Seattle has been my home for decades now, and I’m grateful for all of them. But especially, for knowing where to go to capture the beauty of this truly spectacular corner of the world. I invite you now on a journey to discover the most enchanting parks in Seattle with a view
The ones you seriously won’t want to miss.
Imagine skyscrapers rising like sentinels against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains, their mirrored surfaces reflecting the colors of sunset or the vibrant blue waters of Puget Sound. This isn’t a scene from a postcard; it’s a moment you can experience for yourself.
Yes, I’m somewhat biased. But I’m not the only one that enjoys these breathtaking views, a picturesque panorama of the city, majestic mountains, and the sparkling waters that define the Pacific Northwest.
What are the best parks in Seattle with scenic views?
Gas Works Park
Alki Beach Park
Pier 62 Waterfront Park
Best Parks in Seattle with a View
Here are a few of my favorites. Whether you’re a local seeking a new spot to unwind or a traveler eager to explore Seattle’s natural beauty, these parks promise unforgettable vistas. I have visited them many times and never tire of their charm.
1. Kerry Park: Seattle’s Skyline Jewel
Nestled in the Queen Anne neighborhood, Kerry Park is a pocket-sized urban gem that has earned its reputation as one of Seattle’s most cherished viewpoints.
Perched atop a small hill, Kerry Park offers an unobstructed vantage point of the Seattle skyline, framed by the iconic backdrop of Mount Rainier.
What to see at Kerry Park
- The entirety of downtown Seattle’s architectural splendor.
- The soaring Space Needle standing proudly among the city’s skyscrapers.
- Glistening waters of Elliott Bay.
- On a clear day, you’ll be able to spot the distant peaks of Mount Rainier.
What to do at Kerry Park
While Kerry Park is relatively small and often extremely crowded, it invites you to savor the view or enjoy a family picnic as you take in the remarkable scenery.
Visit during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset for the most stunning and colorful views.
This park has one of the best views in Seattle at night time.
Best times to visit for a Seattle panoramic view
The magic of Kerry Park is most enchanting during the early morning hours at sunrise and the evening as the sun sets behind the city. The warm hues of golden hour cast a magical glow over the skyline, creating an unforgettable spectacle that will leave you in awe.
Whether you’re an early riser or a night owl, these moments are the best times to truly appreciate the view that Kerry Park has to offer.
Kerry Park is located in the Queen Anne neighborhood, which can have limited street parking, especially during peak times. I always have to search for street parking in the nearby residential areas.
I also arrive early in the afternoon for a sunset view and bring a good book and a picnic dinner.
2. Gas Works Park: A Historic Industrial Oasis
Tucked away on the northern shore of Lake Union, Gas Works Park is a unique Seattle landmark that beautifully blends history, industry, and urban parkland.
Originally the site of a coal gasification plant, this park retains some fascinating remnants of its industrial past, including towering rusted structures and massive gasworks machinery.
What to see at Gas Works Park
- The park’s grassy hills offer unobstructed panoramic views of downtown Seattle’s skyline, Lake Union’s sparkling waters, and the stunning Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges in the distance.
- The contrast of the cityscape against the industrial relics creates a surreal and captivating scene.
What to do at Gas Works Park
Spread out a picnic blanket on the expansive lawn, watch seaplanes take off and land on Lake Union, or fly a kite against the backdrop of the city. People watch. Or exploring the rusted structures, which can be an adventure in itself.
Sunset is an especially magical time for photography as the sun bathes the park and the skyline in warm, golden light.
Best times to visit for a view
Gas Works Park is a delight to visit year-round. However, the late afternoon and early evening are particularly enchanting with the setting sun casting a warm glow over the cityscape and the remnants of the gasification plant, creating a dramatic and unforgettable scene.
This is a prime time to capture breathtaking photos and enjoy the serene ambiance of this unique park.
Sometimes, I think the parking lot is what I love most about this park. Gas Works Park has a huge parking lot within the park. I have never had a problem parking here but have heard it can get busy during weekends and events, so plan to arrive early to secure a spot.
Some street parking may be available in the surrounding neighborhood if the lot is full.
3. Discovery Park: Seattle’s Natural Sanctuary
Discovery Park stands at the northern edge of Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood, a testament to the city’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty.
With a rich history as the former Fort Lawton military base, this sprawling urban park spans 534 acres and is one of Seattle’s largest green spaces.
Beyond its historical significance, Discovery Park offers everything from rugged cliffs to pristine beaches, making it a haven for nature lovers.
What to see at Discovery Park
- Explore the lush forested trails that lead to scenic viewpoints along the rugged coastline of Puget Sound.
- Take in breathtaking vistas of the Olympic Mountains to the west and Mount Rainier to the south.
- The park’s South Beach provides a tranquil spot to watch the waves of the Sound lap against the shore. Nature’s own meditation app!
What to do at Discovery Park
Hike the network of trails that crisscross the park, each leading to a unique viewpoint or natural feature.
Birdwatching, beachcombing, and picnicking are popular pastimes, and the park’s historic buildings, like the West Point Lighthouse, provide very popular points of interest.
Best times to visit for a view
The best times to visit Discovery Park depend on your preferences. Mornings and weekdays tend to be quieter for those seeking sweeping vistas and serene moments.
However, the park’s beauty shines at all hours, and sunset over Puget Sound, with the Olympic Mountains silhouetted in the distance, is an awe-inspiring sight not to be missed.
Whether you visit during the golden hours of dawn and dusk or during the peaceful moments of midday, Discovery Park promises a view that’s bound to leave you enchanted.
Discovery Park offers ample parking in designated lots throughout the park. There are parking lots near popular areas and the Visitor Center. I’m usually able to find parking within the park, even during busy times.
4. Alki Beach Park: Seattle’s Beachfront Gem
The park’s name, “Alki,” is derived from the Chinook word meaning “by and by,” and it’s no surprise that this waterfront haven has been a treasured retreat for generations. Alki exudes a timeless charm that seamlessly blends natural beauty and community spirit.
What to see at Alki Beach
- Captivating views of Puget Sound, the distant Olympic Mountains, and the bustling maritime activity of Elliott Bay.
- From here, you can witness ferries gliding across the Sound, sailboats navigating the waves, and the silhouette of the city’s skyline across the water.
- This is the location for one of the best views of Seattle at night.
What to do at Alki Beach
Stroll along the scenic promenade, explore the Alki Point Lighthouse, or indulge in beachside dining at one of the many restaurants and cafes lining Alki Avenue.
Enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, or even bonfires on the beach in designated fire pits.
Sunset at Alki Beach is a magical time for photography, as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a warm, golden hue on the Space Needle across the Sound and creating breathtaking silhouettes.
Best times to visit for a view
Alki Beach Park is a year-round destination, but its charm truly shines during the summer when you can bask in the sun and relish the beach’s ambiance.
Sunset is an especially enchanting time to visit, as the fading light casts a mesmerizing glow over the water and the distant mountains, creating a serene and romantic atmosphere perfect for taking in the view.
Alki Beach Park has a few parking lots near the beach area. Parking can be competitive during sunny weekends, so arriving early is a good idea. This is what I do anyway, and it’s often a matter of driving back and forth until something opens up.
Street parking along Alki Avenue and surrounding streets is difficult and requires some walking.
5. Volunteer Park: Seattle’s Cultural and Scenic Oasis
Volunteer Park is a cultural and scenic treasure that combines the urban charm of Capital Hill with natural beauty. With a history dating back to the late 19th century, this park has become a cherished destination with art, history, and tranquil landscapes.
The park’s centerpiece, the historic Water Tower, rises above the lush canopy of trees, offering breathtaking panoramic views and a glimpse into Seattle’s past.
What to see at Volunteer Park
- Commanding views of downtown Seattle, the iconic Space Needle, and the picturesque Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges in the distance.
- The surrounding park itself boasts meticulously landscaped gardens and a beautiful conservatory.
- Visit the renowned Asian Art Museum for a cultural and visual delight.
What to do at Volunteer Park
Explore the extensive network of walking paths. Take a leisurely stroll through the vibrant plant collections in the botanical gardens and conservatory. Admire the art installations scattered throughout the park. Whatever you do, allow plenty of time.
Best times to visit for a view
Volunteer Park is a delightful destination year-round. The Water Tower’s observation deck is accessible during the day, and sunset is a particularly magical time to visit.
Volunteer Park has a parking lot near the Conservatory and Water Tower. Additional street parking is available along nearby roads. While parking is generally accessible, it may be limited during special events or peak times.
I go on weekdays if possible and have never had problems finding a place to park.
6. Pier 62 Waterfront Park: Seattle’s Urban Oasis
Situated on the shores of Elliott Bay in downtown Seattle, Pier 62 Waterfront Park is a vibrant urban oasis overflowing with waterfront charm.
Built on the former Pier 62 site, this modern park offers a compelling mix of recreational spaces, cultural events, and spectacular views of the bay and the surrounding cityscape.
What to see at Pier 62
- Captivating views of Elliott Bay, a bustling hub of maritime activity, and the majestic Olympic Mountains on the horizon.
- The park’s well-designed pathways and open spaces allow you to appreciate the serene beauty of the bay, watch ferries and sailboats gliding across the water, and observe the comings and goings of waterfront life.
- Watch the Great Wheel light up the bay and the night.
What to do at Pier 62
The park often hosts cultural events, live performances, and community gatherings, providing a lively atmosphere for locals and tourists alike.
Stroll along the elevated walkway that meanders through the park, providing multiple viewpoints to take in the scenery.
Take a short walk to Pier 57 for a ride on the Great Wheel.
Best times to visit for a view
Pier 62 is enchanting year-round, but the best times to visit for the most stunning views are sunset and early evening.
As the sun sets over the bay and the city lights begin to twinkle, the park takes on a magical quality perfect for leisurely strolls, photography, and soaking in the dynamic energy of Seattle’s waterfront.
Pier 62 Waterfront Park does not have its own parking lot. You’ll have to take public transportation or rely on street parking near downtown Seattle. Paid parking garages are what I prefer, and lots are available in the vicinity, but parking fees may apply.
Tips for Visiting Seattle Parks
Exploring Seattle’s parks with breathtaking views can be a memorable experience. Consider these tips and recommendations to make the most of your visit and ensure your comfort and safety.
- Seattle’s parks often feature trails, pathways, and viewpoints that may require some walking or light hiking. Wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots to explore easily.
- Remember to bring your camera or smartphone to capture the stunning views and natural beauty. Binoculars can also enhance your experience, especially when spotting distant mountain peaks or wildlife.
- Seattle can experience sunny and cloudy days. Regardless of the weather, applying sunscreen, wearing sunglasses, and carrying a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from UV rays is advisable.
Spring in Seattle brings vibrant blossoms and mild weather, making it an excellent time to explore parks like Kerry Park, Discovery Park, and Volunteer Park. The lush greenery and colorful flowers create a picturesque backdrop.
Summer is ideal for beachside adventures at Alki Beach Park and enjoying the longer daylight hours for photography. The warm, sunny days make it perfect for picnics and outdoor activities.
Fall offers a unique charm, with foliage changing colors. Discovery Park, in particular, transforms into a tapestry of red and gold. The crisp air and fewer crowds make it a serene time for a visit.
While winter can be chilly and rainy, parks like Volunteer Park maintain their beauty year-round. The Water Tower’s observation deck is open daily and provides a different perspective of the city, even in the cooler months.
For Kerry Park and Volunteer Park, Seattle’s Metro bus system provides convenient access. Alki Beach Park is accessible by bus or water taxi from downtown Seattle. Discovery Park has bus connections, but you may want to consider driving due to its size.
Check schedules, routes, and any COVID-19-related guidelines before using public transportation to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit.
FAQs on Seattle Parks with a View
Kerry Park, in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, offers the best panoramic view of the city’s iconic skyline, including the Space Needle and Mount Rainier, making it a popular spot for breathtaking vistas.
Seattle’s most famous park is likely Discovery Park. It covers 534 acres and features diverse natural landscapes, including forests, beaches, and meadows. It’s renowned for its stunning views of Puget Sound, wildlife, and extensive trails, making it a popular destination for outdoor lovers.
The best views of the Seattle skyline are from Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill, Gas Works Park in Wallingford, Alki Beach in West Seattle, and the Space Needle’s observation deck. Each offers a unique perspective of the cityscape.
Final Thoughts: Parks in Seattle with a View
Seattle’s parks offer a captivating blend of urban sophistication and the raw beauty of the Pacific Northwest. They serve as a lovely reminder that amidst the bustling city life, moments of serenity and natural wonder await.
Whether you’re a local seeking a new perspective on your city or a traveler eager to experience Seattle’s unique blend of culture and nature, these parks are just waiting to sweep you off your feet with their unforgettable beauty. I hope you love them as much as I do.