10 Best Retirement Activities in Washington State

Consistently ranked among the best places to retire, Washington State offers plenty of opportunity to enjoy your senior years by boating, hiking, checking out the local performing arts, eating at great restaurants, and much more. Whether you like the idea of being outside and involved with nature, inside enjoying a glass of locally crafted beer or wine at one of the many wineries in the state, or something in between, you’ll find some great suggestions on things to do around the Evergreen State below. 

1. Rediscover the arts

No matter what your age, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture is a great place to spend the day. Located in Spokane, Washington, the museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution and recognized by the American Alliance of Museums. Originally founded in 1926 and the largest organization of its kind in the Inland Northwest, there are over 130,000 visitors a year. With diverse collections of international art and cultural material that represent a global span, the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and has a café and gift shop. Admission to Campbell House is included in the admission price, which is discounted for military, AAA members, certain company affiliations, and museum membership. 

2. Go golfing

If you love to golf but have never been on the greens at Chambers Bay  in University Place, Washington, then it’s time to head over and play this course. Whether you’re looking for a place to play a couple times a week or every day, this challenging course is rated excellent in layout, staff friendliness, and value for the cost. And if you like a challenge, you’ll love Chambers Bay, with its mix of shots that get your imagination going. Once a sand and gravel mine, some think this is one of the most challenging courses in the state, but judge for yourself. State and Pierce County residents and military get discounted rates. 

3. Reconnect with nature

Green Lake Park in Seattle is one of the best ways to see the city by boat, with paddleboats, canoes, and rowboats are available from Greenlake Boat Rentals. If you enjoy sitting in the sun, you can do that, too, and people watching is a great pastime. If you have mobility concerns, the 2.8-mile jogging trail is wheelchair accessible, allowing you to appreciate the sights and sounds of the city on a slower pace. 

4. Eat

Washington has a number of restaurants that offer discounts for seniors who are out and about enjoying their favorite activities. Among them are Applebee’s, which offers a 15 percent discount for those 60 and over and Fuddrucker’s with a 10 percent discount for the 55 and over crowd. If you have a sweet tooth, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory offers 10 percent off for those 65 and up, and Dunkin Donuts  gives AARP members a discount. Specially priced menus are available for seniors at IHOP and the Old Spaghetti Factory. Make sure to check your local restaurant for any other terms that apply.

5. Make a memory

With a little more free time available for those you have decided to embrace retirement, Washington offers many opportunities to make memories for yourself or with your special someone. You might consider taking a weekend and exploring downtown Seattle with it history and charm. You can start by staying at the Sorrento Hotel, a beautiful hotel located away from the noise and clamor of downtown, but with access to anything you want by a chauffeured hotel Town Car. Once you’re downtown, you can wander leisurely through Pike Place Market, a wonderful outdoor market with fresh-cut flowers, fish mongers, some of the best coffee in town, and about anything else you can imagine. Stop for lunch or dinner at one of the specialty vendors who have stores along the way, like DeLaurenti Specialty Food and Wine

6. Experience something new

Think you’re too old to learn something new? Not in Washington, where you have some of the best opportunities to explore new experiences and expand your knowledge. Want to learn to use the computer? Sign up for a class at a local Senior Activity Center. Love to cook but need to sharpen your culinary skills? Take a workshop on knife skills or how to make hush puppies and fried catfish at Hot Stove Society, a year-round Seattle-based cooking school. Love wine but want to increase you knowledge or visit all the best wineries in the state? Check out the educational opportunities at Go Taste Wine in Redmond. Whatever you want to learn, there are many places and ways to make it a fun and enjoyable event. 

7. Go shopping

One of the best things about having extra time is the opportunity to go shopping. If you enjoy malls, then you need to put Westfield Southcenter Mall on your list of places to visit. Located in Seattle, Washington, this mall is the largest in the state and is conveniently arranged to have all the children’s stores together. There’s an added bonus of a play area and a Starbucks coffee shop nearby for those trips to the mall with the grandchildren. There’s a great food court where you can eat lunch and several other great sit-down restaurants like Duke’s ChowderHouse, and you can treat yourself to a movie in the onsite theater. 

8. Ballroom dancing

If you want to put a little spring in your step, sign up for one of the exciting, heart-pumping dance lessons at Salsa N- Seattle Dance Studio. Featuring salsa, Zumba, and hip-hop classes for all ages, the first class you take is free, and additional class packages can be purchased. Private lessons are also available if you need a little one-on-one help to master those hard-to-do dance steps. The studio is very accommodating to special requests, and you can ask about senior discounts when you call or visit. 

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9. Volunteer

Being retired and having extra time means you can find ways to give back to your local community. There are so many ways and places in the Evergreen State that need experienced people who can lend a hand in areas like helping reestablish wildlife habitats with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, providing free coffee to weary travelers through the Washington State Department of Transportation, or earning a Discover Pass by helping to organize events with the Washington State Parks

10. Relax

Willows Lodge and Spa in Woodinville, Washington is the perfect getaway for relaxing and renewing your mind, soul, and body whether it’s for a day or a weekend. Ladies and gents alike will love the Carita facials available there, a unique experience that uses French products only offered at a few select spas across the country. And if you need special accommodation for an overnight stay, there are guest rooms with extra-large spaces and doorways, oversized soaking tubs, and all the comforts of home. Spa treatments include body wraps, massage, facial enhancements, and therapeutic body treatments. You’ll wonder why you waiting so long to come. 

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