Capturing the Celestial Dance: A Guide to Viewing the Aurora Borealis in Seattle

Possible Northern Lights Alert: December 17 and 18, 2023, may bring the Aurora Borealis to Seattle. Keep your eyes peeled.

The ethereal beauty of the Aurora Borealis, a mesmerizing light show caused by solar particles colliding with the Earth’s atmosphere, has enchanted humanity for centuries. This spectacle is usually best seen from far northern latitudes, but on rare occasions, it becomes visible in lower latitudes. On July 12 and 13, 2023, the residents of Seattle were treated to a celestial show as the Northern Lights graced the city’s skies. 

Here is a guide to maximizing your chance of witnessing this rare phenomenon without straying further than 10 miles from the city center.

  1. Timing Your Observation:

    Auroras are best seen between midnight and 3 am, when the night sky is darkest. Check real-time aurora forecasts online throughout the evening to stay updated on the situation. Remember that patience is key – the aurora can appear at any moment within this window.

  2. Selecting Your Spot:

    Seek out locations that offer an unobstructed view of the northern horizon and are shielded from city lights. Some places to consider within a 10-mile radius of Seattle’s city center include:

    • Golden Gardens Park: Located in Ballard, this beach park provides a reasonably dark environment and a wide view of the sky.

    • Carkeek Park: Situated in the northwest part of the city, this park offers a darker atmosphere due to its distance from downtown and an expansive view of the sky over Puget Sound.

    • Discovery Park: Located in the Magnolia neighborhood, Discovery Park offers darker skies and a good vantage point to view the aurora.

    Please ensure you follow any park rules and timings.

  3. Leveraging Aurora Alerts:

    To increase your chances of spotting the Aurora Borealis, subscribe to real-time aurora alerts. Websites and apps like Aurora Forecast, Aurora Alerts, and Space Weather Live can notify you when the conditions are optimal.

  4. Setting up Your Gear:

    Although the Northern Lights can be seen with the naked eye, a camera with the right settings can capture more detailed and vibrant images. Use a DSLR camera with a wide-angle and fast lens, set it on a tripod and try experimenting with long-exposure settings.

  5. Dressing Appropriately:

    Given that it’s a late-night event and Seattle’s weather can be quite cool, especially near the water, dress warmly. Bring along a comfortable chair, blanket, and some warm beverages to make your viewing experience more pleasant.

  6. Joining Local Viewing Events:

    Check if local astronomy clubs or parks are organizing viewing parties. These events can provide useful insights and make the viewing experience more enjoyable. The Seattle Astronomical Society, for instance, often organizes such events.

With a blend of preparation and luck, city dwellers in Seattle were able to catch a glimpse of the majestic Aurora Borealis on July 12 and 13, 2023.  Remember, this is a rare event for these latitudes, so make the most of the opportunity when it arises. And while the spectacle of the Northern Lights dancing across the sky may only last for a fleeting moment, the memory of this celestial ballet can last a lifetime.

We asked 20 waterfront visitors to say Dzidzilalich. This was the result...

Modern Dining Room on Historic Dzidzilalich, circa 2023

Clam Chowder on Dzidzilalich (Alaskan Way)

How do we love clam chowder?  Let us count the ways.  Seattle’s waterfront is your clam chowder crossing place.  You can get it at Ivar’s (Pier 54), Anthony’s (Pier 66), Elliott’s Oyster House (pier 56), The Crab Pot (pier 57), Fisherman’s Bar & Restaurant (pier 57), World Trade Center Seattle Executive Dining Room (Port of Seattle), Hook & Plow (Marriott), Six Seven, PUB 70 (pier 70), and AQUA (pier 70). 

Lunch on Dzidzilalich (Alaskan Way)

Ivar’s Fish Bar (Pier 54); Ivar’s Acres of Clams (Pier 54); Premier Meat Pies & Brews (Pier 54); Great State Burger (Pier 54); Skalka (Pier 54); Elliott’s Oyster House (Pier 56); The Wing Dome (Pier 56); The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing (Pier 57); The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing (Pier 57); Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing (Pier 57); Anthony’s Fish Bar (Pier 66 – open seasonally); Anthony’s Bell Street Diner (Pier 66); Six Seven at the Edgewater (Pier 67); Pub 70 (Pier 70).

Indoor Dining on Dzidzilalich (Alaskan Way)

Ivar’s Acres of Clams (Pier 54); Premier Meat Pies & Brews (Pier 54); Great State Burger (Pier 54); Skalka across from (Pier 54); Elliott’s Oyster House (Pier 56); The Wing Dome (Pier 56); Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing (Pier 57); The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing (Pier 57); The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing (Pier 57); Anthony’s Bell Street Diner (Pier 66); Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (Pier 66); Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (Pier 66); Six Seven at the Edgewater (Pier 67); AQUA by El Gaucho (Pier 70); Pub 70 (Pier 70).

Outdoor Dining on Dzidzilalich (Alaskan Way)

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 year-round (Pier 54); Ivar’s Acres of Clams (Pier 54); Premier Meat Pies & Brews (Pier 54); Great State Burger (Pier 54); Elliott’s Oyster House (Pier 56); The Wing Dome (Pier 56); The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing (Pier 57); The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing (Pier 57); Anthony’s Bell Street Diner (Pier 66); Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (Pier 66); Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (Pier 66); Six Seven at the Edgewater (Pier 67); AQUA by El Gaucho (Pier 70); Pub 70 (Pier 70).

Your right to privacy is important to us.  In general, we do not collect personally identifiable information on this website.  If you submit a message to us on a form with your name or contact information, then we will only use it for its intended purpose.  We do sometimes use standard, off-the-shelf tracking cookies and code to coordinate campaigns or measure website activity.  Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.  Thank you!

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WATERFRONT DINING OPTIONS

Clam Chowder | Fine Dining | Seafood Specialists | Lunch | Breakfast | Casual Dining | Indoor Seating | Outdoor Seating | Counter Service | Private Dining & Groups | Olympic View Terraces & Patios | Kids Menus | Hot Dogs & Ice Cream | Baked Goods | Caffeine | TV Screens | Revolving | Brunch

– Clam Chowder –

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 (menu)

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

AQUA by El Gaucho on Pier 70 (menu)

– Fine Dining –

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

AQUA by El Gaucho on Pier 70 (menu)

– Seafood Specialists –

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 (menu)

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

AQUA by El Gaucho on Pier 70 (menu)

– Lunch –

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 (menu)

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Premier Meat Pies & Brews on Pier 54 (menu)

Great State Burger on Pier 54 (menu)

Skalka across from Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

The Wing Dome on Pier 56 (menu)

The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

Pub 70 on Pier 70 (menu)

– Breakfast –

Great State Burger on Pier 54 (menu)

Skalka across from Pier 54 (menu)

Starbucks on Pier 55

Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Hook & Plow at the Marriott across from Bell Harbor Marina

Cafe Opla across from Pier 66 (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

– Casual Dining –

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 (menu)

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Premier Meat Pies & Brews on Pier 54 (menu)

Great State Burger on Pier 54 (menu)

Skalka across from Pier 54 (menu)

The Wing Dome on Pier 56 (menu)

Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

Pub 70 on Pier 70 (menu)

– Indoor Seating –

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Premier Meat Pies & Brews on Pier 54 (menu)

Great State Burger on Pier 54 (menu)

Skalka across from Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

The Wing Dome on Pier 56 (menu)

Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (menu)

Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

AQUA by El Gaucho on Pier 70 (menu)

Pub 70 on Pier 70 (menu)

– Outdoor Seating –

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 year-round (menu)

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Premier Meat Pies & Brews on Pier 54 (menu)

Great State Burger on Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

The Wing Dome on Pier 56 (menu)

The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (menu)

Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

AQUA by El Gaucho on Pier 70 (menu)

Pub 70 on Pier 70 (menu)

– Counter Service –

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 (menu)

Premier Meat Pies & Brews on Pier 54 (menu)

Great State Burger on Pier 54 (menu)

Skalka across from Pier 54 (menu)

Starbucks on Pier 55

The Wing Dome on Pier 56 (menu)

Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Salmon Cooker at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57

Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

– Private Dining & Groups –

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Diane’s Market Kitchen across from Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

AQUA by El Gaucho on Pier 70 (menu)

– Olympic View Terraces & Patios –

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 (menu)

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Premier Meat Pies & Brews on Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

AQUA by El Gaucho on Pier 70 (menu)

Pub 70 on Pier 70 (menu)

– Kid Menus –

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Great State Burger on Pier 54 (menu)

The Wing Dome on Pier 56 (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

– Hot Dogs & Ice Cream –

The Frankfurter on Pier 55

The Creamery Ice Cream Shop at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57

– Baked Goods –

Skalka across from Pier 54 (menu)

Premier Meat Pies & Brews on Pier 54 (menu)

Starbucks on Pier 55

Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Aquarium Café at Pier 59 (Seattle Aquarium)

The Brim Coffee Shop at the Edgewater on Pier 67

– Caffeine –

Starbucks on Pier 55

Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Aquarium Café at Pier 59 (Seattle Aquarium)

Cafe Opla across from Pier 66 (menu)

The Brim Coffee Shop at the Edgewater on Pier 67

Uptown Espresso on Pier 70

– TV Screens –

The lounge at Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

The Wing Dome on Pier 56 (menu)

Pub 70 on Pier 70 (menu)

– Revolving –

Enjoy a meal served in your own private gondola with up to three other people as you rise 200 feet above Elliott Bay on the Seattle Great Wheel at Pier 57.

– Brunch –

Please see Breakfast & Lunch options above.