Want to do some shopping near Tacoma Airport as you wait on your canceled or delayed flight?
If you’re looking for things to do near Seattle-Tacoma airport, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a list of 20 activities that are sure to keep you entertained during your long layover at Seattle’s Tacoma airport.
Some locations are further out, closer to downtown Seattle, but can be reached via a quick and easy train ride on the Sound Transit Link Light Rail.
Tacoma Airport is well linked with public transport, making it easy to get around and explore all that the city has to offer, even if you only have a few hours to spare.
To compile this list, I got great insights from various flyers and online resources such as Seattle Tacoma Airport’s website which has about 15 recommendations broken down into shopping, dining, smoking, music, and children’s play area, among others.
You can filter using their website search tool shown below;
I also went through the Tripadvisors list of about 200 things to do at Seattle Tacoma Airport for different layover periods ranging from 2, to 6 to 10 or even more hours.
Tripadvisor also has a condensed list o 15 things to do.
Whether you’re into sightseeing, shopping, or simply relaxing on the beach, we’ve got something for everyone. So read on and start planning your itinerary!
23 Things to Do Near Seattle Tacoma Airport
1. Visit the Museum of Flight
Sure, you’ve been on a plane before. But have you ever really taken the time to learn about the history and mechanics of flight? The Museum of Flight is one of the premier aviation museums in the country and it’s just a short drive from Tacoma airport. With over 175 aircraft on display, you’re sure to find something that interests you. And if you get tired of looking at planes, the museum also has a variety of interactive exhibits and simulators that will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about flying.
2. Visit Pike Place Market:
If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, look no further than Pike Place Market. This iconic Seattle market is home to a variety of shops selling everything from fresh produce to handmade arts and crafts. You can even find some unique souvenirs to take home with you. And if you get hungry, there are plenty of food options. According to mooveitapp, it will take you about 53 minutes walking and 10 to 20 mins driving.
3. Visit the Space Needle
No trip to Seattle is complete without a visit to the Space Needle. This iconic structure offers stunning views of the city and beyond. And if you’re feeling brave, you can even take a ride on the glass elevator to the top. Just be sure to bring your camera so you can capture some amazing photos.
According to Google Maps, Space Needle is about 43 minute drive from the airport using on-airport Uber or Lyft rides. This website which estimates fares report that an Uber from the airport to Space Needle costs $100-130 while a Lyft is slightly cheaper at $80-100.
If you want a cheaper transport option, you can opt for the bus but that might only make sense if you have a 6 hours+ layover as the bus takes more than an hour and cost as low as $6. A train is also a possibility and RiotoRome site estimates that it will take 1 hr 21 mins from Tacoma Airport to the Space Needle using the train and costs $2 to 36.
Tickets and information
- SeattleCenterMonorail – Ticket information – 1 (206) 905-2620
- Sound Transit – Ticket information – 1 (888) 889-6368
4. Visit Angle Lake Park:
For short layovers of 4 hours or less, you can walk to Angle Lake Park which is about 23 min via International Blvd/Pacific Hwy S (according to Google Maps).
This option gives you the chance to have a short walk, get some exercise and also see the water and mountains in the background. You can bring your own food or buy it from one of the food vendors at the park.
According to moveitapp, it takes 8 mins to bike from the airport to Angle Lake Park.
This man-made lake is surrounded by walking and biking trails, making it the perfect place to get some exercise. And if you’re lucky, you might even see some of the local wildlife.
Below are the different modes of transport;
5.iFLY Indoor Skydiving – Seattle:
This is a great activity for the whole family. And if you are looking for an adrenaline-pumping activity, and are brave, you can even take a tandem jump.If you are g – Seattle. This is a great activity for the whole family. And if you’re feeling brave, you can even take a tandem jump.
iFLY Indoor Skydiving – Seattle is about 7 minutes drive(2.4 miles) from Tacoma airport via Tukwila Pkwy.
To get there using public transport, you can take the Sounder train from the airport which will drop you off at Tukwila International Blvd station. From there, it’s about a 10-15 minute walk to iFLY.
6.Go Shopping at Tacoma Mall
If you have enough time before your next flight, you can visit Tacoma Mall which is about 26 mins drive from Tacoma Airport(22.8 mi via I-5 N). Since its is some distance from the airport, you can use Uber or Lyft to get there which will cost you about $30. The mall has a great selection of stores, including some high-end brands like Nordstrom and Macy’s. You’re sure to find something to kill time, even if you don’t end up buying anything.
7. Take a Hike Through Point Defiance Park
If your layover is like a whole day, you can drive some 4.5 hours down to Defiance Park. The park is one of the largest in Seattle and Tacoma combined, and it’s a great place to get some exercise. There are over 70 miles of hiking trails to explore, as well as a variety of other activities like biking, picnicking, and fishing. And if you need a break from all the outdoor activities, you can also visit the park’s zoo or aquarium.
8. Visit the LeMay – America’s Car Museum
This museum is about 21 miles from the airport and will take you about 20 minutes to get there by car. The drive will cost you $12-25 via Uber or Lyft. If you’re a fan of cars, this museum is a must-see. It houses over 300 vehicles, ranging from classic cars to race cars. And if you’re not into cars, the museum also has a variety of interactive exhibits that are sure to keep you entertained.
9. Check Out the Tacoma Dome
The Tacoma Dome is one of the largest domed structures in the world and it’s just a short drive from the airport. The dome is home to a variety of events throughout the year, ranging from concerts to sporting events. And if you’re looking for something to do during the day, you can also visit the Tacoma Dome City Attractions, which include a carousel, laser tag, and an arcade.
10. Relax at Dash Point State Park
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Dash Point State Park is the perfect place for you. The park is located on a picturesque stretch of Puget Sound shoreline and it’s a great place to go for a swim, hike, or just relax on the beach. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also go camping or explore the park’s miles of hiking trails.
11. Take a Tour of the Boeing Factory
For something truly unique, take a tour of the Boeing factory in Everett, which is about 30 minutes from Tacoma airport. The tour will take you behind the scenes of one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers and you’ll get to see firsthand how Boeing planes are made. And if you’re lucky, you might even get to see a test flight while you’re there.
12. Visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum
The Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum is one of the most popular attractions in Seattle and it’s just a short drive from Tacoma airport. The museum features a variety of glass sculptures by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly, as well as a garden with over 100 different species of plants.
It won the 2022 Travelers’ Choice Award by Tripadvisor
And if you’re looking for something to do after dark, the museum also offers a variety of night tours. There are six options to get to the Glass Museum from Seattle Airport
It will cost you as low as $1 to get to the Museum from the airport. Rome2Rio website has details of the different prices.
13. Shop at the Outlet Collection Seattle
The Outlet Collection Seattle is an outdoor mall located in Auburn, which is about 30 minutes from Tacoma airport. The mall features a variety of stores, ranging from high-end brands like Saks Fifth Avenue to more budget-friendly options like H&M. And if you’re looking for a place to eat, the mall also has a food court with a variety of options.
14. Visit Fireworks Gallery- Art Under Glass:
Fireworks Gallery is a one-of-a-kind art gallery located in Tacoma, which is about 15 minutes from the airport. The gallery features a variety of glass artwork, as well as a working glass studio where you can watch the artists at work. And if you’re looking to buy some art, the gallery also has a gift shop with a variety of unique items.
15. Get a Taste of Local History at the Washington State History Museum:
The Washington State History Museum is located in Tacoma, which is about 3 minutes from the airport(0.8 miles). The museum features a variety of exhibits on the state’s history, ranging from the early days of settlement to the present day. And if you’re looking for something to do with the kids, the museum also has a children’s area with a variety of interactive exhibits. Here are Google Map directions.
16.Explore Nature at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium:
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is located in Tacoma, which is about 15 minutes from the airport. The zoo is home to a variety of animals, ranging from tigers and lions to penguins and seals. And if you’re looking for something to do with the kids, the zoo also has a children’s play area and a carousel. Here are google directions
17. Soak Up the Sun at Wright Park:
Wright Park is located in Tacoma, which is about an hour from the airport(59 min (18.9 mi) via I-678 S as per Google Map Search). This is only ideal if your layover is over 6 hours so you spend 2 hours on the road and 2 hours at the park – leaving you with 2 hours to get back before your flight departure.
The park is a great place to take a walk, relax in the sun, or have a picnic. And if you’re looking for something to do with the kids, the park also has a playground and a playground. Here are Google directions
Other stores such as Made in Washington has since been closed but there are many more still open.
18. Browse the Unique Stores at Point Ruston:
Point Ruston is an outdoor shopping and dining complex located in Tacoma, which is about 20 minutes from the airport. The complex features a variety of stores, ranging from clothing stores to art galleries. And if you’re looking for something to eat, the complex also has a food court with a variety of options.
19. Visit the LeMay Family Collection Foundation:
The LeMay Family Collection Foundation is located in Tacoma, which is about 20 minutes from the airport (11.4 miles). The foundation is home to a collection of over 500 vintage cars, as well as a museum with a variety of exhibits on the history of the automobile. And if you’re looking for something to do with the kids, the foundation also has a children’s play area and a carousel. Here are Google directions
20. Take a Hike at Dash Point State Park:
Dash Point State Park is located in Tacoma, which is about 45 minutes from the airport(43.8 miles). The park is a great place to take a hike, relax in the sun, or have a picnic. And if you’re looking for something to do with the kids, the park also has a playground and a playground. Here are Google directions
21. Visit the Museum of Glass:
The Museum of Glass is located in Tacoma, which is about 20 minutes from the airport. The museum features a variety of exhibits on the history of glassmaking, as well as a working glass studio where you can watch the artists at work. And if you’re looking for something to buy, the museum also has a gift shop with a variety of unique items. Here are Google directions
22.Find good hotels near Seattle Tacoma Airport to sleep
There are about 35 hotels around the Seattle Tacoma airport area as per Google Map search and this website dedicated to Seattle guides. We’ll be posting a separate article on the best hotels near Seattle Tacoma Airport.
You’ll realize that most hotels are along Pacific Highways South which is the road you take when getting from the airport as you can see from the snapshot I got from Google Maps below;
The 3 closest hotels to Seattle Tacoma Airport are:
- Best Western Plus Park Place Inn – Suites 0.3 miles away
- Radisson Hotel Seattle Airport 0.6 miles away
- DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport 1.0 mile away
The next closest hotels are:
- La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Seattle Sea-Tac Airport 2.2 miles away
- Hilton Garden Inn Seattle/Renton 2.4 miles away
- Hampton Inn & Suites Seattle/Southcenter 2.5 miles away
What to do in and near Seattle Tacoma International Airport
|Eat||There is a great selection of eateries in the airport you can make a stopover for some seafood and brews in a sit-down atmosphere. There is Starbucks, Seattle best coffee, and other cafes with other spots running for 24 hours a day.|
|Check into an airport lounge||You can take advantage of drinks, Wifi TV and news, and business services at any of the lounges within the airport regardless of airline or class of service.|
|Shop||You can find convenience shops, newsstands, tech and travel shops you can hop in and do some shopping.|
|Enjoy Live Music||You can enjoy live music at the airport with their range of experience of the city of music. You can check out on the schedule daily or use QR codes to provide artist notes.|
|Relax with a movie||You can download some movies with your smartphone or tablet and get the taste of family-friendly films or the latest release.|
|Pamper yourself||You can enjoy the range of massage spas available within the airport with exclusive services being offered at a reasonable price.|
|Go sightseeing in Seattle||You can stop by the world-famous Pike Place Market and try your hand at catching some local fish in case you got some lengthy layover. There are a lot of sceneries around Downtown and the Central Link train makes frequent visits to and fro.|
|Get Connected||With the airport Wifi, you can get connected to friends and family, do some surfing and update your social media.|
|Sleep||There are benches that provide convenient nap spots in the lounges around the airport. The meditation room offers a quiet environment for some deep sleep.|
-Updated on Aug 19, 2022
My name is Alex Mutuma and I founded this blog, Airport LLC as a way to document and engage with clients in my travel consulting business. Airportllc.com is the only source of over 2,000 fun things flyers could do during layovers.
Over the past 7 years, I have designed and planned tour packages for hundreds of clients and have recently focussed on the mission of changing boring layovers to excellent mini-vacations by giving you the best suggestions on must-do activities when flying over different airports.
Next time you or your friend are looking for suggestions on what to do in some airport, remember Airport LLC or Airportllc.com. On this site, you’ll get the best suggestions available on the internet regarding hand-picked activities that will fulfill your airport experience.
I currently reside in New York City and have obtained a license to provide professional tour guidance at Airports in the US and across the world. Why should you listen to my suggestions? I have flown through more than 100 airports in the world and fortunately, I have pictures, stories, and tips to share with you regarding all the fun stuff you can do as you wait for your next flight.
Aside from gaining thousands of flying miles, I am also a travel consultant assisting clients with bookings and specifically advance tour bookings of things to do at airports when the layover is longer than 5 hours.
To make a 15-minute free things-to-do consultation with Alex, use my email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is only recommended for flyers with long layovers of over 5 hours. If your layover is 3+ hours, you can still reach out but we cannot guarantee the ideal package that will change your layovers to mini-vacations. I only support clients flying through US airports and a select number of cities across the world.
Name: Alex Mutuma
Profession: A professional travel consultant with a focus on airport activities to do during layovers
Phone: +1 945 348 889
Location: 322 Main Packway Street, Boston, US