Pike Place
See the Sound! (The Puget Sound, that is.) Discovery Park invites you to breathtaking views. See our Photography Gallery for more Seattle getaways. Photos by Nick Onken and Luke Rutan
Want to get away?
Seattle Parks are creative art shows, beaches, or simply an escape to the wilderness
So, you’ve heard about the rain, have you? Yeah, raincoats get a workout in Seattle. It’s no wonder that Seattle’s a coffeehouse utopia, and the movie theaters are packed. Sometimes you’ve just gotta take shelter.
But don’t get the wrong idea. Seattle Pacific University is surrounded by natural wonders that will keep you busy exploring all through autumn, winter, and spring into summer. Keep an umbrella in one hand, and a camera in the other. These places turn foggy and mysterious on rainy mornings, and in the snow, they turn into winter wonderlands. And in spring and summer — well, there’s nothing more spectacular than Seattle scenery in the sunshine.
Take a break. Take a book. Take a friend. And above all, take your time.
Here are a few highlights:
Kerry Park - Seattle Pacific StudentsImpressive by day and by night, Queen Anne Hill’s Kerry Park offers Seattle’s best views. You’ll be awestruck by the panorama that has inspired a thousand postcards. Check out the Space Needle, and the vast span of Puget Sound, crisscrossed by freighters and ferryboats. On a sunny day, you’ll see Mount Rainier hovering on the horizon above it all. Forget your binoculars? They’re installed at the viewpoint.
Need a break from the shake, rattle, and roll of the city? One of Seattle’s best-kept secrets is waiting just down the street from Kerry Park, and has been since 1956. Parsons Gardens is a quiet, colorful garden open for wanderers to enjoy a meditative stroll or an afternoon with a good book.
Gas Works ParkWhile Parsons Garden is like a love song, Gas Works Park is a rock concert. Alive with kite-fliers, picnickers, and cyclists, this park gives visitors a sensational view across Lake Union to the downtown skyline, Queen Anne Hill, and the Aurora Bridge. On top of Gas Works hill, you’ll walk on an extravagantly decorated concrete sundial that’s almost 30 feet wide. It’s a great place for Facebook portraits, band photos, and snapshots to send home to your family. The main attraction is a colorful old gasification plant that looks like a giant piece of playground equipment. This plant was a primary source of power for Seattle between 1907 and the mid 1950s.
In Magnolia, just north of SPU, you might get lost wandering through Discovery Park. Follow the maze of trails through 534 acres across Magnolia Bluff, and you can gaze across Puget Sound to the edge of the world. Bright as teeth, the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges call out to hikers and campers from opposite horizons. Visitors can peer over the edge of high sea cliffs, or hike down to tidal beaches. The place is alive with an array of wildlife. Watch for bald eagles!
You don’t have to be a gardener to enjoy the Washington Park Arboretum. It’s a museum of living color — diversity in action. If you want to learn about green and growing things, the Arboretum lets you see, smell, and touch some of the Pacific Northwest’s treasures, including rare species and varieties being cultivated as important resources for the future.
Sculpture ParkSeattle’s latest art gallery dares visitors to visit in all weather. The new Olympic Sculpture Park is a waterfront green space full of art against the backdrop of the Olympic Mountains. What price could be better than free? When you get back home, you’ll find yourself folding pieces of paper, stacking stones, or playing with your food, overwhelmed by the urge to sculpt, sculpt, sculpt!
Make yourself a “park checklist,” and you’ll have to visit more than 400 parks to take the full tour. That’s 6,200 acres of places waiting for you to write new chapters of your Pacific Northwest adventure.
Which park will be the stage for your favorite Seattle memories? That depends. Do you want to swim, splash through a creek, attend an outdoor concert, chase squirrels, play basketball, sunbathe, have a picnic, or just get away from traffic and noise?
For more sights, check out our Seattle Getaway Photography Gallery.
By Jeffery Overstreet [jeffreyo@spu.edu]
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