Whether you’re looking for a place to play with the kiddos or to decompress with some off-screen time, the Seattle metro area features tons of parks and recreational spots for you to enjoy.
Ready to plan your trip to the park? Grab your shades and trusty water bottle — here are some of the Emerald City’s best:
Good for hiking
Discovery Park, 3801 Discovery Park Boulevard, Seattle
This park is pretty all-encompassing with 534 acres and nine miles meandering through sand dunes, tidal beaches, dramatic cliffs, and lush forests — there’s also a playground with zip lines for the kids.
Seward Park, 5900 Lake Washington Blvd. S., Seattle
Can’t get enough of those big, beautiful evergreen trees our state is known for? This 300-acre park near Hillman City comes with miles of trails that wind through old growth forest and along the side of Lake Washington.
Bridle Trails State Park, 5300 116th Ave. NE, Kirkland
This Eastside park is home to 28 miles of walkable trails and is considered one of the best equestrian trails this side of the Mississippi River — and you can count riding a horse as hiking (why not?).
Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, 18201 SE Cougar Mountain Dr., Renton
Y’all, there are 3,000+ acres of nature here. Hike to your little heart’s content through second growth forests, wetlands, and caves (please be careful if you go in a cave, though).
Good for sports
Woodland Park, 1000 N. 50th St., Seattle
Yes, there’s a zoo here, but there are also tennis courts, a skate park, and several rentable playing fields for your rec soccer or football team.
Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway NE, Redmond
Let your imagination run wild in the many fields here. Or stick to sports specific options on the park’s rugby and cricket fields, tennis courts, and a 45-foot free-standing climbing rock.
Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave., Seattle
In addition to its tennis courts and baseball fields, this Capitol Hill spot also has lots of open green areas for hula hooping, spikeball, or slacklining.
Washington Park Playfield, 1017 Lake Washington Blvd. E.
We have a pretty standard ballpark on our hands here with spots for soccer, baseball, and softball — all with the added benefits of lights and bleachers if you’re expecting to show off in front of a crowd.
West Queen Anne Playfield, 150 W. Blaine St., Seattle
These softball, baseball, and soccer fields also come with fences so you look more official (and so the kiddos don’t accidentally wander somewhere they shouldn’t). Plus, there are bleachers, new LED lighting, and a playground for aforementioned kiddos.
Good for dogs
Magnuson Park, 7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle
The 8.6-acre off leash area is the only within Seattle city limits that includes beach access for your pups. We all need to cool off, right?
Dr. Jose Rizal Park, 1007 12th Ave. S., Seattle
Your dog may not be able to appreciate the views of the Puget Sound and downtown Seattle, but they will appreciate the water and four acres of running space.
Westcrest Park, 9000 Eighth Ave. SW, Seattle
Not all of us are happy getting our butt sniffed right away or by someone who’s a lot bigger than us. This 8-acre off leash space has its own fenced-in area for shy and small dogs.
Kinnear Park, 899 W. Olympic Pl., Seattle
If you like to walk your dog, but find that they still have a lot of energy even at the end of your outdoor escapade, this park has an off-leash area right next to its nature trails.
Magnolia Manor Park, 3500 28th Ave. W., Seattle
This urban dog zone is well-equipped with a doggie water fountain and a “chuck-it” game zone.
Good for kids
Ballard Commons Park, 5701 22nd Ave. NW, Seattle
We never met a kid who didn’t like nautical-themed play equipment. A recently finished park renovation also includes a brand new playground set-up.
Wallingford Playfield, 4219 Wallingford Ave. N., Seattle
In addition to its ADA-accessible playground, your kid will also delight in the wading pool, picnic areas, and space to play ball.
Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Ave. E., Seattle
This isn’t the biggest playground Seattle Parks has to offer, but there’s enough in this area to make a whole, educational family day of it — including the Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Volunteer Park Conservatory.
Roxhill Park, 2850 SW Roxbury St.
If kids had social media, you better bet that this would be one of the most Instagrammed parks in Seattle. It has a big castle playground, a BBQ area, sports fields, and wetlands made for exploring.
Jefferson Park, 3801 Beacon Ave. S., Seattle
As the sixth largest park in Seattle, you know this place will have some good digs. It’s got swing sets, a skate park, a full playground, and sooo much room to run around in.
Good for swimming
Golden Gardens, 8498 Seaview Pl. NW, Seattle
Whether you’re braving a polar plunge, basking in the summer sun, playing volleyball in the sand, or peering at the sea creatures that wash up in tide pools — this spot is excellent for anything beachy.
Alki Beach, 2665 Alki Ave. SW, Seattle
This is another solid beach spot that also has the added benefit of plenty of delectable restaurants and bars just across the street.
Mount Baker Beach, 2521 Lake Park Dr. S., Seattle
The kids will like this one — what’s better than having a big beach to romp around on? One that also has a playground.
Matthews Beach Park, 5100 NE 93rd St., Seattle
Safety is always key. This swimming spot along Lake Washington is equipped with lifeguards.
Green Lake Park, 7201 E. Green Lake Dr. N., Seattle
This park has all the makings for a really, lovely summer’s day with a swimming area (of course), picnic areas, boat launches, and a walking path around the entirety of the lake.