The Season of Cherry Blossoms is Coming to Seattle!

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The Quad in UW and the trees in full bloom

 

“Where would be the best place to enjoy cherry blossoms in Seattle and When?”

Spring in Seattle means sunnier, warmer days, cool breeze, refreshing air, clearer sky, longer days, but most importantly, cherry blossoms! Sadly, I won’t be able to enjoy the most beautiful season of the year in Seattle, but would love to introduce how to enjoy cherry blossoms in Seattle!

My personal recommendation for enjoying cherry blossoms is the University of Washington Seattle Campus (UW). The iconic cherry tress in the Quad begin to bloom from mid-late February. Last year, the tress reached full bloom as of March 11 and were expected to remain in full bloom until the rest of the week. (http://www.washington.edu/news/2016/02/26/2016-uw-cherry-blossom-watch-full-bloom-week-of-march-14/)

The Quad gets extremely busy and packed with crowds – a group of friends or family having picnic, taking naps and playing frisbee, dogs and puppies running around and couples dressed in wedding dress and tuxedo doing photoshoot – during weekends once the trees reach full bloom. They’re all beautiful scenes in spring and watching the scenes give me smile. Standing in a snow-storm of cherry blossoms when a light breeze hits makes me feel like I live in a fairy-tale world.

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The Quad in UW

It could be a bit challenging to take good pictures due to the amount of crowds, so here are my tips for how to get good pictures:

  • Visit the Quad early in the morning, or try weekdays, which is much less packed than weekends.
  • If possible, try to walk up to the 3rd or 4th floors of the buildings by the Quad, which would give you the chance to photograph the full angle of the Quad 🙂

There are more cherry trees throughout the campus, which usually have later blooming timing than in the Quad. Depending on which areas in campus is, the cherry trees remain in full bloom until the beginning of April.

While I was a student at UW, it’d been a such a joyful experience to watch the trees in buds to full bloom, which was a sign of telling me that winter was getting close to the end and spring was about to begin.

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Seattle Downtown

Not only does the Quad in UW have beautiful scenery, but downtown in Seattle gets prettier as well.

Hope this year brings awesome cherry blossoms to Seattle and everyone enjoy the flowers before they’re gone 🙂

 

*Please note that blooming timing varies each year. I can’t ensure how the cherry blossoms would look like now and will be this year. This is based on my experience last few years.

Holidays in Seattle!

 

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Winter in Seattle can be rainy but Seattle is beautifully dressed with christmas lighting and holiday spirits in winter. I’ve made the list for holiday attractions in Seattle today and hope everyone has happy holidays!

1. Holiday Carousel in Downtown Seattle

The whirling tradition of the holiday carousel returns in Westlake Park! Hurry and get on the carousel!

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2. Snowflake Lane in Bellevue

We can’t talk about holidays in Seattle without snowflake lane in Bellevue!!! and this is definitely my FAVORITE holiday tradition!

When I was living with my host family about 5 years ago, my host dad took me to the snowflake lane for the first time. Ever since then, this had become my holiday tradition 🙂 The performance brightens the holiday spirits even more. The holiday music, toy soldier drummers, glittering lights, characters from fairy tales, dance all accompanied by snow falling!

Snowflake Lane ends on the December 24th, so hurry up!

  • Snowflake Lane: At the Bellevue Collection, Nov.25- Dec.24 nightly at 7pm
  • Celebration Lane: At the Bellevue Collection, Dec. 26 – Dec. 31, nightly at 7pm
  • For more information: http://snowflakelane.com/

3. Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth is the Bavarian theme town in Washington State.

From Thankgiving through New Years Leavenworth dresses with millions of christmas lights and lighting ceremonies!

Getting to Leavenworth from Seattle might be hectic. It takes about 3-4 hours by car and the road would most likely get icy to Leavenworth. If you plan to stay over a night in Leavenworth, the accommodations, especially during weekends, get more expensive and packed with reservations. So what I did was to take a day trip with the local excursions called Sound Excursion. It basically includes, round-trip bus transportation from Seattle or Bellevue to Leavenworth, 5 hours of free time, some snacks and a staff to guide.

We really enjoyed the trip and the service since there was no need to drive for 6 hours (back and forth), wait for a parking spot and pay for a lodge. 5 hours in Leavenworth was enough for us to explore the town, grab a bite (the famous hot dog), shop and most importantly watch the tree lighting! If you’re someone like me, try a local excursions that provide a bus ride to Leavenworth!

Although the Christmas lighting ceremonies on the first three weekends of the month every Saturday and Sunday at 4:30pm, I believe the lights will stay on till New Years (or till January).

4. Holiday Ride The Ducks of Seattle

Tours will depart nightly starting at 5pm from Westlake Park, near the Holiday Carousel, at the 4th Avenue and Pine Street.

I’m not sure if the Holiday Ducks has been happening this winter… I went on about two years ago. This holiday version is a bit different from the regular ducks tour. The duck is surrounded by christmas lighting and decorations. The holiday ducks does not go to water but only stays on land, so the tour time is shorter and the ticket is cheaper.

For more information: http://www.ridetheducksofseattle.com/

The Elliott Bay Book Company

The Elliott Bay Book Company

Although you don’t like reading or even just looking at a book, you will love the Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle!

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I used to go to a bookstore, read and buy books, but now I buy books online more often since it is quicker and more convenient. Since I have some free time, I wanted to go to a bookstore and spend some time there, so I chose the Elliott Bay Book Company!

This two-story spacious bookstore with comfortable seats, which looks like old-fashioned bookstore, is a perfect place to spend a couple hours (or even a day!) with sitting around, browsing and reading books. Staff was friendly and there is a cafe called Little Oddfellow where you can grab coffee and snacks inside the bookstore.

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My favorite part of this bookstore is reviews of books by staff members. Not only does staff’s recommendations have great selections, but also the staff has written brief review about the books. I think this is so cute and friendly and reminds of me the beauty of analog times! We live in and with technology that makes it so easy for us to find reviews on the Internet. It is of course more convenient, but can’t beat those paper reviews written by staff members.

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I did purchase a book, “My Salinger Year” by Joanna Rakoff, which was on the staff’s recommendations. Loved the first couple chapters and can’t wait to finish it! 🙂

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Entrance

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