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Everything you should know before visiting Seattle — weather, what to pack, and more

 Aleenah Ansari   

Everything you should know before visiting Seattle — weather, what to pack, and more
  • If you're planning a trip to Seattle, be aware of updated COVID-19 and weather-related advisories.
  • On average, it rains 150 days a year in Seattle, so pack a waterproof jacket and shoes.

I grew up outside of Seattle and have lived in the city for eight years. Here's what out-of-towners should know when planning a trip to the Emerald City.

Weather advisories

Seattle is relatively temperate with short and warm summers and wet and cloudy winters, and humidity levels remain low year-round. The wet season lasts from October to April. Snowfall is pretty rare, though it's most likely to occur during December and January. Temperatures average in the high 60s to mid-to-high 70s in the summer, and in the high 30s to low 40s in the winter. Seattle summers, especially July and August, are the best time to visit if you're hoping to enjoy warm weather, hiking, and outdoor activities.

As you've probably heard, rain is a regular occurrence in Seattle (about 150 days a year on average), though it's usually not too heavy. Many hotels and outdoor shopping centers have complimentary umbrellas, but it's worth carrying one with you. I recommend bringing water-resistant shoes and a jacket — you'll probably see a lot of black puffer jackets on your trip no matter what time of year it is. It's also worth bringing a jacket if you're going to be out past sunset since temperatures drop considerably at night.

COVID-19 advisories

As of March 2022, masks are no longer required in indoor establishments in Washington, and businesses no longer require proof of vaccination for indoor dining and shopping. However, masks are still recommended indoors and on public transportation by the CDC, and masks are required in certain settings like hospitals, pharmacies, and private businesses that require masks for employees, customers, or residents.

Washingtonians and visitors from outside the state are expected to comply with the CDC's current COVID-19 travel advisory guidance, which recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated. If you're not vaccinated, travelers should follow the CDC's guidance to take a COVID-19 test before and after travel, wear a mask, maintain good hand hygiene, and socially distance, especially in crowded areas.

If you are traveling by plane to the US, the CDC requires that most non-US citizens be fully vaccinated. You'll be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovering from COVID-19 if entering the US by air.

If you need to take a COVID-19 test during your trip, you can find COVID-19 testing sites in King County, which prioritizes appointments for people with symptoms or immediate risk for COVID-19. Bring insurance information if you have it and wear a well-fitted mask. You can also take a rapid or PCR test at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, or purchase at-home rapid-test kits at a pharmacy, retailer, or online.

View Insider's comprehensive guide to visiting Seattle, Washington.