Where to see fall colors right now around the Sound and across the PNW

From Bellingham to the South Sound, the leaves are turning gold, orange and firey red. Here's where to catch the colors before everything fades to gray.

October 23, 2019
Fall foliage

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A lot of us can see beautiful fall colors every day -- on our commute, on a dog walk, or just running to the grocery store. But when you're on the way to something else, you probably don't take the time to really drink in the glorious scene that nature provides for us this time of year. So, what about being a little more intentional about it? How about taking a little drive somewhere with the sole purpose of feasting your eyes on the spectacle around us? 

But where to go? I found some great ideas, wherever you are around the Sound and no matter how near or far you're interested in driving:

  • The Best Places to See Fall Colors Around Seattle (& Beyond) is pretty Seattle- and East Side-centric, with a few longer excursions to Mt. Rainier and Leavenworth.  But if you're in Seattle and you don't feel like a major road trip, Kubota Garden, Discovery Park, Lincoln Park, and the Washington Park Arboretum should scratch the itch for starters.
  • Places to See Fall Color Around Here gives you lots of South Sound options, from Point Defiance Park and Wright Park in Tacoma to Tumwater Falls and the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge.
  • 8 Great Spots In Puget Sound To See Autumn Leaves Changing mentions the Green River Trail in Kent, the North Cascades Highway, and Pinnacle Peak Park in Enumclaw, where you can summit an old volcanic cone and take in the entire White River Valley and even a view of Mt. Rainier on a clear day. Breathtaking.
  • Best Bets for Autumn Color in Washington State mentions a Bellingham-area favorite, Chuckanut Drive -- often named by longtime Puget Sound people as the most beautiful drive in the Northwest.
  • And finally, if you're not intimidated by a more ambitious road trip, Best Places to See Fall Color in the Pacific Northwest sends you across Washington and into Oregon, Montana and Idaho for some more far-flung fall fireworks at places like Selkirk Loop (Idaho,) Beartooth Highway (Montana,) and the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge.

Enjoy it all while you can, and safe travels!