Really excited to feature one of my best friends as a contributing writer on Elissandra & Co. I really admire her spontaneous nature and her ability to give it to you straight. Living with her impacted me so much and caused me to be more of a boss. She found herself back in Seattle, WA. My husband and I have visited her both in Fall and Summer and always trust her judgment from food to festivals, she has a plethora of knowledge and is always willing to share. Seattle is one of our favorite cities to visit, I find people always rave about how beautiful summers are and Fall and Winter are always given a bad rap. Ramona will enlighten you on why the Fall is her favorite season in Seattle and why you should visit now!
Seattle is known (or notorious) for one thing: rain. There is a secret beginning to be recognized about our summers though, they’re amazing! But now that people know about summers, they have become expensive and crowded. So how does a savvy traveler like yourself enjoy the best of the city while avoiding the depressing rainy season and the dreaded tourist season?
There is a little-known segment of time where this city is absolute magic. Fall is that time. Fall begins on exactly August 31st, it doesn’t want us to get spoiled and soft with too many beautiful summer days. It wants us cynical and scrappy just like out founders who built the city on gold rush miners and prostitution.
Traveling at this time can be risky because after August 31st occasionally Seattle weather decides to skip fall entirely and slide right into Emo Season (the Season of Sadness, Depression Interval, Winter of My Discontent, the Big Damp...perhaps you get my point here). But when fall happens, it is stunning. And there is so much to do!
So, here’s my Seattle Fall Vacation Guide: How to Fall in Love with Seattle. There’s plenty of play by play do this and that’s out there, but I’m a freewheeling kind of gal so I’m going to throw out some awesome and you can see what sticks.
Yes, that’s plural. As in, the Seattle area has MANY Oktoberfests. A city with an almost endless, bleak, grey winter founded on bathtub gin and scam artists is a city that drinks and knows how to drink. Oktoberfest is the cusp of winter and celebrates drinking. Sure, you may argue that there is some other point to Oktoberfest but, no one knows what that is so I’m skipping it. I stopped counting after 17, so for an exhaustive list of how to have a hangover click here:
Did I mention that Seattle likes to drink alcohol? Seattle also likes to make alcohol! There are no less than 1 million breweries in Seattle. Now that’s an approximate number, but I’m confident it’s close to accurate. Of those 1 million breweries every single one creates a pumpkin beer (pumpkin beer is Seattle’s pumpkin spice latte, you may be basic for drinking it, but everyone does so just do it and own your shame). I have personally tried and forgotten half of these and can recommend you try them and tell me what you think. (here)
If you decide to pry yourself off a barstool for your health and for the sake of the children you’ve left behind, maybe try to get out of town. Surprisingly, Seattle is surrounded by small farm agriculture. Is that a surprise? It was to me. They may be a bit of a seasonal cliché, but I adore pumpkin patches; crisp weather, scarves, hot cider, and kids picking out pumpkins is like a painting or Insta post that you thought was staged. Seriously, it’s so cute you could just die. Mumford-esq bands playing, corn mazes, wagon rides and vegi stands are just waiting for a chance to fool you into thinking that winter isn’t coming. For Insta-cute overload go to any of these.
Pretty much anywhere you go in the city you can catch some spectacular fall leaves. There are a couple of neighborhoods that deserves some special attention though.
The University District is the ultimate neighborhood to remind you of what an idiot you were in your teens and early 20’s. It’s a neighborhood unsteadily perched on a bedrock of Maruchan Ramen Noodles, patchouli and PBR. But it is also home to the University of Washington (I’m told I need to follow this with Go Huskies!) which is stunning and does not smell of at all of hormones and desperation, unlike the rest of the neighborhood. Definitely check out the main entrance to the school which is beautiful colors in fall and cherry blossoms in spring. And if you feel like reliving your teen angst take a walk down Greek Row, ignore the students and soak in the trees and buildings that make this area so special.
Discovery Park is another spot that deserves a visit, especially in the fall. One of the largest urban parks in America this one has everything you could need. Historic landmarks and history? Check. Old growth forests of pine and deciduous trees? Check. Rolling plains of long grass? Check. Seaside cliffs and sand dunes? Oh yeah, we got that too.
To explore far beyond the two I’ve mentioned check out this list of tried and true spots for family photos, engagements and general social media envy here.
Halloween in Seattle is a little bit like Oktoberfest, lots of creepy kids over-indulging. Now, there are plenty of places to take your actual children for actual trick-or-treating. It seems like I see fewer and fewer parents escorting their littles around neighborhoods knocking on doors, but many of the pumpkin patches, shopping centers, community centers and various other sorts of well-lit family friendly spots are opening up for candy Candy CANDY! But, Halloween is often when all the little ghosts and goblins seek out the not so well-lit areas. They sneak into alleys and fields to try to scare all of us. The dark and stormy night leads to dark and stormy drinks.
Depending on your idea of fun, there are some options: many of the pumpkin patches you went to earlier in the month transform into haunted mazes under the stars; the Halloween Pub Crawl is pretty much the best place to see awesome (adult) costumes and Georgetown Morgue is by far the best traditional haunted house experience. But my favorite, by far, is to go to actual (if you believe in that kind of thing) haunted places. Smith Tower and the Sorrento Hotel both host spooky events. Look it up and read the legend.
For a full month of ridiculously dreadful, fearsome events (and some odds and ends of other shenanigans) try this.
For a city built on grit and stupidly fierce stubbornness we here in Seattle really have hardscrabbled together a pretty special place. Come see what we’ve got for a couple days, but then go home because the traffic is improbably terrible when it rains.
Ramona Craft was raised in Southern California but has called Seattle home for the last 10 years. She works diligently to reign in her natural cynicism to find joy in the little things. She is a sometimes writer, sometimes photographer, full time dreamer of independent wealth and dog mom. Currently however, she works in Property Management. All photos are taken by herself and you can see her work here.