12 Seattle Date Ideas Under $30

Dating can be expensive, but you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a good time.

  • Whether you’re on a first date or you’ve been together for years, here are some date ideas under $30.
1. Explore Pike Place Market

Make your way through the maze of stalls and shops in and around Seattle’s venerable market and admire the gum wall at nearby Post Alley.

Best for: Adventurous eaters.

Cost: Free.

Details: Grab a snack or a beer from one of the dozens of street food offerings and cheap eats.

  • Some of our favorites are Uli’s famous sausages ($8 for a bratwurst); a sweet or savory piroshky from Piroshky Piroshky (about $8), popusas from Los Gavos ($4 each), BBQ pork humbows ($8) from Mee Sum Pastry and mini donuts from Daily Dozen Donuts ($4 a dozen, $3 ½ dozen).
Browse the market. Photo: Caitlin Ochs/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
2. Take the monorail to the Space Needle

The one kilometer ride on the iconic 1962 Monorailfrom downtown Westlake Center departs every 10 minutes, dropping you off next to the Space Needle in the heart of Seattle Center.

Best for: Those who like to play tourist in their own city.

Cost: $3 per person.

Details: Admission at the Needle’s Observation Decks isn’t cheap ($35 per person), but its downstairs gift shop is open to the public.

  • Great views of the Needle are available for free in all public spaces in downtown Seattle, and there’s plenty of coffee and inexpensive food in its Armory catering and events room.
Monorail in front of the Space Needle
Monorail action. Photo: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images.
3. Hike Discovery Park

Direction Magnolia and explore the 534-acre Discovery Park and its 19 km of hiking trails, including the popular Discovery Loop Trail.

Best for: Couple outdoors.

Cost: Free.

Details: The park has towering evergreens and stunning views of Puget Sound. It is also home to the West Point Lighthouse and the Day Break Star Cultural Center, which hosts various Native American cultural events and festivities.

Towering trees in Discovery Park
Scenic drive in Discovery Park. Photo: Elena Di Vincenzo/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images.
4. Appreciate art and eat tacos

the Frye Art Museum on Seattle’s First Hill offers free admission to its galleries, and once you’re done viewing the artwork, take a short walk to Carmelo Tacoswhere tacos are under $4 and burritos and quesadillas under $12.

Best for: Art lovers and gourmets alike.

Cost: Free, plus the cost of tacos.

5. Lose yourself in the books and people watch on Capitol Hill

The Elliott Bay Book Company has multiple levels of cedar bookshelves holding over 150,000 titles and a unique atmosphere in the heart of Seattle’s eclectic Capitol Hill neighborhood.

  • It also hosts a variety of free events, including book readings by guest authors.

Best for: Bookworms.

Cost: Free.

Details: Next to it, the Oddfellows Cafe and Bar offers coffee by day and cocktails and wine by night, as well as well-priced small plates.

  • At the street corner, Molly Moon’s offers its homemade ice cream, with public benches and passers-by nearby at Cal Anderson Park.
6. Catch the Mariners Game

Catch a Big League football game at T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners.

Best for: Sports enthusiasts.

Cost: Tickets start at $10+ per person. Get them here.

Details: There’s a slate of special theme parties and giveaways for the 2022 season, including Star Wars Fireworks Night, Juneteenth Celebration Night, and Mariners Pride Hat Night, among others.

A Seattle Mariners player makes a catch in front of a crowd of fans
Julio Rodriguez of the Mariners makes a catch. Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images.
7. Karaoke at the Rock Box

Book a private Japanese style karaoke room for the evening at Rock Box on Capitol Hill.

Best for: Aspiring Grammy winners.

Cost: Rooms are $8 per person per hour ($5 during happy hour). To book a room.

8. Picnic in Jefferson Park

The sprawling Jefferson Park offers great isolation and respite from the urban masses and has covered seating areas in case of rain. Bring a DIY cheese board.

Best for: Those who romanticize everything.

Cost: Free.

Details: Nearby are Cafe Victrola and Oaka good place with $5 sliders and small plates, and you can share a pizza (most are under $20) at Bar Del Corso.

9. Kayak Lake Union

Book a kayak to Agua Verde Café and Paddle Club on Portage Bay. Choose your own adventure – paddle past houseboats, visit Gasworks Park or visit the turtles in the Washington Park Arboretum and enjoy great views of the Seattle skyline.

Best for: Adventurous couples.

Cost: Double kayaks are $30 per hour. Learn how to rent one.

Details: The cafe offers a storefront with take-out orders and picnic tables for dining near the dock.

Kayaks and canoes float on Lake Union
Float on Lake Union. Photo: Genna Martin/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images.
10. Take a water taxi to West Seattle

For a small fee, you can take the King County Water Taxi through Elliott Bay, from the downtown Seattle waterfront (Pier 50 terminal) to West Seattle. Then take a walk or cycle to Alki Beach.

Best for: The couples find the sea legs.

Cost: Taxi rides run $5.75 per person, or $5 with an ORCA card.

Details: Near the taxi dock, Marina Mai Kai offers tasty pork and Spam sliders, fish tacos and beer.

Floating water taxi in Seattle
King County Water Taxi. Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images.
11. Explore Alki Beach

Once across Elliott Bay, hike or stroll the paved trail to nearby Alki Beach. It’s Seattle’s version of SoCal where people-watching, snack bars, restaurants, bars, and scenic views of the downtown Seattle skyline abound.

Best for: Nature lovers.

Cost: Free.

Details: Discover the bicycles and other pedal boats of Fun wheel rentalwith hourly rates ranging from $13 to $39 per hour.

Yes and: Take the free tour of the U.S. Coast Guard’s fully functional and automated Alki Point Aid to Navigation Lighthouse.

  • The site located at 3201 Alki Ave. SW offers direct views of Discovery Park’s West Point Lighthouse as well as stunning views of the Cascades and Mount Rainier.
People relax near a tent on Alki beach
Relax at Alki Beach. Photo: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
12. Visit Theo chocolate factory

chocolate sample and see how the goods are made. Fair warning: it’s a little hot inside and you’ll need to wear a hair net.

Best for: Couples who want the Seattle “Willy Wonka” experience.

Cost: $12 per person. Book your visit.

Details: The factory is located at 3400 Phinney Ave. NOT.

Brick showcase that says
Play Willy Wonka. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios.