Looking forward to the summer? Here’s our roundup of events, activities, entertainment and more around the Seattle area.

Click below or scroll down to navigate through different things to look forward to this summer.

Food and Drink | Travel | Movies and TV | Music | Books | Theater and Arts | Local Events

Food and Drink

The French know a thing or two about relaxing, and Cafe Presse is ready to pack your blanket with all kinds of goodness. (Bethany Jean Clement / The Seattle Times)
The French know a thing or two about relaxing, and Cafe Presse is ready to pack your blanket with all kinds of goodness. (Bethany Jean Clement / The Seattle Times)

It’s summer! Here are 11 special picnic menus from top Seattle chefs to take to the park or lake

Sure restaurants are reopening again. But the long daylight hours of Seattle in the summertime are best enjoyed outside, in open air, with good food and friends. Check out these suggested picnic and park pairings from some of Seattle’s best restaurants. Read more here.

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The top 10 restaurant patios for Seattle-area summertime outdoor dining

Now is the time of less rain, warmer air, longer days and late and lovely sunsets — when Seattle-area restaurant patios and decks are at their best. Here, food critics Bethany Jean Clement and Tan Vinh tell you about their top 10 favorites. Read more here.

Travel

Passengers stand in long lines at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport  in December.   (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)
Passengers stand in long lines at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in December. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

Vacation this summer with these 12 road trips from Seattle

State COVID-19 restrictions are expected to expire by June 30 and Washingtonians need a vacation. If you’re not ready to fly, or you just want to explore the Pacific Northwest, consider these 12 road trips from Seattle. Read more here.

Rick Steves tells us what to expect when Europe reopens to tourists this summer

As the world emerges from the pandemic, Europe is reopening to travelers. If you’re hankering to make a trip over there this summer, hold on: Hear what European travel expert and Edmonds resident Rick Steves has to say first. Read more here.

Roll around Washington: 5 cycling trips to take around the state this summer

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Hoping to escape the house without going across the country this summer? Trying to explore our beautiful state while the Pacific Northwest is sunny and dry? No matter your experience level, you’ll find an itinerary that’s your speed in this roundup of Washington state bike trips. Read more here.

The tourists have returned to Washington state — but some areas are recovering more quickly than others

As post-pandemic tourism levels pick up, industry analysts say Washington’s rural destinations west of the Cascades are thriving, but Seattle hasn’t had the same kind of luck — and hotel occupancy rates are still lower than they’ve been in a long time. Read more here.

Movies and TV

Majestic Bay Theatre closed down due to the stay-at-home order, but had an uplifting message for downtown Ballard on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. They don’t have a reopening date for summer 2021 yet. (Amanda Snyder / The Seattle Times)
Majestic Bay Theatre closed down due to the stay-at-home order, but had an uplifting message for downtown Ballard on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. They don’t have a reopening date for summer 2021 yet. (Amanda Snyder / The Seattle Times)

Are summer blockbusters back for real? With COVID-19 hanging around, what will moviegoing look like this season?

Not quite post-pandemic, but not quite 2020 either: The upcoming summer movie season offers the usual blockbusters, but many of them can be watched without leaving home. Read more here.

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12 new movies our critic is most excited to watch this summer

From a scarily quiet horror film to a vibrant (and long-awaited) musical, here are 12 movies arts critic Moira Macdonald looks forward to seeing this summer. Read more here.

Where to see drive-in movies within a day trip of Seattle

Summer is still many weeks away, but local drive-ins are already open, with surely more to come as the weather gets warmer. Here’s where you can find them. Read more here.

Music

The Gorge concert venue, as pictured in 2008. This past weekend, Grant County sheriff’s deputies seized fentanyl – among other drugs – during arrests of 38 suspected drug dealers.
The Gorge concert venue, as pictured in 2008. This past weekend, Grant County sheriff’s deputies seized fentanyl – among other drugs – during arrests of 38 suspected drug dealers.

Washington’s summer 2021 concert season isn’t dead. It’s just running late

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A number of marquee festivals and venues had already canceled their summer plans by the time Gov. Jay Inslee announced a June 30 reopening date. Nevertheless, Washington will still have part of its summer concert season — even if it’s starting later than usual. Read more here.

Books

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times
Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Looking for some great summer reading? Here are 8 page-turners to start

Here are eight engrossing reads recommended by arts critic Moira Macdonald. Read more here.

Seattle-area booksellers suggest titles to help fill out your 2021 Summer Book Bingo card

Summer Book Bingo, from Seattle Arts & Lectures and Seattle Public Library, is back! To help you fill out your bingo card, we asked local booksellers about the season’s must-read titles — conveniently marking off “recommended by a local bookseller” on your bingo board. Read more here.

Theater and Arts

Outdoor theater is back! GreenStage’s 33rd Shakespeare in the Park 
season starts July 9. Shown here is the Young Shakespeare Workshop’s production of “Much Ado About Nothing,” part of the GreenStage 2011 Shakespeare in the Park season. (Joel Hawksley / The Seattle Times)
Outdoor theater is back! GreenStage’s 33rd Shakespeare in the Park season starts July 9. Shown here is the Young Shakespeare Workshop’s production of “Much Ado About Nothing,” part of the GreenStage 2011 Shakespeare in the Park season. (Joel Hawksley / The Seattle Times)
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Your guide to summer 2021 outdoor theater and performances in the Seattle area

After a year without in-person theater and performances, Seattle-area performing arts groups are taking advantage of the warmer weather and planning plays and performances outdoors. Read more here.

Local Events

(Illustration by Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)
(Illustration by Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)

Summer Guide 2021

Planning out your summer? Use this interactive guide to find activities around Seattle in summer 2021. Read more here.