The 4 Best Spots for Fall Foliage in Washington State
Fall is a beloved time of year. The weather is cooling off, the leaves are changing colors, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and your power or gas bill is getting smaller — what’s not to love? Enjoy the breezy freedom of fall by taking in the foliage around Washington State. Here are the four best spots to appreciate the beauty of nature’s paintbrush.
If you’re located in or around Seattle, Discovery Park is a must-see. With 534 acres of gorgeous, colorful property on Magnolia Bluff, you’ll find no shortage of perfect, camera-ready views. Discovery Park includes wooded areas, sweeping meadows, sharp cliffs, and even sand dunes!
Peruse the landscapes or go on a hike through the trails totaling 11 miles of adventure. Children will gape at the gorgeous lighthouse and fascinating beach wildlife. Meanwhile, adults can enjoy a relaxing picnic on one of the countless picnic tables and grassy knolls. Just off exit 167 from Interstate 5, Discovery Park is the perfect place to spend a whole day or a quick lunch hour.
Columbia River Gorge
Want to head south? Be sure to check out Columbia River Gorge. Located along the Washington-Oregon state border, Columbia River Gorge is lined with impeccable scenery and plenty of outdoor activities to maximize your enjoyment. From the Seattle area, take I-5 south to I-205 (for just 10 miles) to WA-14 East. You’ll travel through the seam between Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest, with unreal views on both sides.
After about 12.5 miles on WA-14, you’ll reach Columbia River Gorge. Here you can enjoy hiking, biking, and plenty of picnic opportunities at various parks throughout the territory, including Beacon Rock State Park, Doug’s Beach State Park, and Spring Creek Hatchery State Park.
North Cascades National Park
If you’re in the northern part of the state (or want to be), head for North Cascades National Park. Just two hours northeast of Seattle, North Cascades National Park is home to stunning feats of natural and man-made engineering. The Skagit River Gorge is like a snapshot in time that shows jagged and broken rock formations decorated with gorgeous foliage. The Diablo Dam on the Skagit River and the Gorge Powerhouse at Newhalem bring together man and Mother Nature to give you impressive juxtapositions of vibrant fall foliage beside stark structures.
What’s better than combining sight-seeing and a festival? Head to Leavenworth this fall to take in the town’s annual Oktoberfest celebration while also getting to see some gorgeous fall foliage. Located about two hours east of Seattle on WA-2, Leavenworth is the perfect getaway destination. After your peaceful drive through the fall colors, you can take a horse-drawn carriage ride through town, frequent the farmer’s market, or grab a beer at the legendary Oktoberfest festivities.
For even more information on the very best local foliage around Washington State, call the Washington Fall Foliage Hotline at 800-354-4595. But even without a destination in mind, wandering around Washington State will surely grant you gorgeous views of the Northwest’s fabulous foliage throughout the autumn season.
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