Finding the best fall colors can make the shorter days colder whether more bearable. While there is some hardship with Autumn, almost a third of Americans say fall is their favorite season! Surprisingly, it also takes the crown as the most preferred season to tie-the-knot.
There are so many things to love about about fall. For starters, there’s the stunning foliage carpeting the grounds with yellows, oranges, and reds. Fun fact: much like the colors of a sunset, call colors are shown to slow a person’s time perception.
Then, there are the beautiful fall flowers.
You read that right. Spring and summer aren’t the only blooming seasons. Fall’s blossoms are as awe-inspiring as those you see during the warmer seasons.
All these and more, you can enjoy when in the Pacific Northwest.
The question is, where exactly can you find and marvel at the best fall colors?
Read this guide, and you’ll soon be on your way to one of them!
Kubota Garden, Seattle
Hills and valleys spanning 20 acres, the Kubota Garden in Seattle is a prime spot for Washington fall foliage. The beauty of this place stems from the combination of Japanese garden themes with flora of the Northwest.
Mind your jaw as you look at the beautiful water formations, including waterfalls, streams, and ponds. The huge collection of plant species here includes fall bloomers, such as Japanese maples.
University of Washington Arboretum, Seattle
Golds, oranges, and reds aren’t the only fall colors in Washington. Want some whites with your autumn foliage? Then head to the University of Washington Botanic Gardens.
Here, you’ll find the Franklin Tree’s flowers painting a stark white contrast against its gold and red leaves. The arboretum’s Dawn Redwoods also add pink to the foliage. Maples, flowering cherries, and dogwoods also line the 230-acre garden.
Seattle Japanese Garden, Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle
The Seattle Japanese Garden attracts more than 100,000 visitors every year.
So… What makes it so special you should include it in your list of Washington fall foliage viewing spots?
For starters, it’s amongst North America’s most highly-regarded gardens. Because of its Japanese influences, the garden gives you a sneak peek to the Land of the Rising Sun. There are waterfalls, forests, mountains, and rivers to curb your craving to be one with nature.
It’s also thanks to its Japanese roots, you’ll see astonishing fall foliage and flowers here. Plus, the varied ecosystem here means you’ll marvel at both flora and fauna.
Manito Park, Spokane
Boasting not one, not even three, but five showcase gardens, Manito Park affords some of the best scenes of fall in Spokane.
There’s the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden, for starters. The garden, filled with maple trees and koi ponds, form a picture-perfect scene.
Before you leave to stock up on the local farms’ fresh produce, go for a stroll along the golden-leaf-covered Manito Boulevard.
Riverfront Park, Spokane
Spokane’s Riverfront Park isn’t only a great place to catch the incredible Washington fall colors. It also affords you incredible views of the magnificent Spokane Falls.
Considered one of the “most unforgettable urban falls” in the U.S., the Spokane Falls actually consist of two waterfalls. There’s the Upper Falls and the Lower Falls. Together, they make up the largest urban waterfall in the country.
A great plus to the Riverfront Park is its location. Situated downtown, you’ll have no problems finding other activities to satisfy your outdoorsy side. The SkyRide Over the Falls, Tour Train, and 1909 Looff Carrousel are to name a few.
Pro Tip: Make sure you don a good pair of shoes before heading to the park. That way, you can take on the challenge that the Centennial trail and various walking paths offer.
The Finch Arboretum, Spokane
What do you get when you mix a massive collection of plant material with 65 acres of hills?
The John A. Finch Arboretum, that’s what! Of course, there’s also the astonishing fall foliage to see.
The Finch Arboretum’s flora collection lines the Garden Springs Creek shores, the various species of which grow all year long. Chosen for their compatibility with the city’s climate, the different plant materials bloom and flourish whatever season it is. That gives you more reason to visit not only during the fall season.
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington
Let’s face it. The best way to take in breathtaking views and landscapes is when they’re all natural.
Much thanks to Washington’s Mt. Rainier National Park, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
Almost untouched by human hands, the area surrounding the active volcano boasts ancient forests and houses various wildlife. With it being rich in flora, you can expect stunning leafage throughout the year, and not only during autumn.
During the fall season, make sure you make your way to Paradise and Reflection Lakes. These are some of the mountain’s best areas to see awesome golds, reds, oranges, and even greens. The Grove of the Patriarchs is also a must-visit.
As for wildflowers, Mt. Rainier’s collection is a sight to behold. But since they only bloom for a limited time, make sure you catch them before late fall.
Leavenworth Town, Washington
The fact that it has its own Autumn Leaf Festival should already tell you that Leavenworth Town is one of the best places to see stunning fall leaves in action. That and the town’s name itself, which is spelled almost like heaven.
Plus, it’s situated in none other than the Cascade Mountains. As such, know there’s plenty other things for you to do. Try trekking The Enchantments, conquering the Tumwater Canyon, or following the Apple Capital Loop Trail.
If you want something less laborious, find a good spot for fall foliage viewing at the Waterfront Park.
Fun Fact: Waterfront parks in general are amazing locations to observe the best fall colors. The expanse of foliage, combined with the visual break, and opportunity for reflected can provide for stunning views. Don’t forget to pick your jaw up before going home!
Fall in Love with Pacific Northwest’s Fall Flowers and Foliage
Many of the Pacific Northwest’s fall flowers provide an amazing contrast to the golden and scarlet foliage of autumn. From the Agastache Blue Fortune to the Purple Dome blossoms and the Aster x frikartii Monch to the Great Blue Lobelia, you’re in for a superb treat if you visit during the fall.
Last tip before we go: When searching for the best fall colors in the Northwest, Make sure to dress in layers. Fall, in particular, is a season when the temperature and precipitation can change from moment to moment. Oh, and don’t forget to check out our other travel posts!