Seattle's public park system dates back nearly as far as the city's inception in the mid-19th century, designed by famed landscape architects the Olmsted Brothers. Beautiful coastal parks stretch along more than 200 acres of waterfront in the city, which borders both the Pacific Ocean and the beautiful Puget Sound.
1.Beer Sheva Park
© George Cole/stock.adobe.com
Beer Sheva Park is one of Seattle's designated pesticide-free park facilities, located within the city's Rainier Beach neighborhood along the banks of Lake Washington. The park was originally dedicated as Atlantic City Park in 1905 and renamed as Beer Sheva Park in honor of the city's Israeli sister city. In 2014, more than 440 feet of natural stream channel was reestablished in the park, intended to connect Lake Washington to nearby Mapes Creek for salmon-rearing purposes. The park serves as a popular spot for picnics and community gatherings throughout the year, offering a bicycle area, children's playground, day-use picnic sites, and a boat ramp access point. Other features include the Rainier Urban Farm and Wetland community initiative.
8650 55th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118, Phone: 206-684-4075
2.Bhy Kracke Park
Bhy Kracke Park is a lovely 1.5-acre green space in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood, offering panoramic views of the city's skyline from its highest vantage point, including views of landmarks such as the Space Needle, Capitol Hill, and the Cascade Mountains. The park is named in honor of area citizen Werner Kracke, nicknamed for the popular "by cracky" idiom that was in common linguistic use in the late 19th century. It is noted for its interesting use of land in a space that would not seem hospitable to developing park facilities, as much of the park's land slopes uphill within a steep residential area. An ADA-accessible children's playground is offered at the park, along with a bike rack, benches, and drinking fountains. Each year, the park serves as a popular spot for viewing city Fourth of July fireworks due to the park's high elevation.
1215 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, Phone: 206-684-4075
Carkeek Park is a spacious 216-acre park in Seattle's Broadview neighborhood, located along the city's Puget Sound coastline along the railroad tracks of the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway. Seattle's first park named Carkeek Park was located at the site of present-day Magnuson Park, located along the city's Pontiac Bay. The present-day Carkeek Park is a relocation of the old park, home today to lovely alder and maple forest areas and a wide variety of visitor amenities, including day-use picnic shelters, children's playgrounds, and a number of hiking trails. Visitors can access the park's beachfront directly via its Railroad Foot Bridge or stroll alongside the banks of several creeks, including Venema, Pipers, and Mohlendorph Creeks. Other features include the Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center, which focuses on the implementation of sustainability practices throughout Seattle's parks.
950 NW Carkeek Park Rd, Seattle, WA 98177, Phone: 206-684-0877
Colman Park is a charming 24.3-acre park in Seattle's Mount Baker neighborhood, located along the banks of Lake Washington near the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge. The park, which is located adjacent to Mount Baker Bathing Beach, was named in honor of Seattle-area engineer James M. Colman, noted for his work on the city's first municipal water pumphouse. Throughout the 20th century, the park was home to a popular swimming beach that serviced up to 40,000 swimmers each summer, though the park's beach closed in the 1960s following efforts to renovate its former pumphouse facility. Today, visitors can play football, soccer, and volleyball on the park's grassy lawns or splash in the water at its lakefront, which is accessible via cement steps left over from the park's swimming beach days.
1800 Lake Washington Blvd S, Seattle, WA 98144, Phone: 206-684-4075
5.Dakota Place Park
© City of Seattle
Dakota Place Park is one of Seattle's smallest public park facilities, only spanning 0.34 acres throughout the city's West Seattle district along California Avenue. The park is anchored around a restored city landmark substation, which has been remodeled and is in use today as a satellite facility for the Hiawatha Community Center. Visitors can rent the park's substation for photoshoots and private special events or tour the building as part of open house events on some Saturday afternoons. The park's outdoor spaces are geared for multigenerational users, showcasing a terraced lawn, bird and butterfly gardens, and unique integrated art elements.
4304 SW Dakota St, Seattle, WA 98116, Phone: 206-684-4075
Discovery Park is a spacious 534-acre public park in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood, located along the city's gorgeous Puget Sound shoreline. The park is the largest urban park in Seattle, showcasing over two miles of lovely protected tidal beaches. It is constructed on land belonging to the Fort Lawton Historic District and is open to the public daily between 4:00pm and 11:30pm. Visitors can traverse the 2.8-mile Discovery Loop Park Trail, a designated National Recreation Trail which meanders through a variety of urban ecosystems and connects to other walking and biking trails in the region. More than 270 species of native and migratory birds call the park home, along with populations of harbor seals and California sea lions, making the park an excellent choice for urban wildlife watchers.
3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199, Phone: 206-386-4236
7.Ella Bailey Park
Ella Bailey Park is a quaint 0.12-acre public park, named for former seattle teacher Ella Bailey, who donated the park's lands to the city for park development. The park, which was opened to the public in 2007, is located adjacent to the former Magnolia Elementary School facility, repurposing its elementary school playground into a public children's playground accessible to children of all ages. A short walking and biking loop trail is available for visitor use, along with a large grassy activity lawn, two basketball hoops, and a number of day-use picnic sites. Spectacular panoramic views of Mount Rainier and the city's downtown district make the park a popular spot for viewing New Year's Eve and Fourth of July fireworks.
2601 W Smith St, Seattle, WA 98199, Phone: 206-684-4075
Ercolini Park is a charming Seattle neighborhood park, named in honor of popular produce growers and sellers Joe and Julia Ercoloni, a fixture at the site's community market in the 1930s. The bustling neighborhood park is home to a lovely children's playground, offering safe play experiences for children of all ages, including infant and toddler swings. A spacious grassy lawn offers opportunities for stretching out and playing sports, while a number of day-use picnic sites provide chances to enjoy meals with the entire family. A collection of children's toys is maintained at the park by the West Seattle Moms Group, including scooters, tractors, and rocking horses.
4542 48th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116, Phone: 206-684-4946
Freeway Park is one of Seattle's most unique downtown parks, featured in the popular PBS documentary film 10 Parks that Changed America. The five-acre park, which was the vision of Seattle civic leader Jim Ellis, was the nation's first park constructed over a highway at its opening in 1976. A series of linked irregular plaza structures featuring concrete planting containers and walls intertwine and connect between the Washington State Convention and Trade Center and nearby First Hill, serving as a cultural precedent for similar land usage throughout other American cities. The park is divided into separate East, West, and Central Plaza areas, with a fourth preexisting area, centered around George Tsutakawa's Naramore Fountain, integrated into the park's design.
700 Seneca St, Seattle, WA 98101
10.Fremont Peak Park
Fremont Peak Park is a unique half-acre park in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood, known for its spectacular blufftop views of Puget Sound and the nearby Olympic Mountains. The park, which was originally opened to the public in November of 2007, was the recipient of the Design Excellence Award the same year by the Seattle Design Commission. The picturesque urban oasis is home to a lovely sculpture designed to mark the seasonal equinoxes and solstices, integrating existing vegetation areas into public art pieces. The park's walls incorporate design elements related to the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, depicting a section of the maze of King Minos. Artistic elements of the park were created in collaboration with regional artist Laura Haddad.
4357 Palatine Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, Phone: 206-684-4075
11.Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park is a 19.1-acre public park in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood, located along the northern banks of the city's Lake Union. The National Register of Historic Places-listed park preserves the facilities of the Seattle Gas Light Company plant, which was the last functional coal gasification plant in the United States at the time of its closing. It was originally opened to the public as Myrtle Edwards Park in 1975, named in honor of the late city councilwoman whose name now adorns the current Myrtle Edwards Park. Elements of the gas plant have been repurposed for use as park amenities, including areas converted into a children's playground with factory play structures. Other attractions include a sundial sculpture and a kite flying hill popular throughout the spring and summer months.
2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103, Phone: 206-684-4075
12.Hing Hay Park
Hing Hay Park is a culturally-focused 0.3-acre public park in Seattle's Chinatown-International District neighborhood, named in honor of a traditional Chinese phrase that roughly translates to "celebrate happiness." The park is home to an authentic Taiwanese pavilion that was donated to Seattle by the Mayor of Taipei in the early 1970s, featuring a community bulletin board and design features arranged according to feng shui principles. Martial arts practitioners frequent the park, which offers outdoor fitness equipment, chess tables, and an expansive park plaza that is home to cafe tables and lighted Asian-style figures. The park was immortalized in the song "Blue Story" by the band Blue Scholars, featured on their Long March EP. Throughout the year, the park is host for a number of cultural celebrations, including summer Dragonfest and Lunar New Year events.
423 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, Phone: 206-684-4075
13.Lewis Park Natural Area
Lewis Park Natural Area is a Seattle Parks and Recreation-operated natural area located along the northeastern slopes of the city's Beacon Hill, just south of Interstate 90. The park, which was originally donated to the city by W.H. Lewis in 1911, was long abandoned to invasive species overgrowth throughout much of the 20th century before its reclamation by the Friends of Lewis Park beginning in 2007. Today, the park offers unique community spaces and plantings of native species meant to reinvigorate the park's natural ecosystems and improve its landscape. Native trees, shrubs, and ground cover now populate the park area, thanks to the work of weekly volunteer work parties beginning in 2007.
1120 15th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144, Phone: 206-684-4075
© Aleksey Stemmer/stock.adobe.com
Lincoln Park is one of Seattle's largest urban park, spanning 135 acres throughout West Seattle near the Puget Sound at Fauntleroy Way SW. The park, which occupies the city's densely-vegetated Williams Point headland area, is located within the city's Fauntleroy neighborhood near the Washington State Ferries terminal, serving as a popular urban sanctuary and nature preserve area. Over four miles of walking paths are offered throughout the park, along with four miles of cycling trails and a number of day-use picnic sites. Baseball and tennis courts are available for visitor use, along with a heated saltwater swimming pool open to the public during the summer months. Accessible children's playground features include a cable ride, a sand table, and a sensory area.
8011 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle, WA 98136, Phone: 206-684-4075
Magnolia Park is a gorgeous 12.1-acre park located within the upscale Seattle neighborhood of the same name, originally purchased by the city for park development in 1950. Despite its name, the park is not home to any magnolia trees, earning its name after a Navy geographer misidentified the region's madrona trees. Spectacular views of the nearby Puget Sound are offered from the impressive Magnolia Bluff, with spots available for watching boats sailing through Elliott Bay. Park amenities include an outdoor tennis court, public walking paths, and an ADA-accessible children's playground available for use by young visitors of all ages.
1461 Magnolia Blvd W, Seattle, WA 98199, Phone: 206-684-4075
Magnuson Park is a charming 150-acre public park in Seattle's Sand Point neighborhood, commonly referred to as Sand Point Park. The park, which was originally established as Carkeek Park in 1900, was home to the Naval Station Puget Sound throughout the early 20th century until its decommissioning in 1970. Large portions of the former airfield were given to both the City of Seattle and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In 1977, the public park lands were rebranded as Magnuson Park, named in honor of United States Senator Warren Magnuson. Today, the park is Seattle's second-largest public park, offering amenities such as sporting fields, a boat launch, a community center and garden, and a seasonal swimming beach. The Junior League of Seattle Children's Playground, Seattle's largest children's playground, was constructed entirely using a volunteer force and designed with the aid of children's advisory teams.
7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115, Phone: 206-684-4075
Me-Kwa-Mooks Park is a West Seattle neighborhood park spanning more than 20 acres, named in honor of a Duwamish indigenous word meaning "shaped like a bear's head," which was used to describe the West Seattle peninsula prior to the arrival of white settlers in the region. The park's lands were acquired by the City of Seattle in 1971, located on the former homestead site of area pioneers Emma and Ferdinand Schmitz. In 1994, the lands were converted into a public park space with the aid of students at the Pathfinder K-8 school. Today, visitors can explore the park's marine life-rich tide pools or use day-use picnic sites at the park's large grassy hillside lawn.
4503 Beach Dr SW, Seattle, WA 98116, Phone: 206-684-4075
18.Myrtle Edwards Park
Myrtle Edwards Park is a lively 4.8-acre public park in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, originally established as Elliott Bay Park in honor of its location along the gorgeous Elliott Bay waterfront. In 1976, the park was renamed in honor of late Seattle city council member and regional activist Myrtle Edwards, a relocation of the former Myrtle Edwards Park name, which previously belonged to the park now known as Gas Works Park. Visitors can access a 1.25-mile pedestrian and cycling path, which offers unparalleled views of the nearby Puget Sound and impressive Mount Rainier. Olympic Sculpture Park, which is operated in conjunction with the Seattle Art Museum, is also operated at the park.
3130 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121, Phone: 206-684-4075
Northacres Park is a charming 20.7-acre public park located in Seattle's Haller Lake neighborhood, stretching along the corner corridor or NE 130th Street and Interstate 5. The park is home to an expansive forested habitat traversed by public nature trails, with fir trees flanking the park's day-use picnic areas. An off-leash dog park is offered for visitors looking to frolic with their four-legged friends, along with a baseball diamond and soccer field available for visitor use. A newly-remodeled children's playground and wading pool were opened to the public in 2012, featuring separate play areas for older and younger children and a seasonal spray park. Other amenities include restrooms, benches, and other shady areas for relaxation and watching children at play.
12718 1st Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125, Phone: 206-684-4075
Occidental Square, commonly referred to as Occidental Square or Occidental Mall, is a lovely shaded public park spanning 0.6 miles throughout Seattle's Pioneer Square district. The park, which was originally established in 1971, is bisected by the Seattle Waterfront Streetcar line, which spans along the neighborhood's South Main Street. Unique totem poles and woodcarvings have been featured at the park since the 1980s, designed by artist Duane Pasco, including a piece created for the 1974 Spokane World's Fair. Outdoor cafe areas and park benches provide opportunities for shaded relaxation, while bocce courts and ping-pong tables provide recreational opportunities. The park also serves as the starting point for popular Marches to the Matches, which are organized by Seattle Sounders football fans prior to home games.
117 S Washington St, Seattle, WA 98104, Phone: 206-684-4075
© City of Seattle
Oxbow Park is one of Seattle's most unique public attractions, located in the city's Georgetown neighborhood. The park preserves the city's iconic Hat 'n Boots roadside attraction, which was created in 1953 by Seattle artist Lewis Nasmyth in order to serve a Western-themed gas station in the neighborhood. The unique attraction, which showcases a 44-foot cowboy hat and 22-foot cowboy boots, made the gas station the nation's hottest-selling station for a period throughout the mid-2oth century, said to have been visited by celebrities such as Elvis Presley in the 1960s. Following the station's closure in the late 1980s, citizen activism campaigns were enacted to preserve the roadside sculptures, which were eventually relocated to Oxbow Park. Other park features include a children's playground and community garden.
6430 Corson Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134, Phone: 206-684-4075
22.Schmitz Preserve Park
© Juanamari Gonzalez/stock.adobe.com
Schmitz Preserve Park, commonly referred to as Schmitz Park, stretches along 15 city blocks near Alki Point in West Seattle, spanning an area of more than 53 acres. The park's lands were donated to the city in 1908 by area pioneers Emma and Ferdinand Schmitz, with additional area added to the park throughout the 20th century to bring the park up to its current size. Today, the park is home to one of the city's final remaining old-growth forest stands, protected as a result of preservation policies enacted throughout the mid-2oth century. Walking and hiking paths are offered throughout the park, which showcase large stumps that served as springboards for axe men during the city's pioneer days.
5551 SW Admiral Way, Seattle, WA 98116, Phone: 206-684-4075
© George Cole/stock.adobe.com
Seward Park spans 300 acres throughout its namesake iconic Seattle neighborhood, both of which are named in honor of William Seward, the former United States Secretary of State. The spacious park was originally designed as part of the master park plan for the City of Seattle that was crafted by famed American landscape designers the Olmsted Brothers. Today, the park is home to an expansive public beachfront along Andrews' Bay, which is open seasonally and offers chances for swimming and sunbathing for visitors of all ages. Boat launch ramps are offered at Bailey Peninsula and Andrews Cove, while walking and cycling opportunities are available on more than 2.4 miles of visitor trails. Other amenities include a children's playground, a native plant garden, an art studio, and a public amphitheater used for concerts and special events.
5900 Lake Washington Blvd. S, Seattle, WA 98118, Phone: 206-684-4396
24.Virgil Flaim Park
Virgil Flaim Park is a spacious public park located near Seattle's Lake City Library and Lake City Community Center, named in honor of famed Lake City resident Virgil Flaim in 2009. The park, which was originally constructed as an elementary school playground site, was acquired by the City of Seattle in 1987 following the school's closure. Today, it is located near the neighborhood's residential and commercial core, offering paved walking paths and a large grassy lawn area that provides opportunities for relaxation and play. A large children's playground features play equipment for children of all ages, while a newly-added skateboard park and a number of basketball courts provide opportunities for active recreation.
2700 NE 123rd St, Seattle, WA 98125, Phone: 206-684-4075
© City of Seattle
Volunteer Park was the first park designed by the Olmsted Brothers as part of Seattle's master park systems plan, spanning 48.3 acres throughout the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood today. The charming park space was originally acquired from lands owned by J.M. Colman, which were donated to the city in 1876. This historic Olmsted Park was the first Olmsted designed park in the city. In addition to the park's permanent landscaping, from July through the first frost beautiful dahlias bloom in abundance, thanks to the the efforts of the Puget Sound Dahlia Association, whose members have been planting them each year since 1984. It earned its current name after lobbying efforts by Seattle theater critic Willis Sayre, meant to honor volunteer servicemen in the Spanish-American War. Today, the park is home to the Seattle Asian Art Museum, along with a designated landmark conservatory facility, a water tower observation deck, and a beautiful chestnut tree allé. Other park attractions include a concert grove and pergola, landscaped lawns, and a unique sculpture by artist Isamu Noguchi, which is colloquially referred to by area residents as "The Doughnut."
1247 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112, Phone: 206-684-4075
25 Best Seattle Parks
- Beer Sheva Park, Photo: George Cole/stock.adobe.com
- Bhy Kracke Park, Photo: Steve/stock.adobe.com
- Carkeek Park, Photo: Jacob/stock.adobe.com
- Colman Park, Photo: maewshooter/stock.adobe.com
- Dakota Place Park, Photo: City of Seattle
- Discovery Park, Photo: Gary/stock.adobe.com
- Ella Bailey Park, Photo: sunlover616/stock.adobe.com
- Ercolini Park, Photo: wckiw/stock.adobe.com
- Freeway Park, Photo: lembi/stock.adobe.com
- Fremont Peak Park, Photo: studiographicmh/stock.adobe.com
- Gas Works Park, Photo: ricktravel/stock.adobe.com
- Hing Hay Park, Photo: yooranpark/stock.adobe.com
- Lewis Park Natural Area, Photo: Kristina/stock.adobe.com
- Lincoln Park, Photo: Aleksey Stemmer/stock.adobe.com
- Magnolia Park, Photo: Jacob/stock.adobe.com
- Magnuson Park, Photo: CascadeCreatives/stock.adobe.com
- Me-Kwa-Mooks Park, Photo: Georgi/stock.adobe.com
- Myrtle Edwards Park, Photo: CascadeCreatives/stock.adobe.com
- Northacres Park, Photo: zenstock/stock.adobe.com
- Occidental Square, Photo: DmitriK/stock.adobe.com
- Oxbow Park, Photo: City of Seattle
- Schmitz Preserve Park, Photo: Juanamari Gonzalez/stock.adobe.com
- Seward Park, Photo: George Cole/stock.adobe.com
- Virgil Flaim Park, Photo: svetlanais/stock.adobe.com
- Volunteer Park, Photo: City of Seattle
- Cover Photo: Ken/stock.adobe.com