by: Jo Montgomery
If you’ve been to, or live in, Seattle, you know it’s a dynamic metropolitan surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty. What you may not know is that Seattle’s natural beauty is also right in the heart of the city – maybe right under your nose. Yes! Seattle has over 485 parks within its city limits. Each is a well-planned, brilliantly designed, and cared for pocket of green (or sand and water), just waiting to be explored. The real question is; “With so many Seattle parks to choose from, where do I start?” If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the options, start with our list to find the perfect park for your next outdoor adventure.
It wasn’t easy choosing the best parks in Seattle, because, frankly, all of Seattle’s parks are wonderfully unique. But we did our homework, and looked for things like community engagement, the green infrastructure, arts, and cultural programs, and the basic “fun factor.” Use our list as a place to begin, but then, keep on exploring. We hope you’ll eventually get around to visiting all of Seattle’s parks!
Best Parks in Seattle
Located at 250 W Highland Dr. Queen Ann Hill, is guaranteed to wow you with one of the best views of Seattle. For such a big view, it’s a relatively small park located on the south side of Queen Anne Hill. Actually, it’s more of an outlook with benches. You wouldn’t head here for a run or to toss the Frisbee, but a photo from here is Seattle postcard-perfect. You’ll see ferries crossing Elliott Bay, the city skyline, and Space Needle, and if the weather cooperates, you’ll get a magnificent view of Mt. Rainier.
Located at 3015 NW 54th St, is a truly unique Seattle experience that draws locals and tourists alike. It’s a waterway system that connects the saltwater of the Puget Sound to the freshwater of the Ship Canal that’s about 20 feet above sea level. You can laze the day away watching the boats enter the locks, the gates close, and the water rise or fall to the level of the destination waterway. You can also explore the 7 acres of botanical gardens and look for fish on the fish ladder. This park has something for all ages.
Located at 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, is Seattle’s largest urban park, with 534 acres of tidal beaches, sea cliffs, and forest. You can happily get lost exploring all this park has to offer. And if you have little explorers, they’ll be entertained for hours by the play area with zip line and picnic tables.
Located at 1702 Alki Ave SW, is the most famous of Seattle’s parks because it was featured in a scene from the movie “Sleepless in Seattle”. Spectacular views of the Sound and the Olympic and Cascade Mountains are what make this park a beloved spot. And, it’s just a ferry ride away from downtown. Plus, the waterfront walk from Alki to Harbor Ave is one of the best places to bike and walk.
Located at 3300 Meridian Ave N, is one of Seattle’s most unique attractions, and also offers amazing views of Puget Sound and the Seattle skyline. Its 19.1 acres are the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant. There are even pieces of the industrial site still remaining. Today it’s a park with rolling hills, paved trails, a beautiful lake, and a picnic area – ideal for all ages and Fido too. It even features an industrial plant-turned kiddie play area.
Located at 7201 E Green Lake Dr. N, is a park with literally everything. From walking and jogging trails to tennis courts, playing fields, and picnic areas, you won’t run out of things to enjoy here. Plus, the scenic park lake offers swimming and paddle boating. And if you get hungry, it’s located near great food and lots of restaurants.
Located at 2901 Western Avenue, is speckled with monumental artworks. It’s an award-winning 9-acre sculpture park on the waterfront, and Seattle’s largest downtown green space. It’s like perusing the Seattle Art Museum outdoors. This smartly designed Z-shaped park is nestled between a highway and an industrial site at the water’s edge. There’s also an exhibition pavilion for art and performances. If you’re a sucker for nature this is an oasis in the middle of the city. Stroll the pedestrian path along with runners, families, and dog walkers, and take a rest on the benches perfectly situated for you to enjoy the fantastic views of Elliot Bay and the sunset over the skyline.
Located at 750 N 50th St, is a MUST SEE in June! This rose garden rivals anywhere. For rose lovers, it’s an intoxicating sensory experience. It boasts 200 Varieties of roses and 3,000 individual plants – two acres of stunning beauty, vibrant color, enthralling scent, and butterflies. It’s also one of only two dozen certified American Rose Test Gardens in the United States. You can take your time strolling the many pathways. But be sure to stop and smell the roses. There are plenty of places to sit and soak in all that’s around you.
There you have it. Our list of best parks in Seattle. But, all of Seattle’s parks are to be enjoyed. That’s exactly why we placed Windsor luxury apartment communities in all of Seattle’s sweet spots. We have 4 communities right in the city and 4 nearby. Some of our communities are even within walking distance to many of these green treasures. They’re like spectacular back yards that you don’t have to take care of.