Five Fun Ways to Celebrate Spring in Seattle
As you might guess, Seattlites get pretty excited for spring sunshine and warmer temperatures. The Pacific Northwest offers some unique and fun ways to enjoy the onset of spring and make it an event. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, you can celebrate the brightness of spring with any or all of these nature excursions.
Take in the cherry blossoms
As well as being a treasured part of Japanese culture, cherry blossoms are a sure sign of spring in Seattle. For generations, the University of Washington Quad has been a popular site for cherry blossom viewing—and the bird’s eye view they offer with this outdoor webcam makes it easy to see why. There’s even a virtual tour that takes you around campus and explains the different cherry blossom varieties—it was created during the pandemic, but still offers a resource for creating your own walking tour.
However, there are plenty of other locations—maybe even your own street!—where you can wander among these signs of early spring. The Seattle Department of Transportation maintains this interactive map of trees across the city: under the ‘Street Trees’ tab, and then ‘Trees by Type’, you’ll look for the Prunus (cherry/plum) varieties. But act fast, as the cherry blossom is glorious but brief—the season only lasts a couple of weeks, so take in the views while you can.
That glimpse of any native whale—humpback, gray, minke, or orca—at the water’s surface is always a thrill for PNW residents. We’re lucky to be close enough to their travel routes to even spot some of them from shore. With gray whales feeding earlier this year, orcas traveling from May to September, and wildlife more active, spring is a great time to book any of the whale-watching tour options through Puget Sound. (There’s even a guided kayak tour for more active watchers.)
In addition to the wonder of whale sightings, it’s a peaceful way to take in all the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, including the coasts of the San Juan islands and the cliffs of Deception Pass. It’s also an opportunity to appreciate the marine and avian wildlife around us, from great herons and bald eagles to harbor seals and porpoises. And if you’re looking to make a whole day of it, you can stop in the whale museum in Friday Harbor and learn more about the history and protection of these majestic marine residents.
Tour the tulips
It’s a bit of a drive from Seattle, but the beauty of the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival has become a spring tradition for Washingtonians. With millions of tulips spanning the colors of the rainbow, it’s a celebration of both nature and spring. The two farms, Tulip Town and Roozengarde, offer a variety of priced tours for seeing the tulips from a walking tour, a trolley, or behind a camera lens. Many other guided tours include Pacific Northwest history and ways to enjoy the tulips with lunch, ice cream, and even geese! Whether you’re on the hunt for a rare variety or just there for the pictures, the tulips—and the islands and mountains of the Skagit Valley—are worth the trip.
Get your sea legs
For sailing and fishing enthusiasts, spring means it’s time to get on the water. The Center for Wooden Boats prides itself on being a “living museum” that doesn’t just hold museum exhibits on Seattle’s maritime history, but offers lessons on learning everything about building and sailing wooden boats. Hop in a free rowboat rental, charter a cruise on South Lake Union, or take a sailing lesson. The CWB’s free Sunday public sails, postponed during the pandemic restrictions, are scheduled to start back up again sometime this spring, so check back.
Enjoy a sunset view with dinner
The later sunsets and clearer skies of spring can make for some gorgeous dinner views. Grab a table at any of these local restaurants for some seriously picturesque dining.
Here at Era Living, we’re constantly thinking of resources and topics of interest to our residents and all seniors. If you’re interested in receiving some of our health and lifestyle tips and ideas, you can sign up for our blog. We hope that however you celebrate spring, it feels fresh and energizing!