How to Pack and Dress for Seattle Weather

March 8, 2019
How to Pack and Dress for Seattle Weather

If you’re reading this, you’re hopefully excited about your upcoming trip to Seattle, and why wouldn’t you be with so many amazing things to see here (like on our land and water tours!) You might be asking yourself questions like, “What’s the weather like in Seattle? How does a typical Seattleite dress? Is there anything else I should bring to make myself more comfortable on my trip there?”

First, we’ve got to clear up this whole “it’s always raining in Seattle” thing. Did you know Seattle is actually 41st in annual average rainfall in the US? Crazy! It may be a bit gray and drizzly x days a year, but there are also many dry and sunny days.

The weather is actually mild all year long meaning it doesn’t get too hot or cold. People in Seattle are very casual – this isn’t a place where the sidewalk doubles as a designer catwalk! To stay comfy during certain times of the year, our helpful tips are:

Flowers will be blooming and birds will be singing! Temperatures from April to June hover between 55°f-65°f (13°c-18°c). During the spring, the rain could go either way, so be sure to plan for it! You should consider bringing:

  1. A light to medium jacket or cardigan and a rain jacket
  2. Sneakers or good walking shoes- Seattle has lots of hills!
  3. A light scarf
  4. Long sleeve shirts and long pants or leggings

Spring Tulips
Image Credit: Skagit Valley Tulips on Facebook

A lot of people automatically think hot-hot-hot when they hear summer, but never fear, in Seattle, you can expect it to be the perfect 75°f-85°f (24°c-30°c) during the day from July to September. Plus, very little humidity and few bugs (in the city). Here’s what to put in your bag:

  1. A light cardigan for night-time or near the water where it gets breezy
  2. Comfortable sandals (wedges ≠ good on hills)
  3. T-shirts, sleeveless shirts and dresses, shorts
  4. A pair of jeans or long pants for night-time
  5. Sunglasses
  6. A swimsuit. Yes, we’ve got beaches, and they’re great!

Vinnie on Lake Union

In Fall, leaves start to change colors and paint the whole town shades of red, orange, and yellow. From October to December while the temperatures drop from 65°f-50°f (18°c-10°c), your bag should include:

  1. A waterproof rain jacket
  2. Rain boots (for jumping in puddles, obviously!)
  3. Long sleeved shirts and pants
  4. A light to medium jacket for when it’s not raining
  5. Close-toed shoes

Autumn Leaves on the Ground

Brrr… is it us, or is it getting chilly in here? You’ll be lucky if you’re in Seattle while it snows (the city is gorgeous under a blanket of white), but it probably won’t stick and except for the Winter Storm 2019, it doesn’t happen often. During January to March it can be anywhere from 35°f-55°f (2°c-13°c), so consider bringing:

  1. A warm, down, waterproof jacket
  2. Thick sweaters
  3. Gloves, a scarf and beanie
  4. A pair of warm boots (waterproof if snow is in the forecast)
  5. Wool socks

Our Tour Guide Ellie Kopter has written some Duck Diaries about winter in/around Seattle here and here– check them out!

Here are some other things that are great to take with you year-round that will be helpful no matter what it looks like outdoors:

  • A good book. Seattle has a lot of coffee shops that are great places for a moment of rest and catching up on the latest novel you’re reading.
  • Re-usable water bottle. Seattle is very conscious about recycling, and this will reduce waste! Maybe grab a re-usable bag for the farmers market, too.
  • Active gear- Seattle has a ton of great hikes both in the city and a short drive outside of it. Many of them are open all year, so make sure you pack the right clothing and equipment for your trek’s difficulty, and see why we’re called the Emerald City!

Ride the Ducks of Seattle is open year-round, so you don’t have to worry about tour availability. Rain or shine, we can’t wait to see you #onaduck!

Bonus tip: are you a folder or a roller? You might normally fold your clothes while packing, but rolling is a great option for backpacks and duffels. Simply take your garment and fold it in half (pants or shirts alike) and then roll it on up! Major space saver so you can pack more clothes or bring more goodies (like our awesome Wacky Quackers) back home.

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*Did you know? Some photos that appear on this page are public domain! Neat!

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