Spring is a lovely time in Seattle with vibrant colors from lush green parks to trees bursting cherry blossoms, and colorful bulbs lining walkways to the deep jewel colors of the Puget Sound with skies to match. The Emerald’s premiere location at Second and Stewart places you in the center of downtown Seattle with Elliott Bay just steps away from your front door. It’s the perfect spot to begin any spring adventure. Whether you are looking to watch the blossoms unfold or celebrate them at an annual festival, take in some stunning views on the water or peddle along the Elliot Bay Trail enjoying the cool breeze of the Puget Sound, we’ve gathered a few springtime activities to enjoy moments from home.
Stroll through the Cherry Blossoms
The first Sakura trees arrived at the Port of Seattle from Japan in the early 20th century. Now they can be seen in many locations throughout the city showing off their fabulous bloom from late March through early April. Take it all in at the Seattle Center Cherry Blossom Festival with Taiko drumming, live dances and performances, arts and crafts, food, and more! Or make your way to Seward Park where the very first three Cherry Trees were planted in 1929, which were then followed by 3,500 more throughout Seattle in 1930. Visit Washington Park Arboretum’s Azalea Way to enjoy cherry trees blossoming along Azalea Way and explore 230 acres of gardens, including a Japanese Garden. The first pink buds appear on the trees in early March. By mid-March, the earliest varieties start blooming along the city streets. The peak bloom lasts for about two weeks from late March to early April. Then flowers fade, and green leaves begin to unfold. Probably the most spectacular flower display takes place on the campus of the University of Washington (Quad). Hundreds of blooming trees line pathways and complement strict gothic buildings, which makes the campus especially beautiful. There’s even a half marathon dedicated to the blossoms.
Make it a Daffodil Day at Pike Place Market
Celebrate the first day of spring on March 20 with small businesses, vendors and farmers at Pike Place Market. For the last 25 years, Pike Place Market has celebrated the arrival of spring with daffodils. This year, stop by the Market to pick up your free small bundle of daffodils to brighten your day and join in the celebration.
The Seattle Waterfront Calls for Whale Watching
Kicking off in April, spend a day with orcas, humpback, minke whales and an expert naturalist as you cruise through the waters of the Salish Sea aboard our high-speed San Juan Clipper vessel on a San Juans whale watching adventure. Cruise under historic Deception Pass Bridge and enjoy a stopover in charming Friday Harbor on San Juan Island following your time spotting whales. With the waterfront at your doorstep, it’d convenient to hop on a ferry, water taxi or embark on an adventure like this. The best time of the year for whale watching starts in spring, so don’t miss out!
Dine Out During Seattle Restaurant Week
The perfect way to sample some neighborhood flavor, Seattle Restaurant Week returns April 3-16 offering prix fixe dining opportunities that support the greater Seattle area’s culinary community while highlighting its craft, diversity, resilience, and great food. Neighborhood restaurants such as IL Bistro, Conversation, Maximilien and more provide creative meals for one, two, or for a group to share. Don’t miss out on this unique chance to support local restaurants during Seattle’s largest dining celebration.
Get Rolling: May is Bike Month
Seattle consistently makes it into the top tier of Bicycling magazine’s list of the Best Bike Cities in America. Looking for a 2.5-mile loop through the Washington Park Arboretum? Maybe a peddle along the Elliot Bay Trail? Explore these great bike rides for people of all skill sets, whether you want to cruise through a park or all the way to a different city.
The Flower Festival Blooms at Pike Place
Over 40 tents will line Pike Place featuring flower farmers from King, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties on May 7-8 with bouquets bursting with tulips, daffodils, irises, and the season’s favorite peonies. This annual tradition celebrates the amazing flowers that grow abundantly right here in the Pacific Northwest. Double the fun and bring Mom to the market for a fun-filled pre-day celebration on May 7 with live music, kids’ activities, pop-up murals, crafty sightings, craft demonstrations and more.
Raise a Glass at Seattle Beer Week
Join the greatest celebration of all things beer in Seattle as the Seattle Beer Week returns from May 13-21 for eleven days filled with craft beer events of all kinds. The festival is filled with exciting events including the Annual SBW Fun Run—a non-competitive mostly down-hill race through downtown. Fun prizes await participants at the finish with tasty Stout beers on draft at each stop of the race.
Watch it all Bloom at Washington Park Arboretum
The largest park in the Seattle area offers an amazing place to wander and watch spring in bloom. Walk the waterline trail, enjoy the plant life and make sure to stop by the 3.5 acre urban sanctuary, the Seattle Japanese Garden. Winding paths and benches invite you to view the garden slowly and mindfully, in all of its detail – stones, water, lanterns, bridges, buildings, plants and animals. Seasonal changes are constant, and every visit is refreshingly unique.
You Can Ferry There
Venturing out along the water is easy from our iconic downtown address. Hop on a ferry today and start exploring. Enjoy a ferry ride across Elliott Bay on the West Seattle Water Taxi from nearby Pier 50 and reserve your spot at Salty’s Seafood to catch a sunset with sweeping views of Elliott Bay and the Seattle city skyline. The Water Taxi docks in Seacrest Park in West Seattle with easy access to waterfront trails, Alki beach, fishing piers, restaurants, and shops along California Avenue. Another destination is Bainbridge Island. The Pacific Northwest beauty of a Bainbridge Island ferry ride from the middle of downtown Seattle is stunning, but the destination this ferry ride grants you is even better. This easy escape from the city offers up opportunity to unplug with scenic vistas, beautiful trails, ultra-local wine tasting, and outdoor adventures. From fine food to the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Photo Credit: Matt McDonald