Best of Seattle Parks

Last month, I was in Seattle for a friends’ wedding and during the week I was there, spent some time checking out some of the beautiful parks. Here are six parks I visited, and three that I wish I did!

The pond in the Japanese Garden

Washington Arboretum’s Japanese Garden: a small enclosed garden with a pond with koi fish, benches, sculptures, plantings and stone pathways.

Address: 1075 Lake Washington Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98112
Visitor information: Small admission fee (under $10). Free parking in a nearby lot.
Hours: Vary seasonally, check the website for information.

Sculpture at the Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture Park: part of the Seattle Art Museum in the downtown area. Get lost on one of the wood-chipped paths until you find a sculpture in the woods, or sit on a chair overlooking the water and feel the breezes.

Address: 2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
Visitor information: Free admission. Limited metered parking available nearby.
Hours: Open daily 30 minutes before sunrise til 30 minutes after sunset.

Ballard Locks

Hiram M Chittenden Locks and the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden: Locally known as the Ballard Locks, these historic locks raise or lower water levels to allow boats to pass through Lake Washington to Lake Union. On the Ballard side, the locks are buffeted by the botanic gardens, named after a groundskeeper, who collected exotic trees and plants.

Address: 3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107
Visitor information: Free admission. Metered parking or street parking nearby.
Hours: Free and open daily from 7:00 a.m. til 9:00 p.m., but visitor center hours vary.

Kayaking at Green Lake Park

Green Lake Park: For almost any warm weather outdoor sport, Green Lake Park is the place for you. With picnic areas, walking/running paths, and sports courts, this park has options for almost everyone. You can also rent kayaks and other watercraft from the Green Lake Boathouse (there’s also a cafe!) and if you go before 12, you can get an hourly rate discount.*

Address: 7201 E Green Lake Dr. N, Seattle, WA 98115
Visitor information: Free admission to the park, rentals hourly. Parking available in the lot or in the nearby neighborhood.
Hours: Daily, 24 hours; boathouse hours vary seasonally.
* Check for seasonal prices.

A rose by any other name…

Rose Garden at the Woodland Park Zoo: This beautiful rose garden is almost 100 years old and has over 200 varieties of roses. They are labeled so you know which are your favorites! I personally liked the “Etoile de Holland” best.

Address: 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103
Visitor information: Free admission to the rose garden, but parking in the lot is free. You may be able to find street parking in the neighborhood, just check the street signs.
Hours: Daily, 7:30 a.m. til dusk.

Beach view at Golden Gardens Park

Golden Gardens Park: This waterfront beach park on the Puget Sound is known for its sunset views, but has ample space for picnics and sports.

Address: 8498 Seaview Pl. NW, Seattle, WA 98117
Visitor information: Free admission, parking lots available:
Hours: Daily 4:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
I also would have liked to go to these three parks but I’ll save them for the next visit:
  • Discovery Park: the city’s largest park with lots of walking trails and a lighthouse on the westernmost point.
  • Gas Works Park: a former gas plant with some of the structures still standing, on Lake Union.
  • Volunteer Park: has a conservatory and also the Seattle Asian Art Museum, which should reopen in 2019 following a construction project.

Have you been to Seattle? What are your favorite parks, and should I add any to my wish list?

2 thoughts on “Best of Seattle Parks

  1. Alki Beach is a popular park. It has a bathhouse, sandy beach, and Miles of promenade, divided into high speed lane for bikes, skaters, and pedal buggies, and low speed lane for walkers and joggers, plus the best view of downtown in Seattle. It also has a lighthouse.

    We technically were in the Des Moines Marina and beach Park. There is a grass lawn for playing, weddings, and free Thursday concerts, but access to the water is the main event. We did stroll their boardwalk (concrete now), and at low tide there is the biggest tide pool in the Seattle area. June through October there are convertible bench/ picnic tables, kayak rentals, and a band playing during the farmers market.

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