Go Green with Seattle Parks
Collected by Stephanie Perry , AFAR Local Expert
Nature lovers, rejoice: Seattle has more than 400 public parks. Beautiful and environmentally diverse, Seattle’s green spaces offer views of Puget Sound, tidepool beaches, biking and hiking trails, and even fish ladders. At 534 acres, Discovery Park is Seattle’s largest, while Volunteer Park is centrally located in Capitol Hill and hosts the Seattle Asian Art Museum and Volunteer Park Conservatory. Bring a picnic and spend the day outdoors.
2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, USA
Here's a bold claim: the Olympic Sculpture Park might just have something for everyone. Located on the waterfront, not far from Pike Place Market, it features great views of Puget Sound (well, on clear days) and the ferries going back and forth....
1635 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
Cal Anderson Park (named after Washington's first openly gay legislator) is located at the Pike/Pine nexus of gay-friendly, hipster-filled Capitol Hill. With plenty of grassy lawns for picnics, reading, or playing bocce ball, it's no surprise that...
211 W Highland Dr, Seattle, WA 98119, USA
Kerry Park is a sliver of lawn halfway up the hill leading into the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. The park is noted for its excellent view over the city, featuring the famous Space Needle in the foreground. Walk into any shop in town and...
2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
Gas Works Park should be one of the places to stop and explore if you go to Seattle. It offers an amazing view of the city, which looks just as good at night as it does during the day so whenever you choose to go will be perfect. Gasworks Park was...
1075 Lake Washington Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
Amid the colorful, serene splendor of Seattle's Japanese Gardens, located at the entrance of Washington Park, the winding paths and dark, wet branches made me think of Ezra Pound's famous poem "In a Station of the Metro": The apparition of these...
12001 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005, USA
The Bellevue Botanical Garden puts a unique twist on the tradition of admiring holiday light displays with its hugely popular Garden d’Lights show. With thousands of hours of help from volunteers, the botanical garden is transformed into an...
Green Lake, Seattle, WA 98115, USA
Right in the middle of a packed urban neighborhood, this treasure of a local park in Seattle aims to please. Perfect for morning jogs or walks, it caters to hundreds of visitors a day, looking to soak up the 2.8 mile path and views. Beautiful...
9600 SE 11th St, Bellevue, WA 98004, USA
Chism Beach Park is not far from the heart of Bellevue, but still remains somewhat off the beaten path. It's a great place for a quiet lakeside stroll, or to dip your toes in the lake in the summer months. Also, it's a great place for views across...
3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199, USA
Seattle's largest public park sits on a sea bluff that's high enough to pierce the city's infamous fog, revealing gorgeous views of the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. Wander its 11 miles (18 km) of paths through forest groves, meadows...
Burke-Gilman Trail, Washington, USA
Nineteen miles of paved path start at Golden Gardens in Ballard. Get a close look at the park's resident beavers—which dam the ponds on its north end—then head east along the saltwater shoreline, keeping an eye out for seals, sea...
219 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
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...
2300 Arboretum Dr E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
Located on the shores of Lake Washington, the 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum is a lesser-known Seattle gem. It features a large botanical garden, a Japanese garden, a fragrance garden, and a waterfront walking trail. There are bike trails,...
950 NW Carkeek Park Rd, Seattle, WA 98177, USA
Carkeek Park is a 220-acre space that includes forest, meadows, wetlands, creeks, and beach. From its beach, you can see the southern tip of Whidbey Island, the Kitsap Peninsula, and the Olympic Mountains. There's a large picnic area with...
3521 Beach Dr SW, Seattle, WA 98116, USA
Stroll along one of Seattle’s beaches at low tide and you’ll be amazed at the diversity of marine life on display: starfish, anemones, tiny crabs, and even the occasional squid or moon snail. During the Seattle Aquarium’s weekend beach walks,...
1247 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
Volunteer Park is a beloved neighborhood park in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Originally created in 1876, the park was named in 1901 to honor the volunteers of the Spanish-American War. The Seattle Asian Art Museum is located inside the...
3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
The waters of Lake Washington, Lake Union and Salmon Bay are connected to the tidal waters of the Puget Sound via the Washington Ship Canal and the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. Vessels are constantly moving back and forth between the city’s...
9817 55th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118, USA
Pacific 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,...
Ebey's Landing Rd, Coupeville, WA 98239, USA
Two hours northwest of Seattle, this National Historical Reserve celebrates the early pioneers who came to Whidbey Island for its rich soil and promising seaport. The reserve also shelters one of the area's most stunning all-season hikes: 5.6...
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