Mercer Slough Nature Park Bellevue Trails Crop

Those of us who live in the Northwest have a little secret: Even as we bask in our sun-soaked summer, we’re counting the days until fall. We keep it to ourselves because we don’t want to seem ungrateful—anticipating autumn while paddling Puget Sound feels a little like dreaming of dessert in the middle of a mouthwatering main course.

But fall serves up on a colorful platter all the things we love about our region: Football and fashion, food and drink, outdoor adventures and indoor performances. Pardon the pun, but if you’re going to “fall” in love with the Northwest, it’s likely to happen this season. Below is just a sampling of what’s taking place. For a full lineup, visit our events calendar.


12 MSFT bldgFall is a particularly bountiful time for sports enthusiasts, with football, soccer, baseball and women’s basketball all on the menu. Football fans (known locally as “12s”) flock to Century Link Field to watch the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, and tailgate at Husky Stadium hours before cheering on the UW Huskies.

Seattle Sounders FC will be battling to secure a spot in the MLS playoffs, and while the Seattle Mariners won’t be in a pennant race this year, their annual Oktoberfest game (Oct. 3) is always a fun way to wrap up the season at Safeco Field. Across town, the Seattle Storm will be closing out their season at Key Arena.RAMY_ASHOUR_POSTER  new PSA LOGO

The world’s best squash players will convene in Bellevue for the Men’s World Squash Championship on Nov. 13-22, the first time the prestigious international tournament has been held in the United States. In Seattle, the region’s fastest residents—and thousands of recreational runners—will participate in the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon.


Fashion Week 2012 Indie Designer Show Jami DavisAs we slip off our flip-flops and pull on our boots, we also hit the local malls and boutiques to shop for fall fashion. The signature event for the stylish among us is Fashion Week at the Bellevue Collection, which celebrates its 10th anniversary Sept. 23-27. Among the highlights is an appearance by designer, stylist and TV celebrity Rachel Zoe.




Wine Shot 2For local wineries, fall also heralds the most important event of the year: Crush, when grapes are harvested from the vineyard. Though exact dates vary from year to year, most wineries in nearby Woodinville celebrate with dozens of events and tours.





Bellevue Botanical Garden Fall 6 - Credit Kaitlyn BrajcichPerhaps more than any time of year, in fall, nature calls. Parks, trails and forests are bursting with colorful foliage, and cooler days make for comfortable hikes. Just steps from downtown, the Bellevue Botanical Garden offers the best view of the changing season, with free guided tours Saturdays and Sunday at 2 p.m. through October.


From top to bottom: Images courtesy of the City of Bellevue, (12’s Windows) Microsoft, PSA World Squash Championship, The Bellevue Collection, Purple Cafe & Wine Bar, (Bellevue Botanical Garden) Kaitlyn Brajcich