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A brick patio. Two trees in stone planters are to the right, with a stone wall behind them. Ahead, a waterfall flows into a pool.
Waterfall Garden Park.
Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, item No. 178688

Have you visited every one of Seattle’s downtown parks?

There are beautiful parks all over Seattle, but sometimes the ones right in the heart of the city get overlooked

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Waterfall Garden Park.
| Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, item No. 178688

Sometimes, you’ve got to get out of the house or office, even just for a little bit. If you’re working downtown or close to it, there’s probably a park or green space near where you are right now. The question is, do you know about it? Some Seattle parks in the central core of downtown, Pioneer Square, Belltown, and South Lake Union are obvious, others might be lurking under your radar.

We’ve gone ahead and mapped them all out so you can take a look and find those you haven’t had a chance to peruse just yet. See if you can check them all off by the time summer rolls around so you know exactly where to grab the best spots for sun or shade—whether you’re on your lunch break or just need a breather from the hustle and bustle of downtown.

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1. Lake Union Park

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860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 684-4075
Visit Website

A relatively-recent addition to the city park list, Lake Union Park has quickly become one of the most popular on sunny days. Deeded to Seattle Parks and Recreation from the Navy in 2000, the city consolidated that acreage with other spaces to open the park officially in 2012. Between the fountain, a tiny beach, MOHAI, Historic Ships Wharf, and the Center for Wooden Boats, there’s no shortage of things to experience here. Just watch out for the geese.

2. Cascade Playground

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333 Pontius Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 684-4075
Visit Website

Purcahsed in 1926, this park was originally known as Pontius Playground and located close to Cascade School. The school is now a warehouse, but the name transferred over when the park was renovated and reintroduced in 2005. Now it includes play areas, a picnic table and is adjacent to a community p-patch.

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3. Myrtle Edwards Park

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3130 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 684-4075
Visit Website

Capping the north end of the waterfront past the Olympic Sculpture Park, Myrtle Edwards boats both industrial and water views, plus some of the prettiest parts of the Elliott Bay Trail and some beachfront space within walking distance of the downtown core.

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4. Denny Park

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100 Dexter Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 684-4075
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This peaceful green island in a sea of traffic is located right on the central business district’s northern fringe and surrounded by major roadways. Pathways planted with rhododendrons and azaleas lead the way to a central circle where maples and pines help protect the space from the rest of the city. It’s perfect for a brief respite from the world and has been since 1883, when it became Seattle’s first park. (It was previously a cemetery.)

5. Olympic Sculpture Park

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2901 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 654-3100
Visit Website

Co-operated by Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Seattle Art Museum, this park has many installations that locals know well (the jagged red “Eagle” stands out) and occasionally something new and surprising.

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6. Bell Street Park

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Bell St
Seattle, WA 98121

As the name suggests, this park runs along Bell Street in Belltown. The four-block park is a shared street project, has one mixed-use traffic lane and features landscaping and open space, encouraging pedestrians, cyclists, and automobiles to share the space.

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7. Regrade Park

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2251 3rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 684-4075
Visit Website

Less a park for humans than an off-leash dog park, this third-of-an-acre area is located at 3rd and Bell. There is a 5-foot-tall fence that encloses the entire park, and there are double “airlock” gates at each entrance to ensure dog safety. With a bus stop and busy streets surrounding, it’s not exactly a nature getaway but if your dog needs to pee and/or play, it’ll get the job done.

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8. Plymouth Pillars Park

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1050 Pike St
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 684-4075
Visit Website

At the base of Capitol Hill along the Pike-Pine corridor, Plymouth Pillars Park gives you a panoramic view of Seattle’s urban core. Built in 1967, it was renovated recently and now includes a dog off-leash area, benches, a pedestrian corridor, and public art.

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9. Westlake Park

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401 Pine St
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 684-4075
Visit Website

If there’s any park on this list we’re pretty sure you’ve been to, it’s this one. Arguably the hub of downtown Seattle, it’s a central meeting or hangout point for locals, tourists and everyone else. Consider it the perfect launching point for exploring the surrounding city. Head towards the water and Pike Place Market. Head up Pike or Pine and do some shopping. Head north on 4th Avenue to Belltown and Denny Triangle or south toward Pioneer Square and the Stadium District. Pop into Westlake Station to catch a light rail train to somewhere farther away. Or, you know, just hang out here and people watch all day long.

10. Victor Steinbrueck Park

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2001 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 684-4075
Visit Website

Another park that’s been changing in recent years, this Pike Place Market-adjacent spot hasn’t always been the most friendly, but it feels a lot more friendly these days. Find a grassy spot or go watch Elliott Bay from the railing and soak in the sun. It’s also a nice way to bring your energy down after a stroll through the market on a busy day. Two 50-foot cedar totem poles give the park some personality as well.

A post shared by G Brown (@g_the_land_shark) on

11. Jim Ellis Freeway Park

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700 Seneca St
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 684-4075
Visit Website

Bounded by Sixth and Ninth Avenues as well as Union and Spring Street, this park overlooks Seattle’s financial center. Designed by brutalist icon Lawrence Halprin, it makes for a nice respite from the busy downtown corridor whether you’re working, visiting, or just passing through. It’s named for Jim Ellis, a preservationist who fought for many causes as Seattle was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s.

12. Waterfront Park

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1401 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 684-4075
Visit Website

Did you know the area between Pier 57 to Pier 59 is a city park? Maybe you usually only head down there when your parents are in town, but if you time it right, it’s also a nice place to relax and people watch. The standout piece is of course the hard-to-miss Waterfront Fountain.

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13. City Hall Park

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450 3rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 684-4075
Visit Website

This 1.3-acre park got its name because when it was laid out in 1916, the adjacent King County Courthouse was the County-City Building. In 1955, a pine oak tree was planted to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the United Nations.

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14. Pioneer Square

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Pioneer Square
Seattle, WA 98104

Yes, the triangular park with a Tlingit totem pole is actually called Pioneer Square. And yes, that’s how the neighborhood got its name. A statue of Chief Seattle keeps watch over things, and the iron pergola built in 1909 still stands, even if people seem to keep hitting it with their cars every couple years. (Fun fact: there’s an abandoned bathroom underneath.)

15. Occidental Square

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117 S Washington St
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 684-4075
Visit Website

After some recent activation work, Occidental Square has become the Pioneer Square central hub it was always meant to be. A private-public partnership has made it more welcoming, added tons of fun activities, and brought in the food trucks.

16. Waterfall Garden Park

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219 2nd Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 624-6096

Just off Occidental Squaure, listen for the sounds of a waterfall. There, in the middle of Seattle, you’ll find one. Waterfall Garden Park is a hidden park located on the site where the first United Parcel Service headquarters started in 1907. Check the hours to make sure it’s open, but consider it the perfect place to find a little peace during your hectic day.

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17. Hing Hay Park

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423 Maynard Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 684-4075
Visit Website

Designed by landscape architect S. K. Sakuma, Seattle’s “Park for Pleasurable Gatherings” features a red brick square with an ornate Grand Pavilion designed and constructed in Taipei. There’s also beautiful artwork about Asian-American history in the Northwest to be admired. The park was recently expanded, too, stretching the open space down the length of the block.

A post shared by hoosiermateo (@hoosiermateo) on

18. Donnie Chin International Children's Park

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700 S Lane St
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 684-4075
Visit Website

During a period in the 1970s, there was a strong push for public park development in Chinatown International District in order to give the community more amenities to enjoy. This park was one of three built at the time. In the center of the park, grass and sand form the yin-yang symbol, while a bronze dragon sculpture created by Gerard Tsutakawa sits in the middle of this area and is often used as a plaything by kids.

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1. Lake Union Park

860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

A relatively-recent addition to the city park list, Lake Union Park has quickly become one of the most popular on sunny days. Deeded to Seattle Parks and Recreation from the Navy in 2000, the city consolidated that acreage with other spaces to open the park officially in 2012. Between the fountain, a tiny beach, MOHAI, Historic Ships Wharf, and the Center for Wooden Boats, there’s no shortage of things to experience here. Just watch out for the geese.

860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

2. Cascade Playground

333 Pontius Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Purcahsed in 1926, this park was originally known as Pontius Playground and located close to Cascade School. The school is now a warehouse, but the name transferred over when the park was renovated and reintroduced in 2005. Now it includes play areas, a picnic table and is adjacent to a community p-patch.

333 Pontius Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

3. Myrtle Edwards Park

3130 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121

Capping the north end of the waterfront past the Olympic Sculpture Park, Myrtle Edwards boats both industrial and water views, plus some of the prettiest parts of the Elliott Bay Trail and some beachfront space within walking distance of the downtown core.

3130 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98121

4. Denny Park

100 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

This peaceful green island in a sea of traffic is located right on the central business district’s northern fringe and surrounded by major roadways. Pathways planted with rhododendrons and azaleas lead the way to a central circle where maples and pines help protect the space from the rest of the city. It’s perfect for a brief respite from the world and has been since 1883, when it became Seattle’s first park. (It was previously a cemetery.)

100 Dexter Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

5. Olympic Sculpture Park

2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Co-operated by Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Seattle Art Museum, this park has many installations that locals know well (the jagged red “Eagle” stands out) and occasionally something new and surprising.

2901 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

6. Bell Street Park

Bell St, Seattle, WA 98121

As the name suggests, this park runs along Bell Street in Belltown. The four-block park is a shared street project, has one mixed-use traffic lane and features landscaping and open space, encouraging pedestrians, cyclists, and automobiles to share the space.

Bell St
Seattle, WA 98121

7. Regrade Park

2251 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Less a park for humans than an off-leash dog park, this third-of-an-acre area is located at 3rd and Bell. There is a 5-foot-tall fence that encloses the entire park, and there are double “airlock” gates at each entrance to ensure dog safety. With a bus stop and busy streets surrounding, it’s not exactly a nature getaway but if your dog needs to pee and/or play, it’ll get the job done.

2251 3rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

8. Plymouth Pillars Park

1050 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101

At the base of Capitol Hill along the Pike-Pine corridor, Plymouth Pillars Park gives you a panoramic view of Seattle’s urban core. Built in 1967, it was renovated recently and now includes a dog off-leash area, benches, a pedestrian corridor, and public art.

1050 Pike St
Seattle, WA 98101

9. Westlake Park

401 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

If there’s any park on this list we’re pretty sure you’ve been to, it’s this one. Arguably the hub of downtown Seattle, it’s a central meeting or hangout point for locals, tourists and everyone else. Consider it the perfect launching point for exploring the surrounding city. Head towards the water and Pike Place Market. Head up Pike or Pine and do some shopping. Head north on 4th Avenue to Belltown and Denny Triangle or south toward Pioneer Square and the Stadium District. Pop into Westlake Station to catch a light rail train to somewhere farther away. Or, you know, just hang out here and people watch all day long.

401 Pine St
Seattle, WA 98101

10. Victor Steinbrueck Park

2001 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Another park that’s been changing in recent years, this Pike Place Market-adjacent spot hasn’t always been the most friendly, but it feels a lot more friendly these days. Find a grassy spot or go watch Elliott Bay from the railing and soak in the sun. It’s also a nice way to bring your energy down after a stroll through the market on a busy day. Two 50-foot cedar totem poles give the park some personality as well.

2001 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

11. Jim Ellis Freeway Park

700 Seneca St, Seattle, WA 98101

Bounded by Sixth and Ninth Avenues as well as Union and Spring Street, this park overlooks Seattle’s financial center. Designed by brutalist icon Lawrence Halprin, it makes for a nice respite from the busy downtown corridor whether you’re working, visiting, or just passing through. It’s named for Jim Ellis, a preservationist who fought for many causes as Seattle was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s.

700 Seneca St
Seattle, WA 98101

12. Waterfront Park

1401 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101

Did you know the area between Pier 57 to Pier 59 is a city park? Maybe you usually only head down there when your parents are in town, but if you time it right, it’s also a nice place to relax and people watch. The standout piece is of course the hard-to-miss Waterfront Fountain.

1401 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98101

13. City Hall Park

450 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

This 1.3-acre park got its name because when it was laid out in 1916, the adjacent King County Courthouse was the County-City Building. In 1955, a pine oak tree was planted to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the United Nations.

450 3rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

14. Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA 98104

Yes, the triangular park with a Tlingit totem pole is actually called Pioneer Square. And yes, that’s how the neighborhood got its name. A statue of Chief Seattle keeps watch over things, and the iron pergola built in 1909 still stands, even if people seem to keep hitting it with their cars every couple years. (Fun fact: there’s an abandoned bathroom underneath.)

Pioneer Square
Seattle, WA 98104

15. Occidental Square

117 S Washington St, Seattle, WA 98104

After some recent activation work, Occidental Square has become the Pioneer Square central hub it was always meant to be. A private-public partnership has made it more welcoming, added tons of fun activities, and brought in the food trucks.

117 S Washington St
Seattle, WA 98104

16. Waterfall Garden Park

219 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

Just off Occidental Squaure, listen for the sounds of a waterfall. There, in the middle of Seattle, you’ll find one. Waterfall Garden Park is a hidden park located on the site where the first United Parcel Service headquarters started in 1907. Check the hours to make sure it’s open, but consider it the perfect place to find a little peace during your hectic day.

219 2nd Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

17. Hing Hay Park

423 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

Designed by landscape architect S. K. Sakuma, Seattle’s “Park for Pleasurable Gatherings” features a red brick square with an ornate Grand Pavilion designed and constructed in Taipei. There’s also beautiful artwork about Asian-American history in the Northwest to be admired. The park was recently expanded, too, stretching the open space down the length of the block.

423 Maynard Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

18. Donnie Chin International Children's Park

700 S Lane St, Seattle, WA 98104

During a period in the 1970s, there was a strong push for public park development in Chinatown International District in order to give the community more amenities to enjoy. This park was one of three built at the time. In the center of the park, grass and sand form the yin-yang symbol, while a bronze dragon sculpture created by Gerard Tsutakawa sits in the middle of this area and is often used as a plaything by kids.

700 S Lane St
Seattle, WA 98104