Seattle Garden Experience: 5 Favorites Show Off Their Autumn Wardrobe


It is no surprise that autumn is one of my favorite times to go visit the gardens around Seattle. Maples and other deciduous trees take over in this city more known for its evergreens, but really just bursting with reds, yellows and oranges once the weather turns cold.

Kubota Garden in south Seattle explodes into a torrent of color as soon as September moves into October. Explore hidden waterfalls, red bridges and a wonderland of trees you can fit into (but don’t, they frown upon that). Free to the public!

Washington Arboretum is one of the best places to catch Mother Nature in action as she changes out her wardrobe. The azaleas may be gone, but the maple walk is the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic while you soak in a little fall beauty. Free to the public! 

Seattle’s Japanese Garden, located in the Washington Arboretum gives you a glimpse at what a trip to Japan might offer in the cooler months. Say hello to the koi in the man-made pond or stroll the pathways as you soak in a little peace and serenity in what in my opinion is one of Seattle’s most beautifully designed gardens any time of the year. Entrance fee.

SSCC Arboretum is an unexpected escape in West Seattle that will have you wondering why you haven’t been there before. Each section of the garden highlights a different aspect of the northwest and beyond. As part of the landscape design program at the college you can be sure that you will be inspired to start your own fall color garden. Free to the public! $2 for all day parking pass.

Discovery Park offers up a little urban hiking, as the weather turns from sunny and warm to crisp and cool. Check out the buildings left over from the old Fort Lawton base, and hike down to the lighthouse to build your own fort out of the driftwood that has washed up on shore. On a clear day you’ll be treated to spectacular views of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountain range. Play hide and seek in the meadow, but watch out for bunnies and other critters. This is was their home first; you are just a guest.

Farther afield

Mount Rainier never disappoints as the meadow up at Paradise changes over from summer to fall. Red and orange burst forth making the perfect base for any photo of the Seattle area’s very own volcano. It is worth the 2-3 hour drive down to experience the mountain before the snow really starts to settle in. Fee to enter national park.

Do you have a favorite Seattle garden? What are your favorite spots to catch Mother Nature in the act as she sheds her summer shorts and throws on an autumn sweater? 

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Showing 3 comments
  • Kimberly, The Fur Mom

    I have two favorite places this time of year. Our yard. We live on 5 acres, surrounded by tall trees with turning leaves. It’s gorgeous. And my 2nd favorite is the beach.

    We have dogs and love roaming around, enjoying the scenery while we watch them play. It’s amazing that our dogs can walk through fallen leaves silently while I’m crunching away.


  • Lisa Wood

    I dont have a favorite Seattle Garden (only because I havent been there!) but I LOVE trees. Lately I have been watching the trees change (with the season) and I keep taking lots of photos of them. Not sure why but I have such a connection to them 🙂

    Love the look of the Japanese Gardens – gorgeous colours!

  • Adam Sommer

    I am a big fan of botanical gardens…I’ve been to Seattle a few times, but have not seen these.

    In nearby Victoria we did go to Buschart Gardens, which were amazing!

    Great photos btw!

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