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Key Info

3801 West Government Way

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Free, Parks and Gardens, Hiking Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

If you're looking to get outdoors without getting out of the city, this is the place. Sprawling across more than 500 acres in northern Seattle, Discovery Park is the city's largest green space. You'll find hiking trails, meadows, beaches and sand dunes abound. One must-see is the West Point Lighthouse, which can be reached by following the North Beach Trail, while the South Beach Trail leads to a spectacular view of Mount Rainier and the city skyline. Trail maps are available at the visitor center near the park's main entrance.

And if you're not one for hiking, keep in mind the Discovery Park also features a tennis facility, a cultural center and a play area for the kids. Many park visitors say this is one of Seattle's finer gems, with something for everyone to enjoy. Hikers commented that there is a trail suitable for every experience level and you'll likely see wildlife on your trek. Others recommended visiting at sunset to admire the photogenic views.

Discovery Park is free to enter and open daily from 4 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. Free beach shuttles, which pick up and drop off passengers at the visitor center parking lot, are offered on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Several bus routes service the area, but they can more than double your journey; driving or taking a taxi is the easiest way to reach the park. If you're driving, you'll need a permit to park near the beach. For more information, visit the Seattle Parks and Recreation website.

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#1 Pike Place Market

Since 1907, this bustling market near the downtown waterfront has been the go-to place for local produce. Today, you can find almost everything, from local artwork to vinyl records. Plus, the flower market is a particular must-see, according to reviewers. Though Pike Place Market is one of the most tourist-heavy attractions in Seattle (plan to run into crowds, especially during the weekend) that's no reason to scratch it off your to-do list. Recent visitors said the abundance of vendors and lively atmosphere make it an experience you shouldn't pass up, no matter how busy it gets. 

The streets surrounding Pike Place Market are peppered with restaurants and coffee shops, and there's an information booth just west of the marketplace at First Avenue. If you want a little help navigating the massive market, guided tours and food tours are available from third-party companies. You can find a list on the market's website here.

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