The Best Annual Fall Festivals in Washington State

Fall is a great time for road trips and weekend getaways in Washington State. Much of September and October can be sunny and dry, making street fairs and outdoor events pleasant. A fun fall festival may be all the reason you need to plan that trip or weekend getaway. Here are some of Washington's best annual fairs and festivals that take place during September, October, and November.

 

  • 01 of 10
    Oktoberfest Northwest
    46137 via Flickr

    There is not one Oktoberfest in the state, but many! These fall-themed celebrations focus on food, fun, beer, games and more. Sometimes they're family-friendly, other times they are 21+ only. So no matter where you are in Washington State come late September or early October, check the local events and see if there's one near you. Oktoberfests of note include Leavenworth, where the entire town turns into one giant Oktoberfest for most of October; Fremont Oktoberfest in Seattle in late September (which also has family-friendly times and even dog-friendly days!); Oktoberfest Northwest at the Washington State Fairgrounds; and Spokane Oktoberfest.

  • 02 of 10
    Leavenworth

    Connie Coleman/Getty Images

     

    This long-running festival brings a grand parade complete with royalty and marching bands, food-related contests, children's activities, and live music to Leavenworth, a town worth visiting any time of year. And, of course, autumn leaves. To really get an eye-full of the autumn beauty in the area, head up into the mountains surrounding Leavenworth and take in some leaf peeping while you're there.

  • 03 of 10

    Head to sunny Eastern Washington to enjoy this harvest festival, where you'll be able to enjoy a harvest market, crafts booths, children's activities, beer and wine tastings, food booths, live music, and a fun run.

  • 04 of 10

    Fresh Hop Ale Festival 

    A whopping 75% of hops used to make beer in the US are grown in and around Yakima, Washington. This calls for a celebration! Yakima's Fresh Hop Ale Festival is one of the top 10 beer festivals in the country and celebrates all things beer and hop related. Enjoy some top-notch beer tasting along with local foods and beverages, as well as crafts booths and live entertainment.

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  • 05 of 10

    Spokane's Green Bluff farms and orchards host this apple harvest celebration, complete with fresh apple products like cider and baked goods, which are reason enough to come enjoy this one. Other festival fun includes mazes, crafts booths, kiddie train rides, a BBQ, and pumpkin picking. The Apple Festival fun takes place over several weekends in late September and October.

  • 06 of 10
    Washington State Spring Fair
    Kristin Kendle

    There are many county fairs that take place in Washington State in the autumn, and they're all good fun to attend, but the Washington State Fair is in a league of its own. It's one of the largest fairs in the country and brings with it tons of rides, animals, shows and headlining concerts, and fair food. There is so much going on that you might not know where to start, but it's a lot of fun to just show up and start wandering and see what you discover.

  • 07 of 10

    An artist studio tour is a fun way to drive country backroads and to discover new parts of Washington, as well as meet and learn from the artists of the region. Every October, Whatcom County artists and craftsman open their studios to the public during two weekends.

  • 08 of 10
    Dungeness Crab Festival

    Fabian Krause / EyeEm /Getty Images

     

    Much of what defines the Northwest shows up in fall festivals one way or another. Case and point - seafood in Port Angeles. The Olympic Peninsula community of Port Angeles celebrates the bounty of the sea each fall with crab feeds, chowder cookoffs, a grab-a-crab tank, and chef demonstrations. In addition to all the seafood, there are arts and crafts booths, a fun run, artist competitions, a wine and beer garden, and live entertainment.

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  • 09 of 10

    Tacoma has a long-running history of celebrating its arts scene during the fall. What used to be Art at Work became Tacoma Arts Month a few years ago, but still includes the studio tour for which it is most known. Meet the artists, see them at work in their studios, and learn about a variety of art forms from printmaking to pottery and beyond. Each studio has some sort of hands-on activity to try as well.

  • 10 of 10

    The Northwest Chocolate Festival

     

    If you love chocolate, there's no finer festival. The Northwest Chocolate Festival is nothing but chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. Chocolate producers from near and far offer tastes and chocolate for purchase. By the end of the day, you will not only have tried most likely more types of chocolate than you ever imagined existed, but you also will have learned a lot about the chocolate industry.