skip to main content
Downtown Seattle Hotel Concierge

A Local Look at Things To Do in Seattle

Attractions + Free Things to Do in Seattle

Our team spills the secrets

At Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle, we've got a whole team in place that can answer any question that begins with “where should I…?” Whether it's shopping or sightseeing, happy hours or hiking, whatever you want to do, we've got some great ideas. For more great recommendations, be sure to stop by the front desk during your stay to make the most of your visit. We even have tips for completely free things to do in Seattle. Stop by our Hotel Calendar to see the latest events and activities happening at our hotel or nearby, as well as preview our Seasonal Attractions for more themed goings-on.

Local tips for Seattle visitors:

What are the best free things to do in Seattle?

Seattle has more than its share of outstanding museums, from the can't-miss-it Seattle Art Museum to the youthful vibes of the Museum of Pop Culture. Enjoy free entry on the first Thursday of the month to most institutions. Along similar lines, be sure to immerse yourself in the culture of Seattle by enjoying one of the many complimentary Art Walks. You also can't visit without going on the water – take advantage of free one-hour rentals at the Center for Wooden Boats in South Lake Union.

Where are the best areas for shopping?

There is great shopping surrounding 5th Ave and the Pike/Pine area in downtown. Capitol Hill, Ballard -,and even along First Avenue in the downtown area all offer boutique store fronts, as well as Fremont Vintage Mall -, offer fantastic options for Vintage stores.

Where are nice places to hike?

The Snoqualmie/North Bend area has hikes that are as close as 45-60 minutes out of the downtown core. This part of Washington is secluded enough to make you feel like you’re truly out in the wilderness, but in actuality you’re still close enough to get a Dick’s burger on a whim. Some of our favorite hikes are Lake Serene for a challenging and fun trip or Franklin Falls, for something easy and beautiful.

What are the best live music venues nearby?

The Showbox and Dimitriou's Jazz Alley are two amazing options nearby that frequently have small and big names alike on their bill. Neumos is up on Capitol Hill, and features live performances on their main stage, and a dance club below.

Which neighborhood is best for bar hopping?

Both Belltown and Bathtub Gin and Co., Shorty’s, Whisky Bar, and Neon Boots. If you go to Pike St. on Capitol Hill and throw a stone (please don't hurt anyone), you're sure to hit an awesome bar. The Comet Tavern, Pie Bar, and Pine Box are some excellent options if you're without a stone. Each has an interesting history.

What's the best brewery?

Fremont Brewing is at the top of the list for many reasons. First and foremost, their beer is amazing. Second, Fremont Brewing has earth-friendly practices to inspire anyone with an interest in the environment and sustainability! Also, their Urban Beer Garden is pet- and child-friendly. One thing to note: they don't have a food menu, but they do have a lenient “bring your own food” policy.

Any advice for wine tasting in or out of the city?

We say “wine not?” to Woodinville and Bainbridge Island. Woodinville is home to over 150 wine tasting rooms, while Bainbridge has a more conservative seven or so. With a bit of planning though, you could visit each of the nine vineyards on the island.

In-the-city options include Pioneer Square, where Browne Family Vineyards has recently opened a tasting room. Oh and did we mention it's about a 10-minute walk from us? There are also quite a few possibilities in Sodo, an area south of Downtown.

What's one thing I should not miss out on while I am in Seattle?

The number one thing that you should definitely not miss while in Seattle has to be the iconic Pike Place Market. Open most every day since 1907, you can find anything under the sun in this market, and you'll have a blast exploring all of its ins and outs.

Where should I walk my dog?

Freeway park offers a winding path of grassy areas for your furry loved one to take care of some business. Be mindful of going here in the late evening, as it's not well lit. There is a small dog park called Plymouth Pillars Park on Boren and Pike Street, which is about a 15-minute walk from the hotel, and right next to Lil’ Woody’s—one of the best burgers in Seattle (in our opinion)!

On a rainy day, what are the best things to do?

As most days are rainy ones in Seattle, there are plenty of ways to ensure you don't get the blues. You could get your “Charlie” on, with a tour of Theo Chocolate Factory, get very familiar with Pike Place Market or pay a visit to one of our many museums—many offer free admission the first Thursday of each month. Chihuly Garden and Glass is a great option to take in some beauty on a dreary day, and MoPop Museum is right next door. Alternatively, blow some of your own glass at the oldest glass blowing studio in Seattle—located in Pioneer Square. Additionally, the The Paramount Theatre has free tours every first Saturday of the month, and the 5th Ave theatre has free tours most Mondays at noon.

What's the best happy hour in the city?

Momiji on Capitol Hill or Japonessa and Nijo, in downtown boast some amazing happy hour menus for the sushi and Japanese cuisine lovers. You can't beat Fogon Cocina Mexicana on Capitol Hill for margaritas and tasty Mexican bites.

Where's the best place to rent a bike?

In our lobby, of course! We have 2 road bikes waiting for you to check them out for a complimentary ride, along with helmets and bike locks. Additionally, on almost any given block in Seattle, you can find a green Limebike. These are provided by the city of Seattle as a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation. The charge is $1 per 30 minutes, and your first ride is free. This does require the use of a smart phone, as there is an app to download.

The bicycle repair shop is another option outside of the lobby and smart phones. Located on Western Ave and Madison St, you can rent a bike here for $9 per hour, or $45 per day.

What should I know for Seahawks game day?

Get there early, only bring items in clear bags with dimensions of no more than 12x6x12, food in clear plastic containers in the aforementioned size are allowed, but do not bring beverages.

What's the best coffee in Seattle?

There are so many incredible coffee shops in Seattle, we can't possibly narrow it down to one. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention Starbucks (it's headquartered in Seattle after all) and its original location which can be found in Pike Place. The store often has long lines down the street, but it's a small price to pay for a piece of history. Of course you'll find Starbucks locations throughout Seattle, including one next door to the hotel.

If you're willing to go on a stroll to enjoy some excellent coffee, we highly recommend Cherry Street Coffee on Third Ave. If you're a real coffee fiend, maybe create your own coffee crawl. Here are some recommendations to get you started.

What advice do you have for cruise passengers?

Many cruises dock in the mornings and early afternoons, so plan for things to do in the city between the cruise drop off time, and our check-in time of 3:00 pm. Once you de-board, you can stop by the hotel and we will get you pre-registered for your room reservation. You can also store any luggage you may have while you go out and explore the city. A text message from our front desk team will let you know when your room is ready for you.