In Seattle, late-summer days tend to remain blissfully warm and bright, perhaps the season reminding us she’s not finished just yet. As Northwest evening light slices through the leaves with a slightly different bent, we’re reminded to savor these prime weeks by taking advantage of all the city has to offer.
Soak in Seattle’s sun-kissed magic by heading downtown throughout the remainder of August and September. Here, a bounty of attractions await, from city parks and waterfront restaurant patios to vibrant festivals that celebrate the season in style. The best part? Urban excursions don’t have to be complex, thanks to parking tools like the PayByPhone app that helps simplify your journey around town. (Download the app pre-adventure to enjoy uninterrupted fun; text reminders will help you stay on top of your space’s time limit.)
Through Sept. 9, Downtown Summer Sounds 2022 continues a four-decade tradition of bringing alfresco concerts to urban spaces like Westlake Park, Occidental Square and the Harbor Steps. Local talent shines bright in genres from rock and hip-hop to R&B and alt-country. For starters, check out 45th Street Brass in Union Square at noon Wednesday, Aug. 17, Funkways at noon in Denny Park Wednesday, Aug. 31, and Smokey Brights in Occidental Square at noon Thursday, Sept. 8.
While downtown, wander down to Pier 62 — the initial section of the anticipated Waterfront Park to open. There you’ll discover public art and interactive events with killer views. Enjoy concerts, pop-up markets and classes featuring dance, yoga and skateboarding, while gazing out at the urban skyline and twinkling Elliott Bay. Not far away at the nine-acre Olympic Sculpture Park, Summer at SAM fills Thursdays and Saturdays (through Aug. 20) with collaborative art projects, performances, plus classes of yoga, Zumba and more. It’s all within reach, without worries about parking; with the PayByPhone app, you can extend the parking window directly from your phone without having to run back to your vehicle.
The excitement at Seattle Center buzzes into November, showcasing a series of free cultural gatherings as part of the annual Festál series. This year’s fest (theme: “Where the World Gathers”) commemorates 25 years of honoring cultures, customs, languages and foods from around the globe. While exploring festival offerings at the Seattle Center’s 74-acre site, be sure to also stop by the central International Fountain, captivating museums like Chihuly Garden and Glass and MoPOP (Museum of Pop Culture), plus hip hangouts like the KEXP Gathering Space and neighboring Climate Pledge Arena, which boasts an impressive (year-round) events lineup of its own.
Get transported to the faraway sights, sounds and tastes of South America with Brasilfest (Aug. 21), held during the week of Brazilian Folklore Day.
Tibet Fest (Aug. 27 and 28) explores messages of love, compassion and kindness, Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival (Sept. 11) enthralls attendees with barbecue and poke, island music and dance, and Sea Mar Fiestas Patrias (Sept. 17 and 18) commemorates Latin American independence with arts-and-craft displays, dancing horses, mariachi bands, folk dancers and delicious fare. The Italian Festival (Sept. 24 and 25) honors the “bella vita” with a focus on food, wine and music.
After the sun sets, nothing says summer like cinema under the stars. The Movies at the Mural series brings free film viewings to a state-of-the-art, 40-foot screen beneath the towering Space Needle. On Saturdays in August, BYO picnic to the Mural Amphitheatre lawn to indulge in popular movies, appropriate for all ages, that begin at dusk (about 9 p.m.). A short film by students at Cornish College for the Arts plays before each feature.
Looking for a few more excuses to explore downtown’s quirky and inspiring sides? From Aug. 19 thought 21, the Seattle Tattoo Expo at Seattle Center features displays, seminars, live music, a burlesque revue and even the chance to walk away with fresh ink. The Seattle Design Festival 2022: Connection (Aug. 20 through 26, at various locations) takes a look at how art installations and events held in public spaces can further justice, ecology and community. (Think tours, talks, films and other related events.)
Summer may be whizzing by more swiftly than ever, but there’s plenty of sweetness to be squeezed out of the season yet.
PayByPhone simplifies your journey so you can focus on what matters most. Use the app to pay for parking in seconds. No coins, no hunting for the machine, just click and get back to what is most important to you.