Sunrise Timings in Seattle: Best Time to View Seattle Sunrise
Sunrise During Summer: Summer solstice in Seattle happens between 20th to 22nd of June, depending on if it’s a leap year, a bit of motion in Earth’s rotation, and the moon’s gravitational pull. Sunrise during summer solstice occurs around 5:00 AM, whereas the sunsets by 9:15 PM, making the daylight hours last for over 15 hours.
Sunrise During Spring: A transition from the summer solstice to vernal or spring equinox happens around September 22nd or 23rd, each year. Equinoxes usually see 12 hours of the day and 12 hours of the night, but not quite, There’s always a couple of minutes difference between the sunrise time and the sunset. The sunrise in spring will occur between 7:10 AM to 7:15 AM, while the sunset is usually between 7:15 to 7:20 PM.
Sunrise During Fall: During the fall equinox, the sunrise is around 6:50 to 7:00 AM, while the sunset is at 7:05 PM.
Sunrise During Winter: Winter solstice, on the other hand, takes place between 20th to 23rd of December. This generally marks the beginning of winter. It also has the shortest daylight hours, while the nights are the longest. Sunrise during this time happens between 7:45 to 8:00 AM, and the sunsets between 4:15 to 4:30 PM.
Seasonal and Weather ConditionsIf you’re waking up early to catch that perfect sunrise, always consider the weather conditions. Winters and falls, usually the late falls, are known as the best times to watch the sunrise in Seattle, thanks to the clear skies. But during the warmer months, the smog in the air can make the sky cloudy and hazy, making it difficult to enjoy the colors of a sunrise.
5 Best Places to Watch the Sunrise in Seattle
1. Elliott Bay Marina
Nestled in northeastern downtown Seattle, by the Magnolia Bluff, Elliott Bay Marina gives a whole different feel to the city’s shoreline. Although the shore is covered with sailboats, two of the famous attractions - Mount Rainier and Space Needle can be seen here. You can either focus your gaze towards the marina’s east end for the sunrise, where you can see the Seattle skyline, or the west end that opens stunning views to the Olympic Mountains that act as a backdrop.
Address: 2601 W Marina Pl, Seattle, WA 98199
Hours: 7:30 AM - 11:30 PM (daily)
2. Louisa Boren Park
One of the best places to catch the sunrise in Seattle, Louisa Boren Park boasts rolling hills on the east, behind Capitol Hill, right past Lake Washington, leading out to the Cascade Mountains. This park is located a few steps away from the Lakeview Cemetery and Volunteer Park and also happens to be a great spot to relax all day long, if you don’t happen to be a morning person.
Address: 1606 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102
Hours: 4:00 AM - 11:30 PM
3. Olympic Sculpture Park
Seattle’s new waterfront park allows visitors and the locals an opportunity to explore an array of sculptures nestled outdoors while also being able to enjoy the mesmerizing views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains during both the sunrise and sunset.
Address: 2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
4. The Space Needle
The Space Needle’s Observatory Deck boasts 360 degrees of uninterrupted views of Puget Sound Basin and Seattle's entire city. The high-rise towers, Mt. Rainier, ferries, and boats from Elliott Bay Marina, Queen Anne Hills, Olympic Mountains, and Magnolia fill the landscape in all four directions. Because of these views that encompass east to west, this location happens to be a great spot to catch sunrise and sunset in Seattle.
Address: 400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109
Observation Deck Hours: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM (daily)
5. Queen Anne Hill, Kerry Park
A favorite spot for photographers, Kerry Park, is the most iconic place to catch a sunrise. And don’t be surprised if you have to wait for your turn to find a place up front. During the fall season, Seattle is mostly covered with low fog, and this makes sunrise all the more iconic because you may get lucky to see the Space Needle peeping out of the fog, especially in the first rays of sunrise. But remember, you only get a chance to see this if you secure a good spot early.
Address: 211 W Highland Dr, Seattle, WA 98119
Hours: 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM