With thousands of acres of park land, it’s no wonder Seattle is nicknamed the Emerald City. There is an abundance of green space to explore within the city, which gives visitors and locals a variety of ways to experience the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest without having to drive (or even walk) very far. Below is a sampling of just some of the many parks and trails that are open to enjoy during this time.*
Alki Beach | 1702 Alki Ave SW
Soak in panoramic views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and ferries passing by while wiggling your toes on the sandy beach or stretching your legs on the wide and expansive pathway. Pack a picnic or stop in at one of the many restaurants that line the street such as Blue Moon Burgers (save room for a milkshake!) and Duke’s Seafood. Note: The West Seattle Bridge is closed. Alternate routes are marked by detour signs.
Burke-Gilman Trail | Ballard-Kenmore
Hop on at any point on this 20-mile paved trail that spans from Golden Gardens Park in Ballard to the Seattle suburb of Kenmore. Enjoy scenic views of many waterways including the Fremont Cut, Lake Union, and Lake Washington. Make a pit stop at Ivar’s Salmon House and Fish Bar to refuel with some delicious fish and chips and other seafood menu items.
Discovery Park | 3801 Discovery Park Blvd
As the city’s largest urban park with 534 acres, there is plenty to explore, including meadows, forests, and tidal beaches. Its placement on the Magnolia Bluff offers soaring views of Puget Sound and both the Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges. Pro Tip: Mount Rainier can also be seen in all her glory on a clear day when you’re down on the beach.
Elliott Bay Trail | Smith Cove Park-CenturyLink Field
Bike, walk, or jog along the Elliott Bay Trail and enjoy stretches of water, beaches, mountain views, and even large sculptural installations as the paved path takes you through the Olympic Sculpture Park.
Gas Works Park | 2101 N Northlake Way
Sit among the large industrial structures of this former gasification plant and watch boats, kayaks, and paddleboards go by while drinking in the views of the Seattle skyline and Lake Union. Fun Fact: Gas Works Park was featured in the 1999 film, 10 Things I Hate About You.
Green Lake Park | 7201 E Green Lake Dr N
Located in the center of the Green Lake neighborhood, Green Lake Park offers an oasis and sanctuary for people and animals alike. Look for birds, turtles, and fish jumping as you make your way around the 2.8-mile path that loops around the lake. A variety of cafes and restaurants line the streets surrounding the park and make for good spots to sit for a meal or grab-and-go snacks to take with you along the walk.
Lincoln Park | 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW
With 4.6 miles of walking paths and 3.9 miles of bike trails, Lincoln Park offers a diverse landscape to explore. Walk along the water’s edge on the flat paved walkway or hit the forested trails. If you’re not in the walking mood, enjoy sitting on a bench or piece of drift wood and get a close up look at ferries coming and going from the Fauntleroy Terminal. Note: The West Seattle Bridge is closed. Alternate routes are marked by detour signs.
Seward Park | 5900 Lake Washington Blvd S
300 acres of forest land are at your fingertips and all within city limits at Seward Park. Enjoy the old growth forest, a walking and bike path, and miles of shoreline. You can also experience the beauty of Seward Park from the waters of Lake Washington by kayaking and paddleboarding around it, or anchoring your boat in Andrews Bay on the northwest side of the park.
Volunteer Park | 1247 15th Ave E
Enjoy the striking architecture of the Volunteer Park Conservatory and the newly renovated Asian Art Museum as pathways and open lawns take you through this historic park. Keep an eye out for the colorful dahlias that start abundantly blooming in July. As an add-on to your park visit, consider exploring the adjacent Capitol Hill neighborhood to view old and notable Seattle homes such as the Parker-Fersen House, a Colonial Revival mansion built in 1909.
Washington Park Arboretum | 2300 Arboretum Dr E
Discover a wide assortment of plants, rare and native, through a variety of thematic gardens and walking paths that cover the 230 acres of the park. Get a unique perspective of the park by renting a canoe or kayak from the University of Washington’s Water Activity Center and paddle through water pathways that take you by docks, bridges, and flora and fauna from the wetlands.
*For more information on each park and for current hours, please visit Seattle Parks & Recreation.