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A Spring Afternoon Itinerary at UW

Show Me Seattle
brings A Spring Afternoon at the University of Washington Itinerary to you!

Need to #treatyourself💅 to a solo afternoon? Or a relaxing day trip to enjoy with friends🙋‍♀️? 

I’ve curated the perfect walking route across campus including, views of Portage Bay, “movie-like” collegiate architecture, a bite to eat, and must-see cherry blossom spots. There’s so much to enjoy at UW during any season, but let this be your springtime guide you look back on year after year! 

Seattlites easily sleep on this beautiful spot tucked away in our city. So whether you’re a local or a visitor, take advantage of the picturesque UW grounds, exhibits, and events fully open to the public!


Here’s the Route Breakdown:

  1. Cherry Blossoms🌸 on San Juan Road
  2. Saint Bread Bakery🍔 and view of Portage Bay
  3. Drumheller Fountain🌊
  4. Suzallo Library📚, Red Square, and the Broken Obelisk
  5. “Breaking Bread”🥐 exhibition at Allen Library South 
  6. Cherry Blossoms🌸 on The Quadgraphical user interface, map

Follow my route on Google Maps!

Starting at Westlake Station in Downtown Seattle, you’ll take the Northgate bound train and stop off at University of Washington (the U District stop will take you too far north). 

As you walk from the University of Washington Station to San Juan Road, you’ll take in the views of Portage Bay. San Juan Road has the third largest group of cherry trees on the UW campus with 16 young, Yoshio cherry trees. Click the link to download UW’s Campus Map of Cherry Trees. These Yoshino trees may be smaller than their 90 year old siblings on The Quad, but the advantage is a closer view to admire their beauty. a piece of cake sitting on top of a wooden table

From San Juan Road, you’ll continue walking west to catch a bite at Saint Bread Bakery. You’ll immediately be drawn in by the sweet smell of fresh bread and the growing line wrapping around the corner. Everyone wants a slice of Saint Bread! Saint Bread has two outdoor terraces and offers a variety of sweet and savory pastries, 2-slices (sandwiches), and no-bread options. I ordered their signature Saint Burger, chocolate chip cookie, and iced latte with miso caramel. They were sold out of most bakery items by 1pm, yet another sign it was going to be a great meal. I know what you’re thinking, “A burger? From a bakery?” Yes, their burger may not be the typical glamor shot of a towering LTP🥬🍅🥒 on a Red Robin billboard. But, it’s a double order of DELICIOUSNESS. A thin, crispy edged smash patty with a balance of sweet and sour from the kewpie mayo, American cheese, and briny pickles sandwiched between their house made Hawaiian roll. The thicker roll stood up the juiciness of the beef, unlike most burger buns. Pro tip: order with their bulldog sauce to add some extra sticky sweetness to the deal. 

Chocolate lovers be warned, you may leave your loved ones to start a new family with this chocolate chip cookie. The best description of the Saint Bread CCC🍪 is 20% cookie 80% chocolate. It’s a thin cookie, with a crisp, crinkled edge, soft center, and just enough cookie to disqualify it as a chocolate bar (in the best way). It has a great balance of caramel notes and bitter chocolate. Paired with a miso caramel iced latte, it’s a match made in savory & sweet heaven🤝

With your latte in hand, stroll round the corner, and head east across NE Pacific Street to the Drumheller Fountain on Rainier Vista. In 1909, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition commissioned the Olmsted Brothers to design the fountain and grounds, the same family behind NYC’s Central Park. Standing on the grand staircase, the Olmsted Brother’s purposefully designed the perfect window view of Mount Rainier. The cherry blossoms, grand fountain, and stunning view of the mountain, all perfectly positioned in the same frame. Just stunning on a sunny spring afternoon!

a large stone building with a pink umbrella

Walking up the stairs, you come to the Red Square and the Suzzallo Library is immediately to your right. The Red Square is an open, red brick paved plaza that’s perfectly smooth for rollerblading, scooters, and skateboards. Barnett Newman’s Broken Obelisk (1961) sits on display in the Red Square in addition to the 27 other public art structures across campus. Click the link for a map of the 28 art pieces across campus: UW’s Campus Art Walking Tour. Inside the Suzzallo Library, you’re transported to “the soul of the University”. Resembling a real life Hogwarts, the Graduate Reading room features rows of brass-lamped, oak study tables, beneath a 65 foot high ceiling, diffusely lit with natural light through stained glass windows. You don’t have to be a student to enjoy this grand space, the Suzzallo and Allen libraries are entirely open to the public for FREE. In fact, I’m writing to you LIVE from the Graduate Reading Room!

a dining room table in front of a building
a store inside of a building

After taking in the stunning views inside Suzzallo, head over to Allen Library South for the “Breaking Bread: Foodways and Cuisine in Print” exhibit just a few hundred feet away. The exhibit will run for the whole year, and showcases Special Collection cookbooks and advertisements demonstrating both cultural celebration and suppression wrapped up in food systems.

And the grand finale … The Quad! These 29, 90 year old Yoshino Cherry Trees are beloved across Washington and the U.S. These trees are truly a stunning spectacle, if you’re a flower junkie, like me. I promise I know an amazing view when I see one, after visiting 11 National Parks, including the renowned Mighty Five. Click here if you’d like to watch a live stream of the trees from The Quad. Peak bloom is reached typically during the third week in March and the blossoms will stay for about two weeks. Footage from on Instagram was taken on March 17th and 19th.
a large green field with trees in the background


Visitors can enjoy many university events during any season! Here are a few upcoming soon:

The Woman in the Room: A Conversation with Jane Hastings, FAIA

Architecture Walking Tour 

Guest Artist Concert: Mivos Quartet: Music of UW Composers

Botanical Sketching in Ink and Watercolor

First Wednesday Concert


Revisit this guide every Spring for the best self-guided tour across the University of Washington! There is something for everyone to enjoy during any season. Don’t miss the chance to explore this hidden gem tucked away in Seattle, where every visit promises a new adventure and memories to cherish for years to come. So why wait? Explore the University of Washington today!