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How to stay cool during Seattle’s heat wave

Here are some safety tips, places to score cool treats, and more to help you keep cool during a heat wave.

A gaggle of colorful kayaks are clustered in the middle of a body of water, with people inside of them holding paddles.

Our local waters are still a bit chilly after the winter months, so they’ll definitely cool you off.

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Do you find yourself reapplying deodorant throughout the day? Trying to find shady stretches of pavement during your walks? Desperately seeking the comforting caress of cool air on your skin?

Seattle is in the midst of another high-ranking heat wave with more 80° days forecast this week. Having higher-than-average temps makes finding ways to cool off harder than usual, especially since heat can lead to beach closures from high bacteria levels.

Don’t sweat it, though (well, as much as you can help given the circumstances) — there are still many ways to ride out the heat wave in Seattle.

Safety first

As the city of Seattle advises, make sure to:

  • Drink lots of water (bonus points for electrolyte drinks).
  • Stop whatever you’re doing and cget to a cooler space if you start to feel faint. Seventeen of the Seattle Public Library branches are air conditioned, and there are several community centers listed as cooling centers for those experiencing homelessness.
  • Limit outdoor activities during the hours of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Have a frozen treat

  • Shug’s Soda Fountain | Just make sure to stay extra hydrated if you opt for the shop’s prosecco float.
  • Fainting Goat | This gelateria offers unique flavors like pink guava and rose.
  • Temple Pastries | This bakery just added its window service that offers ice cream from 1 to 9 p.m.

Make a splash

Beaches like Golden Gardens and Alki are popular swim spots — but keep in mind that there is no lifeguard on duty.

If you’re looking for lifeguarded beaches, Seattle has several spots staffed during select summer hours:

  • May 25-Aug. 25 | Madrona Beach, 853 Lake Washington Blvd.
  • May 25-Sept. 2 | West Green Lake Beach, 7312 W. Green Lake Dr.
  • June 22-Sept. 2 | Matthews Beach, 9500 51st Ave. NE + Madison Beach, 1900 43rd Ave. E. + Mount Baker Beach, 2521 Lake Park Dr. S.
  • June 22-Aug. 25 | Pritchard Island Beach, 8400 55th Ave. S.

Sprayparks are another great way to cool off with little ones, and Seattle has 11 of these water-centric parks scattered around the city that are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day until early September.

Seattle also has some secret beaches where you can take a swim while avoiding the crowds.

Or, give one of the local swimming holes a chance.

Rentable rides

  • REI Meydenbauer Bay Park Boathouse | Rentals start at just $29 per hour.
  • Agua Verde Cafe | Have some tacos and margaritas before you head out for the day at this spot that doubles as a restaurant and rental facility.
  • Boats and kayaks | Grab some friends and hop aboard your own rented vessel, then hit the waves for an aquatic adventure.
  • Getmyboat | This Airbnb-like service allows Seattleites to rent out other people’s boats.

Sit somewhere cool

  • SIFF Cinema | These local movie theaters bring blockbuster hits and smaller indie and foreign films to the silver screen.
  • Pacific Place | Do a little shopping from small retailers while you cool down.
  • Seattle museums | Cool air and even cooler exhibits await you at these hubs for Seattle history, art, and more.
  • Elliott Bay Book Company | Peruse curated staff picks in the front of the bookstore, grab a cold bev from Little Odd Fellows nestled in the back, and find a spot to sit and read for a bit.

Places for your pets

Your furry friends deserve some fun in the sun, too — but it’s important that they keep happy and cool at the same time. Bring your pup to some of these stops:

  • Dog Yard Bar | When it’s toasty out, your dog can splash through sprinklers and kiddie pools.
  • Magnuson Park | This park’s off-leash dog beach is the only one of its kind with direct water access.
  • Growlerz | Use the self-wash station’s cool water to clean and refresh your pup during the summer heat.

Seattle Humane Society has some extra tips on keeping your fur babies safe during extreme heat

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