30+ ways to celebrate spring in Seattle {and beyond}

There’s something about the first few sunny days of the year that make you start thinking spring, and you easily forget all about the months of grey and rain we just survived. For me, as soon as the calendar hits February, I’m already thinking ahead to all of our favorite destinations around the Seattle area and planning our spring fun as a family. This year, it’s still been rather cold and rainy, but we’re making an effort to hit up as many of our favorite Seattle haunts and road trips as we can whenever school schedules and activities allow. Despite the cold, we’ve had remarkably good weather for late winter, and it makes me so excited to celebrate spring in Seattle.

There’s so much to see and do during a Seattle spring, and now is a perfect time to start planning the next few months of activities as we ease into warmer weather. In just a few short weeks, the kids will be off on spring break around the Puget Sound and many of the local tourist attractions come back to life after winter hibernation. Spring may not be as glorious as a Seattle summer, but there’s still so much to see and do all within an hour or two from Seattle.

All that being said, do remember to check the specific schedules and availability of attractions and events you’d like to hit up, as they may vary seasonally. And, it is Seattle, so you should always be prepared for the possibility of rain, as springtime can still bring showers and will likely include at least some grey unless you’re planning for late spring/early summer.

So many ways to celebrate spring in Seattle

Seattle Waterfront – If you haven’t been to the Seattle waterfront recently, then you are in for a surprise. The last few years have brought so much new construction along the piers that you just might not even recognize it now. Park in any of the numerous parking garages near the waterfront and take a stroll along the piers, enjoying views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and the iconic city skyline. Don’t miss attractions like the Seattle Great Wheel and the Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe, a staple on the Seattle waterfront since 1899.

celebrate spring in Seattle

Seattle Aquarium – Perfect for a slightly rainy Seattle spring day with breaks from the rain that you can spend outside, the Seattle Aquarium is always a hit with the kids. With indoor and outdoor exhibits, you can visit in any weather.

Greenlake – If you’re in the Seattle area and haven’t fallen in love Greenlake, I would highly recommend a trip to the lake in the spring to walk around the lake and play at the ball fields and children’s park. Visit some of the local businesses and restaurants in Greenlake and just fall in love with the beauty of Seattle.

Greenlake silhouette

Pike Place Market – Explore Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market, where you can shop for fresh produce, flowers, and crafts while enjoying street performances. Yes, this is the market you’ve seen your whole life in pictures and movies. And, yes, they really do throw the fish. This may be one of Seattle’s most iconic tourist spots, but you should also know that it’s also where the locals shop for fresh produce and seafood as well as delicacies and flowers. But, the locals won’t be with the crowds on the weekends, they will stick to weekdays unless it’s a market emergency. Note: it’s Pike Place Market, and definitely not Pike’s Place Market. Nothing will have you sticking out like a tourist faster than having Pike claim the market. Trust me.

Woodland Park Zoo is beautiful in any season, but especially fun when the spring babies are born. We love our zoo so much and have been members for years now, and at this point I can’t imagine not having a membership. We don’t always spend whole days here since we have the luxury of visiting whenever we want, but we love popping in for a few hours a few times a month and doing one or two full days. Visit Woodland Park Zoo and enjoy the gardens, the petting zoo, the resident animals, or visit during an event for activities and more.


Carkeek Park – Whether you are looking for a quick walk or a legitimate hike ending at the beach, Carkeek Park has it all. You can park up above and really enjoy the hiking trails, or you can park in the lower lot with quick beach access. It’s gorgeous at every turn, and a crowd pleaser for the whole family.

Discovery Park – Just like Carkeek Park, Discovery Park is a beautiful walk or hike with beach access. Located in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood, Discovery Park is the largest park in the city and is built around the old Fort Lawton. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take the 2.8 mile long Discovery Park Loop Trail that has an elevation change of just 140 feet. It passes through both forest and open meadows, offers extensive views, and can be hiked or jogged year-round.

Discovery Park Seattle

Dick’s Burgers – While you’re out exploring, you should make a stop at one of the many iconic Dick’s Drive In locations. With so many locations around the Puget Sound area you are bound to find a Dick’s Drive In along your journey.

Cherry Blossoms at the University of Washington – If you’re in Seattle, the best cherry blossoms are at the University of Washington campus. Visit the Quad {the northeast area of the main campus, officially called the Liberal Arts Quadrangle} in late March through April to see these amazing blooms. The stunning blossom display is thanks to the 31 Yoshino cherry trees that are over 85 years old. You can watch the live UW Quad Cherry Blossom Cam to see where they are in the blooming process to plan your trip.

Seattle Cherry Blossoms

Gorgeous flowers in Washington There are tons of beautiful gardens in Seattle, ranging from neighborhood parks to city parks and walkways. Our favorites are the Arboretum, and the Seattle Center grounds for seeing spring blooms, but you should also check out the Seattle Japanese Garden or the Bellevue Botanical Garden to admire the spring blooms and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.

Seattle Flowers

Biking – We’ve set a goal of biking as a family at least once a week from spring to fall, and exploring the local trails into neighboring cities. We especially love the Burke-Gilman trail that runs from Kenmore to Seattle, the Centennial Trail in Snohomish, or the Interurban Trail that goes from Everett to Lynnwood. Biking in Seattle is such a great way to take in all the spring beauty at a much slower pace while exercising and bonding as a family.

bike picnic

Festivals and Events – Check out springtime festivals and events happening in Seattle, such as the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival, Northwest Folklife Festival, or the Seattle International Film Festival {SIFF}.

Fremont – One of our favorite Sunday destinations is Fremont in Seattle so we can visit the year-round Fremont Sunday Market. With handmade artisans, vintage finds, a flea market, and food trucks galore, it’s got something for everyone. The market is right along the Burke-Gilman trail which makes it easy to bike to as a family, or to take a walk by the river after the market.

celebrate spring in Seattle

Beaches everywhere – With water in every single direction, Seattle has more than its share of amazing beaches. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but no matter where you choose on the map, you’re certain of a gorgeous view and some laid-back fun. Some of our top picks are Golden Gardens park, Alki Beach, Greenlake, Richmond Beach, and Edmonds Beach.

Seattle Beaches

Boating – Don’t have your own boat? Then rent one! You can rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard and explore the waterways around Seattle, including Lake Union and Lake Washington. If you have a stand-up paddleboard you’re bringing along, I recommend sticking to smaller lakes around the area {and there are a ton!} to avoid turbulence and wind.

Visit Museums – Visit some of Seattle’s beloved museums, such as the Museum of Pop Culture {MoPOP} that has interactive exhibits and so much to see and do, the Seattle Art Museum {SAM}, The Burke Musuem, or the Museum of History & Industry {MOHAI} amongst others.

Seattle ferry adventure – Even if you’re just walking on the ferry to go get ice cream on one of the islands or for the fun of riding over, we love a good ferry ride. A few times each summer, we will grab food from Ivar’s and hop on the ferry to Whidbey Island to visit the beach for a bit. We call it a dinner cruise, but all joking aside, it’s probably one of our favorite ways to spend a lazy weeknight in Seattle while feeling like you went on a real adventure.

Seattle ferry adventure

Seattle Center – Whether you are visiting for an event or just enjoying walking around the base of the Space Needle, the Seattle Center is always a good time. You can take young kids to the Children’s Museum, catch a live production, visit the Pacific Science Center or MoPop, or you take a trip up the Space Needle, there’s always a ton to do. If you want some all-day fun, you can hop on the Monorail at the Center House Armory and ride to downtown Seattle for shopping and events.

Hiking and trails – If you’re looking to get active and explore some of the most beautiful parts of Seattle, you will want to explore the numerous hiking trails in and around the Seattle area. Most of the trails within the city are flat and well-maintained, urban walks, but if you travel a bit north, east, or south to any of the many mountains in the area, you will find some of the best hiking in the country. If you want to stay within the city, check out Washington Park Arboretum, Elliott Bay Trail, or the Burke-Gilman Trail.

Want even more fun and are willing to travel a bit to find it? Well, then you will want to pack your bags for a road trip. There are so many amazing towns around Seattle that all have their own special appeal and totally different feel, all while still having Seattle’s laid-back vibe.

Seattle road trip spring fun

Want even more fun and are willing to travel a bit to find it? Well, then you will want to pack your bags for a road trip. There are so many amazing towns around Seattle that all have their own special appeal and totally different feel, all while still having Seattle’s laid-back vibe. If you’re looking for a road trip or day trip, these are our favorite spring drives and destinations to celebrate spring in Seattle {and beyond}:

  1. Anacortes – Just about an hour and a half drive from Seattle is the gorgeous town of Anacortes, WA. The town has an awesomely laid-back island vibe with a historical downtown area, hikes and trails, a cute little ferry that goes to the San Juans {another must-see in the Seattle area}, and events year-round. If you are looking for an awesome Seattle road trip, check out Anacortes and maybe even swing into the tulip or daffodil fields for a photo op on the way there. Be sure to visit the Anacortes Farmers Market that will be starting up soon and our favorite hike, Cap Santes.Anacortes aerial
  2. La Conner – Situated on the delta near the mouth of the Skagit River, La Conner, WA was founded in the early 1860’s and is Skagit County’s oldest community. It still has many ties to its early years and has all the charm of an old town, but with updated amenities and attractions that make it a family favorite.
  3. Snoqualmie – Just 28 miles east of Seattle lies beautiful Snoqualmie, WA in the shadow of Mount Si. The crown jewel of the town is Snoqualmie Falls, and it’s glorious in any season, and incredibly easy to get to with or without a hike. It is also home to the Northwest Railway Museum and has a picturesque main street that has lots of fun places you might recognize if you love the show Twin Peaks.
  4. Chelan – Every year since I was little, my whole family has trekked over the mountains to enjoy some quality time in one of our very favorite Washington vacations. With an average of 300 days of sunshine {!!}, a gorgeous lake, water sports galore, a fun downtown, and one of the best sandy beaches in Washington, it’s hard to beat a visit to Chelan in springtime.Chelan WA
  5. Tacoma – A quick ride from Seattle, Tacoma has undergone quite the restoration in the past decade. With a fun and swanky downtown area, parks to play at, and some awesome museums to visit, Tacoma makes a fun and easy spring getaway with the family. We love the LeMay Car Museum in Tacoma and then walking the downtown area, but there are tons of other activities as well that are perfect for spring.
  6. Skagit Valley Tulip Festival If you’re looking for Washington’s famous tulip fields, you’re going to want to visit Skagit Valley during the annual tulip festival. Each spring, the farms in the Skagit Valley put on the most awesome displays of blooms, and many farms even have activities for the kids, local markets, photo ops, and so much more.Skagit tulips
  7. Great Wolf Lodge – If your time off coincides with particularly rainy weather, you might want to check out Great Wolf Lodge and see how awesome it is to visit Great Wolf Lodge during the off-season. It’s a great way to bond as a family and escape the rain while enjoying some waterpark fun.
  8. Olympic National Park – If you have a long weekend or can take a week off, I highly recommend Olympic National Park. With so many things to do in and around the park, I had a hard time limiting myself to just 20 favorites at Olympic National Park for one of my favorite posts we’ve ever put together. Spring is much less busy than summer and you can still get some off-season rates to make the trip even less expensive. Camping might be a bit of a gamble unless it’s particularly dry and sunny, but there are numerous lodges and cabins in the park that are incredibly fun and have amazing perks like hot spring admissions and onsite restaurants.Olympic National Park
  9. Blaine – A few hours north of Seattle lies the little town of Blaine, WA and it’s definitely worth a visit {or three}. With a fun and updated downtown, a newer water front park, bikeable sidewalks, and the ever-amazing Peace Arch Park, it’s worth it to stop in for the day or plan an overnight if you can. Life is a little slower and better in Blaine, and it’s one of my favorite towns to visit when I need to relax.Blaine Peace Arch small
  10. Edmonds – Not far from Seattle is the quaint little town of Edmonds, WA that still maintained the small-town feel even with big cities on either side of it. Its most stunning feature is its beautiful beach that has walking trails, a dog park, and a majestic ferry that docks about every half hour. Get a scoop of ice cream and enjoy while you play at the beach and bask in the small-town life for a bit. If you’re looking for a little more lively stay, visit during the Edmonds Farmer’s Market and walk the historic downtown area, and then stay for the fun and hip nightlife.Edmonds WA ferry
  11. Vashon Island – There’s many reasons why Vashon – Maury Island is one of my favorite destinations around Seattle. It is less than an hour away {give or take, depending on ferries, etc} from the city, but it feels like worlds away with a much slower pace and very few crowds. Even though we are surrounded by islands in the Puget Sound, Vashon Island is one of the few places in Washington I have found that runs on “Island Time”. You may be able to see Seattle across the water during your visit, but while you’re there you are transported back to small town life and all the joys that come from slowing down your pace a bit.Vashon island deer
  12. Leavenworth – My friend described Leavenworth as experiencing a “real life snow globe” and I think that’s my favorite description of it, ever. This adorably charming faux Bavarian village is home to some of my most amazing childhood memories, and I’m so glad that 30+ years later it still looks basically the same, but with even more family fun. The Leavenworth Adventure Park is still fairly new, and we haven’t had a chance to try the Alpine Coaster yet, but all of our friends have been raving about it.
  13. Mt Vernon – Our visits to Mt Vernon usually center on a visit to the amazing Mount Vernon Co-op, but there are several other stores we’ve fallen in love with throughout the years in this fun little town up north. We love the farmer’s market, the awesome wall murals around town, and the parks in the area that come to life in the springtime. We typically plan a Mount Vernon, WA day well after the tulips have bloomed to avoid crowds, but you could always do tulips and town in the same day if you feel up to it.Mount-Vernon-hike
  14. Semiahmoo Resort – One of the most quintessential Washington destinations is the beautiful Semiahmoo resort. Surrounded by gorgeous scenery and beaches, it really doesn’t get much better than a stay at Semiahmoo. Visit during the spring and you will find that the pool opens early to accommodate off-season travelers. Be sure and check out the luxury spa onsite, the restaurants, and all the beach front property with a view of Canada and the Peace Arch Park from across the water. My kids thrive in their natural beach habitat, and I love the feel of “getting away from it all” even though we’re only a few hours from home, so Semiahmoo a few times a year is a must for me.Semiahmoo

What are your favorite destinations to celebrate spring in Seattle?

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