Parents, let’s face it: We love taking pictures of our kids. Photos fill up our phones, homes and social media accounts. There is no better time to snap that perfect picture for grandparents, the hallway wall collage or your Facebook banner than when your little blossoms are surrounded by an explosion of seasonal blooms. Here are six of the best places to photograph in Seattle and the surrounding area to do a little DIY photo shoot.
Table of Contents
- 1 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
- 2 University of Washington
- 3 Washington Park Arboretum
- 4 Bellevue Botanical Garden
- 5 Rose Garden at Woodlawn Park
- 6 Green Lake
- 7 Seattle Planning Guide
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Anyone from the Seattle area knows: the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is the crème de la crème for the botanical paparazzi.
Though it’s the farthest afield on this list (1.5 hour drive north of Seattle), it’s well worth it. Make a day of it, and by all means, bring out-of-town guests. With Technicolor fields set against a background of fields and mountains, this day trip is both budget-friendly and jaw dropping.
For more tips and ideas, check out these Tulip Festival tips and some tulip field fun.
University of Washington
The quad’s profusion of cherry blossom’s is its spring claim to fame, but a variety of trees bloom all over the campus in the spring. Check out this trees walking tour map for the full list.
Best of all, parking is a breeze… and free! Just drive to the campus entrance, buy a parking pass for the on-campus lots and if you leave within four hours, they’ll refund your parking fee in full.
Washington Park Arboretum
In the spring, wander the Arboretum paths northeast of the Japanese Garden to get your cherry blossom fix. That’s the free option. For a few bucks more (in spring and summer), you can find plenty of blooms and beautiful nature nooks in the Japanese Garden across the street.
For either destination, there’s usually parking just east or south of the Japanese Garden (though on weekends it’s obviously more difficult to snag a spot).
Bellevue Botanical Garden
Spring, summer or fall, the Bellevue Botanical Garden has a gorgeous array of wandering pathways through manicured glens, flower beds, waterfall crossings, stepping-stone creeks and more fun discoveries.
It’s free, and there’s plenty of free, convenient parking, making it a no-brainer for a picturesque afternoon of adventuring just a stone’s throw from Seattle.
Rose Garden at Woodlawn Park
Kids a little camera shy? Perhaps they’ll be more willing to cooperate with a trip to the zoo. That’s right. I’m not above a little parental bribery.
The Rose Garden at Woodlawn Park is a great free option, just east of the south zoo parking lot.
If you want a quicker, cheaper surprise than the zoo afterward, visit the hidden sensory garden at the back of the rose garden. Peppered with helpful plaques, it encourages little explorers to shake, listen, feel and see a fun selection of kid-friendly plants.
The cure-all for a little cabin fever? A sunny day walk around Green Lake. The flat, 2.8-mile path (with plenty of pit stops for romping and picture taking) makes this a popular destination when Seattle’s coveted sun comes out to play.
Near the lake’s Bathhouse Theater is a lovely little flower garden in bloom from spring through summer. Lots of blossoming trees line the path all around the lake, too. It’s a stunning destination in the fall as well, when the trees are ablaze with golds, reds, and oranges.
Seattle Planning Guide
Hotels in Seattle
- Inn at the Market: Top rated hotel right by iconic Pike Place Market. Free Wi-Fi, breakfast available.
- The Maxwell Hotel: Free Wi-Fi, bicycle rentals available, pool, pet-friendly
- The State Hotel: Family friendly (children activities on site), pet-friendly, free Wi-Fi
Looking for more? Search for a great deal on Booking.com!