The best spots in or near Seattle to hide from the sun


It's April, and you know what that means: Summer is coming. With Summer comes sun, and frankly, it's a bit disarming when we have that first blindingly bright day and the weather is warm. Some people like to go outside and try and get a tan, but if you're like me, you may want to hide. It's just so bright and nice out – this isn't what Seattle's supposed to be like, right?

Whatever reason you might want to avoid the sun, here are the best spots in the city to do it.


Outside the Pacific Science Center - inside is less sunny. -- Photo by Richie Diesterheft via Flickr

Under the Domes at the Pacific Science Center

The Pacific Science Center has two excellent places to work on your un-tan. They run multiple daily shows in the Willard Planetarium, and also have more modern laser shows in the Laser Dome (think Daft Punk, Beyoncé, and Pink Floyd themed shows).


Swim with the fishes to stay cool. -- Photo by Eli Duke via Flickr

With the Fishes Climbing the Fish Ladders at Chittenden Locks

One of Seattle's less common attractions, the fish ladders at the Chittenden Locks are a cool place to avoid seeing the sun. You can share the space with salmon as they make their 'run' back to Lake Union: the two best times to see salmon in the ladders are June/July and September/October.


There are very few windows on SAM. -- Photo by Smart Destinations via Flickr

In the Seattle Art Museum

The great thing about art museums is that they typically don't have windows – or the windows don't face direct sunlight – to help preserve the art they house. This makes them a cool dark haven for those of us who burn easily under the sun's hot rays. This summer, they have an exhibit about life in historic Tokyo, Japan, and another with 'infinity mirrors.'


Ignore the sunny skies. It's usually raining or cloudy. -- Photo by Jeff Moser via Flickr

Out of Town, in Forks

Okay, Twilight fans, before you get too excited: the town of Quillayute is actually less sunny than Forks, but they're right next to each other. If you're looking for a town with as little sun as possible, it doesn't get much less sunny than the northwest corner of the Olympic peninsula.


Seattle's best movie theater, Cinerama. -- Photo by Courtney "Coco" Mault via Flickr

Head to the Movies

While loads of movies are being screened in parks across Seattle, sun-avoidant types can head to a reliably windowless place: the movie theater. The best in town by far is Cinerama, where you can nosh on chocolate popcorn and catch up on the newest movies in town.


Guaranteed darkness in the Seattle Underground. -- Photo by Karen Neoh via Flickr

The Seattle Underground Tour

You might have to go out in the sun to get there, but there are few places more decidedly hidden from the sun than under Pioneer Square while making your way through along the Seattle Underground tour route. This is a popular tourist attraction come summertime, so be sure to book ahead and ensure your sunless experience.

Valerie Stimac is a Seattle-based travel writer who literally gets a sunburn in five minutes. You can find her writing in AFAR, Lonely Planet, and Travel + Leisure, as well as her blog, Valerie & Valise.