Monday May 21, 2018

By Paul Barach

Cannabis Tourism in Seattle: An Insider's Look Travel

Seattle is one of the more pot-friendly cities to visit for the canna-sseur on vacation. The city began hosting Hempfest in 1991, legalized medical marijuana in 1998, essentially decriminalized marijuana in 2003 and led the charge for legalization in 2012. While the gloomy winter weather keeps many indoors, summers in Seattle are worshipped like a gift and residents make sure to soak up as much sunshine as they can. For any cannabis-minded tourist looking to visit Seattle, there are plenty of options for enjoying the city, both indoors and out.

What to Do in Seattle?

If you’re looking for fun, cannabis-related things to do in Seattle then a tour or activity is a great option. You might also have a blast at one of Seattle's many cannabis events! Aside from events, activities and tours, try checking out some of their different neighborhoods and suburbs. Seattle is full of great places for cannabis enthusiasts to enjoy – you just have to find them!

One of the most popular areas of Seattle is Capitol Hill, a trendy neighborhood overlooking Puget Sound to the west and Lake Washington to the east.

If you find yourself in Capitol Hill, be sure to stop in Uncle Ike’s or Ruckus Recreational for some awesome cannabis products. Once you’re well-stocked on goodies from the dispensary, take a short walk north to Volunteer Park, a sprawling grass expanse full of trees to climb and a botanical garden to wander through.

Volunteer Park
The views from the Volunteer Park Water Tower are a must-see. photo credit

If you’re feeling ambitious, there’s even a spiral staircase in Volunteer Park that leads to the top of a historic water tower where you can get a 360 degree view of the city, from Lake Washington to Lake Union and everything in between. When you’re done with the outdoors, Capitol Hill has your choice of trendy restaurants, or just grab a cheap burger from Dick’s Drive-In on Broadway (Seattle’s version of “In n Out”) and head to Neumos music venue to catch a local band or touring act.

Dick's Drive-In
Dick's Drive-In is a stoner's paradise for great-tasting fast food! photo credit

Another neighborhood to visit if you’re looking for a more free-spirited vibe is Fremont, the unofficial “Center of the Universe.” Spread along the cut where Lake Union flows towards the Ballard locks, there’s plenty of oddity and whimsy throughout the neighborhood. On top of the great vibes present throughout Fremont, there are also several dispensaries to grab some cannabis while you’re in the area:

Fremont Dispensaries:

Once you’re all set on cannabis purchases, climb up on the troll sitting beneath the Fremont Bridge, shake hands with the statue of Lenin, pet the brontosaurus topiary or head to the rolling hills and towering decommissioned industrial pipework of Gasworks Park. Or, if you’re feeling like some sweets would hit the spot, sign up for a tour of the Theo Chocolate Factory. There’s all the free samples you could want at the end, and no risk of Oompa-Loompas singing about your mistakes while inside the factory.

Summer Activities in Seattle

If you’re in Seattle during the summer, take advantage of all the water the Emerald City has to offer. Before doing so, head down to the University district, stop by The Joint or American Mary and get yourself some cannabis!

University of Washington Waterfront Activity Center
Enjoying some activities on the water is always fun after consuming some cannabis. photo credit

Once you’re nice and elevated, pop on over to the University of Washington’s Waterfront Activity Center. There, you can rent kayaks or canoes and paddle through the marshy arboretum on Union Bay and the Montlake cut – both perfect spots to enjoy your high. You’ll see nesting Blue Herons, Red Winged Blackbirds and 200 other species of birds and plants, all within the shadow of Husky Stadium and the Cascade mountains.

When you’re done with your nature time, you can always catch a performance at the Neptune Theater or head to one of the many microbreweries within walking distance.

If water’s your goal but kayaking seems like too much work, Leschi’s T-Dock is the right place for you. It’s a perfect place to take a dip, or to just lounge out in the sun with views of Seward Park, the I-90 floating bridge, the Cascade Range, and on a clear day, Mt. Baker, Washington’s northernmost volcano. Or, for some real beach time, catch the water taxi out to Alki Beach in West Seattle. There are plenty of spots to find some cannabis in West Seattle. After you consume your cannabis in a private and legal setting, spend your day enjoying the buzz in the sand tossing a Frisbee or wading into the waves.

Tourist Attractions

If you’re feeling the touristy vibe, head down to the Queen Anne neighborhood and lay out in the grass beneath the Space Needle. It’s a great spot to enjoy after consuming some cannabis and will give you an excellent view of one of the city’s most sought-after attractions.

Space Needle
The views from beneath the Space Needle are always fun to take in. photo credit

If you get bored with the views, be sure to check out Seattle Center. There’s street performers, jugglers, musicians and usually some acrobats playing in the grass lawns. If it’s an extra hot day, be sure to cool down in the musical orb fountain – as long as your stash stays dry! Then you can either head into the Pacific Science Center to stretch your brain, stretch your eyes at an IMAX movie or stretch out and giggle at a laser show in the dome.

Pacific Science Center
The Pacific Science Center is home to hours of fun for cannabis enthusiasts. photo credit

Finally, if you find yourself in South Seattle, be sure to visit Diego Pellicer, the classiest dispensary in the city. With a cultivated selection and knowledgeable staff, as well as a luxurious layout, it’s a must visit for anyone visiting Seattle. Once you’ve picked out some cannabis products, take a wander around Georgetown, an industrial but classic “Old Seattle” neighborhood with plenty of microbreweries, tattoo shops and pubs. If you’re feeling like relaxing with some videogames, chill and spend some quality time with a wide assortment of Nintendo, Sega, or SNES video games at Georgetown Liquor Co.

Cannabis in Seattle: Takeaways

For the marijuana enthusiast on their first visit to the Emerald City, Seattle has plenty of options to fit any taste or weather. From the ocean to the lakes to the parks to the music venues, whatever neighborhood you find yourself in, feel free to wake and bake and go explore the best in the Northwest.


Have you been to Seattle? What are some tips you have for other canna-tourists?

Photo Credit: Infinite Thought (license)


Paul Barach Paul Barach

Paul Barach is a Seattle-based freelance writer, editor, and author. He prefers to spend his free time outdoors and most recently hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. So far he has only fallen into the La Brea Tarpits once. You can follow him on Instagram @BarachOutdoors.


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