Cherry-blossom season in Seattle is a colorful signal that Spring has arrived. Here are some great places to go see the blossoms, but hurry to catch this brief burst of beauty. Thanks to Coldwell Banker Bain for putting together this list! Oh, and my favorite? Definitely the Quad at the University of Washington. While you’re there, walk around to the fountain and catch the view of “the mountain.”
The delicate and beautiful cherry blossom has such significance in Japanese lore that it’s considered the country’s unofficial national flower. During springtime, you can enjoy the glory of this stunning flower on this side of the Pacific. Here are the best places to view cherry blossoms around Seattle homes for sale.
- Washington Park Arboretum – 2300 Arboretum Dr. E., Seattle, WA 98112
With 230 acres along the shores of Lake Washington, Washington Park Arboretum maintains a world-class collection of plants from more than 100 different countries. Many of them are gathered in thematic collections, such as the Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden. There is a Japanese Garden, but cherry blossoms are featured right on Azalea Way, a walkable path that also has the namesake flower along with dogwoods, magnolias, and other plants. Arboretum hours are dawn to dusk, and admission is free.
- Seward Park – 5900 Lake Washington Blvd. S., Seattle, WA 98118
Just minutes south of the Arboretum alongside Lake Washington sits Seward Park. At the park’s entrance, a circle garden showcases several cherry trees gifted to Seattle by Japan in the early 1900s. Since then, Japan has given Seattle additional cherry trees that are planted throughout the park. Enjoy the cherry blossom during a walk on the Shore Loop, a 2.4-mile trail around the park’s perimeters with additional views of Mt. Rainier and the lake. Seward Park is open daily from 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., and admission is free.
- Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival – Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109
From its modest beginnings at Seward Park in 1976, the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival expanded in size and popularity. Just two years later, the three-day festival moved to the Seattle Center in Queen Anne. Festival highlights include martial arts and flower arranging demonstrations, tea ceremonies, traditional Japanese music, kimono dress-up, and kids’ activities. The 2023 festival is scheduled for the weekend of April 14-16, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day. There is no charge for admission.
- Kobe Terrace – 650 S. Main St., Seattle, WA 98104
Kobe Terrace, a hillside tucked away in the International District, provides a delightful oasis of greenery in the heart of the city. The Mt. Fuji cherry trees adorning the grounds were a gift from the people of Kobe, Seattle’s sister city in Japan, for whom the park is named. Another gift from Kobe is the four-ton, 200-year-old Yukimidoro stone lantern seen on the hilltop. “Yukimidoro” translates to “view of the snow,” which is what visitors see atop Mt. Rainier in the distance. Kobe Terrace is the home of the Danny Woo Community Garden, where local residents plant and tend plots of flowers, vegetables, and herbs. Park hours are 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., and admission is free.
- Green Lake – 7201 E. Green Lake Dr. N., Seattle, WA 98115
Thanks to its tranquil setting and easy accessibility, people from all over Seattle flock to Green Lake. The 2.8-mile multi-use path that circles the lake is accented by the sight of cherry blossoms along the way. In fact, there are so many different species of trees around Green Lake that an online map has been created to identify them. For a different perspective, enjoy the view from the water in a kayak, canoe, or pedal boat. Green Lake is open 24/7, and there is no admission.
- The Quad – University of Washington, 1410 NE Campus Pkwy., Seattle, WA 98195
No guide to cherry blossom sightings in Seattle would be complete without mention of The Quad at the University of Washington. Many students and visitors alike have been drawn to the campus by stunning photos of the iconic Quad lined with cherry trees. Originally located in the Arboretum, which is co-managed by UW, the trees were transplanted to the campus in the 1960s to make way for the construction of the floating bridge across Lake Washington. If you’re not content to just look, sign up for the UW’s Seattle Cherry Blossom Run on the weekend of March 25-26. Shops and restaurants in the surrounding U District celebrate the spring blooms with their Cherry Blossom Festival, which is held concurrent with the run. Restaurants add cherry-themed items to theirmenus, and shops offer sale specials.
Urban attractions and natural beauty combine to make the Seattle area one of the best places to live in the United States.