Things To Do in Seattle This Fall: Your Weekend Guide

October 4, 2021

Our 3-days of things to do in Seattle will convince you that the Northwest’s gorgeous fall colors - can be just as impressive as the Northeast.

Coffee shops at every corner and art-lined streets mean delightful morning walks in the crisp fall air.

Stay in a vintage hotel, wander atop wooden boats, then ascend above the clouds with a hot air balloon ride to see it all from the sky. Our weekend guide of things to do in Seattle this fall can help you make the most of your Emerald City weekend.

Serene or Spooky?

Need some time to relax in nature and step away from the computer? Or are you craving a heart-throbbing spooky weekend?

Whether you want a Leisurely Weekend Getaway, Moderately-Paced Itinerary, or an Action-Packed Adventure, we've got your things to do in Seattle this fall covered!

family of two enjoying ferry boat ride in Seattle, Washington, USA with great city skyline view at sunset

Things to do in Seattle this Fall - Leisurely Getaway Weekend

Where to Sleep: Palihotel Seattle

Palihotel Seattle is a historical and whimsical hotel on the coast of Elliot Bay, this hotel is just a couple of minutes walking from Pike Place Market and Seattle Art Museum. Water views, rain showers, bunk beds, a pool, retro minifridges, and a vintage, stylish charm make this hotel a lovely and picturesque place to rest. 

Related Post: When is the Best Time to Visit Seattle?

Day One

Where to Go: 3 Hour City Tour

Get oriented with your surroundings and learn the significance of the sights you see by starting your trip with a 3 Hour City Tour hosted by a friendly local guide. Pick up some coffee-to-go from one of Seattle’s many trendy coffee shops and get to sightseeing! Option to arrange pick-up directly from your hotel. Here are some notable stops where you can hop off and explore further:

  • Downtown Seattle: Pike Place Market, Seattle Art Museum, Shopping District, and the world’s first Starbucks.
  • Pioneer Square and Stadium District: The area that used to be Seattle’s original downtown. Now a historic district filled with turn-of-the-century Romanesque architecture, art galleries, trendy restaurants, and Seahawks, Sounders, and Mariners’ sports stadiums.
  • International District and Waterfront:  Experience the multicultural identity of Seattle in this area that’s home to Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Cambodian, and Hmong communities. Stop by the aquarium, The Seattle Great Wheel, the historic Pier 57, and dine in some classic seafood restaurants.
  • Seattle Center & Queen Anne Hill:  Site of the 1962 World Fair and home of the Space Needle. Beautiful opportunity for a fall panoramic shot from Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill.
  • Ballard Locks & Fremont Neighborhood: Where the Pacific Ocean connects to the Union and Washington Lakes.  Great spot to watch boats and migrating salmon. In Freemont, enjoy outdoor art and hippie vibes.

Day Two

Where to Get Some Nature Time: Green Lake Park

Take a walk around the lake (2.8 mi) at Green Lake Park and see hundreds of species of plants and birds. Or, rent a rowboat or kayak at the Greenlake Boathouse. Either way, you’re guaranteed a blissful morning with stunning views of fall foliage in Seattle.

Related Post: Current Events and Festivals in Seattle, Washington

Where to Have Afternoon Adventure: Seattle Locks Cruise

Hop on one of the Seattle Locks Cruise boats you saw from shore yesterday. Head to Pier 55 to start the cruise. Witness the transition from salt water to freshwater as you pass through the locks; point out the large fishing vessels and seaplanes to your little ones; learn some fun facts; marvel at floating homes and historical bridges; admire the Seattle skyline. When you dock, explore South Lake Union and the Center for Wooden Boats museum.

Where to Eat: Lunchbox Lab Burgers, Shakes, and Bar

After a day of learning and exploring like a child, take a 15-minute walk from the Center for Wooden Boats and refuel like a child in this fun and industrial space serving childhood favorites at Lunchbox Lab Burgers, Shakes, and Bar.

Related Post: 13 Romantic Things to Do in Seattle That’ll Make You Swoon

Day Three

Where to Connect with Nature: Kubota Garden

Vibrant shades of pink, red, yellow, and orange make for a stunning fall season in this 20-acre historic Japanese garden. Follow a winding path between streams, waterfalls, ponds, and rock formations and allow yourself to be awe-struck at Kubota Garden. A 15-minute drive from Seattle.

Where to Eat: Geraldine’s Counter Restaurant

Just ten minutes north of the Kubota Garden, stop by this kid-friendly diner with colorful plates and hearty breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

Related Post: Seattle Outdoor Activities: 9 of the Most Epic Adventures

Where to Have An Experience of a Lifetime: Seattle Ballooning

Say goodbye to Seattle with a peaceful yet exhilarating, family-friendly yet romantic, sunrise or sunset adventure with Seattle Ballooning. Float over Seattle in a hot air balloon and see the Space Needle, Mt. Rainier, and the Cascades from an unforgettable vantage point. Hold onto your kids, sip champagne, and melt croissants in your mouth. Take a mental snapshot and save it forever! Allot 3 hours.

Things to do in Seattle this Fall Moderately-Paced Itinerary

Where to Sleep: Palihotel Seattle

Palihotel Seattle is a historical and whimsical hotel on the coast of Elliot Bay, this hotel is just a couple of minutes walking from Pike Place Market and Seattle Art Museum. Water views, rain showers, bunk beds, a pool, retro minifridges, and a vintage, stylish charm make this hotel a lovely and picturesque place to rest. 

crowd gathered at the public market farmers market during winter with christmas trees in Seattle, Washington, USA

Day One

Where to Go: 3 Hour City Tour

Get oriented with your surroundings and learn the significance of the sights you see by starting your trip with a 3 Hour City Tour hosted by a friendly local guide.

Related Post: 16 Fun Things to Do in Seattle with Kids: A Parent’s Guide

Pick up some coffee-to-go from one of Seattle’s many trendy coffee shops and get to sightseeing! Option to arrange pick-up directly from your hotel. Here are some notable stops where you can hop off and explore further:

  • Downtown Seattle: Pike Place Market, Seattle Art Museum, Shopping District, and the world’s first Starbucks.
  • Pioneer Square and Stadium District: The area that used to be Seattle’s original downtown. Now a historic district filled with turn-of-the-century Romanesque architecture, art galleries, trendy restaurants, and Seahawks, Sounders, and Mariners’ sports stadiums.
  • International District and Waterfront:  Experience the multicultural identity of Seattle in this area that’s home to Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Cambodian, and Hmong communities. Stop by the aquarium, Ferris wheel, the historic pier, and dine in some classic seafood restaurants.
  • Seattle Center & Queen Anne View Point:  Site of the 1962 World Fair and home of the Space Needle. Beautiful opportunity for a fall panoramic shot from Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill.
  • Ballard Locks & Fremont Neighborhood: Where the Pacific Ocean connects to the Union and Washington Lakes.  Great spot to watch boats and migrating salmon. In Freemont, enjoy outdoor art and hippie vibes.

Day Two

Where to Go: San Juan Island

Drive up to Anacortes, then ride a ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Cruise through the San Juan islands and watch the horizons for signs of orcas, humpback whales, seals, eagles, sea lions, and porpoises. Let the kids leaf through some of the children’s books on board and enjoy the wonderful views and priceless insights into marine life.

Related Post: What are the Top Things to Do in Seattle When It Rains?

Where to Eat: Gianni's Ristorante Italiano

After a refreshing day on the water, stop by this warm and cozy restaurant about halfway on your drive back to Seattle, close to the highway. Enjoy great comfort foods like pasta and pizza in a family-friendly, rustic Italian atmosphere at Gianni's Ristorante Italiano.

Day Three

Where to Connect with Nature: Kubota Garden

Vibrant shades of pink, red, yellow, and orange make for a stunning fall season in this 20-acre historic Japanese garden. Follow a winding path between streams, waterfalls, ponds, and rock formations and allow yourself to be awe-struck at Kubota Garden. A 15-minute drive from Seattle.

Related Post: How to Make the Most of One Day in Seattle

Where to Eat: Geraldine’s Counter Restaurant

Just ten minutes north of the Kubota Garden, stop by this kid-friendly diner with colorful plates and hearty breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

Where to Have An Experience of a Lifetime: Seattle Ballooning

Say goodbye to Seattle with a peaceful yet exhilarating, family-friendly yet romantic, sunrise or sunset adventure with Seattle Ballooning. Float over Seattle in a hot air balloon and see the Space Needle, Mt. Rainier, and the Cascades from an unforgettable vantage point. Hold onto your kids, sip champagne, and melt croissants in your mouth. Take a mental snapshot and save it forever! Allot 3 hours.

Things to do in Seattle this Fall Action-Packed Adventure

Where to Sleep: Palihotel Seattle

Palihotel Seattle is a historical and whimsical hotel on the coast of Elliot Bay, this hotel is just a couple of minutes walking from Pike Place Market and Seattle Art Museum. Water views, rain showers, bunk beds, a pool, retro minifridges, and a vintage, stylish charm make this hotel a lovely and picturesque place to rest. 

Related Post: Top Attractions in Seattle, Washington

The Kerry Park shot again, at night this time. Shot about three hours after sunset under a full moon in Seattle, Washington, USA

Day One

Where to Grab a Cup of Coffee: Tougo Coffee

Warm up with coffee to-go at Tougo Coffee. Espresso, honey lattes, and warm baked goods are a lovely way to start your day.

Related Post: Hidden Gems in Seattle: 10 Secret Spots You Don’t Want to Miss

Where to Take A Walk: Seattle's Main Attractions

Hold on to your hot coffee and take a brisk morning walk encompassing all of Seattle’s main attractions. Start at Sky View Observatory and get a feel for the lay of the land. Cheaper and taller than the Space Needle, Sky View Observatory offers 360-degree panoramic views Seattle, Mt. Baker, Bellevue, the Cascade Mountains, Mt. Rainier, Elliot Bay, the Olympic Mountains, and the Space Needle.

After that, wander through Seattle and stop at these famous spots:

  • Central Library
  • Art Museum
  • Great Wheel
  • Seattle Aquarium
  • Pike Place Market: Visit the first Starbucks, built in 1971. Explore the local shops.  Wolf down some scrumptious fish and chips and clam chowder at the restaurant Tom Hanks frequented in Sleepless in Seattle—The Athenian Seafood and Restaurant Bar.
  • Space Needle
  • Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum of Pop Culture/Sci-Fi Museum and Hall of Fame

Where to Get Post-Dinner Drinks: Capitol Hill

Head to Capitol Hill for some quirky, eclectic Seattle nightlife. Start the night at Rhein Haus Seattle. When you’ve had your fill of German beer, bratwurst, and bocce ball, make your way to Unicorn, a colorful carnival-themed bar with arcades and a stage.

Related Post: Seattle After Dark: 13 of the Top Things to Do in Seattle at Night

Day Two

Where to Drink Wine Outdoors: Seattle Wine & Waterfall 

Can anyone think of a better way to welcome fall than snaking through the colorful Cascade Mountains, emerging from the trees to be stunned by a 268-foot waterfall, then sipping wine at a vineyard? Allot 8.5 hours for the Seattle Wine & Waterfall Tour.

Day Three

Where to Connect with Nature: Kubota Garden

Vibrant shades of pink, red, yellow, and orange make for a stunning fall season in this 20-acre historic Japanese garden. Follow a winding path between streams, waterfalls, ponds, and rock formations and allow yourself to be awe-struck at Kubota Garden. A 15-minute drive from Seattle.

Related Post: 19 of the Best Free Things to Do in Seattle

Where to Eat: Geraldine’s Counter Restaurant

Just ten minutes north of the Kubota Garden, stop by this kid-friendly diner with colorful plates and hearty breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

Where to Have An Experience of a Lifetime: Seattle Ballooning

Say goodbye to Seattle with a peaceful yet exhilarating, family-friendly yet romantic, sunrise or sunset adventure with Seattle Ballooning. Float over Seattle in a hot air balloon and see the Space Needle, Mt. Rainier, and the Cascades from an unforgettable vantage point. Hold onto your kids, sip champagne, and melt croissants in your mouth. Take a mental snapshot and save it forever! Allot 3 hours.

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