Head to the city’s largest urban park to explore the 534 acres of tidal beaches, sea cliffs, and forests. Have kids in tow? The recently renovated play area includes new picnic tables, a zip line, and plenty of equipment to keep little ones entertained for hours.
Discovery Park; 3801 Discovery Park Blvd
Or check out: Lincoln Park in West Seattle, a hidden gem featuring cable rides, a tree house, and saucer swings for the young (and young at heart), alongside winding paths that lead to a beachfront perfect for splashing. Or, bring your water wings for a dip in Colman Pool (heated saltwater) just off the beach.
Lincoln Park; 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW
Water lovers rejoice, this park on Lake Union has boat launch options and beach lifeguards on site as of June 23 for swimmers. Prefer to stay on land? A nearly 2.5-mile bike and walking path offers visitors stunning views of the water while keeping feet dry.
Seward Park; 5900 Lake Washington Blvd S
Or check out: Myrtle Edwards Park, a 5-mile park north of Belltown featuring a winding bike and walking path along Elliott Bay.
Myrtle Edwards Park; 3130 Alaskan Way
Stretch your legs in the center of the Green Lake neighborhood on the 3-mile track around the lake, perfect for runners, bikers, and strollers (of the kiddie or two-footed variety).
Green Lake Park; 7201 E Green Lake Dr N
Or check out: Lake Union Park, another lakeside park smack-dab in the heart of South Lake Union (don’t pass up The Museum of History and Industry or The Center for Wooden Boats, while you’re there).
Lake Union Park; 860 Terry Ave N
One of Seattle’s most unique attractions, this former gasification plant still boasts pieces of the industrial site. Explore the impressive remains of the metal generators, and don’t miss the spectacular views of South Lake Union and downtown across the water.
Gas Works Park; 2101 N Northlake Way
Or check out: Magnuson Park, a beachfront and off-leash dog area featuring an eclectic collection of Art Deco architecture and brick and metal structures built in the 1930s and ‘40s.
Magnuson Park; 7400 Sand Point Way NE
Spectacular views of the Sound and the Olympic and Cascade Mountains make Alki Beach Park a beloved spot, just a ferry ride away from downtown.
Alki Beach Park; 7102 Alki Ave SW
Or check out: Carkeek Park, a 216-acre watershed with similar views, north of the city’s center.
Carkeek Park; 950 Carkeek Park Rd
A favorite spot for dog owners, this popular Ballard park offers an off-leash area for furry companions on its northern end—owners can enjoy the scenic views and loop trails along the Puget Sound, too.
Golden Gardens; 8498 Seaview Pl NW
Or check out: Regrade Park, an off-leash park for canines in the heart of Belltown—a fence completely encloses the perimeter of the park, so pups can safely roam inside.
Regrade Park; 2251 3rd Ave
The heart of this Capitol Hill park is the Volunteer Park Conservatory, a botanical garden featuring a variety of plant species inside a Victorian public glasshouse. Don’t miss the park’s blooming dahlias starting in July, courtesy of the Puget Sound Dahlia Association.
Volunteer Park; 1247 15th Ave E
Or check out: Washington Park Arboretum, where 230 acres of rare plants and walking paths are available to viewers year-round (the tranquil Seattle Japanese Garden is located here, too).
Washington Park Arboretum; 2300 Arboretum Dr E