Carkeek Park Seattle Parks and Recreation

Local Treasures

Part of Seattle’s magic is that there’s so much to see and experience even well beyond its most central and iconic attractions. Set out to discover these outstanding museums, parks, and other attractions that are especially appealing if you’re aiming to avoid the crowds during busy times.

By Matthew Lombardi

Kubota Garden

9817 55th Ave S;

This 20-acre oasis in south Seattle’s diverse Rainier Beach neighborhood is a union of traditional Japanese garden design and lush Pacific Northwest greenery. A wandering path takes you to meticulously maintained flower gardens, groves of trees, ponds, waterfalls, and scenic overlooks.

Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

4195 Eagle Harbor Dr NE;

This moving, evocative historical park commemorates the Bainbridge Island residents who were forced from their homes during the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II. A visit here pairs well with a stop at the also excellent Bainbridge Island Historical Museum (215 Ericksen Ave NE;

Frye Art Museum

704 Terry Ave;

On First Hill, just a few blocks east of downtown, this unique art museum displays an eclectic collection bequeathed by early-20th-century Seattle power couple Charles and Emma Frye, along with more recent, often cutting-edge works. Admission is free, and there’s a full calendar of tours, classes, and concerts.

The Center for Wooden Boats

1010 Valley St;

Next door to MOHAI (H860 Terry Ave N; in Lake Union Park, this charming, family-friendly Seattle institution has informative nautical exhibits, handsome old ships at its docks, and boats available to rent for outings on Lake Union. On weekends some boats can be taken out for free with advance booking.

A photo of stairs heading down to the beach at Carkeek Park. The stairs have a mint green railing and lead down to a sandy beach. Puget Sound and a sunset sky are set in the background.

Carkeek Park Seattle Parks and Recreation

Carkeek Park

950 NW Carkeek Park Rd;

Less than 10 miles north of downtown, you can immerse yourself deeply in nature at this remarkably diverse city park. A 3½-mile hiking trail takes you through meadows and fern-shaded forests, down a canyon to a creek where salmon spawn, and out to a stretch of sandy beach with spectacular views of Puget Sound.

Northwest African American Museum

2300 S Massachusetts St;

A former schoolhouse in the Central District is home to this excellent museum devoted to the Black experience in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a mix of past and present: some exhibits are devoted to events and accomplished individuals that date back to Seattle’s earliest days, while others focus on contemporary art and culture.

Inside Tip: Discover more local favorites by visiting


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