It’s easy to love Seattle and the benefits afforded by its diverse, dense, urban environment. However, like most big cities, on any given day in downtown Seattle, you can often be faced with the impacts of the hustle and bustle that goes along with said urban development. There are all sorts of sights, sounds, and smells that, when combined, can sometimes feel like an assault to your senses.
In light of this, finding an escape from this over-stimulation is sometimes needed to balance out the chaos of the "real world." Just a few blocks south of Seattle’s downtown retail core, tucked away in Pioneer Square, is a welcome, peaceful retreat that most people wouldn’t notice from the outside. If you look a little closer, you'll find, enclosed behind nondescript perimeter walls at the corner of 2nd Ave South and South Main St., the serene outdoor courtyard of Waterfall Garden Park. As soon as you walk in, the sounds of the city streets behind you fall quiet and you are greeted with the soothing churn of cascading water. Once inside, it’s hard to miss the impressive 22-foot tall rock waterfall and the clouds of mist rising from it. This park is free to the public and was built on the site of the original United Parcel Service (or UPS, as most of us know it today). Bring a to-go lunch, a cup of coffee, or a good book, pull up a chair at one of the café tables that are scattered throughout this shaded, zen-like enclave, and you’ll find there’s not a bad seat in the house.