Autumn on the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas is a delightful blend of unique sights, sounds, tastes, and smells—not only the pumpkin spice lattes, crunching leaves, and Friday night lights that nearly every area of the country experiences, but also the delights of the region such as more frequent ferry fog horns, the scent of seawater in the chilly breeze, and the glory of larches blooming on the mountainsides.
Whether you’re an outdoorsman or a crafter, a sports fan or a wine drinker, there’s much to delight in across Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap counties in the fall. Here are just a few of the events and activities to help plan your way to Thanksgiving:
Fairs & Festivals
Harvest Fair, Sept. 22, Bainbridge Island: Head to Johnson Farm on Bainbridge Island for the annual Harvest Fair, featuring hands-on activities such cider pressing, sheep sheering, and carriage rides, along with local food and music. Click here for details
Cider & Music, Chimacum: Nothing says fall quite like cider, and Finn River Farm & Cidery does it up right with events nearly every week. Along with a continual showcase of local music and cidery tours, enjoy activities such as philosophy talks, square dancing, and harvest dinners. Click here to browse events
Port Townsend Film Festival, Sept. 19-22: This little town comes alive for a weekend packed with documentaries, features, and shorts. Click here for details
Arts & Draughts Beer & Wine Festival, Sept. 20-21, Port Angeles: Local breweries, wineries, and cideries gather in downtown Port Angeles. Click here for details
Cider Swig/Greater Peninsula Cider Festival, Sept. 28, Gig Harbor: 100 regional ciders, plus live music, an apple pie contest, food, and family activities. Click here for more
Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival, Oct. 11-13, Port Angeles: Celebrate the region’s aquaculture, agriculture, and maritime traditions with food, art, and activities. Click here to learn more
Olympic Discovery Trail: Grab your bike and head to the Olympic Discovery Trail, a 130-mile non-motorized path from Port Townsend to La Push. Click here to plan your route
Tree gazing at Bloedel Reserve: Take a tour to view the Japanese maples in a fury of oranges and reds. Click here for visitor info
Pumpkin picking: Grab a gourd or wander through a corn maze. Try Creek House Farm, Port Orchard, Pheasant Fields Farm, Silverdale, Suyematsu Farms, Bainbridge Island, or Wilderbee Farm, Port Townsend.
Port Gamble Ghost Walk: Did you know that quaint Port Gamble has a paranormal past? This after-dark event tours some of the “active” homes in the town. Spine chills guaranteed! Click for details
Kitsap Haunted Fairgrounds: Ready to be zombie bait? They’re invading the Kitsap County Fairgrounds Fridays and Saturdays in October. Click for tickets
Spooky Walk, Oct. 26: The West Sound Wildlife Shelter sponsors this family-friendly event that explores Bainbridge Island’s Bloedel Reserve at night. Click here for details
The already-extraordinary Olympics come alive even more in the fall. Just be sure to pack your rain gear and check the weather before you go—snow comes early to some high-altitude trails.
For fall colors, Roots Rated recommends the Staircase Loop trail and the Hoh Rainforest, where color-changing maples contrast against the deep greens of the area’s characteristic moss.
Experience fall all along Lake Crescent, past Port Angeles. The Spruce Railroad Trail and Marymere Falls are two family-friendly walks.
October brings storms to the coast, so the Outdoor Society recommends checking out the Cape Flattery trail to watch the clouds roll in and the waves pound the stunning rocky outcrops.
For closer hikes with lots of variety, consider North Kitsap Heritage Park near Kingston or Port Gamble Forest Park, both of which offer a large network of trails so you never have to do the same hike twice.
Capture sweeping views before the snow arrives at Hurricane Ridge or head to the Sol Duc River to watch the salmon jumping in late September/early October.
Ready to experience Kitsap and Olympic living for yourself? Connect with us for a free consultation.