For safety reasons, Seattle parks close by 10pm or 11pm, and it’s best not to visit them after dark.
The well-worn paths in this lake’s
sylvan setting take visitors around a placid lake in a quiet
neighborhood north of downtown. Mirror-smooth or gently rippling with
the wind, Greenlake’s mesmerizing surface lets minds wander freely. It’s
packed on weekends, especially in summer months when sunbathers flock
to the grassy areas for day-long solar treatments.
1904 and 1909, the Olmsted Brothers turned these 45 acres of hilltop
into a bucolic grass meadow with a fantastic view. The park now houses
the Seattle Asian Art Museum, the Volunteer Park Conservatory, and an observation tower . It’s also a notorious gay pick-up scene at night.
Volunteer Park Conservatory
up in 1906 as a gasification plant to light the streets of Seattle,
this became the first industrial site in the world to be recreated into a
public park. The park has been scrubbed several times over the years,
much of the oversized, industrial machinery either remains on exhibit,
or sits rusted and threatening like industrial mastodons behind high
security fences. It has a high, grassy kite hill – topped with a
2101 N Northlake Way
206 684 4075
Woodland Park Rose Garden
New visitors to the Woodland Park Zoo
often bump into this gated area near one of the Zoo entrances. Others,
nearly a quarter million annually, make sure to wake up and smell the
roses. About 5,000 individual plants and 280 varieties of rose turn this
2.5 acre corner of north Seattle into a technicolor dream.
Schmitz Preserve Park
scant remains of the temperate rainforest old growth trees give a clue
of what Seattle must have resembled before European settlement. Schmitz
is essentially a deep, wide, heavily wooded ravine surrounded by
residential streets, but street noises disappear among the magnificent
trees and native plantlife.
Lake Washington Arboretum Japanese Garden
the Lake Washington Arboretum’s 230 acres of carefully cultivated
landscapes and rare tree species. The gardens, a living page of Japanese
history, were built in 1960 according to plans by Japanese designer
Juki Iida. These include a traditional sculpture, a stream, exotic
flora, ponds, and a teahouse.
Seattle Chinese Garden
one of the largest Chinese gardens outside of China at the South
Seattle Community College campus. Built by artisans from Seattle’s
sister city, Chongqing, the garden spans two separate cultures. Using
horticulture, rocks, and water, the Sichuan-style garden integrates
China’s history, art and architecture, philosophy, and literature into a
wondrous microcosm of the universe.
6000 16th Ave SW
206 282 8040
Center for Urban Horticulture
University of Washington established the CUH in 1980 in order to exert
more control and achieve sounder management of the Arboretum. It
includes a library, a herb garden, pleasant strolling meadows, and
weekly master gardener meetings.
In Ballard’s far northwestern edge along Puget Sound, the wide sandy beaches of Golden Gardens
take on the characteristics of a cherished vacation spot. The Olympic
Mountains stand to the west, a marina lies adjacent, and Lake Washington
Ship Canal is nearby so pleasure crafts are always in view. There are
two wetlands, a wooded area, a stream, and a loop trail.
On the road to West Seattle’s Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal, this is a versatile recreational find for those looking for hilly trails, picnics by the water, or even a dip in Colman Pool.