Visiting the Emerald City this fall and looking for the best things to do in Seattle? Here are 55 fun things to do in the Seattle area to make your Pacific Northwest adventure unforgettable.
Fall in Seattle is a magical time to explore the city, with crisp air, vibrant foliage, and a myriad of activities to suit any autumnal mood. There’s no shortage of exciting things to discover in the Emerald City this season!
Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market is a must-visit in the fall season. Wander around the bustling market to discover seasonal produce and crafts from local vendors. The crisp autumn air makes it the perfect time to grab a hot coffee from the original Starbucks. Make sure to stop by for fresh produce, flowers, fresh seafood, handmade crafts, and artisanal goods. It’s one of the best places for shopping and a food tour. Make sure to stop by for a scoop of ice cream and grilled cheese from Beecher’s Cheese!
The gorgeous Washington Park Arboretum is a haven for fall foliage. With 230 acres to explore, it’s easy to find a quiet spot to enjoy the changing colors of the various trees and shrubs.
No trip to Seattle would be complete without a trip up the Space Needle to take in the stunning fall scenery. It’s one of the most iconic tourist attractions in the United States and offers the best views of downtown Seattle, Mount Rainier, and the Olympic Mountains. Get panoramic views of the city’s vibrant foliage and the surrounding area.
Discover the stunning and intricate glass sculptures of local artist Dale Chihuly at the Chihuly Garden and Glass. Don’t miss the outdoor garden, which is especially magical during the fall months.
The Seattle Art Museum hosts a fantastic collection of contemporary and classic art. Check out any exhibitions or events happening during your visit for a unique cultural experience – I loved the Claude Monet paintings when I was there. From modern to tribal, there’s something for every art lover here.
Get into the fall spirit by visiting one of the numerous pumpkin patches around the Seattle area, such as Craven Farm or Remlinger Farms. Enjoy fun activities like corn mazes, hayrides, and pumpkin picking.
Lastly, don’t skip the Seattle Center during your fall visit. Its numerous attractions, including the Children’s Museum, the Pacific Science Center, and the Museum of Pop Culture, offer entertainment for all ages. Plus, it’s close to the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass!
This fall, Seattle hosts the Northwest Chocolate Festival, a must-visit for all chocolate lovers. Indulge in handcrafted artisan chocolates, attend workshops, and meet experts in the field.
Celebrate Bavarian heritage at Oktoberfest, a staple of Seattle’s fall festivities. Enjoy traditional cuisine, dance to live polka music, and taste a variety of local beers.
Venture east to charming Leavenworth, a Bavarian-style village nestled within the Cascade Mountains. Explore alpine hiking trails, visit local wineries, and experience unique shops in this Pacific Northwest gem.
For the adventurous, a hike up Mount Rainier could be the highlight of your trip. Check out the visitor center for information on trails and guides.
Experience the stunning fall foliage of Mount Rainier with some breathtaking Larches Hikes. Admire vibrant, golden larches and lush evergreens along the trails while you connect with nature.
Fall is an ideal time to explore Washington State Parks, showcasing the Pacific Northwest’s beauty. Hike through lush old-growth forests, visit lakes and waterfalls, and enjoy panoramic mountain views, all within a short drive from Seattle.
Arts, Culture, and Performances
Seattle is buzzing with exciting events and activities this fall. In this section, let’s explore some of the best arts, culture, and performances you won’t want to miss!
The Seattle Opera has a lot in store for opera enthusiasts this season. From classic masterpieces to contemporary performances, there’s something to please every music lover.
Get ready for Refract, Seattle’s festival celebrating all things glass art. The event features stunning glasswork from local and international artists. Don’t miss this colorful and mesmerizing event!
Gear up for a spectacular lineup of drama, comedy, and engaging storytelling at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Renowned for its theater productions, you can expect high-quality performances and thought-provoking plays.
In addition to these highlighted events, Seattle’s arts and culture scene offers plenty of other options for art lovers. Immerse yourself in heritage and history by visiting the various museums, attend concerts throughout the city, or even take part in local art walks. Fall has never looked better in the Emerald City!
Seattle Restaurant Week is a fabulous time to explore the city’s culinary scene. With over 165 participating restaurants, you’ll find a wide range of options to suit any palate. Dine on multi-course dinners for $35, making it easy to experience a variety of flavors without breaking the bank.
Seattle is home to several farmer’s markets that operate throughout the fall. On Sundays, head on over to Ballard’s Farmers Market, which has a lovely market showcasing seasonal produce (and incredible selection of home-brewed kombucha). It’s an excellent way to truly taste and appreciate the flavors of the Pacific Northwest region.
A food tour is an excellent way to discover Seattle’s eclectic gastronomy. You’ll explore diverse neighborhoods, try delicious dishes, and learn about the city’s culinary history.
Some tours even include beneath-the-streets experiences, adding a twist to your foodie adventure. From Capitol Hill to Pike Place Market, uncover hidden gems and indulge your taste buds.
Get up close and personal with marine life at the Seattle Aquarium. Located on the waterfront, it’s a fun and educational experience for all ages to explore marine life. Watch the playful otters, or walk through the underwater dome for a close encounter with local sea life.
Seattle Ghost Tours
If you’re looking for some spooky fun this fall, consider a Seattle Ghost Tour. These tours take you to haunted locations around the city and reveal chilling stories of Seattle’s past. Wander through dark alleys, visit eerie buildings, and hear tales of ghostly encounters. With various tour options available, you’re sure to find a ghostly adventure that suits your interests.
Another spine-tingling activity to experience in Seattle this fall is the Georgetown Morgue Haunted House. This haunted house is notorious for its thrilling scares and creepy atmosphere, thanks to a rich history of paranormal encounters. With heart-pounding excitement and terrifyingly realistic scenes, it’s a perfect way to celebrate the Halloween season. Just remember to bring your courage, as you never know what might be lurking around the next corner.
Rent a paddleboard or kayak to explore Lake Union or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll along the waterfront for a great time enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
For a unique view of Elliott Bay and the city skyline, a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel, located on Pier 57, is your best bet.
Get ready to groove to live music at the annual Capitol Hill Block Party. It’s a must-visit summer festival that runs into the early fall.
Experience the thrill of a baseball game at T-Mobile Park. Even if you’re not a sports fan, the electric atmosphere is a fun part of the local culture.
Hop on a Ferry to Bainbridge Island
A short ferry ride away, Bainbridge Island is a great spot for wine tasting, local shops, and beach strolls.
Family vacation in the city? Take the kids to Woodland Park Zoo. With over 1,000 animals, it’s a favorite thing to do in Seattle.
Unwind at Alki Beach in West Seattle
On sunny days, Alki Beach is the perfect trip destination offering stunning views of the city skyline. Enjoy the low tide, sand volleyball, or simply a beautiful sunset over Puget Sound. I love having a beachside picnic or a leisurely stroll during the fall season.
Rent a bike and ride along the Burke-Gilman Trail. This 27-mile long trail stretches from Ballard to Bothell and offers great views of Lake Washington Ship Canal.
Another gem of Seattle’s green space is the Olympic Sculpture Park. With stunning views of Elliott Bay, it’s a great place to take in art and nature.
For another perspective of the city, hop on an Argosy Cruise. There’s no better way to see Seattle than from the water.
Take a day trip to the San Juan Islands, home to numerous bald eagles, and indulge in bird watching and other outdoor activities.
Enjoy the best of engineering and nature at Ballard Locks, where you can watch boats navigate the Lake Washington Ship Canal.
Another beautiful city park, Green Lake, offers a perfect loop for walkers, runners, and bikers alike, and is a great place to relax on a sunny day. PRO TIP: Get a cup of delicious chocolate at Chocolati Cafe – my favorite stop at Green Lake!
Experience the future at MoPOP (Museum of Pop Culture), where you can enjoy the sci-fi exhibit and much more.
For breathtaking views of the Space Needle, downtown Seattle, and Mount Rainier, head to Kerry Park. This spot offers some of the best views in the city. For the best views of Seattle’s skyline, head to Kerry Park. It’s especially stunning at sunset. This is definitely a perfect place for photographers.
Learn about the great Seattle fire and much more at this museum located in South Lake Union.
Visit the University of Washington for a taste of the vibrant student life, beautiful architecture, and a tour of the iconic Suzzallo Library.
A great place for family fun, the Pacific Science Center in Seattle Center offers interactive exhibits that will entertain both kids and adults.
Formerly a gasification plant, this unique public park on the north shore of Lake Union offers excellent views of downtown Seattle. Pack a picnic and head to Gas Works Park, known for its panoramic views of downtown Seattle. It’s one of the city’s most iconic green spaces.
Plan a day trip to Mount Rainier National Park and start at the visitor center to learn about the park and plan your hiking trails.
Visit Discovery Park in Magnolia, the largest park in Seattle, for beautiful walks, views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains, and a visit to the historic West Point Lighthouse. From beautiful trails to picnic areas and stunning Puget Sound views, it’s a wonderful place to unwind.
As one of the largest aviation museums in the United States, Seattle’s Museum of Flight is a fun spot for aviation enthusiasts. Explore the history of flight, from the Wright Brothers to space exploration, and much more.
Take a University District Food Tour
Discover the unique flavors of Seattle by taking a food tour in the University District. You’ll find a mix of international cuisine and local favorites.
Get your groove on at The Showbox, one of Seattle’s premier venues for live music, located near Pike Place Market.
Explore Vashon Island
Take a short ferry ride to Vashon Island. With charming local shops, sandy beaches, and delicious food, it’s a special place for a day trip. Fun fact: my husband and I actually had part of our honeymoon at Vashon Island! I recommend renting an e-bike and stopping by one of the wineries.
Each year in late July and extending into the fall, the North Cascades Hot Air Balloon Festival offers an unforgettable spectacle. It’s a great way to experience the breathtaking beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
Walk through the Pioneer Square area, the place where Seattle was reborn after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. It’s the city’s oldest neighborhood, filled with Romanesque Revival architecture.
The Seattle Public Library often hosts free events, including author readings, book clubs, and family-friendly activities.
Immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. From delectable cuisine to fascinating history, it’s a must-visit.
Venture out on a whale-watching tour and witness the majesty of these creatures in Puget Sound. The fall is a great time to spot humpback and orca whales.
Feel the energy of the Emerald City Supporters by attending a Seattle Sounders FC match at CenturyLink Field. Soccer, or football as the rest of the world calls it, is becoming a huge part of the city’s culture.
A fun fact about the Pacific Northwest is that it’s dotted with beautiful islands. A ferry ride to Whidbey Island will give you a taste of the idyllic island life, offering local shops, hiking trails, and quaint eateries.
The Seattle International Film Festival is a major annual event in the city. Check out the festival schedule for a chance to see some amazing independent cinema.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Seattle worth visiting in October?
Absolutely! October is an ideal time to experience the Emerald City. There’s an array of things to do in Seattle during this time, from exploring the vibrant fall foliage in the city’s parks to taking part in various fall festivals. Plus, the city is less crowded, which makes sightseeing a more pleasant experience.
Is Seattle nice in the fall?
Seattle is beautiful in the fall. The city is adorned with autumn colors, and the weather is comfortably cool, perfect for outdoor activities. Whether it’s visiting Pike Place Market, strolling through the Olympic Sculpture Park, or exploring the nearby islands, fall presents many exciting things to do in Seattle.
What is Seattle like in October?
Seattle in October offers mild temperatures, often ranging from 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, with a mix of sunny and overcast days. Rain is not uncommon, so be prepared with a good rain jacket. Fall colors are in full swing, making the city’s parks and surrounding regions even more picturesque. With fall festivals and the rich cultural calendar, there’s no shortage of things to do in Seattle in October.
When can I see the fall colors in Seattle?
You can start seeing fall colors in Seattle as early as late September, but they are often at their most vibrant in mid to late October. Locations like the Washington Park Arboretum, Green Lake, and Mount Rainier National Park are spectacular spots to experience the autumn foliage.
How should I dress for Seattle weather in October?
October in Seattle can be quite varied, so it’s best to pack layers. Bring a mix of short and long-sleeved shirts, a sweater or two, and a good waterproof jacket. A pair of comfortable walking shoes is also a must for exploring all the things to do in Seattle. Even though it’s fall, don’t forget your sunglasses – when the sun comes out, it can still be quite bright!
What month is the best time to visit Seattle?
The best time to visit Seattle is during the late spring and summer months, from late June through September. The weather during this period is usually warm and sunny, with less rain than other times of the year. However, fall, especially September and October, can also be a great time to visit due to the beautiful fall colors, fewer crowds, and a wide array of activities and things to do in Seattle.
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Are there any other activities I need to include in this Seattle Fall Travel Guide? Feel free to leave a comment below!
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