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Seattle’s Top Parks

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West Point Lighthouse at Discovery Park in Seattle, WA ©Getty Images

Seattle is a bustling metropolis that generously offers a slice of nature amidst its skyscrapers. With over 485 parks, each providing a unique outdoor experience, residents and visitors alike can find their haven. Whether you crave waterfront relaxation, forested trails, or engaging play spaces, Seattle’s parks have it all. Join us as we journey through some of the city’s most iconic green spaces.

Discovery Park

Located at 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Discovery Park is a must-visit. As the city’s largest urban park, it spans 534 acres, offering an immersive retreat into nature with its tidal beaches, sea cliffs, and lush forests. Families will appreciate the renovated play area complete with new picnic tables, a zip line, and various play equipment to keep children engaged for hours.

Alternative: If you’re up for a different setting, Lincoln Park at 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW is a less crowded option with unique amenities like cable rides, a tree house, saucer swings, and an exquisite beachfront.

Seward Park

For aquaphiles, Seward Park is your destination. Situated at 5900 Lake Washington Blvd S, this park offers boating facilities and guarded swimming areas, ensuring a safe aquatic experience. Those who prefer land-based activities can enjoy the almost 2.5-mile path that promises breathtaking views of Lake Washington.

Alternative: Myrtle Edwards Park at 3130 Alaskan Way presents a 5-mile path, ideal for biking or walking, with scenic views along Elliott Bay.

Green Lake Park

In the heart of the Green Lake neighborhood, this park, located at 7201 E Green Lake Dr N, is a haven for joggers, cyclists, and everyone in between with its 3-mile track encircling the lake.

Alternative: Venture into Lake Union Park at 860 Terry Ave N for a central location with attractions like The Museum of History and Industry or The Center for Wooden Boats.

Gas Works Park

Visit one of Seattle’s quirkiest spots at 2101 N Northlake Way, where the city’s industrial past integrates with scenic park spaces. It’s a fantastic spot for picnics with a view of South Lake Union and the downtown skyline.

Alternative: Magnuson Park at 7400 Sand Point Way NE offers a beachfront, off-leash dog area, and historical architecture for a diverse outing.

Alki Beach Park

Hop on a ferry to 7102 Alki Ave SW and enjoy the expansive views of the Sound, Olympic, and Cascade Mountains. It’s a picturesque escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Alternative: For a quieter experience, Carkeek Park at 950 Carkeek Park Rd offers 216 acres of beautiful terrain.

Golden Gardens

Dog lovers, head to 8498 Seaview Pl NW. This Ballard park features an off-leash area and scenic trails for the ultimate pet-friendly outing.

Alternative: Regrade Park at 2251 3rd Ave is another fantastic option, especially for dog owners residing in the city center.

Volunteer Park

Experience tranquility at 1247 15th Ave E, where you can explore diverse plant species in the Volunteer Park Conservatory. Enjoy seasonal floral displays, like the exquisite dahlias in full bloom come July.

Alternative: The Washington Park Arboretum at 2300 Arboretum Dr E is another botanical wonderland, hosting a myriad of rare plants and tranquil paths.

Pier 62 Waterfront Park

For those who prefer an urban backdrop, 1951 Alaskan Way is your spot. Enjoy modern art installations, food vendors, and panoramic views of Elliott Bay at Seattle’s revamped pier.

Alternative: For arguably the best view in Seattle, Kerry Park at 211 W Highland Dr is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Accessible Green Spaces in Seattle

In a progressive move, Seattle has enhanced several parks with accessibility features, ensuring everyone can enjoy the city’s natural beauty. Notable parks with paved trails suitable for visitors with mobility aids include the Washington Park Arboretum and Seward Park. The city takes inclusivity a step further with sensory gardens, like the one adjacent to Woodland Park’s rose garden, tailored for individuals with sensory sensitivities.

Moreover, the city promotes active lifestyles with adaptive sports programs through organizations like Outdoors for All Foundation. These programs offer a range of activities, from cycling to skiing, catering to various needs.

For the younger crowd, inclusive play spaces like the Seattle Children’s PlayGarden are a godsend, equipped with disability-friendly play structures. Even cultural institutions in the area, such as museums, regularly organize low-sensory events, making art and culture accessible to all.

In its commitment to accessibility, Seattle ensures its lush parks, engaging recreational activities, and cultural offerings are inclusive, embracing residents and visitors from all walks of life.

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