The days are shorter. The air is crisper. The Emerald City shifts to hues of red, yellow, and orange as the evergreens are punctuated by the changing hues of the deciduous trees scattered among them.
And there is something about the quality of the light this time of year that makes golden hour even more vibrant as it reflects off our shining cityscape. This, dare we say, may just be the most beautiful time of year to visit Seattle.
Looking for more reasons to visit in the fall? Here are five:
Aerial view of Seattle Japanese Garden Photo: Rudy Willingham for Visit Seattle
1. Color Explosions
Whether it’s the exquisite design and plant life of the Seattle Japanese Garden or the fall-colors-on-steroids of the Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle in fall will provide you with plenty of camera fodder, no filter needed.
And for those seeking adventure further afield, the regional trails now feel more spacious, devoid of the summer crowds. Pro tip: the brief golden larch display in the North Cascades is not to be missed. Find your perfect hike and check trail conditions with the Washington Trails Association.
Fall fun at Carpinito Brothers Pumpkin Patch Photo: Kristin Gillespie
2. Local Harvest
The abundance of Pacific Northwest agriculture truly comes into its own at harvest time. From apple picking to pumpkin patches to corn mazes, there is plenty of fun—and cute photo ops—for the entire family. Explore a living playground during Oxtober at Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center. Make friends with the fauna at Swan Trail Farms’ petting farm. Or rent a private firepit in the corn maze at Bob’s Corn.
Of course, there are a plethora of local farmers markets in Seattle that give easy access to the harvest goods without leaving city limits. Pike Place Market is the cornerstone of the Seattle market experience. Or branch out and pop over to the Fremont Sunday Market or any of the other local neighborhood markets, each with their own loyal local following.
Glassblowing demonstration Photo: Chihuly Garden and Glass
3. Artistic Expressions
In Seattle, we embrace the outdoors in every season, regardless of what the weather may throw at us. However, the shorter (and wetter) days also mark the onset of a vibrant arts & culture season. From live theater to interactive museums to an eclectic music scene. Better yet, come in October for Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience. The annual multi-venue festival celebrates regional luminaries of glass art with special events, expositions, studio tours and demos—a truly transformative experience!
Climate Pledge Arena is set to open in October 2021 Photo: Climate Pledge Arena
4. Sports Culture
You don’t need to be a Seahawks fan, a Sounders fan, or even a sports fan—just come to Seattle for the sheer experience of a game. We don’t mess around in supporting our teams. And this year, you can be part of history as NHL’s Seattle Kraken make their seasonal debut at the brand new Climate Pledge Arena. Their new home will open in October as the most progressive, responsible, and sustainable arena in the world.
Browsing titles at Elliott Bay Book Company Photo: Visit Seattle
5. Ultimate Coziness
With the onset of cooler temperatures, who doesn’t rush to embrace sweater weather? In Seattle, it’s a lifestyle. Picture yourself wrapped in cozy layers (hometown outdoor outfitters like Filson and Eddie Bauer make that easy), curled up with your latest literary find (our status as a UNESCO City of Literature embraces bookworms), while sipping a steamy craft latte (it is Seattle, after all). This northwest corner of the country has fully embraced hygge, the Danish concept of cozy living and simple pleasures. So come visit, snuggle up, and make yourself at home.