The Top Parks in Seattle for a City Break

05/18/2022 | by Andy | Local Area Guide

If you are planning a trip to Seattle, Washington, you are probably excited about checking out the sights. You probably want to visit the Space Needle, you may plan on swinging by Fisherman’s Wharf, and you might even want to take in a Seattle Seahawks game. On the other hand, there are probably situations where you want to get away from the big city.

That is where the top Seattle parks can be beneficial. There are plenty of green spaces to visit, there are lots of beautiful hiking trails to explore, and you can eat lunch at a few picnic tables with a beautiful view of the city. The city of Seattle is home to numerous beautiful parks, but what are some of the best parks you may want to visit while staying at one of the city’s best vacation rental homes?

Take a look at some of the top parks below, and consider swinging by some of the best national parks that Seattle has to offer.

1. The Washington Park Arboretum

Photo Credit: lynxriko via Instagram

2300 Arboretum Dr E, Seattle, WA

The Washington Park Arboretum is easily one of the best parks in all of Seattle. Located along the shores of Lake Washington in Madison Valley, you’ll enjoy a wide variety of walking and biking trails. Depending on which trail you choose, you’ll feel as though you’ve been teleported elsewhere, given the unique flora and fauna planted at this park.

For those searching for solo solstice, a beautiful place to take your kids outside of the hustle and bustle of the city, or somewhere to go on a romantic walk, The Washington Park Arboretum is the ideal place for you to spend a few hours.

2. Lake Union Park

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860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA

Lake Union Park is easily one of the most popular parks in Seattle. You can find it at the southern end of Lake Union, and it is 12 acres in size. It is not that far away from the downtown area of Seattle, and there are lots of beautiful walking paths that wind through green spaces and water features.

You can see a lot of people heading out to Lake Union to enjoy their lunch during the work week. Lake Union Park was built to honor the connection between the maritime economy and Seattle itself.

There is also a Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), where people can learn more about what life was like in Seattle before the modern era. The Space Needle and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Visitors Centre are both nearby.

3. Interlaken Park

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2451 Delmar Drive East, Seattle, WA

Interlaken Park is one of the top parks in the city if you are looking for an opportunity for a great workout. There are tons of trees and hiking trails in this park, and there are rivers and creeks that wind through the area as well. You can find it at the northern end of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, and the park is very well maintained.

It also gives you an opportunity to catch some of the local wildlife up close. There are maps available to help you explore the region, and you might see people walking and biking during your visit.

4. The Woodland Park Zoo

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5500 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA

Without a doubt, one of the top parts that you need to visit is the Woodland Park Zoo. It is 92 acres in size, and it has won a wide variety of awards because of its commitment to conservation. The Zoological Garden welcomes more than 1.4 million people every year, and it has more than 1,000 animals from all over the world.

You can find this park in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, and there are special events that take place here from time to time. You can find this park located at 5500 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103.

5. North Acres Park

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12718 1st Ave NE, Seattle, WA

Next, you might want to swing by North Acres Park as well. It is more than 20 acres in size, and you can find it between the freeway and N 130th avenue. The park is surrounded by a dense forest, and there are lots of great trails to explore. If you need a spot to go hiking, this option should be at the top of your list.

There are plenty of open spaces available in this park as well, with lots of grills you can use to grill out. This is also a popular place for people to have a baseball game or a soccer match. There is even a spray area and a wading pool in this park. You can even bring your dogs to the park and let them visit the leash-free area. It is one of the most popular parks in the area.

6. Jefferson Park

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4101 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, WA

Another park you may want to explore is called Jefferson Park. It is named after Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence. It is one of the largest parks in the city, spanning more than 52 acres. The park itself is inspired by Olmstead, and it provides you with some beautiful views of the Seattle City skyline and the Olympic mountains.

There is something for people of all backgrounds at this park. There are plenty of soccer fields available, lots of picnic tables for beautiful picnic spots, and even a spray water park to help people stay cool in the middle of the summer. You might even want to give the zip line to try.

7. Dr. Jose Rizal Park

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1007 12th Ave S, Seattle, WA

You can find this park on the western side of Beacon Hill. It will give you a beautiful view of the southern downtown area. It is approximately 10 acres, and there are plenty of bicycle pads available in this park. You can take the bike path and visit the Sound Greenway. There is also an area for your dog to spend some time without a leash.

The park has a variety of picnic tables, public restrooms available, and even a small play area for children. There are plenty of parking spots for cars, and it is relatively close to the Shakespeare Garden.

8. Lincoln Park

8011 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle, WA

Lincoln Park is one of the biggest parks in the city. It is more than 135 acres, and it is situated on the Puget Sound. You can find it just north of the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal. There is a cycling path that is approximately 4 miles long, and there are plenty of picnic shelters available as well.

This park has plenty of playgrounds, a variety of baseball fields, and several tennis courts. This park even has a bathhouse and an outdoor heated saltwater pool. Inside the park, there are approximately 4.5 miles of hiking trails to explore. This park will treat you to a mesmerizing view of the surrounding area, and you can marvel at the lush greenery.

There are plenty of places to get a workout, and there are lots of locations to relax. The park is also very close to the Seattle Japanese garden.

9. Centennial Park

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2711 Alaskan Way W, Seattle, WA

Centennial Park is easily one of the most iconic parks in Seattle. It used to be known as Elliott Bay Park, and it is a famous waterfront park in West Seattle. Even though it is connected to Myrtle Edwards Park, the two parks are actually in different locations. The biggest difference is that Centennial Park is operated by Seattle airport.

On the other hand, Seattle City is responsible for managing Myrtle Edwards Park. There is some gorgeous scenery available in Centennial Park. You can check out Puget Sound, enjoy a beautiful view of the Seattle skyline, and take some pictures of Mount Rainier. It is easy to see why so many people enjoy this park.

10. Discovery Park

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3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA

Another park you may want to explore is called Discovery Park. It is more than 530 acres in size, and it is the largest park in Seattle. At Discovery Park, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Cascade mountain range, and there is a wildlife sanctuary in the park. There are plenty of forest groves to explore, you can relax on a tidal beach, and there are plenty of open spaces for children to run around.

You can also enjoy a relaxing stroll around the walking trail, which connects to a variety of other hiking trails in the city. If you are looking for the best view of the Cascades, you may want to visit Discovery Park

11. Seola Greenbelt Park

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11617 Marine View Dr SW, Seattle, WA

This park is relatively small, but it is still a popular attraction in the local area. The Madrona Tree is arguably the biggest feature of the park, and it will give you some great views of the city. There is even a secluded beach area where you can kick back and relax.

You can get a nice workout on the walking paths, and you might see a few people playing some games as well. I highly suggest you pay a visit to this hidden gem.

12. Kerry Park

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211 W Highland Dr, Seattle, WA

If you are looking for the best view of the city, this might be the park to visit. It will give you a gorgeous view of Elliott Bay, Mount Rainier, and the skyline. Kerry Park is one of the most popular parks in Seattle, so be sure to bring your camera. Many pictures that have been published in magazines have been taken in Kerry Park.

Some of the best views of the city can be observed at night. Even though the park is not very big, it is definitely worth the visit. If you would like to see why so many people love this park, you can find it relatively close to Queen Anne Hill.

13. Carkeek Park

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950 NW Carkeek Park Rd, Seattle, WA

If you find yourself in Northwest Seattle, you may want to swing by Carkeek Park. It will give you a call in just a few of the Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains. It is approximately 222 acres in size, and it is known for its creeks and wetlands.

There are lots of educational programs available in the park, and there are plenty of picnic spots where you can kick back and relax. You may want to explore the Pipers Canyon Story Trail, which will give you a nice view of the area.

14. Alki Beach Park

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1702 Alki Ave. SW, Seattle, WA

If you are looking for a beautiful park that will provide you with an unhindered view of the water, then you should swing by Alki Beach Park. This is also the perfect place to visit if you want to get some exercise. Strollers, joggers, and cyclists all have their own individual tracks, so you should not have to worry about other people getting in the way.

Kids also have their own dedicated play area, and they can enjoy the beach right from there. During the winter, a lot of people love to come and watch the waves roll in. There are concerts that take place here during the summer, and you have a beautiful view of the mountains. All you have to do is take a short ferry ride from the downtown area.

15. Volunteer Park

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1400 E. Prospect St. Seattle, WA

During your visit to Seattle, you may also want to swing by Volunteer Park. There is a conservatory in this park as well as the Seattle Art Museum. This will give you an opportunity to explore sculptures and paintings from India, Japan, China, and numerous other Asian countries. You can also take a look at one of the best botanical gardens in the area, with many interesting species being housed in a Victorian glasshouse.

This is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic, or you may simply want to go for a casual stroll. It is one of the oldest parks in the area, and it remains one of the most popular because of the Volunteer Park Conservatory.

16. Magnuson Park

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7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA

Next, you may want to visit Magnuson park. It is known for its expansive walking trails, easy boat launch location, and convenient picnic shelters. There are plenty of swimming pools in the park as well, and lots of people share their artwork. This park is the second-largest park in Seattle, measuring 350 acres.

There are also lots of monuments to the military past of Seattle, and there is a four-mile walking trail along the shores of Lake Washington as well. With a lot to offer, it is easy to see why so many people love visiting this area. It is relatively close to the Axis Pioneer Square.

17. Seward Park

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5900 Lake Washington Blvd S Seattle, WA

Finally, you may also want to visit Seward Park. This is a park that is three hundred acres, and it covers everything from Lake Washington to Bailey Peninsula. There are cycling and walking tracks available, and there are more than 120 acres of forest to explore.

There are lots of eagles that live in the area, but there’s also a beach where you can relax. There is even an art studio in this park. There are plenty of launch options if you want to cast off in a boat, and you should be sure to check out Garry’s Oak.

Get Ready To Explore the Top Seattle Parks With This Travel Guide

There are lots of city parks to explore in Seattle. Ranging from the Kubota Garden to the parks in the Belltown area, you should not overlook the Seattle parks in the city! Many parks have an off-leash area, and there are lots of playfield options, including in Viretta Park, for various sports.

During your visit to Seattle, be sure to check out these gorgeous parks! Many of them are the best parks in Washington State, so include them on your itinerary during your stay in Seattle. These parks have something for everyone to explore.