Seattle's Pike Place Market

Free (Or Almost Free) Things to Do in Seattle

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Community Content Team
Published Jun 21, 2019 in: Spending & Shopping

Read time: 3 minutes

As daytime temperatures hover in the mid-70s and the sunshine sticks around longer than usual, one thing becomes increasingly clear--it's summertime in the Emerald City. As one of the country's top travel destinations, Seattle offers a seemingly endless array of activities and attractions.

While most people are familiar with must-see favorites like Chihuly Garden & Glass, the Space Needle, the Great Wheel, the Underground Tour, and the Museum of Popular Culture (affectionately known as MoPOP), sticking to the most popular attractions can put a serious dent in your budget. Fortunately, there are plenty of free and affordable things to do in and around the Greater Seattle Area.

Whether you're a local or a weekend visitor, we have a few budget-friendly suggestions that can make your summer in the PNW even more enjoyable.

Pike Place Market

With its vibrant community of merchants, farmers, craftspeople, and residents, Pike Place Market is arguably the city's most famous landmark. Since there's no admission fee for the market, there's no excuse for missing this quintessential Seattle experience. While you're there, be sure to visit the Gum Wall, watch the fish fly at Pike Place Fish Co., and enjoy live music from the always-eclectic buskers lining the arcade.

Olympic Sculpture Park

Overlooking Elliot Bay, just one mile from the Seattle Museum of Art, this nine-acre sculpture park boasts the title of Seattle's largest greenspace. Visitors can stroll among the sculptures at their leisure or take part in free public tours that provide an informative look at the park, and the site's history.

Fremont Troll

The Fremont Troll is one of the most popular stops for Seattle visitors. Tucked under the Aurora Bridge since 1990, this 18-foot sculpture of a giant troll grasping an old VW Beetle is part attraction, part photo-op. Whether you snap a selfie or have someone else take a pic of you and your family, a photo with the Fremont Troll is an absolute must.

Gig Harbor

With so much to do in the city, you might forget that there's fun to be had outside the city confines as well. A visit to Gig Harbor is an excellent way to slow your pace and enjoy the quaint history of this maritime village. Stroll around the waterfront, catch picturesque views of Mt. Rainier, and grab a bite to eat at one of several charming restaurants.

Evergreen Arboretum and Gardens

To catch a glimpse of the region's botanical beauty, head north for a visit to these stunning gardens in Everett, WA. Since 1963, this peaceful getaway has offered visitors an enjoyable, educational opportunity to wander through 10 uniquely themed gardens that feature gorgeous foliage and original art.

Fourth of July at Gas Works Park

If you're in town for Independence Day, do not miss your chance to enjoy the Fourth of July celebration that features one of the nation's top fireworks shows, according to USA Today. Admission is free, but if you want to enjoy the event to the fullest, get there early and bring some spending money so you can enjoy some delicious treats from the area's top food vendors.

Whether you're planning your Seattle vacation or summertime outings, or taking steps to include fun in your budget, these options will not only provide hours of fun and a lifetime of memories, they'll help you do it all without impacting your bank account in the process. Now that sounds like a good time!

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Community Content Team

BECU's community content team writes about personal finance topics like budgeting, saving and building credit to help you reach your financial health goals.