It's impossible to miss Seattle's showstopping landscape. And it's really no surprise the city would have some amazing parks to drink that beauty right in! But did you know that Seattle Parks and Recreation maintains over 400 parks every year? That’s a lot yard work. Not only that, but RedFin has ranked Seattle as the #2 best city for “national park lovers” (Fresno, CA made #1).
Here is a list of some of the best can't miss parks Seattle has to offer:
Wallingford Ave. N Street End at N 34th St., Seattle, WA
The “star” of this park is the large, colorful and whimsical circular mosaic found at the bottom of the Wallingford Steps. “Pond” was created Benson Shaw and Clark Weigman and features a marine motif and a variety of shapes inspired by local school children’s artwork.
1247 15th Ave. E., Seattle, 98112
One of Seattle’s crown jewels, Volunteer park is home of a conservatory which features a large orchid collection and other horticulture goodness, an historic water tower, sculptures, playground and bandstand.
2101 N. Northlake Way, Seattle, 98103
Gas Works Park features incredible 270 degree views, a large play area and play barn, and a big hill popular for flying kites.
Seattle’s Washington Park Arboretum
2300 Arboretum Dr. E., Seattle 98112
The arboretum is home to the Japanese Garden, Wilcox footbridge, ponds, nature trails and canoe rentals.
Waterfall Garden Park
219 Second Ave. S., Seattle 98104
This small park is a hidden gem of the city featuring a 22-foot tall man-made waterfall that makes for nice, cool respite on a hot summer day or a great place to just stop and relax any time of the year.
Seattle’s Kubota Garden
Renton Ave. S. and 55tyh Ave. S., Seattle, 98118
Located in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, this park features lots of flowers, small lakes, streams, forested walkways and scenic bridges.
211 W Highland Dr., Seattle
This is the park to go to capture incredible photos of the Seattle skyline. It is very popular with photographers and tourist. If you want the place to yourself, you better plan your visit early.
Schmitz Preserve Park
5551 SW Admiral Way, Seattle
Ferdinand Schmitz donated 30 acres of forested trails to the city in 1907 creating a park the covers ove 53 acres total with 1.7 mile long hiking trails that are said to be steep enough that you’ll get a workout.
9817 55th Ave S, Seattle
A 20-acre Japanese garden that was originally built in 1927 by Fujitaro Kubota, a landscaper. The park used to serve as a demonstration garden for his business.
Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park
SE Cougar Mountain Dr., Renton
This is King Couty’s largest park stretching more than 36 miles of hiking trails including a 2.2 mile path to Coal Creek Falls.
3801 Discovery Park Blvd., Seattle
This park has a little bit of everything with sweeping views from a 250-foot bluff, historic lighthouse and lots of trails.
Best Playgrounds in Seattle
Here are just some of the best hand-picked playgrounds by the editors of Red Tricycle.
Luther Burbank Park
2040 84th Ave. SE, Mercer Island 98040
Featuring an excellent playground with swings, tunnels and climbing areas surrounded by trees and greenery. It also has tennis courts, nature trails, beaches and lots of places to have a picnic.
Cal Anderson Park
1635 11th Ave., Seattle 98122
This is the place to be during the summer as it wading pools and fountains as well as a large play area with a great climbing structure. Older kids and parents will appreciate the oversized chess set.
Saint Edward State Park
14445 Juanita Dr. NE, Kenmore, 98028
Originally a Catholic seminary, the 316-acre park include walking trails with fantastic views of Lake Washington. Two play structures can be found here, one for bigger kids and the other for little tykes. There is also a climbing wall, restrooms and picnic area.
8011 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle 98136
Found in West Seattle, this park features two playgrounds, a zip line, several ball fields, four miles of biking trails, another trail along the beach and an outdoor heated saltwater pool.
Green Lake Park
7201 E. Greenlake Dr. N., Seattle, 98115
In addition to its three mile paved path around the lake, this park also features a great playground and wading pool area for the summer.
Junior League Playground at Magnuson Park
7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, 98115
Looking for the largest playground for young children? You’ve found it. 20,000 feet of climbing adventures with sandboxes, swings and slides plus lots of places to picnic as well.
3801 Beacon Ave. S., Seattle, 98108
You’ll appreciate the sweeping views of the Olympics, the Cascades, Elliott Bay, Downtown Seattle and the Space Needle. Your kids will enjoy the climbing walls, sandbox, and paved trail for older bike-riding kids.
950 NW Carkeek Park Rd., Seattle, 98177
Designed with the Puget Sound in mind, this park features a salmon-shaped slide, a huge sandbox, seesaws and swings.
3249 78th Ave. SE, Mercer Island, 98040
The park features a train theme playground surrounded by paved walkways for easy access and short walks.
5520 Ravenna Ave. NE, Seattle 98105
Red Tricycle recommends that all kids visit this park at least once as it offers a fantastic indoor playground area for inclement weather. Here you’ll find climbing structures, slides as well as ride-on cars and motorcycles.
5895 Lake Washington Blvd, S., Seattle 98118
The children’s play area here has interactive art for kids to play with as well as a biking and walking path along the waterfront and miles of hiking trails too.
Newcastle Beach Park
4400 Lake Washington Blvd. SE, Bellevue
Come here during the summer and stretch out on the sandy swimming beach, take a short walk on the nature trail or goof off in the train-theme playground. The park also includes a 300-foot long dock and picnic area.
Mount Rainier (https://www.nps.gov/mora/index.htm)
1 hour and 41 minutes from Seattle
While still an active volcano, Mount Rainier ascends 14,410 feet above sea level and is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous USA. Here you’ll find six major rivers, wildflower meadows, a large variety of wildlife and lots of trees! Open year round, Mount Rainier is a favorite hiking destination for everyone from the causal day hiker to the more hardcore.
North Cascades (https://www.nps.gov/noca/learn/nature/index.htm)
2 hours and 3 minutes from Seattle
The North Cascades National Park Complex stretches the Cascade Crest with an incredible range from the wet rain forest to the dry ponderosa pines. The complex boasts of over 1,6000 different species of plants.
Olympic National Park (https://www.nps.gov/olym/index.htm)
2 hours and 9 minutes from Seattle
The Olympic National Park contains almost a million acres of beautiful wilderness that include glacier-capped mountains, old growth rain forests and over 70 miles of wild coastline.