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25 local parks to enjoy in the Seattle area

We’re highlighting the 25 best parks that the Seattle area has to offer — including Discovery, Woodland, and Marymoor Parks.

Two people walk on a paved bath underneath large pine trees, passing a bench surrounded by green grass.

Seattle’s parks are a great example of the abundance of variety in our Emerald City.

Photo by SEAtoday staff

Table of Contents

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 Blvd.
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.

A person wearing a bucket hat stands on a sandy path facing the Pacific Ocean, with an island in the distance and tall grasses bordering the path.

Discovery Park is where we would go to stand and wave as we watch our lover depart on their long-term sea voyage.

Photo by @mowaryn

Seward Park, 5900 Lake Washington Blvd. S.
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.

Carkeek Park, 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd.
In addition to its 220 acres of meadow, forests, wetlands, and beaches, this park is also home to an annual chum salmon run.

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The descent down to the beach is very dramatic, and not our favorite to climb back up.

Photo by TIA International Photography

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.

Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, 18201 SE Cougar Mountain Dr., Renton
There are 3,000+ acres of nature here. Hike to your 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.
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 Pkwy. 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-ft free-standing climbing rock.

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Rent a field at Woodland Park or sneak over for a quick game when no one’s using it.

Photo via Seattle Parks and Rec

Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave.
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.

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If you like to get creative with how you get active, Cal Anderson Park is the way to go.

Photo by Futoshi Kobayashi

West Queen Anne Playfield, 150 W. Blaine St.
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 small ones.

Good for dogs

Magnuson Park, 7400 Sand Point Way NE
The 8.6-acre off leash area is the only one 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.
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.

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The Magnuson Park off leash area is so large it has its own pathways.

Photo via Seattle Parks and Rec

Westcrest Park, 9000 Eighth Ave. SW
Not all of us are happy getting our butts 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.
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.
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
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.
In addition to its ADA-accessible playground, your kid will also delight in the wading pool, picnic areas, and space to play ball.

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We’d burn so much energy here.

Photo via Seattle Parks and Rec

Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Ave. E.
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.

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We would have absolutely lost our minds if our parents brought us to this park as a kid.

Photo via Seattle Parks and Rec

Jefferson Park, 3801 Beacon Ave. S.
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
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
This is another solid beach spot that also has the added benefit of plenty of delectable restaurants and bars just across the street.

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These are the Golden Garden views that make us excited for summer.

Photo via SEAtoday staff

Mount Baker Beach, 2521 Lake Park Dr. S.
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.
Safety is always key. This swimming spot along Lake Washington is equipped with lifeguards.

Green Lake Park, 7201 E. Green Lake Dr. N.
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.

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You may not be able to see it, but there are boba shops and Italian restaurants right on the other side of this lens.

Photo by @minq_87

Your park grab bag

Picked your perfect park? Make the most out of your experience with our favorite items for a relaxing day outside:

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