, you can watch it live on channel 7.
Seafair is Seattle’s 10-week festival season that has been happening since 1950. There are tons of sanctioned Seafair events, including the 4th of July at Lake Union, the Milk Carton Derby (July 13), Torchlight, Fleet Week (July 29 – Aug 2), and so much more! One of the more unique events is the Pirate Landing at Alki Beach. Summer wouldn’t be summer without Pirates! July 6th Alki Beach is transformed – it’s an event you won’t want to miss. Check out the Seafair website for information on all the events going on.
If you’re planning a visit to the Ballard Locks, located about 5-ish miles north from the city, you can hear some wonderful live music from local musicians and groups. The Concerts at the Locks are an annual tradition and run through September 2nd. Visit their website to get the lineup. Don’t forget, if you purchase a CityPass you can get tickets to many of our local attractions at a discount, and the Locks are one of them!
ZooTunes at the Woodland Park Zoo are another annual tradition here. If you’ve got an open day, plan a trip to the Zoo and stay for the concert at the end of the day. Tickets sell out pretty fast, so I suggest getting yours now. Not to brag, but our Zoo is one of the best in the country! And don’t take my word for it, everyone says so. Visit their website to see all the offerings, schedule a premium tour or get tickets for the evening concerts. They even have live cams so you can see tigers, bears, and bats in real time. And we have a new baby giraffe, named Hasani (which means handsome in Swahili) who will hopefully be making his debut soon. He and mama have been spending quality bonding time together in private since he was born on May 2nd. But trust me, his first few days in the public areas will be an event you won’t want to miss.
Summer is a great time for sports too, the Mariners and Sounders are still keeping Seattle Playoff hopes alive, and you won’t want to miss seeing a game at T-Mobile Park or CenturyLink Field. Our sports venues offer some really great food and drink options or stick to tradition and buy your old man a hot dog and beer! If you like soccer, the FIFA World Cup is being shown at many bars and most of them offer drink and food specials while you watch. The Stranger has a great list of local sports and recreation events, check out their website and see what there is to do.
There are so many festivals in July! Literally every weekend boasts at least three or four fairs, runs, tastings…everything from the Seattle International BeerFest at the Seattle Center Fisher park and pavilion to the Capitol Hill Block Party (over 100 bands will be playing!) to local neighborhood festivals like the West Seattle Grand Parade (featuring the 2nd year of the Pawrade, for our furry friends) and the Alki Point Art and Music Fair. Our friends at Events12.com have the best list of all the great things to do in and around the city, check it out!
The biggest of all July festivals by far is the annual Bite of Seattle July 19 – 21 at the Seattle Center. Voted “Best Food Festival” for the last several years, the Bite is the ofiginal and first event dedicated to all thing yummy. For the last 37 years, the Bite has taken over the Seattle Center and filled it with local restaurants, pop-up vendors, beer and cider tastings, live music outdoor beer gardens, live cooking demos and cook-off battles. Friday night is the free Bite Movie Night and the best part – it’s free to attend! This year they’re once again offering The Alley Six Course ‘Multi-Bite’ event that benefits Food Lifeline and the Family Fun Zone. You can get tickets for the Alley and Beer & Cider Tastings here.
July ends with the best parade of the year – Torchlight! Since 1950 Seattlites have been gathering to watch marching bands, floats, dancers, and so much more in the heart of the city. The parade begins at 7:30 PM at the Seattle Center and heads down 4th Avenue to Westlake Park. There isn’t an admission fee for the parade, though if you want to ensure a good seat, reserved seating at the Grandstand is available. But for a true Seattle experience, plan on getting up early and staking out a seat along the parade route. There are food trucks and local eateries offering specials along the entire route. (And yes, the city provides Honey Buckets along the way too.) Bring a comfy camp chair, don’t forget your sunscreen and water, and spend the day people watching. For all the info you’ll need or to purchase tickets for the grandstand visit their website. The parade will also be broadcast on channel 7.
Days spent adventuring in the city should end in a luxury unit that offers a great living room to rest your feet in and a comfy bed to stretch those tired muscles on. Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals offers units that have not only have indoor pools, but roof-top decks for watching the sun set and unwinding with a glass of wine. Give us a call and our friendly and knowledgeable staff can find the perfect vacation rental for your visit!