Seattle is a city that truly embraces the great outdoors, and the abundance of parks within the city limits is a testament to that fact. With lush greenery, diverse wildlife, and stunning views of the Pacific Northwest, these parks serve as urban oases for locals and visitors alike. Whether you are a Seattleite looking to shake up your park routine or a visitor seeking the perfect spot to unwind, we’ve got you covered with a list of the best parks in the Emerald City.
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From massive green spaces perfect for family picnics to smaller parks bursting with charm, Seattle has a park catering to numerous interests and accessibility needs. We discuss the best parks in Seattle for various activities, including those made with families, dog owners, walkers, and runners in mind, as well as parks that cater to sporting enthusiasts, host events and entertainment, and welcome bike riders of all ages.
We believe getting outdoors to reconnect with nature, exercise, or play should be a top priority when living in or visiting Seattle. By providing detailed information on the best parks for all activities, we aim to help you find the perfect park to suit your needs and inspire you to explore the true beauty this city offers. Enjoy the adventure!
Popular Park Destinations
Seattle is home to many beautiful parks, perfect for various activities and leisurely afternoons. Here are some popular park destinations in Seattle you should definitely check out.
Discovery Park is a massive urban park in Seattle. It offers miles of hiking trails, sandy beaches, and stunning views of Puget Sound. We love taking a walk along the iconic West Point Lighthouse or exploring the park’s diverse environments, such as meadows, forests, and bluffs.
Volunteer Park is another beloved destination, featuring a beautiful conservatory filled with exotic plants, as well as the Seattle Asian Art Museum. The park’s paths and lawns provide an excellent space for picnics, sunbathing, and recreational activities. Children can happily play on the playground while adults hit the tennis courts or picnic spots.
Seward Park is a tranquil getaway in Seattle, known for its old-growth forest and serene waterfront. We adore hiking along the miles of trails, spotting wildlife like eagles and herons. Seward Park’s peninsula location makes it perfect for a quiet and peaceful stroll along the shores of Lake Washington.
Atop Queen Anne Hill, you’ll find Kerry Park, where stunning views of downtown Seattle, the Space Needle, Mount Rainier, and Elliot Bay captivate us every time. While small, it’s the perfect spot for taking photos, relaxing on the benches, and enjoying a picnic with a view.
These parks are great options for various activities:
- Best Parks for Kids: Discovery Park and Volunteer Park
- Best Parks for Dogs: Seward Park and Discovery Park
- Best Parks for Walking: Discovery Park and Seward Park
- Best Parks for Runners: Seward Park and Volunteer Park
- Best Parks for Sporting Activities: Volunteer Park and Seward Park
- Best Parks for Events and Entertainment: Volunteer Park and Discovery Park
- Best Parks for Bike Riding: Seward Park and Discovery Park
So, whether you’re searching for family outings, dog walks, or scenic jogs, we encourage you to visit these popular parks in Seattle and embrace the beauty that this city has to offer.
Parks with Spectacular Views
We are lucky to have some of the most beautiful parks in Seattle, offering breathtaking views of our city and its natural surroundings. Let’s explore a few of them.
Kerry Park provides an iconic view of the Seattle skyline, with the Space Needle prominently displayed against the backdrop of downtown Seattle. It also offers stunning views of Mount Rainier, Elliott Bay, and the Olympic Mountains on clear days. It’s a popular spot for photography enthusiasts looking to capture the quintessential Seattle landscape.
Discovery Park is the largest park in Seattle and offers panoramic views of Puget Sound, Elliott Bay, and the Olympic Mountains. With over 11 miles of walking trails and vast open space, this park is perfect for leisurely strolling and wildlife spotting.
Gas Works Park features a unique view of the Seattle skyline and Lake Union and the historic Gas Works machinery. Located along the North Lake Union shoreline, this park is a great place to relax and enjoy the view of seaplanes taking off and the Space Needle in the distance.
Alki Beach Park is a favorite among locals for its unparalleled view of the Seattle skyline, with Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains serving as a glorious backdrop. The park stretches along Alki Beach, offering a scenic route to walk, jog, or bike while also providing a perfect spot to watch the sunset.
Seward Park is home to over 300 acres of lush forest and an impressive 2.4-mile lakeside path. For those looking to take in a view of Lake Washington, this is the park for you. On clearer days, visitors can catch a glimpse of Mount Rainier in the distance, adding to the magnificence of the landscape.
In addition to these amazing parks with spectacular views, Seattle has countless other parks that cater to various interests, such as parks for kids, dogs, walking, running, sporting activities, events and entertainment, and biking. Experience the beauty of our city and its natural surroundings by visiting these gorgeous parks.
Parks for Outdoor Activities
If you’re searching for parks in Seattle that offer a variety of outdoor activities, we highly suggest considering these parks.
Green Lake Park is a fantastic choice for families and outdoor enthusiasts. With a beautiful lake, multiple trails, and a playground, there’s something for everyone. The 2.8-mile loop around the lake is perfect for biking, walking, and jogging. You can even rent boats and paddle in the lake’s calm waters.
Discovery Park offers numerous trails, a picturesque beach, and a historic lighthouse. There are opportunities to picnic, bike, and hike, along with truly breathtaking views. The park is also home to a multitude of diverse habitats, making it ideal for nature enthusiasts.
Magnuson Park provides an array of outdoor activities like boating, swimming, and sports fields. You’ll find a beach on Lake Washington, an off-leash dog area, and numerous playgrounds perfect for kids.
Parks with Beautiful Gardens
In Seattle, we are fortunate to have an abundance of parks with beautiful gardens. One of our favorites is the Washington Park Arboretum. The park contains a stunning array of plants, a lovely Japanese Garden, and the Graham Visitors Center, where you can learn more about the park’s flora and fauna. The park is great for a serene walk while admiring the various plant collections.
Another fantastic park with gorgeous gardens is the Woodland Park Rose Garden. As its name suggests, it’s home to a breathtaking rose garden that blooms during summer. The variety of roses in different colors and fragrances creates a sensory experience you won’t soon forget. The Rose Garden is also next to the Woodland Park Zoo, so you can easily combine a visit to both attractions.
The Kubota Garden is a hidden gem in Seattle, a stunning Japanese garden nestled within 20 acres of natural beauty. This tranquil garden combines traditional Japanese elements, Pacific Northwest plants, and landscape features. Here, we can admire the expertly pruned trees and gorgeous water features while enjoying a moment of peaceful reflection.
Lastly, the Volunteer Park Conservatory is a must-visit for plant enthusiasts. Housed in an elegant Victorian glasshouse, the conservatory boasts an impressive collection of exotic plants, including palms, orchids, and cacti. This beautiful space offers us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in a lush, tropical environment even on the chilliest Seattle day.
All in all, these parks with beautiful gardens offer a variety of visual and sensory experiences for us to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat, an opportunity to learn about different plants or simply a lovely spot for a picnic, you’re sure to find it in one of Seattle’s garden parks.
Unique Parks in Seattle
Seattle is a city known for its beautiful parks, and we have a few favorites that stand out for their uniqueness. Here are some of the most distinctive parks in Seattle that you should definitely visit:
Green Lake Park is a favorite among locals and tourists for its picturesque scenery, providing a perfect spot for a leisurely walk or run. The loop around the lake attracts walkers, runners, and bikers of all ages.
Washington Park Arboretum is a stunning 230-acre park showcasing diverse plant species and picturesque landscapes. The park is perfect for strolling or taking a peaceful walk, and highlights include the Seattle Japanese Garden and numerous trails to explore.
Gas Works Park is a must-visit for anyone who appreciates the combination of nature and industrial history. The park is located on the former site of a gasification plant and offers astonishing views of the Seattle skyline.
Alki Beach Park is a go-to spot for those who love sun and sand. It’s a popular place to take a beach walk or enjoy a game of volleyball. Don’t forget to take in the scenic view of the Seattle skyline.
Golden Gardens Park is another beautiful beach park with a slightly different feel–here, you can enjoy mesmerizing sunsets and a stunning view of the Olympic Mountains. Plus, it’s a great location for a family barbecue or picnic.
Olympic Sculpture Park, an outdoor art museum, is wonderful to witness creativity and nature combined. Stroll through the park’s paths and take in the extraordinary sculptures while enjoying Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains’ breathtaking backdrop.
Kubota Garden is a hidden gem off the beaten path. This Japanese-style garden offers a serene and tranquil space for reflection and relaxation.
Myrtle Edwards Park is a waterfront area with a beautiful view of Elliott Bay. It has a paved path for walkers and cyclists and a public fishing pier, making it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts.
Finally, Freeway Park is unique for its location above a major interstate highway. The park is a haven of greenery amidst the city and offers wonderful spaces for relaxation, picnics, and outdoor fun.
Parks with Off-Leash Dog Areas
We’ve rounded up some of the best parks in Seattle that offer off-leash dog areas so you and your furry friend can enjoy your time outdoors. These parks provide a safe and fun environment for dogs to socialize and exercise while you sit back and relax, knowing your pet is in a designated space.
Magnuson Park Off-Leash Area is a top choice for dog owners, featuring a fully fenced 9-acre park with separate play areas for small and large dogs. There’s even access to a beach where your pup can enjoy a splash in the water.
Another popular location is Golden Gardens Park Off-Leash Area, a 1-acre fenced park with a beautiful view of Puget Sound. Dogs can run and play on the wood chips and soft dirt while you take in the picturesque surroundings.
Head to Denny Park Off-Leash Area in downtown Seattle for a more central option. This cozy, fenced space allows dogs to socialize in an urban setting and provides convenient amenities such as benches and waste bags.
Genesee Park Off-Leash Area is a fantastic spot for those who live or work in the south of the city. This spacious, grassy area is completely fenced and has a separate section for small dogs, ensuring a safe and fun experience.
So, whether you’re looking for a beachside frolic or a centrally located off-leash park, Seattle offers an array of options to suit you and your pet’s needs. Enjoy exploring these fantastic parks with your furry friend!
In our exploration of the best parks in Seattle, we found various options catering to different interests and activities. Seattle, known as the Emerald City, is famous for its abundant green spaces and parks, providing residents and visitors ample opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, even on rainy days.
Numerous parks offer safe and enjoyable playgrounds for families with children, such as the largest city park in Seattle. When it comes to our furry friends, dog-friendly parks provide an off-leash experience that’s both fun and secure. Additionally, for those seeking tranquility or an invigorating walk, certain parks are perfect for strolling or brisk walks.
For fitness enthusiasts, there are parks specifically designed for running, while others cater to sporting activities suitable for all ages. Seattle is home to parks that frequently serve as venues for events and entertainment, adding a lively element to the park experience. Moreover, parks accommodating bike rides for kids and adults alike are aplenty.
We hope our guide to the best parks in Seattle helps you discover a perfect park suited to your interests and needs, allowing you to fully revel in our beautiful Emerald City.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top five parks to visit in Seattle?
We recommend visiting these top five parks in Seattle: Discovery Park, Gas Works Park, Green Lake Park, Seward Park, and Kerry Park. Each offers unique attractions, from stunning views to natural beauty and recreational activities.
Which Seattle parks offer the best views?
Some Seattle parks with the best views include Kerry Park, Gas Works Park, Olympic Sculpture Park, and Alki Beach Park. These parks provide picturesque views of the city skyline, surrounding mountains, Puget Sound, or the Olympic Peninsula.
Where can I find free activities in Seattle’s parks?
Seattle parks offer a variety of free activities for kids, adults, and pets. Popular options include playgrounds, off-leash dog areas, walking and running trails, sports facilities, and open lawn spaces for picnics or relaxing. Check Seattle Parks and Recreation’s website for more information on events and activities.
How do I locate parks using a Seattle parks map?
To locate parks on a Seattle parks map, visit the Seattle Parks and Recreation website, where you can access an interactive map with filters for points of interest and specific park features. This resource can help narrow your search and plan your trip.
Which is the largest park in Seattle to explore?
Discovery Park is the largest park in Seattle, encompassing over 500 acres of land with miles of walking trails, beaches, meadows, and forests. It provides stunning views of Puget Sound and is home to a historic lighthouse.
Are there any beautiful national parks near Seattle?
Yes, there are several national parks within driving distance of Seattle. Some of the most famous are the Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, and North Cascades National Park. Each offers unique outdoor experiences, breathtaking landscapes, and ample recreation opportunities.
Best Parks for Kids in Seattle
Seattle has many parks that cater specifically to kids, including Cal Anderson Park, Gas Works Park, and Ella Bailey Park. These parks have playgrounds, open spaces, and family-friendly amenities that will keep little ones entertained.
Best Parks for Dogs in Seattle
Dog lovers will find plenty of off-leash areas in Seattle’s parks, such as Magnuson Dog Park, Golden Gardens Park, and Green Lake Park. These parks offer dedicated spaces for dogs to roam freely and interact with other pups.
Best Parks for Walking in Seattle
Stroll through Seattle’s beautiful green spaces in parks like Washington Park Arboretum, Seward Park, and Green Lake Park. These parks offer well-maintained walking paths, beautiful surroundings, and diverse ecosystems.
Best Parks for Runners in Seattle
Runners can find several parks in Seattle with great running trails, such as Green Lake Park, Lincoln Park, and Myrtle Edwards Park. These parks provide various distances and terrains for runners to enjoy.
Best Parks for Sporting activities in Seattle
Sports enthusiasts can enjoy a range of facilities in parks like Judkins Park, Lower Woodland Park, and Delridge Playfield. These parks offer soccer fields, basketball courts, and tennis courts.
Best Parks for Events and Entertainment in Seattle
Seattle parks host numerous events, including outdoor concerts, theater performances, and community gatherings. Some popular event venues include Gas Works Park, Volunteer Park, and Westlake Park.
Best Parks for riding bikes for kids or adults in Seattle
Cyclists can explore bike-friendly parks like the Burke-Gilman Trail, Alki Beach Park, and Sam Smith Park, which offer safe spaces for kids and adults to ride their bikes and enjoy scenic views.