Ask most locals what their favorite time of year is, and they’ll likely say fall. Seattle in the fall is a beautiful time to be in the area for many reasons. The weather is still somewhat warm, and there are plenty of sunny days left.
While I love the summer days we have, fall in Seattle is ideal for hiking and enjoying the outdoors. There are many Seattle fall activities to do this time of year, from fall events to seasonal food to try. After how hot some of our August days get, I actually look forward to this time of year!
Whether you’ve lived here all your life or are planning a fall trip to Seattle, here are some of the best fall activities in Seattle to check out.
Travel Tips for Fall in Seattle
Here are a few tips to help you plan your trip to Seattle in fall.
Weather in Seattle in the Fall
The weather in Seattle in fall is gorgeous. September brings many days in the 70s and even the 80s and gradually going down to the 60s as the season goes on. Seattle in September tends to be reasonably dry, and the rain doesn’t really start until October.
There are also fewer crowds in the fall as tourists go back home and kids start school, which is one reason I love exploring during this time of year.
What to Pack for Seattle Fall Activities
Here are a few items to put on your packing list for fall.
- Rain jacket – The weather tends to be dry, but you never know when you might get caught in a fall rainstorm.
- Sweater – This merino wool sweater will keep you warm and dry during your fall activities in Seattle.
- Camera – Fall is a photogenic time of year, so make sure to have a camera with you at all times.
Where to Stay in Seattle in the Fall
Need a hotel? Here are a few places to make your base during your fall activities in Seattle.
- The Edgewater – In the era of rock’n’roll, every famous band that visited Seattle was staying in the Edgewater, and the hotel has many stories to tell. This hotel is also right on the waterfront, so you’ll have an amazing view. (rates start at $215 per night)
- Moore Hotel – This hotel is in central Seattle, so everything will be conveniently nearby. The Moore Hotel is quite infamous for its many stories about it being a haunted house, and this adds to the appeal. (rates start at $149 per night)
- Kimpton Alexis Hotel – This is a lavish hotel, but one of its main appeals is its pet-friendly nature. Pets are treated as guests of honor, and even visiting dogs get a bowl of distilled water. It’s located downtown but it feels completely secluded, and it’s a great place to go if you’re looking for extra privacy. (rates start at $167 per night)
Fun Fall Activities in Seattle
There is no shortage of Seattle fall activities, whether you want to be indoors or outdoors. Here are some of the best things to do in Seattle in the fall.
Go Pumpkin Picking at a Local Farm
Picking pumpkins is one of Seattle’s best fall activities, so add this to your list for what to do in Seattle in October! During the fall in Seattle, numerous farms in places like Puyallup and Snohomish offer pumpkin patches, hayrides, etc.
One of the most popular places north of Seattle is Bob’s Corn and Pumpkin Maze, so make sure to buy your tickets to visit in advance online.
South of Seattle, Carpinito Brothers is a large pumpkin patch that will give you a stunning view of Mount Rainier on a clear day. This is one of my favorite things to do in Seattle in October, as they have pumpkins of all sizes and colors, hot apple cider, and fresh vegetables from local farmers.
Visit a Haunted Pub
Kells Irish Pub is a popular bar by Pike Place Market often filled to capacity on the weekends, but its history is much more interesting than people watching the drunk college students stumbling out. The original building, the Butterworth building, was built in 1903 and was the site of a mortuary.
Seattle was filling up with more dead bodies than it could handle due to disease and labor accidents, and thousands of bodies passed through the Butterworth building. Fast forward to today, where this building is now an Irish pub.
More reports of unearthly activity have been reported than can be counted. The upstairs wood floors creak when no one else is in the building, mirrors have shattered suddenly with no explanation, and people have sworn on their mother’s grave they have seen countless figures in the shadows and stairwell of the building.
Employees report feeling a sudden burst of cold air in certain parts, even with no air conditioning on. Go for a pint and see for yourself if you notice anything out of the ordinary in one of the most haunted places in Seattle.
Explore the Central Library
If you need a rainy day activity in Seattle in the fall, check out the Seattle Central Library. Located in the middle of downtown, it’s free and a great escape for an hour or two.
This building is an amazing place to visit and has the capacity for over a million books. You can check their website for current activities and events they might be offering when you visit.
Get Lost in a Corn Maze
Heading to a corn maze is one of the best things to do in Seattle in the fall. It’s a great Seattle activity with kids during the day, as they can run around as much as they want (I know my toddler loves it!).
A popular Seattle place to visit in the fall is Craven Farm in Snohomish, which has plenty of activities to keep kids entertained for hours (open from September 18th-October 31st, 2021). Remlinger Farms in Carnation is another fun place to check out the corn maze and other fall activities in Seattle. Tickets must be purchased in advance for both of these farms.
Wander Around Lake Washington
Fall in Seattle is a beautiful time of year to visit Lake Washington. This lake is the perfect place to soak in all of the natural beauty. It might be too cold to take a swim, but walking or riding your bike here can be a perfect Seattle fall activity.
You can even go kayaking on a warm fall day – just make sure to bundle up underneath your life jacket. This is one of the more active Seattle fall activities to enjoy on a sunny day.
Attend an Oktoberfest Festival
There are many Oktoberfest festivals in Washington to attend, which are one of my favorite Seattle fall events. The Fremont Oktoberfest is one of the more popular fall things to do in Seattle if you don’t want to travel far.
However, if you want to make a trip out of it, you can travel to Leavenworth for a weekend. In only two hours, you’ll be transported to a mini Germany in this Bavarian-themed town. For three weeks every fall, they have a huge Oktoberfest with German beer, food, music, and other activities (the dates for 2021 are October 1st-3rd, 8th-10th, and 15th-17th).
Drive to the Coast
This takes about 3 hours to get to when leaving from Seattle so you can either make it a really long day trip or decide to spend the night on the Olympic Peninsula. This beach is one of the prettiest ones in Washington, so it’s well worth the drive. You can explore Olympic Peninsula for the day or go hiking on the Olympic Peninsula.
You can also spend a Seattle weekend trip here to extend your time exploring the area.
Go on a Brewery Tour
If you’re a fan of fall-flavored beer like pumpkin, you won’t be disappointed with a Seattle brewery tour when looking for what to do in Seattle in September. Many of them create special ones for the fall in Seattle, so taking a tour will let you sample some of the seasonal ones.
You can also visit a local Seattle brewery to do your own tasting if you want to pick where you go. Additionally, Elysian Brewing throws the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival every year where you can try dozens of different pumpkin beers.
Visit a Giant Waterfall
Few other places come close to the beauty of these falls, and they’re a close drive from the city. Visiting Snoqualmie Falls is always fun, especially during the fall in Seattle. You’ll have a beautiful view and be able to walk around the trails during cooler weather.
If you have time, I highly recommend spending a night in the newly remodeled lodge. You’ll love waking up on a cool fall morning with a view of the Falls, making it an amazing fall activity in Seattle. (rates start at $260 per night; book your room on Booking.com)
Attend a Sports Event
Fall in Seattle is an exciting time for sports fans, as our beloved Seahawks begin their football season. You can also attend a Sounders game if soccer is your preferred sport. These teams have some of the best fans around, so you’ll love attending this lively Seattle fall activity. While you will get some rainy days during the season, just bring a raincoat to keep yourself dry.
Head to the Mountains for a Hike
One of the best things to do in Seattle in the fall is to go hiking in my opinion. The cooler days make it easier to be out in the mountains exploring without worrying about it getting too hot. Some great fall hikes near Seattle include Barclay Lake and Wallace Falls.
Another one of my favorite Seattle places to visit in the fall is Mount Rainier National Park. There are dozens of different hikes to choose from based on your fitness level, and you’ll love having this beautiful mountain as your backdrop all day. Even if you don’t like hiking, there are plenty of things to do at Mount Rainier.
If you want to see Seattle’s fall foliage and the rare larches, make sure to check out my post on the best larch hikes in Washington. There are only about three weeks during the year when these come out (typically late September or early October), so you won’t want to miss them.
Take a Stroll Through Japanese Gardens
There are few other places during the fall in Seattle that you feel the changing of the seasons more. Seattle Japanese Gardens is a stunning garden of over three acres and one of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle. Filled with streams, ponds, waterfalls, and rock outcroppings, you’re greeted by a gorgeous sight everywhere you look.
This garden is the place to be when you’re looking for things to do in Seattle in September, especially when you’re looking for Seattle fall colors.
Pick Your Own Apples
I can guarantee your apple pie or homemade apple cider will never taste better than when you pick the apples yourself. There are plenty of apple orchards to go to around the Seattle area when you want to get some of these famous Washington apples for one of the tastiest things to do in Seattle in the fall.
A fun one to check out include The Farm at Swan’s Trail in Snohomish, where you can pick apples, watch them get squeezed, and taste apple cider. If you feel like driving further north, Bellewood Acres is a giant property full of pumpkins to pick, corn to toss, and even vodka to taste.
Learn About Sealife at the Aquarium
The Seattle Aquarium is one of the largest in the US and a great indoor fall activity in Seattle. This is a fun place to visit because it has tons of exhibits native to the Seattle area. While it’s an indoor aquarium, it has both salt and freshwater experiences.
Kids will love the touching pool where they can feel sea anemones and other creatures. You’ll also be able to go outdoors during this Seattle fall activity and see sea birds and otters playing outside.
Go on an Underground Tour
Seattle suffered a major catastrophe in 1889 when the Great Fire burned down a large portion of the city. Because of that, it had to be rebuilt on top of itself. Bill Speidel’s underground tours will take you under downtown Seattle in what feels like an underground maze of the city.
This tour is like going in a time capsule, and it’s one of the best fall activities in Seattle since you’ll stay dry no matter what the weather is like above ground. You can also have a drink at the bar where your tour ends once you’re done.
Give Yourself a Scare
Looking for somewhere spooky to go around Halloween? Check out the Georgetown Morgue if you dare. During certain days, kids can visit with the lights on for a less scary fall thing to do in Seattle. At night, brave adults can test their courage through this eerie haunted house.
Festivals to Attend in Seattle in the Fall
Here are some of the best festivals to attend this time of year.
If you love beer, you’ll want to make your way to Fremont Oktoberfest in Seattle in September. There are dozens of different beers to sample and plenty of events going on. You can even bring your dog on Sunday. This is a perfect way to spend a fall weekend in Seattle in September. (September 17th-19th, 2021)
Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival
The Northwest has a long maritime history, so what better way to celebrate it than with this festival. Head down to Lake Union to go on boat tours, watch races, and attend workshops. This is a fun Seattle fall activity for the whole family. (September 25th-26th, 2021)
This is the perfect event for all beer lovers if you’re in Seattle in October. Oktoberfest is traditionally packed with the finest German beer, but also great food and lively music. There will be numerous mini-events too, so it’ll be a fun event. (October 8th, 2021)
Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival
Fall in Seattle is full of unique events like the Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival. It features crab preparation competitions and plenty of wine tasting. The festival happens in Port Angeles and is a great place to try the craft beer sold on the many stands as well as food Seattle is famous for. (October 8th-10th, 2021)
Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival
This is one of the more unique fall activities in Seattle in October. It’s not only fun to watch how the quilts get made, but you can also partake in the event for yourself. There will be numerous workshops for people of all skill levels of quilting, so you can even learn something new. It’s an international event for fiber artists, so expect to see a lot of variety. (virtually this year from October 8th-10th, 2021)
Northwest Chocolate Festival
Your stomach will leave this tasty Seattle fall activity happy, as you’ll get more than your share of chocolate samples. There are also plenty of workshops to attend to learn exactly how your favorite chocolate treats are made. (October 30th-31st, 2021)
Seattle International Auto Show
Any lover of automobiles will want to attend the Seattle International Auto Show. It is an amazing show where both the latest cutting-edge technology will be shown as well as old vintage automobiles. Make sure to bring your camera along to get pictures of some of your favorite vehicles. (November 11th-14th, 2021)
Whether you’re visiting Seattle in the fall or a local looking for the best fall activities in Seattle, you won’t be disappointed with all the events going on!