My friend Liz Larsen is an AirBnB host (check out her lovely vacation rental, here) and she put together a Seattle guide for her guests. She’s shared this with me – here are some suggestions from her guide! Whether you’re visiting or live here, read on and enjoy exploring.
Guide by Liz Larsen:
Some Top Attractions open during Covid-19
Pike Street Market Located in downtown Seattle along the waterfront, this market has vendors in stalls in a covered market. As this is one of the top attractions in Seattle, it’s likely to be busy. It’s a fun place to visit while it’s raining outside. Find Rachel the pig in the market and add a coin. Watch the fish tossing! Buy a fun, handmade souvenir.
Olympic Sculpture Park – Outdoor park with outstanding sculpture featuring some of the most recognized artists such as The Eagle by Alexander Calder. Masks suggested. Keep walking past the sculpture along the waterfront into Myrtle Edwards Park. A large enough park to get some distance and tiny pebble beaches where you can stick your toes in the water or have a grassy picnic overlooking the water.
Fremont Troll – Every bridge needs a troll under it, right? The artists of Fremont thought so and created this fabulous troll. I won’t spoil the surprise, but take a look at what is under the troll’s hand.
Kerry Park – A small park, this iconic park has the best view of Seattle with the Space Needle in the foreground. Stop in, take a picture, keep going. This is one of the stops on the Seattle Driving Tour.
Ballard Locks – Going from the ocean and saltwater to Lake Union and fresh water, there are locks that raise and lower the boats. Fascinating the watch and a lovely place to visit. You can walk across the locks on the top, watch the water fill up or lower and the boats exit on the other side. On the far side of the locks are fish ladders where you can see different kinds of salmon swimming [upstream] to spawn between June and September.
Woodland Park Zoo – A lovely 92-acre zoo with great animals, well-maintained and fun for all ages. Adults are $23.
Driving Tour of Seattle
Incorporating most of the top spot above into a driving tour that shows you the highlights of Seattle. If you visit all of these, it’s a 4+ hour tour depending on your exploration, all free.
Driving map: https://goo.gl/maps/SXtBkZwnMHr7bMJi9
- Pike’s Place Market
- Kerry Park overlook with fabulous view of the city
- Fremont Troll under the bridge
- Statue of Lenin – cool statue in Fremont
- The Fremont Rocket- Another fun art piece, now a shop, in Fremont
- Ballard Locks – boats being raised and lowered in giant locks (noted as Ballard on map)
- Golden Gardens Park- Beautiful beach with a gorgeous sunset view
- And back to home again!
Golden Gardens – The sunset from Golden Gardens beach looking over the water is amazing! This is a very long, sandy beach with bathrooms. This is a park that is likely pretty busy. I would suggest wearing a mask unless it is quiet. My suggestion is to visit this park off hours, such as between 7-9pm which is often sunset during the summer and when a lot of people go in for dinner.
Alki Beach – This is in West Seattle with a long, paved walk along the white sandy beach. Great for strollers and roller blading. Along the waterfront are restaurants, coffee shops, donuts and four-wheel family bikes for rental at “Wheel Fun Rentals.” Definitely wear a mask and be prepared for lots of people. If you are spending the day in West Seattle, I suggest checking out Lincoln Park, a wooded park overlooking the water.
Best in-City Parks
In addition to the beaches above, which are also parks, here are my favorite large parks to roam in:
Greenlake – This is a small lake just north of the city and has a 3-mile paved + dirt walk around the lake.The path is one-way and masks are encouraged on weekends and when there are more people. I find this is a really lovely place for early morning walks and runs. As the parking lots are closed, I suggest parking in the neighborhood near Chocolati Café- and getting a chocolate treat!
Magnuson Park – Good on weekend days in the sun, this is a very large park where you can go walking and exploring. Because it’s so large, you are likely to have plenty of space away from others. A former military base, it has a beach (10-minute hike in to get to the beach) there is an art installation and bathrooms in the center. There are some fun long-grass fields. Tiny ponds. Big stairs to a view. There is some paved area, but most of it is for good walkers.
Gas Works Park – This used to be an old oil plant, but now has one of the best views of the city. It is a park with 20-acres of hills, climbable oil plant tubes and views of Lake Union with the space needle and the city in the background.
Washington Park Arboretum – An very large and beautifully planted park for walking, running and just enjoying an afternoon outside. Large enough to get space, but bring your mask.
Volunteer Park – A beautiful and large park that links to the beautiful graveyard where Bruce Lee is buried, view the outside of the art deco Asian Art museum’s beautiful architecture, see the giant black circle and line it up with the space needle. The Conservatory has amazing flowers and plants indoor. Great for a rainy afternoon and only $4 for adults. Discovery Park – An old military base, this is now big grassy fields and a hike down to a tiny beach along the water. It’s great for a sunny day walk and some good exercise going down the hill and back up again. Large enough to get some of your own space, although masks are recommended on the hiking trail down to the water.
Discovery Park – An old military base, this is now big grassy fields and a hike down to a tiny beach along the water. It’s great for a sunny day walk and some good exercise going down the hill and back up again. Large enough to get some of your own space, although masks are recommended on the hiking trail down to the water.
Thanks for sharing all of this with us, Liz! If you’d like to check out her AirBnB rental, her “Mid-Century Luxe Lounge – Artist Retreat” can be found here.