Things to do at Seatac Airport

Shopping, Artwork, Local Businesses and More

Seattle Airport
••• Nearmap / Getty Images

If you live in the Seattle area, chances are you fly in and out of Sea-Tac Airport anywhere from several times a year to once in a while. Either way, you might find yourself with time to kill at the airport, or bored as you wait for your flight. Fortunately, Sea-Tac has plenty of things to do if you’re tired of sitting around on your laptop or phone. Dare I say it, you might even be able to have a little bit of fun at the airport. You might even get there early (well, maybe not).

More Things You Might Need to Know about Sea-Tac:

Sea-Tac Airport Guide | Sea-Tac Airport Parking | Sea-Tac Shuttles | Public Transportation from the Airport | Hotels near Sea-Tac Airport

  • 01 of 07

    Hang out in the Central Terminal

    Travelers Waiting in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
    ••• Atlantide Phototravel / Getty Images

    In the mid-2000s, Sea-Tac Airport’s Central Terminal got a major upgrade and now is a pretty pleasant place to relax before a flight. The layout is open and bright, due to a massive bank of windows along an entire wall of the space, which is also a great place to watch the planes go by (especially if you have kids in tow). A food court offers fast food options like Wendy’s and Qdoba Grill, coffee, as well as an Anthony’s restaurant for a bit of sit-down local flavor. There are plenty of tables to kick back at. Wi-Fi is available for free throughout the airport. If you want to unplug or relax, there are a few rocking chairs along the window.

    Delve in a bit deeper and admire some of the cool artwork around the main terminal, including a huge mobile hanging from the ceiling by artists Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schecher. Look a bit closer and you’ll see each element of the mobile is a tiny figure of its own. Step back far away from the mobile, and you’ll see the tiny pieces create a larger...MORE scene of a bird landing on the water.

    There are also some shops just off the main terminal, including a book store and a Fireworks Gallery.

  • 02 of 07

    Go Shopping

    After the very same upgrade that made the Central Terminal into a nice place to hang out, some interesting stores also showed up at Seatac Airport. The best of these may just be Fireworks, situated in the main terminal. The store sells artistic jewelry, gifts, decor and novelties—many of which are by local artists. Other airport shops include everything from the requisite bookstores to Made in Washington to The Body Shop to Mac makeup.

  • 03 of 07

    Get to Know Seattle

    Seattle Skyline
    ••• The Seattle skyline from Elliott Bay. Kristin Kendle

    Sea-Tac International Airport is actually a good place to get in touch with local businesses—in its own way. Several local businesses have set up shop in the terminals. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese has a sandwich shop in Concourse C. If you haven’t tasted the deliciousness that is Beecher’s, your two hours before your flight are the perfect time to change that. In the Main Terminal and ticketing area, there’s an Alki Bakery Express as well as a wine bar featuring local wines. In the Central Terminal, you’ll find local restaurant chain Anthony’s and a Made in Washington store. Of course, around just about every corner is a Starbucks or a Seattle’s Best.

  • 04 of 07

    Take a Walk

    Airport silhouette
    ••• bywriter / Getty Images

    All terminals are connected. It might be a bit of a stroll to get between them, but if you got to the airport a bit early, going terminal exploring will get you away from repetitive overhead announcements at your gate. Concourses A, B, C and D all branch off of the Central Terminal, while the South and North satellites connect via a short underground train ride (even if you got there early, you might want to skip traveling between the Central Terminal and North and South satellites). Go exploring! Concourse B is one of the older feeling areas of the airport and has fewer restaurants than some of the newer areas, while Concourses A and C feel much newer.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Admire the Fish and Other Artwork

    One thing Concourse B does have going for it is some of the coolest artwork in the airport—and all people do is walk on it. All along the terminal floor are bronze fish embedded in a terrazzo floor done by artists Judith Caldwell and Daniel Caldwell. There is a lot of art all throughout the airport, but most people rush past without giving it a second look. If you’ve got some time to kill, wander the concourses and see what local artists are up to. Every terminal has artwork large and small.

    List of artwork at Sea-Tac Airport

  • 06 of 07

    Get a Massage

    Massage chairs are stationed throughout the airport, ready to give you a quick dose of relaxation for $1, $3 or $5, depending on how long of a massage you want. If you want something a little more personal, there are massage bars located in Concourse C and in the North Satellite that provide 15- or 30-minute massages. You know you deserve it.
  • 07 of 07
    Sea Tac International Airport Central Terminal
    ••• july7th / Getty Images
    What? Live music at an airport? It does happen. Live music is usually scheduled in the daytime in the Central Terminal. Performances aren’t frequent, but check the schedule and see if there’s one when you’ll be at the airport for a little extra enjoyment during your wait for your plane.