Now that it’s summertime and the weather is getting warmer, it’s time to take lunch outside, breathe fresh air, listen to flowing fountains, take a break beside a calm pool, smell the colorful landscaped flower arrangements, and bask by the decorative grasses and tall trees. Whether you came to Seattle on vacation or in town for a meeting, these green spaces are tucked into the urban landscape, providing a convenient lunchtime getaway so you can quickly get back to your afternoon agenda.
The courtyard waterfall at One and Two Union Square acts as a natural watering hole for locals and visitors alike.
One of my getaway locations is by a river rock waterfall found in the outdoor atrium of One Union Square, just one block from the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC). The flowing water masks the all too familiar big city noises. Choose your favorite rock, get splashed by the cool water, and pretend you’re on a hike in the mountains. The entire park-like setting is officially called the Arne Gillam Courtyard, honoring longtime leasing agent for One and Two Union Squares who died in 2010.
The Seattle George Monument by Buster Simpson found in Seattle’s Freeway Park simultaneously portrays the profiles of Chief Sealth (for whom the city was named) and George Washington.
Alternately, take a climb to Freeway Park and choose a favorite locale in the Central Plaza. It is excellent for sunning and a great people-watching promenade filled with worldwide convention attendees from the WSCC. Venture a little further, and there’s another plaza with bright red outdoor tables and chairs, where the Friends of the Seattle Public Library have book carts set-up with books to purchase. Freeway Park is always full of people from varied walks of life including people in their walkers from nearby retirement communities, people from the neighborhood walking their dogs, and doctors getting in their noontime exercise from nearby hospitals from First Hill (nicknamed “Pill Hill” for the abundance of hospitals and medical facilities in the neighborhood).
A third lunch munching getaway is on the massive concrete steps of the US Federal Courthouse, surrounding the building from every angle. In one corner of the square, there is a serene reflecting pool in memory of 9/11. The hustle and bustle of attorneys and their clients coming and going makes for a professional lunchtime setting.
The sun speckled steps of the US Federal Courthouse in Seattle make for a cool place to rest your feet in Seattle.
Whichever location you prefer, the lunch hour in Seattle provides a great opportunity to take advantage of the best weather in the country at this time of year. So pack up some picnic provisions or order your next meal to go and take your lunch outdoors.