Best time to travel to Seattle

Cherry Blossom in Seattle

From the University of Washington campus to city parks the pink bloom is everywhere

Best time: late March–early April

Cherry Blossom
Cherry Blossom
Cherry Blossom
Cherry Blossom

The first sakura trees arrived at the Port of Seattle from Japan in the early 20th century. Now they can be seen in many locations throughout the city showing off their fabulous bloom from late March through early April. The first pink buds appear on the trees in early March. By mid-March, the earliest varieties start blooming along the city streets. The peak bloom lasts for about two weeks from late March to early April. Then flowers fade, and green leaves begin to unfold.

Best places to see cherry blossoms in Seattle

Probably the most spectacular flower display takes place on the campus of the University of Washington. Hundreds of blooming trees line pathways and complement strict gothic buildings, which makes the campus especially beautiful. Stop by the Liberal Arts Quadrangle, it has one of the most beautiful cherry blossom displays in the country.

Seattle is a very green city with several lakefront parks where cherry blossom is simply gorgeous. If you want to see the cherry blossom in all its glory, check out Green Lake Park, one of Seattle residents' favorite spots for a spring stroll. The 2.8-mile trail around the lake is very scenic and is excellent for running, biking, and skating. Washington Park Arboretum, Mount Baker Park and Seward Park also have alleys lined with blooming sakura trees and stunning views. Jefferson Park received several dozens of cherry trees from the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival Committee.

Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival

Every year, there is also The Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival taking place in the Seattle Center, at 305 Harrison St. The festival was initiated in 1976 with a gift of 1,000 cherry trees given to Seattle by Takeo Miki, the former Prime Minister of Japan. Thousands of people attend the festival to sit on the grass, eating a picnic and enjoying traditional Japanese music and dance performances.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Seattle to see the cherry blossoms in bloom?

From late March to early April, Seattle is the best location to observe the blooming cherry blossoms, with peak blooming lasting for about two weeks. The earliest trees show signs of budding in early March, with the earliest varieties fully blooming in the middle of March. After the two weeks, the cherry blossoms will start to fade, and tree leaves begin to bloom. Show more

Where are the best places to view cherry blossoms in Seattle aside from the University of Washington campus?

Seattle has many parks laced with sakura trees aside from the University of Washington campus, which has the most impressive flower display. Several parks boasting lush alleys of cherry blossoms include Green Lake Park, Washington Park Arboretum, Mount Baker Park, and Seward Park. Jefferson Park, another site to visit, has several dozens of cherry trees managed by the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival Committee. Show more

How long does the peak bloom of cherry blossoms last in Seattle?

The peak blooming period of cherry blossoms in Seattle is around two weeks, spanning from late March to early April. During this period, there are several places to enjoy the scenic beauty. After the peak bloom, the cherry blossoms' bright blooms start to fade, with green leaves unfolding in their stead. Show more

What is the history of cherry blossoms in Seattle?

In the early 20th century, the first sakura trees arrived in Seattle through the Port of Seattle. Since the trees were a sign of good friendship between Japan and Seattle, they were planted throughout the city's various locations. Then in 1976, Takeo Miki, a former Japanese Prime Minister, gifted 1,000 cherry trees to Seattle to mark the bicentennial of the United States. Ever since, these trees and others planted around Seattle have become a central part of Seattle's spring landscape. Show more

What can one expect at the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival?

The Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival is an annual event held in Seattle after Takeo Miki gave 1,000 cherry trees to Seattle in 1976. It takes place mainly in Seattle's Central District and showcases traditional Japanese performances like music and dance. People attend the festival in thousands to sit on the grass, enjoy a meal, and take in the view of cherry blossoms in bloom. Show more

Ask a question
Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin