Author Garth Stein wrote of Seattle that “In Seattle we live among the trees and the waterways, and we feel we are rocked gently in the cradle of life.” That’s precisely what makes fall in Seattle so special. In Washington, the seasons shift imperceptibly. There’s no swift drop in temperatures, and the leaves don’t fall from the trees in one fell swoop.
Fall settles in slowly, and evidence of the new season appears largely in the details. It’s in the slow inclusion of flannels and Carhartt beanies in the Pacific Northwesterner wardrobe. It’s in the shorter days, fewer of which are sunny. And it’s in the seasonal events peppered throughout September, October, and November—many of which celebrate harvests.
Fall in Seattle is unlike fall in other parts of the country. Summer runs into fall which runs into winter until the sun breaks again come spring. Though summer in Seattle gets all the attention, don’t overlook fall in the city. These fall activities in Seattle are just a few of the many reasons why.
You don’t have to be a football fan to be familiar with the Seahawks. Maybe it’s the 12th Man moniker or the Legion of Boom, but the Seahawks certainly have a reputation that precedes them.
Come September, Sundays in the city are awash with green and blue. You won’t find a bar within city limits broadcasting anything other than the game. Lean into your inner Seattleite by either attending a game or getting in the gametime spirit. Seattle is the perfect place to get a taste of the NFL.
Seattle may be the city of evergreens, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to skip your dose of fall colors. Many of Seattle’s streets are lined with deciduous trees, so going for a stroll will bring all of fall’s colors to your attention. But Seattle is also home to countless parks, each of which offer their own leaf-peeping experiences.
Immerse yourself in either the Washington Park Arboretum, the Seattle Japanese Gardens, or Sam Smith Park. The three are all favorites among Seattleites for their vibrant colors. Here, you can watch the leaves change from green to shades of yellow, red, and orange.
Costumes and cook-offs and musicals, oh my! Every October, the West Seattle Junction hosts the West Seattle Harvest Fest, a beloved family-friendly event. The neighborhood kicks off the festivities with a musical parade, but that’s only the beginning.
Peruse seasonal goods from local artisans. Sip on root beer in the root beer garden as you listen to live music. Watch kids in costume trick or treat throughout the charming neighborhood. This is one of Seattle’s favorite harvest festivals.
The Ballard Locks span the gap between the fresh water Lake Union and the salty Puget Sound, allowing boats safe and responsible passage between the two. Once a boat enters the lock, the water levels are either raised or lowered depending on the boat’s destination. But boats aren’t the locks’ only passengers.
Salmon also pass through the locks on their way upstream to spawn. Each year, 15,000 Coho salmon pass through the locks, the last group of salmon to make their way upstream. Peak viewing time for Coho is September, making fall the perfect time to get up close and personal with the fish ladders.
If you’re over the age of 21, you’ve probably been to an Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest Northwest does the tradition proud with their celebration of all things beer. As Washington’s largest Munich-style celebration, Oktoberfest Northwest brings all that you’d expect from this German celebration, complete with lederhosen and steins.
In Washington, you can also make a day trip out of Oktoberfest. Head to Bavarian-themed Leavenworth for a celebration that’ll transport you to Munich itself.
Don’t forego your favorite fall past times just because you’re traveling. In fact, Seattle is an epicenter for all things fall, like corn mazes and pumpkin patches. Because agriculture is part of Washington’s DNA, you’ll find fantastic family farms within just a short drive from downtown.
For the over 21 crowd, nothing screams fall quite like cider. Especially in Washington State. Apples are one of the main crops Washington is known for. So it makes sense that Washington would be home to equally exciting ciders.
During Washington Cider Week, event goers have the opportunity to take part in over 70 events across the Seattle area. Events range from cider tastings to cider pairings, each at unique cideries. Put your cider tasting to the test during this 11 day “week” that kicks off fall in Seattle.
Where Seattle gets social. By design.
Make your way to the fifth floor on 5th Avenue for downtown Seattle’s best rooftop happy hour hotspot, Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails — consistently voted among the best rooftop bars in America.
Come for the handcrafted cocktails, stay for Chef Adam Stevenson’s locally-inspired menu, featuring wild seafood, foraged mushrooms and the best of the Pacific Northwest.
And do come to play. Warmed by two gorgeous outdoor fireplaces and vibrant lighting in edgy urban patio style, you’ll want to start some mischief of your own with a little shuffleboard, LED ping-pong and a rotating cast of live Seattle musicians and DJs.
Open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner — and weekends for brunch. See what’s on the menu or reserve your table below.BOOK A TABLE AT FROLIK KITCHEN + COCKTAILS