I love nothing more than summers in Seattle, as it’s some of the most gorgeous weather we get all year. However, I get so excited when we have that first crisp morning in September, and I know that it’s officially Seattle in the fall. This season is definitely underrated, as we still have so many warm, sunny days with a ton of activities and events going on.
Fall in Seattle means pumpkin patches galore (and there are a lot in this area), fall-themed coffee drinks (I’m still a sucker for a pumpkin spice latte on certain fall days), and fall foliage everywhere you look. While I think this is one of the best times for hiking with the cooler temperatures, it’s also fun to explore the city and participate in everything from beer festivals to chocolate festivals (and I’m a regular attendee at both of those each year!).
Whether you’ve lived here all your life or are planning a fall trip to Seattle, here are some fun fall activities in Seattle to check out. I’ve included the best of the best, including places to stop at throughout the season, specific events you need to attend, and even a rundown of the weather so you make sure you’re dressed appropriately.
17 Fun Things to Do in Seattle in the Fall
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.
1. Go Pumpkin Picking at a Local Farm
Picking pumpkins is one of Seattle’s best fall activities, so add this to your list of what to do in Seattle in October! During the fall in Seattle, numerous farms in places like Puyallup and Snohomish offer pumpkin patches, hayrides, and more, so make sure to head here before the cold Seattle winter season comes.
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. We go here every year with family and friends, and it’s always a blast to get our pumpkins, have some apple cider, and enjoy all the activities they have.
South of Seattle, Carpinito Brothers is a giant pumpkin patch that will give you a stunning view of Mount Rainier on a clear day (side note – fall is a beautiful time of year to go on a day trip from Seattle to Mt. Rainier!). 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.
2. 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 stumble 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.
This is one of the best things to do in Seattle in October, as you can get into the Halloween spirit here, and Halloween in Seattle is one of the best times to be in the city. I’ve been here a handful of times before, and while I’ve never seen a ghost, I do feel a little creeped out every time I go to the bathroom and it’s a bit quiet and eerie in there…
3. Walk Around the Arboretum
I love visiting the Washington Park Arboretum any time of the year (Seattle during springtime is exceptionally pretty here), but fall is by far the best time. I always pick a weekday to go and bring my camera so I can practice my photography and just enjoy the relaxing walk. There are several different paths to go on here, but I like walking under 520 to Foster Island to see people kayaking along the water.
If you have time, I highly recommend stopping at Macrina Bakery & Cafe for one of their amazing sourdough bagels and coffee. It’s the perfect end to a crisp morning spent walking around the park.
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4. 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 a free thing to do in Seattle 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. After, you can swing by one of the dozens of local coffee shops nearby.
5. Get Lost in a Corn Maze
Heading to a corn maze is one of the best things to do in Seattle in 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. I come here every year with my family to get our pumpkins, have hot apple cider, and play all the activities they have.
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. I think these are some of the best things to do in Seattle in September before it gets really crowded toward the end of October.
6. Wander Around Lake Washington
While Seattle in the summer is a popular time to be on the water, fall in Seattle is also a beautiful time of year to visit Lake Washington. This lake is the perfect place to soak up 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. I did this at sunset several years ago and got beautiful photos from it. This is one of the more active Seattle fall activities to enjoy on a sunny day.
7. 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, and I’ve been here multiple times to enjoy the festival. The dates for 2023 are September 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, and I recommend buying tickets in advance.
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 2023 are September 29th–30th, October 6th–7th, and October 13th–14th). Whether you’re a local or visiting Seattle in October, you’ll want to put this on your itinerary.
8. 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 the 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.
9. 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. There are also many family-friendly Seattle brewpubs if you’re looking for somewhere to go with kids.
Additionally, Elysian Brewing throws the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival every year, where you can try dozens of different pumpkin beers (the dates for 2023 are September 29th and 30th).
10. Go Waterfall Chasing
Few other places come close to the beauty of these falls, and they’re a short 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)
11. 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. I also love going to see the college football team, the UW Huskies, play and usually go to at least a few games a season.
These teams have some of the best fans around, so you’ll love attending this lively Seattle fall activity. While you will have some rainy days during the season, just bring a raincoat to keep yourself dry.
12. Head to the Mountains for a Hike
One of the best things to do in Seattle in the fall is 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.
Also, if you think hiking means you’ll be logging miles and miles all day, you’ll be glad to hear there are plenty of easy hikes around Seattle.
13. Take a Stroll Through Japanese Gardens
There are few other places during the fall in Seattle where 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. There are gorgeous sights everywhere you turn, including streams, ponds, waterfalls, and rock outcroppings.
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. I love coming here on a sunny day and bringing my camera to capture all the colors this time of year.
14. 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 is 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.
15. Learn About Sea Life 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 offers both saltwater 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 seabirds and otters playing outside. Our family often spends hours here, and it’s helpful that they have a cafeteria available when everyone gets hungry.
Buying a Seattle CityPASS is a great way to save money on ticket costs, as you’ll be able to see multiple Seattle attractions for one price!
16. 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, and it’s one of the top things to do in Seattle.
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.
I’ve done this tour about five times now, and it never gets old. While I’ve seen the same sights multiple times, I always learn new historical facts about Seattle from each tour guide I have. They’ve all been extremely educational as well as humourous, so it’s a great way to spend an hour.
Book your underground tour ticket in advance!
17. Give Yourself a Scare
Looking for somewhere spooky to go around Halloween? Check out the Georgetown Morgue if you dare. On 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 in this eerie haunted house.
The dates for 2023 are mainly on weekends from the end of September until Halloween (see their website for the exact schedule and times).
Fall in Seattle Events in 2023
Here are some of the best festivals to attend this time of year.
Dates: September 22nd–24th, 2023
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, and I love going every year.
Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival
Location: South Lake Union
Dates: No dates have been announced yet for 2023
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.
Dates: October 6th–8th, 2023
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.
Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival
Location: Port Angeles
Dates: October 6th–8th, 2023
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 the food Seattle is famous for.
Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival
Dates: October 6th–8th, 2023
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 in quilting, so you can even learn something new. It’s an international event for fiber artists, so expect to see a lot of variety.
Northwest Chocolate Festival
Dates: October 7th–8th, 2023
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.
Seattle International Auto Show
Dates: November 16th–19th, 2023
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. I absolutely love attending this event every year, as they always have so many unique cars.
Travel Tips for Fall in Seattle
Here are a few tips to help you plan your trip to Seattle in the fall time.
Weather in Seattle in the Fall
The weather in Seattle in the fall is gorgeous. September brings many days in the 70s and even the 80s and gradually goes down to the 60s as the season continues. September in Seattle tends to be reasonably dry, and the rain doesn’t really start until October in Seattle (and even so, many Seattle October events are inside or covered).
There are also fewer crowds in the fall as tourists go back home and kids start school, which is one reason I love exploring Seattle in the autumn.
What to Pack for Seattle Fall Activities
Here are a few items to put on your packing list for the 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.
- Scarf: Keep your neck warm while staying stylish with a scarf.
- Boots: Wearing boots again is one of my favorite parts of fall, so these will pair perfectly with your outfit for any activity.
Where to Stay During Fall in Seattle
Need a hotel? Here are a few places to make your base during the autumn in Seattle.
- The Edgewater – In the era of rock’n’roll, every famous band that visited Seattle stayed 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)
- The 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 Hotel Monaco – 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)
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!