9817 55th Avenue South
Kubota GardenPacific Northwest plants and Asian aesthetics merge in this stunning 20-acre landscape, secreted away in the South Seattle neighborhood of Rainier Beach. Japanese immigrant Fujitaro Kubota started the garden on a brush-choked, logged-off swamp, which he couldn't even legally own because of discriminatory laws (a sympathetic friend helped out). After spending World War II in an Idaho internment camp, the visionary gardener crafted the graceful streams and waterfalls of the 65-foot-high Mountainside feature. Kubota later added ornamental bridges and a moon-viewing platform. After his death, the city declared his masterwork a historic landmark and eventually took it over as a public park. Free admission, open year-round.