The leaves they are a-changin’ -Bob Dylan, Fall, 1964 (not really). The Pacific Northwest is the perfect locale to observe the colors of fall. Here are some of the best spots to see the reds, yellows, and oranges of fall, combined with a warm-you-up meal.
Des Moines Beach Park & Wally’s Chowder House
Des Moines Beach Park is a great place for a picnic or a stroll along Puget Sound during the summer months, but don’t underestimate the beauty of the park during fall (or even winter). The cool, crisp air and the walking path through the dense forest along the Des Moines Creek Trail makes for a delightful autumn day. Just up the street from the park sits TripAdvisor’s #1 restaurant in all of Des Moines: Wally’s Chowder House. Don’t leave Des Moines without trying some of their rich, delicious clam chowder. Trust me on this, it’s even better on a cold day…
Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden & Sharp’s Roasthouse
The Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden is a hidden gem among hidden gems. It’s a quiet, peaceful oasis; something that you’d never expect to find in the land of parking lots and airplanes. Sooth your soul in the landscaped gardens and relax near the running waters of the artificial river. Find your Zen in the beautiful, Japanese Seike Garden, which may be even more beautiful in full, fall color. After your meditation session, head down the street to Sharp’s Roasthouse for a bowl of clam and smoked bacon chowder or oven roasted tomato soup.
Seahurst Park & Smarty Pants Garage
The drive to Seahurst Park is an experience in and of itself. The lush, green (or in this case, orange, red, & yellow) forest creates somewhat of a natural tunnel, which opens up to a beautiful scene on Puget Sound. Walk along the beach and enjoy a true #pnw sensation. You’ll see the Fauntleroy ferry shuttling passengers to and from Vashon Island, wildlife like the great blue heron, smell the salt and fresh water converge, and feel the cool breeze coming inland. When you’re ready to warm up, drive out to local favorite and motorcycle racing themed restaurant, Smarty Pants Garage. They’re known for their sandwiches (and they’re all amazing), but don’t underestimate their homemade soups, including their veggie and meat chilis. Delicious.
Fort Dent Park/Interurban Trail & Arashi Ramen
The former site of a Civil War-era military installation is now the destination for a leisurely stroll or a soccer match. Walk alongside the soccer fields of Starfire Sports and onward to the Interurban Trail, where you’ll cross bridges over the Green River and see plenty of fall color on your way. If you were to walk a couple miles, you might just find yourself at one of the international culinary hot spots of Seattle Southside, Arashi Ramen. The rich pork broth and thick noodles have been a staple of dining guides and itineraries for some time now. On a cold, fall day, you just can’t beat a bowl of authentic, Japanese ramen for lunch.