Points of Interest: Seattle Parks & Places

Discovery Park

General Information
NFT Map: 11
Address: 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199
Phone: 206-386-4236
Hours: 4 am–11:30 pm

Discovery Park is by far Seattle's largest park, covering 534 acres. Located on the Magnolia bluffs, the park occupies most of the former Fort Lawton military base. Discovery offers the most extensive hiking trails within the city, just under 12 miles worth of trails, making it the perfect destination for those ti ... (continue... )

Freeway Park

General Information
NFT Map: 3
Address: 700 Seneca St Seattle, WA 98101
Freeway Park Association: freewayparkassociation.org
Hours: 6 am–10:00 pm daily

The 5.2 acre Freeway Park, the first park to be built over a freeway, links First Hill and downtown between 6th and 9th Avenues in a series of boxy concrete plazas surrounded by lush vegetation. The park's fountains, when they are on, are visually stunning: geometric waterfalls, almost li ... (continue... )

Gas Works Park

General Information
NFT Map: 25
Address: 2101 N Northlake Wy, Seattle, WA 98103
Hours: 6 am–10:00 pm daily

If ever you feel disenchanted with Seattle, head directly to Gas Works Park and stand at the top of the kite-flying hill. Even on a dreary day, the vista of water, sky, and rusted metal is dramatic, and the juxtaposition of natural beauty and industrial rust is lyrical in ways only Sir Mix-a-Lot can touch. The 19.1 acre park juts out int ... (continue... )

Golden Gardens Park

General Information
NFT Map: 33
Address: 8498 Seaview Pl NW, Seattle, WA 98117
Hours: 4 am–11:30 pm

Originally designed as a destination at the end of an electric car line for folks to escape hectic city life, Golden Gardens is just that, minus the electric car line. Hidden from (or hiding) the city behind immense bluffs, Golden Gardens is Puget Sound at its finest and then some--romantic vistas of the Olympics, tranquil waters, barking sea l ... (continue... )

Olympic Sculpture Park

General Information
NFT Map: 1
Address: 2901 Western Ave, Seattle WA, 98121
Phone: 206-654-3100
Website: www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/olympic-sculpture-park
Hours: Daily, 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset

Seattle Art Museum's magnificent 8.5-acre waterfront sculpture park opened in 2007 in a former industrial parcel, a rare spot of open space in the downtown area. The world-class collection--free admission 365 d ... (continue... )

Pike Place Market

General Information
NFT Map: 3
Location: 1st Ave and Pike St
Phone: 206-682-7453
Website: www.pikeplacemarket.org or @pike_place
Hours: 9 am–6 pm daily (5 pm Sun); fish and produce open 7 am; closed Thanksgiving and Christmas

While it doesn't share the Space Needle's phallic elegance, Pike Place Market matches the monument's importance as a symbol of Seattle. The oldest farmers market in the country has experienced myriad changes ov ... (continue... )

Seattle Central Library

General Information
NFT Map 3
Address: 1000 Fourth Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-386-4636
Website: www.spl.org or @SPLBuzz
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 10 am–8 pm, Fri-Sat: 10 am–6 pm, Sun: 12 pm–6 pm

The Rem Koolhaas-designed Seattle Central Library opened in 2004 to much fanfare, and helped to rescue the city from its growing reputation as an architectural vacuum. The stunning, avant-garde glass and steel structure is actually the third ... (continue... )

Volunteer Park

General Information
NFT Map: 17 & 20
Address 1247 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112
Volunteer Park Conservatory: www.volunteerparkconservatory.org
Asian Art Museum: www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/asian-art-museum
Hours: 6 am–10 pm daily

Volunteer Park, so named in 1901 to honor Spanish-American War recruits, is yet another jewel in Seattle's crown of gorgeous public spaces. The 48.3-acre park features a museum, a conservatory, many ... (continue... )

Washington Park Arboretum

General Information
NFT Map: 22 & 19
Address: 2300 Arboretum Dr E, Seattle, WA 98122
Phone: 206-543-8800
Website: depts.washington.edu/wpa or @uwbotanicgarden
Arboretum Foundation: www.arboretumfoundation.org or @ArboretumFound

The Washington Park Arboretum is 230 acres of sprawling beauty that contains more than 5,000 different plant species. You will find a large collection of mountain ash and maple as well as an abundance of ... (continue... )

Cal Anderson Park

General Information
NFT Map: 4
Address: 1635 11th Ave Seattle, WA 98102
Phone: 206-684-4075
Cal Anderson Park Alliance: www.calandersonpark.org or @CalAndersonPark
Hours: 4 am-11:30 pm

The 7.37 acre Cal Anderson Park, named after Washington's first openly gay state legislator, is located in the heart of Capitol Hill and includes the Lincoln Reservoir and the Bobby Morris Playfield. Formerly Lincoln Park, Cal Anderson has had numerou ... (continue... )

Woodland Park Zoo

General Information
NFT Map: 24 & 30
Address: 5500 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Phone: 206-548-2500
Website: www.zoo.org or @woodlandparkzoo
Hours: Open every day of the year, except Dec. 25; May 1–Sep 30: 9:30 am–6 pm, Oct 1–April 30: 9:30 am–4 pm
Admission: May 1–Sep 30 $19.95 adults, $12.25 kids age 3-12; Oct 1–April 30 $13.75 adults, $9.25 kids (3-12); $2 discount off regular admission prices for seniors (65+) and disabled; kids 0-2 are free.
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Bainbridge Island

Over the centuries, Bainbridge has seen a little of everything--Native American battlefields, logging camps, strawberry farms, artist colonies, and more. Fort Ward and Battlepoint Park were two important military outposts. Battlepoint was the first place to receive the signal that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. No longer a sleepy little bohemian enclave, Bainbridge Island's recent growth has been tremendous, with condos sprouting like fungus and a highly affluent population f ... (continue... )

Green Lake Park

General Information
NFT Map: 30 & 31
Address: 7201 E Green Lake Dr N, Seattle, WA 98103
Hours: Open 24 hours a day

For over a century, Seattleites have enjoyed the cool tranquility of Green Lake Park, a popular destination for joggers, dog walkers, bikers, roller skaters, and what have you. This is one of Seattle's loveliest parks, which guarantees crowds on pleasant weekends, but the calming vibe of the water and the woods tends to ease ... (continue... )

Warren G. Magnuson Park

General Information
NFT Map: 27
Address: 7400 Sand Point Wy NE, Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: 206-684-4946
Hours: 4 am–11:30 pm

There are parks, and then there are parks. With 350 acres on the shores of Lake Washington, Warren G. Magnuson Park, Seattle's second-largest park, is a recreational wonderland. It wasn't always so. The park was purchased by the government at the turn of the century and given to the federal government to turn into a ... (continue... )

Lake Union

Plopped between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, Lake Union is the baby bear of the Seattle waterways. On the east, it has a watery arm that stretches to Lake Washington--Portage Bay--and another to the west that connects it to Puget Sound.

Lake Union itself is riddled with marinas and a vibrant, eclectic houseboat community (eclectic in this instance means high-end homes as well as scows). The area around the lake was fairly neglected and somewhat industrial unti ... (continue... )

San Juan Islands

General Information
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau: www.visitsanjuans.com or @visitSJIslands
Washington State Ferries: www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries or @wsferries

Only 80 miles northwest of Seattle, the San Juan Islands provide an idyllic weekend escape from the city and a memorable excursion into pristine wilderness. Situated in the San Juan Channel between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Georgia Strait, there are more than 400 islands in the arc ... (continue... )

Seattle Center

General Information
NFT Map: 15
Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: 206-684-7200
Website: www.seattlecenter.com or @seattlecenter

The site of the 1962 World's Fair, Seattle Center offers 74 acres of cultural resources and entertainment amenities between Belltown to the south and Queen Anne to the north. The Space Needle, Seattle's most famous landmark, sits in Seattle Center, and the Monorail, that quirky two-stop relic of ... (continue... )

Seward Park

General Information
NFT Map: 40
Address: 5900 Lake Washington Blvd S, Seattle, WA 98118
Phone: 206-684-4396
Friends of Seward Park: www.sewardpark.org
Seward Park Audubon Center: sewardpark.audubon.org or @sewardaudubon
Seward Park Clay Studio: sewardparkart.org
Park Hours: 6 am–10 pm

Seward Park was purchased by the city in 1910 for $322,020, or less than a tiny home in south Seattle's nearby neighborhoods. It is a gigant ... (continue... )

University of Washington

General Information
NFT Map: 26
Address: 1410 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-543-2100
Website: www.washington.edu or @UW
Enrollment: 45,213 (2015)
Budget: $6.9 billion (FY15)
Endowment: $2.8 billion (2014)

Founded November 4, 1861, the University of Washington, or UW (pronounced U-Dub) is the oldest university on the west coast and the largest in the Pacific Northwest. There are three campuses--Tacoma, Bo ... (continue... )

Vashon Island

Vashon Island plays the role of that forgotten, oddball, isolated community populated with eccentric characters and legendary landmarks only locals can appreciate (a bike in a tree, a strawberry festival without strawberries, and so on). Vashon is less a destination than Bainbridge or the San Juans. In fact, with no hotels, only a couple dozen B&Bs or guest houses, and virtually no camping allowed anywhere on the island, Vashon doesn't exactly encourage tourism.

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Whidbey Island

General Information
Whidbey and Camano Islands Tourism: www.whidbeycamanoislands.com or @GoWhidbeyCamano

One of Seattle's biggest perks is its proximity to an endless variety of retreats and getaways. Just miles from the hustle and bustle lay idyllic islands that can wipe away any memory of hellish downtown traffic. One of the prettiest and closest of these is Whidbey Island, known for its scenic shores, quaint island communities, and increasingly precio ... (continue... )