The allure of autumn in Bellevue is undeniable. As the leaves change and the air turns crisp, this city in the heart of Western Washington transforms into an idyllic haven for weekend retreats and spontaneous escapes. The vibrant tapestry of scarlet and golden hues, accompanied by the irresistible scent of seasonal treats, sets the backdrop for a thrilling lineup of Pacific Northwest festivals, making Bellevue the quintessential fall destination.

Mark your calendars for the first weekend of October (October 7-8). Bellevue showcases a trifecta of iconic Pacific Northwest festivities: The Northwest Chocolate Festival, Salmon Days, and The Jazz & Blues Music Series. This remarkable confluence offers attendees the chance to savor culinary delights, partake in regional traditions, and bask in the rhythm of local music—all within a span of two days. If you've been seeking the perfect moment to delve into Bellevue's essence, this weekend encapsulates it all.

Indulge at the Northwest Chocolate Festival

Where: Meydenbauer Center, Bellevue
When: October 7-8, 2023, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

  • Sample treats from 100+ global chocolate companies.
  • Workshops galore! 15 interactive daily sessions await.
  • Special Caribbean Showcase: Experience the flavors of ten distinct Caribbean chocolatiers.

A celebration of all things cacao, the Northwest Chocolate Festival is a chocolate lover’s dream come true. Dive deep into the world of chocolate, from bean to bar, and discover the intricate processes that turn simple cacao beans into the delectable treats we adore. Festival-goers will have the unique opportunity to meet with renowned chocolatiers, participate in tasting sessions that unveil the myriad flavors inherent in different cacao varieties, and even attend workshops detailing the art of chocolate-making. Furthermore, the festival promises an array of stalls, each offering a diverse range of chocolate products — from dark, rich truffles to creamy, melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate creations. It's not just about indulgence; it's about understanding and appreciating the craftsmanship, history, and passion that goes into every bite.

The Spirited Celebration of Issaquah Salmon Days

Where: Issaquah, WA
When: October 7 & 8th, 10am – 6pm

  • Revel in the theme: "Jammin' with the Salmon!" - a musical tribute stretching back four decades.
  • 300+ vendors of arts, crafts, and food beckon.
  • Dive into FREE family activities in the Field of Fun.
  • Let the adrenaline soar with the Dock Dogs' jumping contests.
  • Experience an exclusive music venue designed just for teens.

Salmon Days stands out as a cornerstone event, celebrating both the natural beauty and rich heritage of the region. Originating as a tribute to the salmon that make their annual migration through the region, this festival has grown exponentially over the years, now drawing thousands to its captivating blend of activities and attractions. Attendees can explore educational exhibits detailing the salmon's incredible journey, witness live fish in their natural habitats, and participate in interactive workshops designed to foster a deeper appreciation for this vital species and its role in the ecosystem. Complementing these informative elements, the festival also boasts a variety of craft booths, food vendors offering salmon-themed delicacies, and a lively parade showcasing local talents and community pride. Children and adults alike can indulge in a plethora of fun-filled activities, ensuring that Salmon Days offers something special for every visitor. It's not just a festival; it's a heartfelt tribute to the intertwining narratives of nature, culture, and community.

Groove at Bellevue's Jazz & Blues Music Series

Where: Bellevue, multiple venues including Meydenbauer Center Theatre
When: October 4-8, 2023

  • Stacy Jones: Feel the intense rhythm and blues from this award-winning Seattle singer-songwriter.
  • Pearl Django: Surrender to the enchanting rhythms of one of the most celebrated Hot Club style groups.
  • Gail Pettis: A former orthodontist, she now entrances audiences with her mesmerizing jazz vocals.

Surround yourself in the soothing and soulful sounds of the Jazz & Blues Music Series. This festival captures the heart and soul of the region's vibrant music scene, bringing together renowned local and international artists for a weekend of unforgettable performances. As the sultry notes of saxophones mingle with the rhythmic beats of drums and the deep tones of double basses, attendees are transported into a world of musical mastery. Beyond the main stage performances, intimate jam sessions take place in various corners of Bellevue, offering fans the chance to get up close and personal with their favorite artists. For newcomers to the genres, workshops and panel discussions delve into the rich histories of jazz and blues, their cultural significance, and their enduring appeal in today's music landscape. Whether you're a seasoned jazz enthusiast or someone just beginning their musical journey, the Jazz & Blues Music Series promises an auditory experience like no other.

See you in Bellevue!

Beyond the festivities, the city of Bellevue itself is an invitation. Marvel at the breathtaking views from Snoqualmie Falls, venture out on serene trails like Coal Creek Falls or Poo Poo Point, or simply take a meditative walk through the verdant Bellevue Botanical Gardens.

Hotels with world-class amenities, a culinary scene that promises a symphony of flavors, and a myriad of experiences waiting around every corner ensure that your memories of Bellevue won't just be lasting – they'll be legendary. This fall, let Bellevue be your story.