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cherry blossoms Seattle

8 great places to see cherry blossoms around Seattle in the spring

Blossom's are budding and soon will bloom

Nothing says spring like cherry trees blossoming around the Seattle area.

You’ll find more than a thousand trees throughout the city donated to Seattle by Japan as a symbol of friendship.

Many are in public gardens, while others are landscaped throughout neighborhoods and nearby attractions. Along with other early spring bloomers like daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, plum trees, and magnolias, cherry blossoms begin to bud in late February and peak in March and early April.

Catch these white-flowered beauties before they’re gone! They typically have a three- to four-week window of blooms before their petals fall to the ground, creating spring “snow.”

Here are eight places for picture-perfect views of cherry blossoms all around town!

[ Another sign of spring: Family guide to Skagit Valley Tulip Festival ]

The University of Washington Quad

The Quad is the most popular gathering place to find blossoms.

The 90-year-old Yoshino variety of trees was a gift from Japan and is gorgeous. Rows of these trees line the rectangular pathway, usually crowded with people taking photos. Climbing isn’t allowed on the trees, but be sure to check out the awesome intertwined trunks of these beauties. Come early in the morning or late in the day for fewer crowds. Parking is available on 45th Street and 15th Avenue and other paid lots around campus. The path is stroller-friendly, but there are stairs to navigate, depending on how you enter the park. Bring a picnic and maybe some bubbles. There are benches to sit on and grass to lay out a blanket.

Trying to avoid crowds or have seasonal allergies that get irritated from flowers? UW broadcasts a  live stream of the Quad where you can take a peek at the grounds and see what it’s like on any given day.

UW also has a Twitter account and an Instagram account devoted to the cherry blossom. It’s a great place to follow for tree updates and any event information.

Address: University of Washington

Washington Park Arboretum

Visit this 230-acre garden park and stroll down Azalea Way (one of the main paths through the Arboretum). You’ll find rows of cherry blossoms, azaleas, dogwoods, and magnolias among the many blooms. The cherry trees here typically peak a couple of weeks after the trees at UW. Stop for a picnic lunch and enjoy the open grassy areas to play. Bring a scooter or bike to ride along the paved paths.

Limited parking is available at the Graham Visitors Center and the Japanese Garden

Address: 2300 Arboretum Drive E, Seattle 98112

Seattle Japanese Garden

What better place to see cherry blossoms than a garden setting devoted to Japanese heritage? The Seattle Japanese Garden is a 3.5-acre garden with winding paths encompassing a central pond. Blossoms are not grouped but are spotted among the landscape. The walk-through here is more of a peaceful, quiet experience. There are benches to sit and reflect on, but no food or drink is allowed. Children will have a wonderful time seeing the fish in the pond and walking the paths adorned with lanterns and bridges.

Walkups are welcome during the week, but reservations are highly recommended on weekends. (The park is closed on Monday.)

Address: 1075 Lake Washington Blvd E. Seattle, Washington 98112; parking is free

Admission: Adults 18-64: $8
Youths 6–17, Senior Adults 65+: $4
Children 0-5: Free

Seward Park

Seward Park has many of the cherry blossom trees that were gifted to Seattle in the 1900s. You don’t have to travel very far to find them: Some are located at the entrance at the circle garden. But don’t stop there. Take a walk around the 2.4-mile trail called Shore Loop. You’ll walk along the lake, viewing all the trees (cherry included), plants, and wildlife around the perimeter of the park. A great place for a picnic you can spread out on the green grass or find the small beach and explore the shore. On clear days you can see Mount Rainier. Be sure to stop at the playground and take a ride on the zip line. The park is stroller and bike-friendly.

Address: 5900 Lake Washington Blvd S, Seattle 98118

Parking is onsite

Seattle Center

Cherry blossoms can be spotted all around Seattle Center. Japan donated many of these trees, which have taken root over the past several decades. Join in on the fun at the Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival in April and celebrate Japanese culture and Seattle’s historic connection with the country. Indulge in music, food, dance, and entertainment over this weekend-long event.

Address: 305 Harrison Street Seattle 98109

Festival dates: April 12-14, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Kobe Terrace

On the International District’s northeast edge, Mt. Fuji cherry trees line the paths along the terraced hillside. The trees and the 200-ton stone lantern on the hill are gifts from the people of Seattle’s sister city of Kobe, Japan.

Visit the lower part of Kobe Terrace, where you will find the Danny Woo Community Garden. The garden contains small plots of veggies and herbs, tended by the community.
Stairs connect the upper and lower parts of this park and it is best to carry little ones in a pack.

Other great viewing spots

The path around Green Lake is dotted with cherry trees shedding their white-pink petals along the 2.8 inner loop path every spring. Jefferson Park is another great viewing spot: the park was gifted 25 young cherry trees in 2012.

Address: 650 S. Main St., Seattle 98104

Green Lake Park

Green Lake Park is popular for families to walk around the lake. Play “I Spy” to try and find the cherry blossoms. Snuggled between Northwest native trees, cherry trees are incorporated into the landscape. Take the Green Lake Park tree walk for a more informative park tour. Use the map to discover all the different species of plants (hint: Look for the species name, Prunus, located west of the bathhouse).

Stay and play awhile in the water, sand, or the 2.8-mile paved path. Be careful of runners and other bikers if you choose to scoot along this trail or are beginning to learn on a two-wheeler. Take a rest by the lake: Picnic and play on the lawn.

Address: 7201 E Green Lake Drive N Seattle 98115

Jefferson Park

Jefferson Park received a gift of 25 young cherry trees in 2012, planted in various locations around the park. Explore the sixth-largest park in Seattle, find these trees, and stay a while to check out the skate park, the playground, the golf course, and the open field to play catch or fly a kite. Picnic at the tables and enjoy a lazy spring day.

Address: 3801 Beacon Ave S. Seattle 98108

Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival

Celebrating our life-long relationship with Japan, the Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival will take place from April 12-14 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Armory Food and Event Hall and Fisher Pavilion. Featuring children’s activities, kimono dresses and so much more. You won’t want to miss this immersive cultural experience.

Check out a Seattle neighborhood or your own!

You may not have to travel far to see a blooming cherry tree. There could be a few lining the streets of your very own neighborhood! Take a walk around and look for trees with white, light pink, and, depending on the species, yellow oval-shaped petals. The petals of a cherry blossom have a split at the ends. Take a look at the trunk of the tree: There will be horizontal lines running across it. See how many you can find!

More spring fun in Seattle’s Child

Tips to for a day at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 

Plant these for a bountiful garden

About the Author

Jasmin Thankachen

Jasmin is the Associate Publisher at Seattle's Child and an Eastside mom of two boys. She enjoys parenting with lots of love and laughter. Co-Founder of PopUp StoryWalk, she also loves children's picture books, essay writing, and community stories.