Fall in Seattle: A Visitor’s Guide

09/22/2023 | by Andy | Seasonal Events

As the vibrant hues of summer give way to the crisp, invigorating air of fall, Seattle transforms into a picturesque autumn wonderland, complete with stunning fall colors. From embracing the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest to tapping into the city’s fall events, there’s no shortage of things to do in Seattle.

While there are so many fantastic times to visit Seattle, one of our favorites is certainly fall. You’ll love the coziness of your vacation rental home, the crisp weather of fall days, and the stunning colors that will surround you.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a foodie, an art lover, or simply looking for cozy experiences, let’s explore what to do in Seattle in the fall.

Seattle Fall Weather

Seattle’s fall weather is characterized by a slight chill in the air and the occasional drizzle, creating a picturesque atmosphere that’s perfect for leisurely walks and outdoor adventures. For much of Washington State, the average temperatures range from the mid-40s to mid-60s°F (7-18°C), with a chance of rain on most days.

It’s advisable to dress in layers, as the weather can be quite unpredictable. A waterproof jacket, cozy sweaters, comfortable walking shoes, and an umbrella are essential items to include in your packing list.

Best Things to Do in Fall in Seattle

1. Embrace the Fall Foliage

Photo Credit: Roman Khomlyak

Witnessing the changing colors in Seattle’s parks is an absolute must. Grab a takeaway Pumpkin Spice latte and head to places like Green Lake or Washington Park Arboretum to experience a breathtaking display of reds, oranges, and yellows.

This is also a prime time to visit one of Seattle’s many Japanese Gardens (Kubota Garden is particularly lovely). Stroll through the tree-lined paths and take in the serene beauty of the changing leaves – the perfect backdrop for photos or a leisurely picnic.

2. Get in Touch With Your Spooky Side

Photo Credit: David Seibold via Flickr CC 2.0

If getting scared thrills you, pay a visit to one of Seattle’s haunted houses. Nothing will get you more excited for Halloween and Spooky Season more than this! This is certainly one of the most fun things to do in the fall.

The Georgetown Morgue is likely the most well-known, as it is a historic morgue that once housed deceased bodies. Additionally, you can try the experience at the Nightfall Orphanage in West Seattle. If people in spooky costumes jumping out at you doesn’t sound like fun to you, you can go for a ghost tour, which adds a bit of history to the whole experience. Haunted History Ghost Tours of Seattle are led by paranormal experts, and the Underground Tour gives you a chance to search for paranormal activity yourself!

If you want to mix ghosts and gastronomy, visit Kells Irish Pub, close to Pike Place Market. Popular in its own right, many guests don’t know that it used to be the Butterworth Building – a holding place for Seattle’s dead. More than one report of paranormal activity has been filed there. Maybe you’ll see something from the Great Beyond yourself! At the very least, you can enjoy a refreshing beer and pub meal!

3. Enjoy Outdoor Adventures

Photo Credit: Danita Delimont

The nature in the Pacific Northwest is breathtaking any time of year, but it’d be a shame not to take advantage of the Great Outdoors while the foliage is an explosion of color. Embark on a day trip to explore the surrounding landscapes with fall hikes in nearby parks like Discovery Park, Mount Rainier National Park, and the Cascade Mountains.

The cooler temperatures make outdoor activities enjoyable, and the panoramic views are truly awe-inspiring. Don’t forget to buy a Discover Pass before you go! Kayaking and paddleboarding on Lake Union are also enjoyable options for those seeking an active day outdoors.

If you want to stay closer to the city and your accommodation, Seattle’s iconic skyline and natural beauty are best appreciated from its vantage points. Head to Kerry Park, Gas Works Park, or the Space Needle for breathtaking panoramic views of the city against the backdrop of autumn foliage.

4. Hide from the Rain in a Seattle Museum

Photo Credit: The Image Party

It’s bound to drizzle in the Seattle fall, but that doesn’t mean it has to ruin your vacation! Take the opportunity to learn more about Seattle’s rich history in one of its renowned museums.

Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

One of the best-known staples of the Seattle arts and culture scene, the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) offers a variety of permanent and rotating exhibits from around the world. Visitors can enjoy free entry on the first Thursday of each month. It’s the perfect refuge if it starts to rain while you’re in downtown Seattle.

Frye Art Museum

The Frye Art Museum is situated downtown and houses a diverse assortment of contemporary art. Through exhibitions, programs, and community engagement, the museum reflects the changing identity of Seattle. It features artists who delve into both current issues and historical subjects. And the best part is, admission is always free.

Seattle Pinball Museum

Visit the Seattle Pinball Museum for a nostalgic experience of arcades, pinball machines, and local beer. With over 50 machines to choose from, both modern and classic, you’re sure to find one that sparks nostalgia. Grab a beer, slide it into one of the pinball machine’s cupholders, and play away!

 5. Attend a Sporting Event

Photo Credit: Jai Agnish

Seattle Seahawks NFL Games

Feel the electric energy as the iconic CenturyLink Field transforms into a sea of blue and green during Seattle Seahawks NFL games. The fall season marks the heart of football season, and joining the 12th Man to cheer for the Seahawks is an unforgettable experience. With the passionate crowd, thrilling touchdowns, and the scenic backdrop of Seattle’s skyline, attending a Seahawks game is a must for any sports fan. You could also opt for some good ol’ college ball, and head to the University of Washington’s gorgeous campus to cheer on the Huskies!

Head of the Lake Regatta

For lovers of rowing and picturesque settings, the Head of the Lake Regatta is a must-see event. Taking place on the stunning Lake Washington and Lake Union in early November, this prestigious rowing event draws collegiate and master rowers from around the world. The fall foliage adds a touch of magic to the rowing course, making it an ideal event for both participants and spectators.

Seattle Sounders MLS Matches

Soccer enthusiasts can find their fix by attending Seattle Sounders Major League Soccer matches. The passionate fan base, coupled with the lively atmosphere at Lumen Field, creates an exhilarating experience for all.

Seattle Fall Events

Celebrate the Oyster New Year

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons via Google Images CCL

If you’re visiting Seattle right at the end of the fall season, don’t miss your chance to indulge in one of the locals’ favorite seafood traditions! This all-you-can-eat (or, technically, all-you-can-slurp) event takes place every November and sells out quickly!

It’s one of the West Coast’s most famous oyster celebrations, where attendees can enjoy unlimited freshly shucked oysters, local wines, and seafood delicacies, accompanied by lively music and the famous oyster luge.

What’s even better is that every slurped oyster goes towards a good cause, as the event serves as a fundraiser for Puget Sound Restoration Fund, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring the water quality, native marine species, and habitats of Pugest Sound.

Fremont Oktoberfest

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The Fremont Oktoberfest is a three-day event that takes place in September. It offers a wide selection of over 100 beers and Bavarian-style snacks. Additionally, there is a special event on Sunday called “Dogtoberfest” where dogs are allowed to participate. Overall, it is a fantastic way to enjoy a fall weekend in Seattle.

If you miss the annual Oktoberfest, head to a brewery instead to sample some autumn-themed brews!

Visit Optimism Brewing on Capitol Hill to try their autumnal Thankful Toasty Thanksgiving Lager. Alternatively, you can go to Elysian Brewing for a variety of limited-time taps, including the pumpkin-spiced Night Owl, or choose a shot of caffeine with their Punkuccino. Another option is to go to Ballard and enjoy a spicy Chai cider at Locust Cider & Brewing’s artistic tasting space.

Dia de los Muertos Celebrations

Photo Credit: Dina Julayeva

Taking place at the end of October, Seattle’s vibrant Hispanic community celebrates Dia de los Muertos with colorful parades, art exhibits, and cultural events that offer a unique glimpse into Mexican traditions. Head to the Seattle Center to find programming for the whole family!

Seattle Restaurant Week

Photo Credit: Michelle via Flickr CC 2.0

Seattle is a foodie’s heaven, and Seattle Restaurant Week is your chance to try more than ever before! During Seattle Restaurant Week, a range of curated menus are available at different dining establishments in the greater Seattle area, with prices starting at $20 and going up to $65.

Whether you want to indulge in seasonal, locally-sourced delicacies, savor high-end seafood with breathtaking water views, you don’t have to choose! So mark your calendars for late October/early November and visit their website to learn more about participating restaurants.

Earshot Jazz Festival

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The Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle offers over 50 live music performances that celebrate the leading artists and cultural heritage of the genre. The festival takes place at various venues across the city, including Benaroya Hall, Nectar Lounge, and SAM, providing a great opportunity to explore Seattle. The event spans both October and November, giving you an ample amount of performances to choose from!

You’ll Love Seattle in the Fall

Fall in Seattle is a captivating time when the city’s natural beauty and cultural vibrancy unite to create an unforgettable experience. Embrace the cozy weather, indulge in local flavors, and immerse yourself in the kaleidoscope of activities that this season offers.

Whether you’re sipping coffee at a cozy café or embarking on a scenic hike, autumn in the Emerald City will undoubtedly leave you with a deep appreciation for the wonders of the Pacific Northwest. So, pack your bags thoughtfully, prepare for a touch of rain, and get ready to fall in love with Seattle in the fall.