Parks of Seattle, Part II: Local Edition

If you find yourself with an extra few days and are looking to get some fresh air these are wonderful choices. Filled with wildlife and/or locals, some of these parks fly under the radar of many tourists and can feel like a true haven in the city. Once again, all of these parks are free to visit.

Discovery Park, 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199

City life can bring you down. The traffic, pollution, and crowds are just not natural to us. Sometimes you just want to get away and the magical thing about this park is you don’t even have to leave the city to do so. I couldn’t believe how removed I felt, how calm and happy to be trotting the trails of the fields and forests. Looking out from the bluffs to the Puget Sound,

discovery_park_seattle_3Heading down to the shore to see the lighthouse,

discovery_park_seattle_5Capturing a glimpse of the mountains.

discovery_park_seattleOn a clear day you can see both the Cascade and Olympic ranges. Throughout the park I heard and saw plenty of birds and even spotted some bunnies.

discovery_park_seattle_1There are just under 12 miles of trails to explore so you can really stretch your legs out here.

Golden Gardens Park, 8498 Seaview Pl NW, Seattle, WA 98117

Very popular in the summertime for taking a dip or simply soaking up some sun, but any day is fine in my book for a walk on the beach. Low tide makes it particularly interesting to search for critters on a clear day you can see the Olympic Mountains, and there is a long fishing pier. Being an east coaster the grayish black pebbly sand was unique and interesting to me.

golden_gardens_seattleWalk the distance of the beach and then hop on to the wetlands trail, a little ways inland. There was so much action going on! I stood at the edge and watched the wildlife, knowing the turtle and heron, but I never saw these particular ducks before, so I looked them up and they are called wigeons!

golden_gardens_seattle_5Gorgeous. If you’re looking to take more of a walk, find the mosaic tunnel.

golden_gardens_seattle_4There are some forested trails and a playground you may have noticed as you were driving down the winding road towards the parking lot.

Washington Park Arboretum, 2300 Arboretum Dr E, Seattle, WA 98112

Heading deep into a residential area, I almost thought my GPS was taking me on another roadtrip into the unwanted. However, the ‘welcome’ sign appeared, and the road ushered me into a parking lot where there was even a little visitor’s center. Excited to hit the trails I was lured to the shores of a pond. I followed it towards a quiet section of the park and found more wetlands, filled with ducks! A whole squad of wood ducks, more than I have ever seen together in a group, many mallards, and more wigeons!washington_park_arboretum_seattle_1It’s always lots of fun watching the everyday life of ducks. There are many trails more focused on trees (arboretum) winding through different groups such as Japanese maples and mountain ashes.

washington_park_arboretum_seattle_2Try the mile long ‘look out loop’ for some beautiful sights!

Green Lake Park, 7201 Green Lake Trail, Seattle, WA 98115

Jam packed on a sunny day with locals running, biking, rollerblading, and simply walking the 2.8-mile path around the lake.

green_lake_park_seattle_2This is the perfect place for exercising and it’s a pretty lake to be sure, but it’s nothing so out of the ordinary. It actually made me feel like I was home, which was it’s most amazing act. In the summer you can swim and there is boat access, which I’m sure would be really nice on a warm day, and there were plenty of birds and great trees to admire. If you want to feel like a local, get your work out on (feel free to bring Fido)!

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