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Parks in Seattle

12 Best Amazing Parks to Explore in Seattle

Seattle’s city parks successfully combine urban and natural design elements. When Seattle was first developed, its early planners planned to provide green space within a half-mile of each residence. And that goal might come true if there were an abundance of bike paths and pocket parks. However, some parks are better than others, so whether you’re a visitor or a long-time resident, it’s worthwhile to check out Seattle’s top parks.

A few well-known parks provide a sample of the Western Washington scenery, much as Discovery Park. These vistas have expansive views of Puget Sound and lush flora reminiscent of rainforests. Views of freshwater across Lake Washington can found in other waterfront parks located on the other side of the city.

Strolling through several of Seattle’s greatest parks offers a journey through history, from retired military forts to the iconic designs of the Olmsted Brothers. These parks lies alongside swaths of Pacific Northwest paradise. While it’s not necessary to be familiar with a park’s past to enjoy a visit, in locations such as Gas Works Park, it’s an inevitable experience.

Before you go, you can learn more about Seattle’s city parks if you have a specific activity in mind. With our list of Seattle’s top parks, you may enjoy your next urban exploration.

Best Parks to Visit in Seattle:

Below is the best park to explore:

1. Discovery Park, Seattle:

Seattle’s largest city park called Discovery Park. Situated northwest of downtown, on a peninsula that extends from the Magnolia district, it occupies 534 acres. Its diverse landscapes are home to several pathways, and it boasts a stunning sandy shoreline with breathtaking views of Puget Sound, which includes the famous West Point Lighthouse.

The park’s immense breadth and variety of scenery contribute to the sense of retreat. The location once Fort Lawton, which built in the late 1800s. In addition, there are miles-long views over the lake and beautiful coastline splendor surrounding the retired army structures on grassy meadows.

Getting out and exploring Discovery Park is the greatest way to do it. The East and South lots at the entrances are the two most noticeable parking lots. The most well-liked path for exploration is the almost three-mile Loop Trail, which circles the park’s inland region. The Loop Trail also links to the Beach Trail, where one of Seattle’s nicest beaches bisected by the West Point Lighthouse.

2. Alki Beach Park:

The waterfront Alki Beach Park is a classic city area. The park is in West Seattle, and you may take a water taxi from downtown to get there. There is a well-liked walking trail and 2.5 miles of Puget Sound shoreline there. Alki Beach’s sand also feels nice between the toes, in contrast to certain other city beaches.

At Alki Beach Park, the vista over Puget Sound is equally breathtaking, encompassing the Seattle cityscape that is not too far away. Beach blankets and umbrellas flood this popular beach on hot summer days. However, there is enough room for everyone to spread out their belongings, so crowding isn’t always a problem. 

It is an expansive beach area offers a variety of recreational opportunities. Young children can run around and use up some energy in a lot of space available. And splashing into the seashore is just a short distance away for those who are brave enough to brave the chilly water. There’s plenty of room to wander and people watch along the beach’s bench-lined pedestrian area.

3. Golden Gardens Park,Seattle:

Golden Gardens is the epitome of what Seattle parks have to offer. It includes the far northwest portion of the Ballard neighborhood and is in North Seattle. In addition to lots of open space and wetlands, the park has a large sandy beach that attracts large numbers during the summer.

The beach offers plenty of space for sports like volleyball and setting up an umbrella along its about 300 feet of sandy shoreline. In addition to games on the beach and sunning, bonfires in designated fire pits are popular activity.

And Golden Gardens not just known for its amazing coastline. The park’s hiking paths wind across luscious Pacific Northwest scenery. On the north side of the park, there’s an off-leash dog area that’s quite well-liked by pet owners. A snack stands and restrooms are two more park features.

At Golden Gardens, the vistas are also quite pleasing. The Olympic Mountains are visible in the distance, while Puget Sound forms the entire beach’s backdrop. You should plan on enjoying this quick getaway from the city for a few hours.

4. Seward Park:

In southeast Seattle, there a special natural area called Seaward Park. Bailey Peninsula, which protrudes from the beach included. There over 300 acres of parkland spread across the whole peninsula. A wonderful opportunity to re-establish a connection with nature is provided by the park’s quieter southeast Seattle neighborhood and the peninsula remote topography.

The park’s 2.4-mile paved pedestrian route helps visitors escape the bustle of the neighboring city. From this main pedestrian walkway, countless dirt trails wind through lush greenery. A large portion of the park’s rear is an old-growth forest home to bigleaf maples and towering western red cedars. Look out for the hawks and eagles that frequently seen circling the area.

The park’s extensive coastline promotes water sports, swimming, and boating. The Seward Park Audubon Center, a pottery studio, and an amphitheater are all located inside the park. Although arriving at Seward with a plan is beneficial, many people choose to arrive with an afternoon free to explore.

Also Read: Best Places to Visit in Canada

5. Washington Park Arboretum:

Situated in the Madison Park area next to Union Bay, the Washington Park Arboretum offers 230 acres of urbane refuge. With assistance from the Arboretum Foundation, this beautifully planted area co-managed by the University of Washington and the city of Seattle.

The park is home to several paths, each with informative signage and plant identification along their path. There picnic seats scattered around the natural area, providing several spots to pause and take in the vibrant scene. For park maps, restrooms, and other tourist amenities, head to the north end of the park to the Graham tourist Center.

Washington Park Arboretum’s trails offer a diverse range of plants to see. A few well-known varieties are azaleas, rhododendrons, and Japanese maples. Every day of the year, from sunrise until sunset, the arboretum is open. Admission is always free.

6. Carkeek Park, Seattle:

Carkeek is a lovely beachside natural area that is less crowded while being rather popular. It is in the southernmost point of the Broadview neighborhood in northwest Seattle. About 200 acres make up the park, which includes a sizable portion of Puget Sound coastline.

Piper’s Creek meanders through the park prior to reaching Puget Sound’s seawater. The park’s other ecosystems, which border this riparian corridor, include broad meadows, dense forests, and the seashore of the coast. There are a variety of activities that cater to nearly every interest because of the diversity of ecosystems.

There are lots of dirt routes for hikers and trail runners to take in the park. Families drawn to the playground and huge lawn area. And seeing the ancient Piper Orchard will be enjoyable for history aficionados. Additionally, Carkeek Beach is a breathtaking location to visit for smoldering sunsets due to the park’s western aspect.

7. Volunteer Park:

In the center of the city, on the north side of the Capitol Hill area, sits Volunteer Park. John Olmstead, a well-known landscape architect, created this breathtaking natural area when it was first established in the late 1800s. These days, Seattle’s Olmsted Brothers Park & Boulevard system regarded as its crown jewel.

The park has a little over 40 acres of open area. The Asian Art Museum and Volunteer Park Conservatory, run by the Seattle Art Museum, are located there. Within its beautiful Victorian greenhouse, the conservatory offers five distinct habitats to explore. And housed in an Art Deco structure from the 1930s, the Asian Art Museum features local artwork.

A tiny reservoir overlooking the city is another noteworthy feature of the park. Two beautifully manicured lily ponds and a vintage water tower with an observation deck are next to this well-known viewpoint. The area also broken up by a number of wide green areas, one of which called the Great Lawn. This lively green community park dotted with picnic tables and blankets on summer evenings.

8. Gas Works Park:

Located right across from the city skyline, Gas Works Park is a rare passive natural place on the north shore of Lake Union. It’s difficult to pinpoint one thing that makes this park unique. Either the picturesque ruins of the ancient coal gasification facility that had stood on the site, or the unmatched view of downtown across the water are the main draws.

At Gas Works, the old industrial architecture has repurposed to become a public artwork. Furthermore, taking in the sight of these striking traces of the city’s industrial past amid well-manicured lawns and paths for strolling offers a distinctive viewpoint on public space.

At the heart of the park is a massive earthen mound that enhances the breathtaking view of the lake. Here, unwind on a blanket while taking in the view of the numerous boats on the water, which framed by the skyline. One of the city’s most well-liked locations for sunsets is Gas Works.

9. Green lake Park, Seattle:

North of the downtown area lies a lake called Green Lake, which is around 260 acres in size. Around the pond is a well-liked 2.8-mile paved hiking track that provides a pleasant diversion from the surrounding bustling streets. Additionally, there are several locations to take in the lake view in Green Lake Park on the eastern bank.

East Green Lake Beach is the focal point of Green Lake Park. Just past the shoreline is a swimming platform, and lifeguards are on duty all summer long. The beach is also close to a walk-up café and boat rentals. There are large grassy areas and ideal picnic locations along the bike track that runs along both sides of the beach.

Situated on the other side of the lake, West Green Lake Beach offers comparable lodging. The lake is a popular spot to bring a bicycle and spend the whole day exploring because there is so much to see and do there. Additionally encouraging outside time are Woodland Park and the Woodland Park Zoo, both located on the lake’s southern edge.

10. Olympic Sculpture Park:

Nine acres included in the Olympic Sculpture Park, which close to the city shoreline. It’s one of the biggest green areas near downtown, and the area decorated with several striking sculptures. The park managed by the Seattle Art Museum, which located one mile south.

Prior to the 2007 opening of the Olympic Sculpture Park, the location was far more industrial. Currently, a unique Z-shaped route adorned with artwork leads from the park down to the shore. It is a well-liked location for strolls in between work hours, picnics, and admiring the stunning views of downtown and Elliot Bay.

You can visit the sculpture park for free. There is a trail that leads north of the sculpture parks that links to Centennial Park and Myrtle Edwards Park.

11. Kerry Park,Seattle:

The nicest feature of this little pocket park is its breathtaking perspective of the metropolitan skyline. Situated less than a mile north of the Seattle Center and Space Needle, it lies at the summit of Queen Anne hill. This elevated viewpoint offers views of the downtown skyline, Elliot Bay, the Olympic Mountains, and occasionally Mount Rainier in the distance.

Plan your visit to Kerry Park for a day when it is clear. It’s becoming a more and more well-liked location for photographers. As the sun sets, prepared to share the area with both tourists and photographers. The residential streets that encircle the park can be somewhat congested with traffic.

12. Centennial Park:

Situated on the Elliot Bay beachfront, less than 0.5 miles southwest of Seattle Center and the Space Needle, a city park called Myrtle Edwards. The Olympic Sculpture Garden is the usual entrance to this lovely waterfront area.

A 1.25-mile paved cycling route winds by the shoreline along Myrtle Edwards. There also old-fashioned dirt paths that lead around the area. Starry vistas of the Olympic Mountains across the lake are one of the park’s main draws, along with the trailside splendor that along the route. And on clear days, Mount Rainier, which is not too far away, can seen when gazing south toward downtown.

The Port of Seattle’s Centennial Park reached by the paved cycling path north of Myrtle Edwards. Elliot Bay Park was the name of this park until 2011, when it renamed in honor of the port’s 100 years of existence. The park’s 11 acres traversed by a paved path that offers breathtaking views at every turn. During the warmer months, Centennial Park is also home to a flowering rose garden.

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