Article by Debbie Abbott
Updated by Visit Bellevue

The Pacific Northwest has a gift for you. Beautiful spring blooms.

This time of year, the bounty of Insta-worthy photo ops is, literally, blooming everywhere from the sea to the mountains. Only 15 minutes from Seattle, Bellevue’s central location is a vibrant homebase where daytrips abound. Spring is the perfect time for posing with peonies, and this list of favorite bloom locations is a great place to start.

Bellevue Botanical Garden

In the heart of Bellevue, Bellevue Botanical Garden holds an impressive 53 acres of showy seasonal plantings. Once a private residence, the original owners ensured that the grounds remain forever free and open to the public…every day, all year long.

Each spring, visitors view more than 50 different rhododendron varieties in full bloom in The Rhododendron Garden where displays are arranged alongside companion plants in order to demonstrate their use in landscape design. Developed to honor Bellevue’s relationship with sister city Yao Japan, The Yao Garden presents a blend of Pacific Rim influences: delicate maples beside Columbia River basalt, and the sweet and spicy scent of azaleas compliments the honeysuckle hints from white and pink viburnum shrubs.

Plan Your Visit

12001 Main St., Bellevue

Admission: Free

Hours: Dawn to dusk every day.


Cherry Blossoms at University of Washington, Seattle Campus

Mother Nature dictates when her trees bloom, but historically the community and visitors are welcomed onto the Seattle campus of the University of Washington between March and mid-April to see the iconic occurrence of cherry blossoms on the quad.

With nine varieties reaching their peak around the third week of March, the university’s 29 cherry trees disguise the students’ sidewalk routes through the grassy courtyard, transforming the standard landscape into a nearly ephemeral event.

Due to the enormous interest in seeing these magnificent trees, the UW website recommends taking the light rail to University District Station, or parking in the Padelford Parking or Central Parking garages on campus. Verify rates and availability before going at UW visitor parking.

Spring calendar booked up? Check out the live UW Quad and Cherry Blossoms webcam for a bird’s-eye view of the blooms wherever you may be.

Plan Your Visit

10 miles from Bellevue

Admission: Free

Season: March to mid-April

Parking: Permit/payment may be required


  • Visit Washington Park Arboretum in the UW Botanic Gardens, where 230 acres of dynamic plants envelope the senses; free and open daily from dawn to 8 p.m.
  • The U District Cherry Blossom Festival is a collective celebration featuring cherry and cherry blossom-themed food, drinks, and retail specials at local businesses

Woodland Park Zoo Rose Garden

Opened in 1924, the concept of providing a free, public rose display — of varieties suitable for the region’s climate — came to fruition in the form of the Woodland Park Zoo Rose Garden, 1.8 acres showcasing 150 kinds of roses. Located at the south entrance of the Woodland Park Zoo, the site now encompasses 2.5 acres and rewards visitors with 3,000 individual plants from 200 varieties.

Growing roses might sound intimidating, but rosarians are here to help. The Seattle Rose Society, an instrumental part of the garden’s inception, give free demonstrations on topics such as rose trimming, with tips on caring for roses, choosing the right tools, and proper pruning techniques.

Plan Your Visit

15 miles from Bellevue

750 N. 50th St., Seattle

Admission: Free

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to dusk every day

Parking: Check the zoo website for rates


  • Springtime wedding in your plans? The Rose Garden is available for private functions through Bramble & Wood Events.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

The Pacific Northwest climate helps produce 75% of tulips grown in the US — that’s an annual harvest of 20 million bulbs. Now imagine walking in fields where these blooms grow knee-high in rainbow rows. As gifts from the earth go, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is hard to top.

Designed as a driving tour, the event directs visitors to various fields throughout Skagit Valley. Many events and activities comprise the festival. During the month of April, the popularity of such splendor brings droves of enthusiasts to the area. Use the Tulip Festival Getting Here page for all the details you’ll need. Small and large group tours are available, and highly recommended. Or go your own speed by car or bicycle.

Plan Your Visit

62 miles from Bellevue

Flower fields of Mount Vernon

Admission: Ticket requirements vary by farm

Season & hours: April 1–30; hours vary by farm


La Conner Daffodil Festival

Skagit Valley is also home to the La Conner Daffodil Festival, a vast stage of daffodils, with the Dutch Master’s radiant yellow trumpet as star of the show. Crops of these beauties are never topped and are only rotated once every three years, whereas tulips are cut down and rotated each season. With 18 fields and the snowcapped backdrop of Mt. Baker, La Conner is a plein air painting come to life.

On Saturday, April 6th, 2024, the Grand Floral Parade celebrates the 91st year of the Daffodil Festival as it travels through four cities: Tacoma at 10:15 a.m., Puyallup at 12:45 p.m., Sumner at 2:30 p.m., and Orting at 5 p.m. Thousands of fresh-cut daffodils decorate elaborate floats, and marching bands provide lively interludes along the route.

Plan Your Visit

68 miles from Bellevue

La Conner fields

Admission: Tickets requirements vary by farm

Season & hours: March & April; hours vary by farm


Mt. Rainier National Park

Hundreds of wildflower species, from alpine asters to glacier lilies, carpet the slopes and surrounding terrain of Mt. Rainier National Park. Numerous trails and hikes make spring’s end a delightful time of year to relish a walk in the cool crisp air and colorful flora of America’s fifth national park, established in 1899.

Day hiking at Mt. Rainer is an activity for all ages and Trail of the Shadows provides a view of nature you’ll always remember. The loop trail is well-signed and accessed easily from the Longmire National Park Inn.

Plan Your Visit

84 miles from Bellevue

Admission: National Park Passes and fees vary; check rates and fee-free days before going.

Season: May & June