All that glitters is gold! And red and orange and copper! The fall colors have made it to the Pacific Northwest, as the local trees drop their leaves, but not before giving us a final treat. Nature’s annual show is here and we've got the spots to go.MoreLess
Bainbridge Island’s Bloedel Reserve is a natural kaleidoscope that seems to shimmer and shift before your eyes. No two visits are the same as the ever-changing landscape follows the seasons. Your family can explore the collection of 12 gardens, over 150 acres, for hours and discover diverse environments such as their award-winning Japanese Garden and their lush, green moss garden. Fall is a magical time at the Reserve. The larch trees change color and provide a perfect photographic backdrop.
Gig Harbor is a quintessential sailing town, like driving into an Impressionist painting of a New England cove. An ideal quick escape, the town charms with its small shops and kid-friendly activities, and its parks dazzle with deciduous delights. Take a lunch to the park and enjoy the autumn splendor al fresco. Hit up the Harbor General Store for sandwiches, old-fashioned ice cream at throwback prices, and adult bevvies.
Oregon’s Tualatin Valley is a rural paradise with vineyards, farms, rolling hills, and charming towns. The cornucopia of dense forest, farm-to-table-dining and locally produced wine and beer make it an easy weekend escape from the big city.
Port Townsend is an escape to another era with its preserved Victorian architecture and slow, sailboat-gazing lifestyle. It’s an enclave for artists, hipsters and hippies—a welcome mash-up of groovy and quirky. The town is fun to peruse and explore, but for fall leaves head straight to Fort Worden Historical State Park. Once a U.S. Army base, it became a beautiful getaway with camping, cafés and curving beaches after it was donated to the state.
The Olympic Peninsula is one big fall foliage tapestry. It’s hard to go wrong when the entire drive along the Elwha River between Highway 101 and the Olympic Park entrance is renowned for fall color explosions. From Hurricane Ridge, with its magnificent mile-high, 360-degree views, visitors can spy Mount Baker, Victoria BC, the San Juan Islands and what seems like millions of trees. Once on top, hiking trails and picnic spots are yours for the taking.
The Hoh Rain Forest is part of the Olympic National Park and requires a park pass to enter. The drive to the entrance is magical, conjuring images of woodland creatures and fairy tales. A variety of hikes inside the park suit even the tiniest hiking shoe (a three-year-old could crush the Mini Trail, which is 0.2 miles long and flat). The friendly rangers will assist with choosing the right trail for your group.
Seattle is known for its surprisingly diverse and welcoming parks. The fall season brings more surprises with our city parks’ foliage grand finale! The Arboretum’s Seattle Japanese Garden has a stunning collection of Japanese maples which produce a dramatic palette of reds and oranges to delight the entire family. Reserve tickets online ahead of time to enjoy fall colors here.