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Jefferson Skate Park.
Seattle Parks and Recreation

Greater Seattle’s best skate parks

The Emerald City has a little bit of everything

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Jefferson Skate Park.
| Seattle Parks and Recreation

If you’ve lived in Seattle for a long time, you probably know all of these parks like the back of your hand. But if you’re new to the city, it can actually be a lot to navigate, which is a good problem to have—it wasn’t so long ago that even a city the size of Seattle would funnel its entire population into one crappy park. Indeed, while it produced a lot of legendary skaters (Yoshi Obayashi, for example), the original Sea Sk8, Seattle proper’s only skate park in its day, was just a haphazard assembly of metal ramps in a parking lot. The concrete version, where I wasted the majority of my youth, wasn’t much better, though I still miss it dearly.

Now, we almost have too many rad parks to choose from, and more on the way. This list is intended to get you started on your journey through the city’s cornucopia of publicly sanctioned skate spaces. While getting out there and hitting the streets is ideal, sometimes you just need to get an hour of undisturbed practice in. (Or skate a massive bowl, which isn’t exactly something that appears naturally in urban architecture. )

“Best” is subjective, of course, but I genuinely tried to step outside of my own skate preferences and include parks with a little bit of everything. Because there’s nothing wrong with a tall can or two after—or during—your session, I’ve also included info on nearby corner stores, bars, and eateries, as well as where to go when you’ve got to get rid of all that Rainier.

Get out there, try not to get snaked endlessly by a million little kids on razor scooters, and get some!

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1. Marginal Way Skate Park

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1 S Hanford St
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 666-1234
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Marginal Way is not just one of Seattle’s best skate parks, but probably one of the country’s best parks. Thrasher chose Marginal Way to kick off their famous King of the Road contest in 2017, and it’s not hard to see why. What started as a couple dudes pouring concrete against a wall underneath the freeway grew into a massive DIY project. The community that developed around the park won official recognition from the city and pretty much never looked back.

The thing has four or five or god knows how many distinct sections that all flow into each other, and boasts weird stuff like a tile mosaic cradle, a marble-topped bank wall, and a vert wall that shoots you onto a pillar and back into another vert wall. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s an incredible spot, and an even more incredible achievement.

Bonus info: Plenty of street parking, and it’s not too far of a skate from the Sodo light rail station. Bus service to First Avenue and Hanford ain’t great, but it ain’t bad either. There are plenty of restaurant supply stores in the area, but not a ton of actual restaurants. Sodo Deli, the area’s temple of meaty goodness, has an amazing, overloaded Reuben. Plus, it’s next door to two well-stocked pot shops—Ganja Goddess and Seattle Cannabis Co.—so it’s very easy to enhance the experience. It’s also worth noting that, if you’re going to buy pot, Ganja Goddess offers a pickup service from the light rail. If you’re heading over from the train on foot and it’s before 6 p.m., however, do yourself a favor and take a detour through the Pacific Galleries antique mall. Even if you live on a mattress on the floor, as many skaters do, it’s an amazing place to browse.

2. Lower Woodland Skate Park

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Lower Woodland skate park, more commonly referred to as just “Greenlake,” has one of the worst street courses of any Seattle skate park, and that’s saying something. What it does have, however, is two separate and amazing bowls: one classic SoCal style backyard pool and one modern concrete marvel, replete with an over-vert cradle. If you’re being generous, which I am because this is a “best of” list, the street course can even be fun. I’m especially partial to the three-stair “out” ledge, and though it pains me greatly that what could have been a decent flat ledge/manual pad is instead a Frankenstein’s monster of two awkward ledges and a barely skateable quarterpipe, it’s actually pretty fun to hop up on the first one and get a quick grind off the taller one. The bank to wall ain’t half bad either, if you want to learn to do wallrides the easy way.

Bonus info: Tons of parking is available on-site, as well as public restrooms and a drinking fountain. Your closest refreshments are the Kidd Valley at 50th and Green Lake Way, although I highly recommend venturing over to the west side of Green Lake for a trip to Spud, the city’s second best fish and chips spot.

3. Jefferson Park Skate Park

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(206) 684-4075
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Jefferson, like nearly every park in Seattle, features a mega bowl. Of the city’s mega bowls, it is a pretty fun one. If you suck at bowls, like me, the shallow end can be enjoyed as its own entity, and the big flat bank wall on the way over to the deep end is incredibly fun just to drop in on. The street section is by no means perfect, but it’s totally passable. It also has a great low manual pad, baby ledges for learning tricks, grown person ledges for making sure you’ve really got those tricks, and a bizarre, upside-down umbrella thing that presents some intriguing possibilities. None of the rails are really made for regular people to hit, but oh well.

Perhaps the best thing about Jefferson is that it has lights until 11 p.m. They don’t cover most of the street section, but you can still skate the manual pad and low ledges, which is better than nothing.

Bonus info: It’s a crazy busy public park on Beacon Hill, so sometimes you cannot find a parking spot, despite there being hundreds of parking spots available, although usually you’re good. It’s also incredibly transit accessible, being served by the 36, 60, and light rail. Between the light rail station and the park, you’ll find several excellent coffee shops (support The Station!) and The Oak, which offers cheap beer and an excellent burger for your post-session session. The fish tacos at El Quetzal are excellent, too. The tortas are also reasonably priced and the size of a newborn, which is probably more germane to the skate crowd.

4. Judkins Skate Park

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2100 S Judkins St
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 684-7035
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If you enjoy fly-outs, Judkins is fly-out heaven. Though it has an awkwardly designed street section, as is woefully typical for Seattle, the main point of this park is to charge around in a circle that culminates with a heroic launch out of the bowl’s deep end onto the gently sloping berm adjacent. I’ve heard that one of the best feelings in skateboarding is feeling like you’re flying. To that I say, “go snowboarding,” but I guess a fly-out is the closest you can come without a massive vert ramp on hand. Judkins also boasts one supremely gentle, coping-less four-foot quarter pipe that even I, a curmudgeonly ledge skater, have to admit is extremely fun—plus even smaller versions of the same if you’re looking to learn how to drop in sans concussion.

Bonus info: There is pretty much nothing of interest right around Judkins. You can skate over to Toshio’s Teriyaki, which I hear theirs is quite good, but that’s about it. There’s not even a crappy beer store nearby. You pretty much have to drive there and drive for anything you want around there. (I personally hate Judkins.) There is street parking right next to the park, at least.

5. Sea Sk8

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305 Harrison St
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 684-7200
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Yes, it’s a $2.9 million boondoggle, but it’s still fun. Not $2.9 million fun, but it has straight, low flat ledges and some other interesting oddities. Plus, you can carve on a really expensive bulletproof glass vert wall designed to look like the bottom of a heavily used skateboard. It’s a ridiculously bad use of taxpayer dollars, but it looks cool.

In terms of actual obstacles, there’s those two ledges, a pretty fun pyramid/bank-to-ledge loaf thing in the middle, some weird black concrete waves that can be chill, and a bunch of funky quarterpipes. It’s definitely enough to keep you busy for an afternoon.

Bonus info: It’s in Seattle Center, which means there’s a food court. A food court with a Slate Coffee Roasters, no less! There’s also a big old amusement park on the other side, which could be a hilarious way to cap off a hard day of skating. A short skate over to Lower Queene Anne gives you access to a big ol’ grocery store, a Dick’s Drive-In, a Pagliacci’s, and the KEXP La Marzocco cafe, among other things. Parking is a colossal pain in this area, and you will have to pay dearly for it. There are a precious few free spots on the street just north of the Seattle Housing Authority’s offices, but they’re almost always taken. Be as Seattle as possible and take the monorail over from Westlake Center instead.

6. Roxhill Skatepark

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Roxhill was built from the ashes of the city’s first appearance on the Street League contest circuit. Not wanting a bunch of good obstacles to go to waste, Rob Dyrdek cooked up a plan to convert them into a permanent park. There was some kerfuffle about that whole thing, and a bunch of angry blog posts written about it, but that is generally the last thing I’m thinking about when skating Roxhill. Instead, I’m usually thinking about how Roxhill has something for everyone and the city needs to build 10 more parks like it before they break ground on another massive bowl.

It has a really fun bump to flatbar, a good Pier 7 manual pad, a fun A-frame thing, a bank-to-ledge, a perfect flat ledge, and a whole section of mellow banks, plus plenty of open flat ground. The ratio of tiny kids on scooters to actual skateboarders can get a little out of hand sometimes, but it’s in a diverse, affordable, and family-friendly neighborhood and right next to a giant playground. Such is life. Also, if teen smokers sipping Four Loko out of water bottles and smoking schwag weed bothers you, Roxhill might not be your jam. It’s a hot spot for the area’s delinquent high schoolers—but then, that’s kind of the whole point of skate parks, isn’t it?

Bonus info: There’s plenty of parking on-site, and it’s right next to Westwood Village, a major transit hub. Westwood is a mall with every store you could ever want and several you probably don’t. Thanks to Roxhill, I find myself strangely eager to visit Target. Buying toilet paper is a lot less tedious when you get to skate for an hour first, I guess.

Pro tip: a few blocks past the park, at 36th Avenue SW and SW Barton Street, Super Deli Mart boasts a jaw-droppingly good selection of craft beer. It looks like your typical corner store, but it’s actually a legend in the craft beer world, and one that makes a damn good deli sandwich to boot.

7. Mercer Island Skate Park

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7706 SE 34th St
Mercer Island, WA 98040

The Mercerdale Park skate park is one of the region’s forgotten gems. It’s almost always empty these days, but goddamn if it isn’t still one of the best “street” skate parks in the city. It’s one of the few parks in the area not designed by the excellent but bowl-oriented Grindline, or the less-than-ideal New Line. Instead, the sagacious city authorities of Mercer Island turned that task over to local street legend Scott Yamamura. Turns out having street skaters design the street sections of skate parks is a good idea. Crazy, right?

This park has a perfect Pier 7 manual pad, a fun mock picnic table angled down a bank, a cool curved ledge, the best gently sloping down ledge I have ever skated, and a solid flat ledge in the middle. There are definitely some awkward angles involved, as Yamamura was forced to glom it on to the city’s original skate park—four ancient, forlorn obstacles on a tiny concrete pad—and wasn’t given a huge footprint to expand to. Still, it’s great and well worth a ride on the 550 bus.

Bonus info: Restrooms and water fountains are on-site, and parking is around the back by the little local thrift store. You have to wend your way through Mercer Island’s minuscule downtown area to get to the park from the freeway offramp or the 550 bus stop, so you can stop by QFC for whatever snacks you require. I’m not much for the restaurant scene on Mercer Island, and would instead recommend making a humble skate park picnic of a bag of greasy QFC deli chicken, Cheez-Its, blueberries, and an ice cold tall can of Rainier.

8. Shoreline Skate Park

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901-999 NE 155th St
Shoreline, WA 98155

Another of Scott Yamamura’s masterpieces, Paramount Skate Park features the all-time best straight flat ledge in the region. In fact, it features a lot of near-perfect ledges of almost every height and angle you might desire. It also has a perfectly proportioned pyramid and the best skate park rail ever.

There’s not much in the way of transition here, although I do find the bowled corner to be pretty fun, but you don’t come here for that. You come here for those sweet, flat ledges and the endlessly enjoyable pyramid hips. It’s just plain good. The unsupervised toddler factor is pretty bad sometimes, but whatever, it’s still amazing.

Bonus info: There are public restrooms behind the playground and a water fountain in the nearest BBQ shelter. This being a deeply residential area, it’s a huge pain to get there by bus, and there aren’t any amenities within walking distance. Just try not to think about climate change and drive. There’s a 7-Eleven and the Crest, a cool discount movie theater, about a mile north on 5th Avenue NE.

9. River City Skate Park

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736 S Cloverdale St
Seattle, WA 98108

Cloverdale Skate Park, usually referred to as simply “South Park,” is a wild ride. Many of Gridline Skate Parks’ employees live in South Park, and they managed to convince the city to give them carte blanche to build whatever they wanted in an abandoned plot of land next to the Highway 99 onramp. It is very much a bowl troll passion project, but it’s so, so rad.

Viewed from above, the park is, fittingly, shaped like a clover—a clover made entirely out of transition. It’s a big circular snake run with a cross-shaped snake run in the middle of it and four gnarly doorways at the end of each cross point. If you can make it over the doorway, you’re an official badass. I lived across the street for three years before I finally mustered up the courage to carve over one. They’re steep.

While this park features absolutely zero street elements, I think it’s a must for anyone of any ability. Even if you can’t do a ramp trick to save your life, just carving around the outer circle of the park in an endless circle is incredibly fun. On a bittersweet note, the park was recently expanded to include some cool new stuff, including a vert wall and quarter pipes whose coping consists of river rocks from the nearby Duwamish. The expansion is a memorial to Mark “Monk” Hubbard, Grindline’s founder, whose recent passing shocked the local skate community. R.I.P. Monk.

Bonus info: Cloverdale is served by bus routes 60 and 132, which leave from Capitol Hill and downtown, respectively. If you drive, don’t park in the alley behind the sketchy apartment building. There’s plenty of shaded, free street parking along Eighth Avenue S just north of the park, so use that. There aren’t public restrooms, but the nearby South Park branch of the Seattle Public Library is an option if it’s open.

If you head back to South Park’s main drag on 14th Avenue S, you’ll find a plethora of good stuff. Loretta’s Northwesterner, for example, has the fourth best burger in the country, according to Thrillist, and one of the best in Seattle, according to Eater. The Chevron station has the city’s best taco truck (according to me) permanently stationed in it, and nearby South Park Grocery is perhaps the best convenience store I’ve ever been to. Where else can you get quality queso fresco, fresh fruit, a bong, and a bedazzled camo trucker hat all in the same place?

10. Dahl Playfield

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7700 25th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 684-4075
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Dahl Field is, to put it gently, not some of New Line’s finer work, for the most part. Given a nice, small patch of ground in which to put a simple, sensible skate park in an underserved area of North Seattle, they managed to screw up in just about every way imaginable. There is a bafflingly steep quarterpipe with no deck! A logistically impossible A-frame rail! A handrail that’s actually dangerous to skate, thanks to the concrete curbs directly at the bottom of it! Plus, the two long ledge/manual pads are both very small, when clearly one should be normal sized and one should be small. For anyone who has ever actually done a crooked grind on an actual bench, this is obvious, but sometimes it seems like the Venn diagram between that population and the people who actually design skate parks is just two circles.

How did this mediocre-at-best skate park end up on a list of Seattle’s best skate parks? Dahl, despite its glaring flaws, is fun. The baby ledges make you feel like you have a chance at landing about twice as many ledge tricks as you actually do, and there’s a round, flat rail that’s pretty easy to hit and actually about the right height. That alone sets it apart from pretty much every other public skate park in the area. While not exactly a park that you’d want to settle into for a day-long session, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Bonus info: Parking and public restrooms are available on-site, and there’s a decent corner store about a half a block south. The 372 bus, which leaves from the University of Washington light rail station by Husky Stadium, will also get you there. Other than that, it’s kind of in a no-man’s-land for refreshments. Best to head back to the U District if you’re looking for something other than chips and tall cans.

11. Tyee Skate Park

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4644 S 188th St
SeaTac, WA 98188
(206) 973-4670
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There’s a newer park in Seatac, but it’s not nearly as good as the original one at Tyee High School. This park has seemingly existed since someone first bolted roller-skate wheels to the bottom of a plant, but it’s still extremely fun. The best thing about it is the ledge, which was rejuvenated with a new granite edge a few years back, but there’s plenty more to enjoy. The funbox, for example, has a perfect flat rail running across it, and features extremely fun small hubbas. The bank-to-ledge is one of the best, and it also works as a bank-into-ledge, which is rare. Falling on the rough, weathered concrete can be a pain, but it’s a relatively deserted skate park with a perfect ledge that’s lit up until 11 p.m.. What else do you want, a pony?

Bonus info: You’re definitely driving to this one. It’s a good mile and a half away from the airport light rail stop and an hour and a half from Seattle by bus. There is a Shell right across the street, at least.

12. Longacres DIY

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Longacres Dr SW
Renton, WA 98057

Another DIY spot, made with the same rebel spirit as Marginal Way, has a very different set of obstacles. Longacres is almost completely street-oriented, and it’s kind of a godsend given Seattle’s dearth of good street courses. The obstacles are scrappy and kind of random, but they’re situated under the Highway 167 overpass in such a way that you can skate most of them even in heavy rain. Despite our city’s reputation for rain, no public skate park has ever been built undercover. Thankfully, the good folks behind Longacres and Marginal took matters into their own hands.

Besides the roof over your head, Longacres’ best features are probably the slick recycled-plastic ledge, the mini-bowl to pole jam, and the hip—not to mention the crazy concrete-saucer-on-stilts thing off to the side. I don’t think the skaters put it up there, but it’s definitely skateable.

Bonus info: While there’s plenty of parking right there, it’s prohibitively far from a bus. The whole DIY thing kind of requires you to build somewhere abandoned and out of the way, so driving it is. For food, Southcenter Mall is just south of the spot, so you can get all the Qdoba and Sbarro your little heart desires. Did you know Qdoba has $4 Modelos? Now you do!

13. Benefit Skatedot

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9320 38th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 684-4075
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Ah yes, the city’s most cost effective skate park! Benefit began as a couple ledges that Grindline slapped on to some blocks at the edge of a basketball court. The project was later expanded to include the absolute best manual pad ever made in Seattle, a long quarterpipe, a funky hip thing, and a very difficult but very fun pole jam. The whole kit and caboodle came in at around $90,000, and it’s worth every penny. Benefit is a shining example of what cities can do with a little bit of money and some disused pavement in the corner of a park. Shout out to Tommy and JT, two South Beacon Hill locals who pushed hard for a skateable space in a neighborhood that was probably last on the list to get one, and to Grindline for helping make it happen.

Bonus info: It’s deep in south Beacon Hill, so there’s not much around and you probably have to drive. Breezy Town Pizza isn’t too far up Beacon Ave, and the only thing skateboarders love more than wearing their beanies rolled up over their ears is pizza. Theirs is good and the whole bar is pretty groovy, so stop in for a slice on your way back to civilization.

14. All Together Skate Park

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3500 Stone Way N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 632-7090
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ATS is not a huge, perfect skate park, but it is the only indoor skate park in the Seattle city limits, which easily elevates it to “best of” status. That said, the park’s designers have managed to fit some very essential and functional obstacles into a pretty tight little basement warehouse space. For one, their miniramp game is on point: They have two! The original one is a bit slippery, being made from some shiny modern blend of Skatelite, but the new one is amazing. It’s a double mini with a spine in the middle, and it’s made from the classic, just-grippy-enough Skatelite. Insert that Drake approval/disapproval meme here.

Beyond the miniramps, they’ve covered the basics better than any public skate park ever has. There’s a long concrete flat ledge with a curb-height manual pad built onto one side. This is flanked by a long, perfect round rail that can be adjusted higher or lower using metal pins. I shudder to think at how much money our city could have saved if only someone had explained to the Parks Department that those three things, plus maybe a quarterpipe and a bank on either side (which ATS also has), are all skateboarders really need to have fun.

ATS is your rainy day best friend, and a great place for beginners with all the lessons they offer. They also do a special Ladies Night on Mondays, hosted by Skate Like a Girl, which is open only to women and trans/non-binary folk. While women and gender nonconforming skaters have plenty of reasons to want a session to themselves, there’s also a special session for old guys like me who are just too embarrassed of our beer guts to skate in front of a bunch of freakishly talented teenagers. Sundays after 7 p.m. are Adult Swim, for all the 30-plus skaters out there still chasing the dream.

Bonus info: Limited parking is available in the building’s lot. If you do find a spot, it’s a very challenging bit of Tetris to get in. The 62 bus runs pretty frequently from downtown, if you’d rather not spend half your session searching for parking.

Because the neighborhood is newly chic, trying to find a space on a rainy Friday night is a pretty miserable experience. However, this does mean that for food and beverages, you’re pretty much in heaven. Two of the city’s finer restaurants—Joule and The Whale Wins—are quite literally right on top of you, occupying to building’s upstairs spaces. The Stone Way Cafe serves craft beer and really decent soup/salad/sandwich fare right next to the parking lot entrance, and the Pacific Inn Pub—home of the city’s first best fish and chips—is directly across the street. After an exhausting session, nothing beats a three-piece cod, a pilsner, and a few games of pool with your crew in the PI’s cozy back room.

The new spine at All Together Skatepark is so much fun! Great sesh the other day with Mark, Anthony, Brenton, and a host of rip riders.

Posted by Kenneth Barger on Wednesday, June 6, 2018

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1. Marginal Way Skate Park

1 S Hanford St, Seattle, WA 98134

Marginal Way is not just one of Seattle’s best skate parks, but probably one of the country’s best parks. Thrasher chose Marginal Way to kick off their famous King of the Road contest in 2017, and it’s not hard to see why. What started as a couple dudes pouring concrete against a wall underneath the freeway grew into a massive DIY project. The community that developed around the park won official recognition from the city and pretty much never looked back.

The thing has four or five or god knows how many distinct sections that all flow into each other, and boasts weird stuff like a tile mosaic cradle, a marble-topped bank wall, and a vert wall that shoots you onto a pillar and back into another vert wall. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s an incredible spot, and an even more incredible achievement.

Bonus info: Plenty of street parking, and it’s not too far of a skate from the Sodo light rail station. Bus service to First Avenue and Hanford ain’t great, but it ain’t bad either. There are plenty of restaurant supply stores in the area, but not a ton of actual restaurants. Sodo Deli, the area’s temple of meaty goodness, has an amazing, overloaded Reuben. Plus, it’s next door to two well-stocked pot shops—Ganja Goddess and Seattle Cannabis Co.—so it’s very easy to enhance the experience. It’s also worth noting that, if you’re going to buy pot, Ganja Goddess offers a pickup service from the light rail. If you’re heading over from the train on foot and it’s before 6 p.m., however, do yourself a favor and take a detour through the Pacific Galleries antique mall. Even if you live on a mattress on the floor, as many skaters do, it’s an amazing place to browse.

1 S Hanford St
Seattle, WA 98134

2. Lower Woodland Skate Park

Seattle, WA 98103

Lower Woodland skate park, more commonly referred to as just “Greenlake,” has one of the worst street courses of any Seattle skate park, and that’s saying something. What it does have, however, is two separate and amazing bowls: one classic SoCal style backyard pool and one modern concrete marvel, replete with an over-vert cradle. If you’re being generous, which I am because this is a “best of” list, the street course can even be fun. I’m especially partial to the three-stair “out” ledge, and though it pains me greatly that what could have been a decent flat ledge/manual pad is instead a Frankenstein’s monster of two awkward ledges and a barely skateable quarterpipe, it’s actually pretty fun to hop up on the first one and get a quick grind off the taller one. The bank to wall ain’t half bad either, if you want to learn to do wallrides the easy way.

Bonus info: Tons of parking is available on-site, as well as public restrooms and a drinking fountain. Your closest refreshments are the Kidd Valley at 50th and Green Lake Way, although I highly recommend venturing over to the west side of Green Lake for a trip to Spud, the city’s second best fish and chips spot.

3. Jefferson Park Skate Park

Seattle, WA 98108

Jefferson, like nearly every park in Seattle, features a mega bowl. Of the city’s mega bowls, it is a pretty fun one. If you suck at bowls, like me, the shallow end can be enjoyed as its own entity, and the big flat bank wall on the way over to the deep end is incredibly fun just to drop in on. The street section is by no means perfect, but it’s totally passable. It also has a great low manual pad, baby ledges for learning tricks, grown person ledges for making sure you’ve really got those tricks, and a bizarre, upside-down umbrella thing that presents some intriguing possibilities. None of the rails are really made for regular people to hit, but oh well.

Perhaps the best thing about Jefferson is that it has lights until 11 p.m. They don’t cover most of the street section, but you can still skate the manual pad and low ledges, which is better than nothing.

Bonus info: It’s a crazy busy public park on Beacon Hill, so sometimes you cannot find a parking spot, despite there being hundreds of parking spots available, although usually you’re good. It’s also incredibly transit accessible, being served by the 36, 60, and light rail. Between the light rail station and the park, you’ll find several excellent coffee shops (support The Station!) and The Oak, which offers cheap beer and an excellent burger for your post-session session. The fish tacos at El Quetzal are excellent, too. The tortas are also reasonably priced and the size of a newborn, which is probably more germane to the skate crowd.

4. Judkins Skate Park

2100 S Judkins St, Seattle, WA 98144

If you enjoy fly-outs, Judkins is fly-out heaven. Though it has an awkwardly designed street section, as is woefully typical for Seattle, the main point of this park is to charge around in a circle that culminates with a heroic launch out of the bowl’s deep end onto the gently sloping berm adjacent. I’ve heard that one of the best feelings in skateboarding is feeling like you’re flying. To that I say, “go snowboarding,” but I guess a fly-out is the closest you can come without a massive vert ramp on hand. Judkins also boasts one supremely gentle, coping-less four-foot quarter pipe that even I, a curmudgeonly ledge skater, have to admit is extremely fun—plus even smaller versions of the same if you’re looking to learn how to drop in sans concussion.

Bonus info: There is pretty much nothing of interest right around Judkins. You can skate over to Toshio’s Teriyaki, which I hear theirs is quite good, but that’s about it. There’s not even a crappy beer store nearby. You pretty much have to drive there and drive for anything you want around there. (I personally hate Judkins.) There is street parking right next to the park, at least.

2100 S Judkins St
Seattle, WA 98144

5. Sea Sk8

305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109

Yes, it’s a $2.9 million boondoggle, but it’s still fun. Not $2.9 million fun, but it has straight, low flat ledges and some other interesting oddities. Plus, you can carve on a really expensive bulletproof glass vert wall designed to look like the bottom of a heavily used skateboard. It’s a ridiculously bad use of taxpayer dollars, but it looks cool.

In terms of actual obstacles, there’s those two ledges, a pretty fun pyramid/bank-to-ledge loaf thing in the middle, some weird black concrete waves that can be chill, and a bunch of funky quarterpipes. It’s definitely enough to keep you busy for an afternoon.

Bonus info: It’s in Seattle Center, which means there’s a food court. A food court with a Slate Coffee Roasters, no less! There’s also a big old amusement park on the other side, which could be a hilarious way to cap off a hard day of skating. A short skate over to Lower Queene Anne gives you access to a big ol’ grocery store, a Dick’s Drive-In, a Pagliacci’s, and the KEXP La Marzocco cafe, among other things. Parking is a colossal pain in this area, and you will have to pay dearly for it. There are a precious few free spots on the street just north of the Seattle Housing Authority’s offices, but they’re almost always taken. Be as Seattle as possible and take the monorail over from Westlake Center instead.

305 Harrison St
Seattle, WA 98109

6. Roxhill Skatepark

Seattle, WA 98126

Roxhill was built from the ashes of the city’s first appearance on the Street League contest circuit. Not wanting a bunch of good obstacles to go to waste, Rob Dyrdek cooked up a plan to convert them into a permanent park. There was some kerfuffle about that whole thing, and a bunch of angry blog posts written about it, but that is generally the last thing I’m thinking about when skating Roxhill. Instead, I’m usually thinking about how Roxhill has something for everyone and the city needs to build 10 more parks like it before they break ground on another massive bowl.

It has a really fun bump to flatbar, a good Pier 7 manual pad, a fun A-frame thing, a bank-to-ledge, a perfect flat ledge, and a whole section of mellow banks, plus plenty of open flat ground. The ratio of tiny kids on scooters to actual skateboarders can get a little out of hand sometimes, but it’s in a diverse, affordable, and family-friendly neighborhood and right next to a giant playground. Such is life. Also, if teen smokers sipping Four Loko out of water bottles and smoking schwag weed bothers you, Roxhill might not be your jam. It’s a hot spot for the area’s delinquent high schoolers—but then, that’s kind of the whole point of skate parks, isn’t it?

Bonus info: There’s plenty of parking on-site, and it’s right next to Westwood Village, a major transit hub. Westwood is a mall with every store you could ever want and several you probably don’t. Thanks to Roxhill, I find myself strangely eager to visit Target. Buying toilet paper is a lot less tedious when you get to skate for an hour first, I guess.

Pro tip: a few blocks past the park, at 36th Avenue SW and SW Barton Street, Super Deli Mart boasts a jaw-droppingly good selection of craft beer. It looks like your typical corner store, but it’s actually a legend in the craft beer world, and one that makes a damn good deli sandwich to boot.

7. Mercer Island Skate Park

7706 SE 34th St, Mercer Island, WA 98040

The Mercerdale Park skate park is one of the region’s forgotten gems. It’s almost always empty these days, but goddamn if it isn’t still one of the best “street” skate parks in the city. It’s one of the few parks in the area not designed by the excellent but bowl-oriented Grindline, or the less-than-ideal New Line. Instead, the sagacious city authorities of Mercer Island turned that task over to local street legend Scott Yamamura. Turns out having street skaters design the street sections of skate parks is a good idea. Crazy, right?

This park has a perfect Pier 7 manual pad, a fun mock picnic table angled down a bank, a cool curved ledge, the best gently sloping down ledge I have ever skated, and a solid flat ledge in the middle. There are definitely some awkward angles involved, as Yamamura was forced to glom it on to the city’s original skate park—four ancient, forlorn obstacles on a tiny concrete pad—and wasn’t given a huge footprint to expand to. Still, it’s great and well worth a ride on the 550 bus.

Bonus info: Restrooms and water fountains are on-site, and parking is around the back by the little local thrift store. You have to wend your way through Mercer Island’s minuscule downtown area to get to the park from the freeway offramp or the 550 bus stop, so you can stop by QFC for whatever snacks you require. I’m not much for the restaurant scene on Mercer Island, and would instead recommend making a humble skate park picnic of a bag of greasy QFC deli chicken, Cheez-Its, blueberries, and an ice cold tall can of Rainier.

7706 SE 34th St
Mercer Island, WA 98040

8. Shoreline Skate Park

901-999 NE 155th St, Shoreline, WA 98155

Another of Scott Yamamura’s masterpieces, Paramount Skate Park features the all-time best straight flat ledge in the region. In fact, it features a lot of near-perfect ledges of almost every height and angle you might desire. It also has a perfectly proportioned pyramid and the best skate park rail ever.

There’s not much in the way of transition here, although I do find the bowled corner to be pretty fun, but you don’t come here for that. You come here for those sweet, flat ledges and the endlessly enjoyable pyramid hips. It’s just plain good. The unsupervised toddler factor is pretty bad sometimes, but whatever, it’s still amazing.

Bonus info: There are public restrooms behind the playground and a water fountain in the nearest BBQ shelter. This being a deeply residential area, it’s a huge pain to get there by bus, and there aren’t any amenities within walking distance. Just try not to think about climate change and drive. There’s a 7-Eleven and the Crest, a cool discount movie theater, about a mile north on 5th Avenue NE.

901-999 NE 155th St
Shoreline, WA 98155

9. River City Skate Park

736 S Cloverdale St, Seattle, WA 98108

Cloverdale Skate Park, usually referred to as simply “South Park,” is a wild ride. Many of Gridline Skate Parks’ employees live in South Park, and they managed to convince the city to give them carte blanche to build whatever they wanted in an abandoned plot of land next to the Highway 99 onramp. It is very much a bowl troll passion project, but it’s so, so rad.

Viewed from above, the park is, fittingly, shaped like a clover—a clover made entirely out of transition. It’s a big circular snake run with a cross-shaped snake run in the middle of it and four gnarly doorways at the end of each cross point. If you can make it over the doorway, you’re an official badass. I lived across the street for three years before I finally mustered up the courage to carve over one. They’re steep.

While this park features absolutely zero street elements, I think it’s a must for anyone of any ability. Even if you can’t do a ramp trick to save your life, just carving around the outer circle of the park in an endless circle is incredibly fun. On a bittersweet note, the park was recently expanded to include some cool new stuff, including a vert wall and quarter pipes whose coping consists of river rocks from the nearby Duwamish. The expansion is a memorial to Mark “Monk” Hubbard, Grindline’s founder, whose recent passing shocked the local skate community. R.I.P. Monk.

Bonus info: Cloverdale is served by bus routes 60 and 132, which leave from Capitol Hill and downtown, respectively. If you drive, don’t park in the alley behind the sketchy apartment building. There’s plenty of shaded, free street parking along Eighth Avenue S just north of the park, so use that. There aren’t public restrooms, but the nearby South Park branch of the Seattle Public Library is an option if it’s open.

If you head back to South Park’s main drag on 14th Avenue S, you’ll find a plethora of good stuff. Loretta’s Northwesterner, for example, has the fourth best burger in the country, according to Thrillist, and one of the best in Seattle, according to Eater. The Chevron station has the city’s best taco truck (according to me) permanently stationed in it, and nearby South Park Grocery is perhaps the best convenience store I’ve ever been to. Where else can you get quality queso fresco, fresh fruit, a bong, and a bedazzled camo trucker hat all in the same place?

736 S Cloverdale St
Seattle, WA 98108

10. Dahl Playfield

7700 25th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115

Dahl Field is, to put it gently, not some of New Line’s finer work, for the most part. Given a nice, small patch of ground in which to put a simple, sensible skate park in an underserved area of North Seattle, they managed to screw up in just about every way imaginable. There is a bafflingly steep quarterpipe with no deck! A logistically impossible A-frame rail! A handrail that’s actually dangerous to skate, thanks to the concrete curbs directly at the bottom of it! Plus, the two long ledge/manual pads are both very small, when clearly one should be normal sized and one should be small. For anyone who has ever actually done a crooked grind on an actual bench, this is obvious, but sometimes it seems like the Venn diagram between that population and the people who actually design skate parks is just two circles.

How did this mediocre-at-best skate park end up on a list of Seattle’s best skate parks? Dahl, despite its glaring flaws, is fun. The baby ledges make you feel like you have a chance at landing about twice as many ledge tricks as you actually do, and there’s a round, flat rail that’s pretty easy to hit and actually about the right height. That alone sets it apart from pretty much every other public skate park in the area. While not exactly a park that you’d want to settle into for a day-long session, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Bonus info: Parking and public restrooms are available on-site, and there’s a decent corner store about a half a block south. The 372 bus, which leaves from the University of Washington light rail station by Husky Stadium, will also get you there. Other than that, it’s kind of in a no-man’s-land for refreshments. Best to head back to the U District if you’re looking for something other than chips and tall cans.

7700 25th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115

11. Tyee Skate Park

4644 S 188th St, SeaTac, WA 98188

There’s a newer park in Seatac, but it’s not nearly as good as the original one at Tyee High School. This park has seemingly existed since someone first bolted roller-skate wheels to the bottom of a plant, but it’s still extremely fun. The best thing about it is the ledge, which was rejuvenated with a new granite edge a few years back, but there’s plenty more to enjoy. The funbox, for example, has a perfect flat rail running across it, and features extremely fun small hubbas. The bank-to-ledge is one of the best, and it also works as a bank-into-ledge, which is rare. Falling on the rough, weathered concrete can be a pain, but it’s a relatively deserted skate park with a perfect ledge that’s lit up until 11 p.m.. What else do you want, a pony?

Bonus info: You’re definitely driving to this one. It’s a good mile and a half away from the airport light rail stop and an hour and a half from Seattle by bus. There is a Shell right across the street, at least.

4644 S 188th St
SeaTac, WA 98188

12. Longacres DIY

Longacres Dr SW, Renton, WA 98057

Another DIY spot, made with the same rebel spirit as Marginal Way, has a very different set of obstacles. Longacres is almost completely street-oriented, and it’s kind of a godsend given Seattle’s dearth of good street courses. The obstacles are scrappy and kind of random, but they’re situated under the Highway 167 overpass in such a way that you can skate most of them even in heavy rain. Despite our city’s reputation for rain, no public skate park has ever been built undercover. Thankfully, the good folks behind Longacres and Marginal took matters into their own hands.

Besides the roof over your head, Longacres’ best features are probably the slick recycled-plastic ledge, the mini-bowl to pole jam, and the hip—not to mention the crazy concrete-saucer-on-stilts thing off to the side. I don’t think the skaters put it up there, but it’s definitely skateable.

Bonus info: While there’s plenty of parking right there, it’s prohibitively far from a bus. The whole DIY thing kind of requires you to build somewhere abandoned and out of the way, so driving it is. For food, Southcenter Mall is just south of the spot, so you can get all the Qdoba and Sbarro your little heart desires. Did you know Qdoba has $4 Modelos? Now you do!

Longacres Dr SW
Renton, WA 98057

13. Benefit Skatedot

9320 38th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

Ah yes, the city’s most cost effective skate park! Benefit began as a couple ledges that Grindline slapped on to some blocks at the edge of a basketball court. The project was later expanded to include the absolute best manual pad ever made in Seattle, a long quarterpipe, a funky hip thing, and a very difficult but very fun pole jam. The whole kit and caboodle came in at around $90,000, and it’s worth every penny. Benefit is a shining example of what cities can do with a little bit of money and some disused pavement in the corner of a park. Shout out to Tommy and JT, two South Beacon Hill locals who pushed hard for a skateable space in a neighborhood that was probably last on the list to get one, and to Grindline for helping make it happen.

Bonus info: It’s deep in south Beacon Hill, so there’s not much around and you probably have to drive. Breezy Town Pizza isn’t too far up Beacon Ave, and the only thing skateboarders love more than wearing their beanies rolled up over their ears is pizza. Theirs is good and the whole bar is pretty groovy, so stop in for a slice on your way back to civilization.

9320 38th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

14. All Together Skate Park

3500 Stone Way N, Seattle, WA 98103

ATS is not a huge, perfect skate park, but it is the only indoor skate park in the Seattle city limits, which easily elevates it to “best of” status. That said, the park’s designers have managed to fit some very essential and functional obstacles into a pretty tight little basement warehouse space. For one, their miniramp game is on point: They have two! The original one is a bit slippery, being made from some shiny modern blend of Skatelite, but the new one is amazing. It’s a double mini with a spine in the middle, and it’s made from the classic, just-grippy-enough Skatelite. Insert that Drake approval/disapproval meme here.

Beyond the miniramps, they’ve covered the basics better than any public skate park ever has. There’s a long concrete flat ledge with a curb-height manual pad built onto one side. This is flanked by a long, perfect round rail that can be adjusted higher or lower using metal pins. I shudder to think at how much money our city could have saved if only someone had explained to the Parks Department that those three things, plus maybe a quarterpipe and a bank on either side (which ATS also has), are all skateboarders really need to have fun.

ATS is your rainy day best friend, and a great place for beginners with all the lessons they offer. They also do a special Ladies Night on Mondays, hosted by Skate Like a Girl, which is open only to women and trans/non-binary folk. While women and gender nonconforming skaters have plenty of reasons to want a session to themselves, there’s also a special session for old guys like me who are just too embarrassed of our beer guts to skate in front of a bunch of freakishly talented teenagers. Sundays after 7 p.m. are Adult Swim, for all the 30-plus skaters out there still chasing the dream.

Bonus info: Limited parking is available in the building’s lot. If you do find a spot, it’s a very challenging bit of Tetris to get in. The 62 bus runs pretty frequently from downtown, if you’d rather not spend half your session searching for parking.

Because the neighborhood is newly chic, trying to find a space on a rainy Friday night is a pretty miserable experience. However, this does mean that for food and beverages, you’re pretty much in heaven. Two of the city’s finer restaurants—Joule and The Whale Wins—are quite literally right on top of you, occupying to building’s upstairs spaces. The Stone Way Cafe serves craft beer and really decent soup/salad/sandwich fare right next to the parking lot entrance, and the Pacific Inn Pub—home of the city’s first best fish and chips—is directly across the street. After an exhausting session, nothing beats a three-piece cod, a pilsner, and a few games of pool with your crew in the PI’s cozy back room.

3500 Stone Way N
Seattle, WA 98103