In Seattle, we are lucky to have many spectacular pocket parks where you feel as though you have truly escaped the city - if only you know where to look. Walking around Seattle on a sunny afternoon, Iooking for an escape from the hot summer sun, it's surprising just how many hidden spots our city offers.
The following parks allow you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, take in the fresh fragrance of flowers in bloom, eat lunch while enjoying a view of the mountains, or go for a hike in the middle of the forest while still being in the middle of the city.
Fremont Peak Park is a true neighborhood secret. This little gem overlooks Lake Union and the Olympics, and as a local commented, it is a fabulous place to enjoy the sunset.
Saint Mark's Green Belt is the perfect example of an urban oasis - offering a quiet escape from the city while still being completely surrounded by it! Literally built as a buffer between I-5 and Capitol Hill, this park offers secluded hiking trails, including wooden bridges passing over streams. In spite of its location next to a freeway, you are greeted with complete silence while making your way down the trail.
Located just adjacent to Saint Mark's Greenbelt is Streissguth Gardens. This one acre park offers gardens surrounding the East Blaine Street stairway and is family-maintained. A visit to these lush public gardens is a must where you will be surrounded by hundreds of trees, shrubs and plants with a view over Lake Union and beyond.
Louisa Boren Lookout offers a serene view of the Cascades and Lake Washington and provides a nice alternative to Volunteer Park. Hiking trails make their way down the steep hillside below into endless verdure.
Entering Parsons Gardens will make you feel like Colin Craven discovering your own secret garden for the first time. When this park is not used for weddings, it usually escapes the notice of passersby.
Bhy Kracke Park is the less-visited and more intricate version of Kerry Park, greeting you with a winding path passing through ivy tunnels up a steep hill revealing incredible views of downtown and Lake Union.
So go out and start exploring all the hidden gems Seattle offers! Here's a map to get you started...
· All Outdoors Week coverage [CS] Written by Alyssa Campbell