Top 18 Things To Do In Kirkland WA: A Complete Travel Guide for your Next 48 Hour Getaway

August 28, 2019

Thanks to the Heathman Hotel for providing accommodation and some of the below partners for hosting us in Kirkland, WA. As always, all opinions in this best things to do in Kirkland WA post are my own.



Kirkland WA, a suburb of Seattle, is a vibrant waterfront destination with an unparalleled blend of outdoor recreation, art, dining and boutique shopping. Centrally located on the shores of Lake Washington just 12 miles from Seattle, Kirkland WA is the perfect base camp for your trip to the Puget Sound region with everything conveniently located and easy to walk to.


The Best things to do in Kirkland WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes

Want to find out more about other areas in Washington? Make sure to read these guides too:

Olympia, WA Travel Guide 

Whidbey Island Travel Guide 

Great Wolf Lodge Travel Guide


Kirkland borders Bellevue, Redmond and Woodinville Wine Country and is home to award-winning hotels, wineries, and restaurants and hosts a dynamic repertoire of events from art openings and performances to athletic events, wine festivals, and outdoor concerts. No other city in the Puget Sound region has as many waterfront parks and beaches as Kirkland. 

A few weekends ago, our family went on a vacation to Kirkland. Well, technically, in this case, a staycation. Read why a staycation is sooo necessary and important here and read about our past staycation experiences at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle, Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, and AC Hotel by Mariott in Bellevue). 

Technically, we don’t live too far from Kirkland but have only visited the neighborhood a handful of times, mostly when we have visitors and/or are attending some events. But this time around we spent the entire weekend in Kirkland WA and explored the city as if we were tourists and I quickly realized how much more there is to explore and experience in and around the city of Kirkland. 

So in this post, I am giving you all the 411 and sharing some of the best things to do in Kirkland WA you can’t miss, whether you are visiting for a day or making an entire weekend out of your visit.


The Best things to do in Kirkland WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes


THINGS TO DO IN KIRKLAND WA: WHERE TO STAY?

The Heathman Hotel - whether you want to stay at a hotel close to the waterfront, or are looking for an upscale boutique hotel or traveling with family or on business, the Heathman Hotel in Kirkland offers it all. 

Located in the heart of the city with a neighborhood feel, The Heathman is steps away from the Marina Park on the eastern shore of Lake Washington and is close to Seattle (20-minute drive from Downtown Seattle) and Bellevue. The hotel is also close to a variety of shops, many restaurants and cafes, tasting rooms, and lakeside recreation (which are all within walking distance). 


Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes


The hotel is newly renovated and the guest rooms, the lobby area, and the Hearth restaurant (more below) in the hotel are all beautifully decorated and well-appointed. The permanent and rotating fine art throughout the hotel’s public spaces as well as custom artwork in all guest rooms add to an enriching experience of staying at a boutique hotel. 

We stayed in the Symphony Suite which included a spacious bedroom, bathroom, and living area. The suite is modern and elegantly decorated. 

Upon check-in, we were welcomed with a bouquet of flowers, chocolates, and a card. The Heathman Hotel sure knows the way to a woman’s heart ;) 


Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes


The suite features a king bed with Heathman Signature Bed Menu, a pull-out sofa bed, a built-in work desk, Sofa, Arm Chair, Coffee Table, Samsung HDTV, and a balcony with comfortable outdoor seating. 

Among all the amenities in the suite, these stood out - Bose sound dock stereo system, and the cotton bathrobes (unlike at other hotels these robes were neither heavy nor droopy which is what I love the most about them, I so wish that I could bring them home with me ;)). 

All the staff (valet, check-in, housekeeping) we encountered were friendly and courteous.


Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes


My only gripe was that when it came time to check out the receptionist wouldn’t allow for a late check-out. Personally, this to me was quite disappointing, especially when traveling with a kid. 

All I wanted was for me to take Aarush to the nearby water fountain and have him play to his heart’s content (given how much he had enjoyed it the previous day). I wouldn’t have had to request for a late checkout if we didn’t get delayed at brunch (thanks to the long wait at a nearby restaurant) but things happen and these simple gestures matter (and they matter a whole lot when you are a parent). I did make the management aware of this situation later and they promised to rectify it. 


THINGS TO DO IN KIRKLAND WA: WHAT TO SEE? 


WATER ACTIVITIES: Gleaming waterfront parks provide access to the natural beauty and never-ending wonders of Lake Washington. You can choose between boating, sailing, kayaking, and parasailing to spend a few hours or an entire day in the water. You could also explore Kirkland through a guided boat tour and cruise across Lake Washington. And don’t forget to catch the spectacular sunsets year-round by the Carillon Point (city's great waterfront gateway). 


Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes


PARKS: It has been said that Kirkland’s parks reflect the soul of the City. Visit the gleaming waterfront parks and be amazed at their never-ending wonders. Some of the best parks in the city include Marina Park, Heritage Park, Waverly Beach Park, Peter Kirk Park (features a seasonal pool, community center, playground, courts and athletic fields), Juanita Bay Park, and Juanita Beach Park (enjoy the Friday Night Market, live music, entertainment and food vendors here from 3pm to 7pm). 


Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes


OUTDOOR RECREATION: From the serenity of Juanita Bay Park’s wetlands to the forested acres of Bridle Trails State Park and Big Finn Hill Park, Kirkland offers a chance to escape into nature without leaving the city. Stroll downtown, rent a bike to cruise the lakefront, hit the trails and go hiking (along the cross Kirkland corridor trail), or indulge in one of the many water activities (mentioned above). 


ARTS: A paradise for art lovers, Kirkland's ambiance and commitment to the visual and performing arts is extraordinary. The arts scene is sophisticated and international, but also vibrant and whimsical. Art performances, exhibits, classes, and galleries are abundant throughout the city. Outdoor sculptures and installations created by leading nationally-known artists are dotted throughout Kirkland parks, sidewalks, and along the waterfront for public enjoyment.


Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes


ENTERTAINMENT: Kirkland has a vibrant entertainment scene with something for everyone. Attend a performance at the Kirkland Performance Center. Many local bars, restaurants and coffee shops offer live entertainment throughout the week and Kirkland hosts two monthly art walks. In the summer months, head to the farmers market or catch an outdoor movie at Carillon Point or a summer concert at Marina Park. 


WELLNESS & SPAS: Kirkland inspires relaxation and rejuvenation. Reawaken and realign on the peaceful shores of Lake Washington at an array of facilities offering a range of facials, body treatments, massages, salon services. If you are looking for an indoor group class you can find your balance at one of many yoga studios or burn away the calories at an array of gyms. 


Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes


BEER & WINE TASTING: Bordering Woodinville Wine Country, Kirkland offers the complete experience for those looking to taste craft beverages, and unique offerings at a selection of breweries, wineries, lounges and tasting rooms many with outdoor patios just steps away from Lake Washington. Kirkland also hosts wine festivals and winemaker dinners. Explore the Craft Beverages of Seattle’s Eastside with an exclusive eastside tasting experience itinerary


SHOPPING: Kirkland is known for the collection of functional to fashionable locally-owned vintage boutique shops in its charming lakeside downtown. Small Business Saturday and Shop Small promote shopping and dining at locally-owned, independent, small businesses in neighborhood business districts. Show your support for these small businesses while discovering unique finds. 

Summer Sundays on Park Lane (from June 2 to September 22): In summer, enjoy, gather, shop, stroll, and dine in a casual car-free environment (closed to vehicles from 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m). Park Lane in the heart of downtown Kirkland will be transformed into a Pedestrian-only Plaza on Sundays throughout the summer. Beginning at 7am, enjoy sidewalk shopping, dining al fresco, and community entertainment. 

Highlights on Park Lane include: IVY Gift & Home, Essentials on Park Lane, Asher Goods, Serendipity Consignment Boutique, Pike Street Press, Boo Boo Barkery & Boutique, Purpose Boutique


Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes

The Best things to do in Kirkland WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes


KID-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES: Kirkland features many activities and events designed for kids. Watch a children’s performance at Studio East and have soaring time with wall-to-wall trampolines at Skymania! In the summer, Kirkland hosts an acclaimed Children’s Concert Series and many summer festivals have designated kid elements from arts and crafts to boating activities. And do not forget to bring them to the nearby water fountain, Peter Kirk pool, or visit the children’s selection at BookTree, or head out bowling/inflatables and make everything even more fun for the little ones. 


Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes


OTHER ACTIVITIES:

  • Take a cooking class at Sur La Table
  • Try your hand at painting after a glass of wine at Canvas
  • Hop on a seaplane flight departing from Lake Washington
  • Spend time in the spacious library with large sitting rooms overlooking the city park

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes


THINGS TO DO IN KIRKLAND WA: WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK?


A stroll along Kirkland's many tree-lined streets and waterfront reveals endless opportunities to explore local restaurants and cafes with nationally-acclaimed chefs, showcasing the best of Northwest ingredients paired with exquisite Washington wine.


HEARTH: Located at The Heathman Hotel it is the go-to gathering place for those seeking an inspired seasonal menu in the heart of downtown Kirkland. The atmosphere is warm and inviting and locally sourced ingredients are brought to life through traditional hearth oven cooking techniques. The bustling bar offers distinctly Northwest beverages from nearby wineries, distilleries, breweries, and cideries. Among all the dishes we tried, while everything was tasty our absolute favorite was their desserts, can you blame us!? ;)


Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes: Hearth

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes


LITTLE BROTHER: It is hands down one of the best brunches that I have ever had! Offering elevated locally sourced dishes, full-service coffee bar, cocktails and outdoor seating, Little Brother is an offspring from Kirkland’s beloved DERU Market. Little Brother specializes in commitment to local, seasonal and organic ingredients, and you can tell just by sampling a bite of every dish that is served!


Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes: Little Brother

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes: Little Brother


HERITAGE RESTAURANT & BAR: Located in Woodinville, it is a locally owned, full-service establishment. The chef/owner Breanna Beike fashioned Heritage as a community hub and casual meeting place where residents gather often, tourists don’t feel like tourists and the food and drinks are approachable and moderately priced. Their specialties cocktails were the icing on the cake and a great way to end the night for us!

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes: Heritage

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes: Heritage

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes: Heritage

OTHER RESTAURANTS & CAFES IN KIRKLAND WA: 

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes: Deru Market

BEST COFFEE SHOPS IN KIRKLAND WA:

BEST DESSERTS IN KIRKLAND WA: 

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes: Caffe Ladro

BEST WINERIES & WINE BARS IN KIRKLAND WA:


MATTHEWS WINERY: It is a family-owned and operated winery based in Woodinville, WA. The winery is tastefully decorated and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The setting is beautiful and is surrounded by lush gardens. The winery takes its inspiration from the great wine blending techniques of Bordeaux and from the exceptional fruit that Washington state is producing. 

OTHER WINERIES IN KIRKLAND WA

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes: best wine bars

Best things to do in Kirkland, WA featured by top US travel blog, Sveeteskapes: best wine bars


All in all, Kirkland WA is a perfect escape for the art aficionado, outdoor enthusiast, food and wine connoisseur, and boutique shopper. Kirkland’s recreation opportunities, downtown vibrancy, and natural environment will inspire you to explore the city and enjoy its serenity and vitality. Whether you’re here for a day or a week, on business or pleasure, traveling alone or with your spouse/kids, there is a fun itinerary waiting just for you!



“Take every chance you get in life because some things only happen once."
xoxo,
Kusum

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