Cherry blossoms hold a special place in the hearts of many people for different reasons. During spring, these pink and white flowers transform landscapes, creating a breathtaking sight. Aside from their aesthetic beauty, cherry blossoms symbolize beauty and renewal while simultaneously signifying the ephemeral nature of life and the fleeting beauty of youth.
The timing of cherry blossoms can vary yearly, so it’s a good idea to check with local resources or websites that track their blooming predictions. Such resources can provide the most accurate and current information and help avoid disappointment, especially if planning a specific trip for the occasion.
Here are 11 popular places to find cherry blossoms in Seattle:
- The University of Washington Quad
- Washington Park Arboretum
- Seward Park
- Japanese Cultural and Community Center
- Kubota Garden
- Lake Washington Boulevard
- Jefferson Park
- Jim Ellis Freeway Park
- Cowen Park
- Green Lake Park
- Aloha St
Blooming Good Places to Find Cherry Blossoms in Seattle
If you’re looking for a sea of pink and white cherry blossoms in Seattle, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top places to check out when they start blooming:
1. The University of Washington Quad, UDistrict
University of Washington
The University of Washington Quad is undoubtedly one of Seattle’s most iconic spots to witness cherry blossoms. The campus is awash every spring with these gorgeous pink and white blossoms, but the quad is a particularly impressive sight. The square has 29 iconic Yoshino cherry trees, and you will see other varieties scattered in various locations across the campus.
Viewing the sea of blossoms against the backdrop of historical quads is nothing short of enchanting. Visitors can take leisurely strolls under the blooming trees and capture Instagram-worthy moments amidst the floral splendor.
The university has recently launched a Cherry Blossoms Visitors’ Page, allowing people to track the trees year-round and monitor the start of the blooming season. You can also check out the university’s live feed to see how the trees change with the seasons.
2. Washington Park Arboretum, Broadway, Capitol Hill
2300 Arboretum Drive E
The Washington Park Arboretum offers tranquility for nature enthusiasts and cherry blossom aficionados. This expansive botanical garden spans 230 acres of carefully curated plants and trees, many of which are the only ones in the Northwest.
The botanical gardens boast a variety of cherry trees, making it a prime destination for cherry blossom enthusiasts. As you meander through the winding paths, you’ll be able to admire each variety and its unique charm. For example, the blossoms of the cherry tree species vary subtly in their petal shape and hue.
The Arboretum’s website offers interesting articles about cherry trees. Topics include cherry tree profiles, more about their blossoms, and how they could be seen as a marker for noticing climate change.
3. Seward Park, South End
5900 Lake Washington Boulevard S
Seward Park is a public Seattle city park on a peninsula that juts into Lake Washington, creating a picturesque setting to admire cherry blossoms in season. The park features a mix of cherry tree species that bloom during the spring season.
While walking on the trails, visitors to the park can revel in the beauty of the cherry blossoms while enjoying the panoramic lake views and surrounding greenery. Seward Park is an ideal spot for a family picnic or a peaceful afternoon surrounded by nature’s wonders.
4. Japanese Cultural and Community Center, Atlantic
1414 S Weller Street
The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington (JCCCW) is another fantastic place to visit for cherry blossom appreciation. Cherry blossoms are synonymous with Japanese culture, and the center boasts a charming cherry tree grove that attracts many visitors in season. Here, you can indulge in the serenity of the surroundings and also learn about Japanese culture.
Every year, JCCCW and Seattle Center host the Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival. The festival is one of the many annual events in Seattle celebrating the city’s diverse cultures and demographics. The Cherry Blossom Festival is a vibrant event that celebrates the blooming cherry blossoms and showcases various aspects of Japanese culture, traditions, arts, and culinary delights.
5. Kubota Garden, Ranier Beach
9817 55th Avenue S
Kubota Garden is another must-visit destination for those seeking cherry blossoms in Seattle. This dog-friendly garden spans 20 acres and is maintained by the Kubota Foundation and Seattle Parks and Recreation. It is an ideal spot for photoshoots – with or without your pooches.
Kubota Garden is meticulously landscaped and features various cherry trees that come alive with blossoms in spring. The garden’s design is inspired by Japanese garden traditions, providing a serene ambiance and delightful retreat for those seeking solace amidst nature. The cherry blossoms offer a visual feast, especially with the garden’s lush greenery, ponds, and quaint bridges.
I want to note that this garden doesn’t have a huge amount of cherry trees, however, it’s definitely worth visiting in the spring!
6. Lake Washington Boulevard (near 31st Avenue S)
Lake Washington Boulevard S & S Grand Street
Lake Washington Boulevard was one of the first boulevards in Seattle to be paved more than 100 years ago, meaning the cherry trees along the way are very well established. Visitors can drive or take a leisurely walk along the boulevard to enjoy the sight and shade of a canopy of cherry blossoms, creating a natural pink and white tunnel, particularly near the intersection with 31st Ave S.
The scene is extraordinary during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset, when the sunlight filters through the petals, casting a warm glow on the surroundings.
7. Jefferson Park, Beacon Hill
3801 Beacon Avenue S
Jefferson Park is another gem in Seattle’s cherry blossom crown. In spring, the park’s cherry trees burst into bloom and transform the area into a dreamy landscape. Jefferson Park has ample space for picnics, sports activities, and relaxation.
These facilities make Jefferson Park an ideal spot for families, friends, and nature enthusiasts to enjoy outdoor recreational activities while basking in the beauty of cherry blossoms.
8. Jim Ellis Freeway Park, Downtown & First Hill
- Seneca Street
Freeway Park is a surprising oasis amidst the urban hustle and bustle that adds a touch of natural elegance to the cityscape. The 5.2-acre park is the largest in the area and lies between skyscrapers and urban infrastructure. The Freeway Park Association works with partners to arrange free programs and activities throughout the year, adding to its community appeal.
During the springtime, the park’s cherry blossoms create a serene atmosphere that offers respite to those seeking a moment of tranquility in the busy area. As you can imagine, the juxtaposition of soft pink cherry blossoms against the modern city backdrop makes Freeway Park a unique and enchanting destination for cherry blossom enthusiasts.
9. Cowen Park, Ravenna
5849 15th Avenue NE
Cowen Park is another charming locale in Seattle to appreciate cherry blossoms in a peaceful environment. The park has a mix of cherry trees that bloom in different hues of pink during spring, creating an intimate setting with a delightful ambiance for visitors.
Cowen Park has a softball field, pathways, picnic spots, and barbecue pits. It is also a popular place among locals and sunbathers to relax and spend time in nature.
10. Green Lake Park, Green Lake
7201 E Green Lake Drive N
Green Lake Park is one of the most popular public parks in Seattle, attracting thousands of visitors each day. The park is adorned with cherry trees that bloom along the lake’s perimeter and provide a captivating sight for visitors during spring.
Green Lake Park has a 2.9-mile pathway called the Green Lake Trail that meanders along the lake and the cherry trees. So those jogging, walking, or biking along the route can enjoy the delightful experience of soft cherry blossom petals drifting around them in the spring breeze.
The park offers much, including lifeguarded beaches, spray parks, wading pools, playgrounds, picnic spots, public toilets, and sports fields. Additionally, there are also launch sites for those keen on watersports or viewing the gorgeous cherry blossoms from a different vantage point.
11. Aloha St, Capitol Hill
21st Ave E & E Aloha St
This little area of Capitol Hill near the St. Joseph Catholic church is a great way to see many cherry blossoms without the crowd. While other spots on our list can get a bit crowded, this one stays pretty chill, so you can take your time enjoying it.
What makes this area great is the amount of cherry blossoms lining the street. It’s very picturesque! Once you’re done with photo taking, be sure to check out the Taurus and Ox restaurant, as it’s very close by.
Should You Pick Cherry Blossoms?
You’ll likely be captivated by the beauty and fragrance of the cherry blossoms you see in Seattle. But is it a good idea to pick fresh flowers from the trees? Picking cherry blossoms directly from trees, while not illegal, is discouraged for the following reasons:
- Picking blossoms straight from the tree can harm the overall health of the tree. This is because blooms are essential for the tree’s reproduction process. When you pick blossoms, you prevent the tree from producing fruit and seeds.
- Bees and other pollinators rely on the nectar from trees. By removing cherry blossoms, you’re disrupting the food chain and, consequently, the local ecosystems.
- Cherry blossoms bloom for a relatively short period, and picking them can shorten the blooming period. This means other visitors may not get to witness the beauty and magic of seeing cherry blossoms in full bloom.
Cherry blossoms enchant visitors with their symbolism and ephemeral beauty and are easily accessible to Seattleites and visitors to the Emerald City in spring. From university campuses and botanical gardens to urban parks and cultural centers, Seattle provides many opportunities to experience the magic of cherry blossoms.
As you embark on your floral adventure, you’ll be captivated by the blossoms’ charm and gain a deeper appreciation of the harmony between nature and the urban landscape in this vibrant seaside city.