Kubota Garden

Seattle is definitely not short on parks, but Kubota Garden is a different story. It’s special because it’s not actually a park, it’s a garden! Plus, it’s the only one that is a historical landmark in the City of Seattle. This beautiful place was the dream of Fujitaro Kubota, a Japanese immigrant from the island of Shikoku. He purchased 5 acres of land in 1927 and started a garden entirely self-taught (which is pretty amazing to us since we can’t even keep succulents alive). Over time features were added, and the garden expanded to the 20 acres it is today. It was always Fujitaro’s dream that his garden would be open to the public and help promote Japanese culture. After Fujitaro passed away, the City of Seattle was able to purchase the garden and make this dream come true. The garden is now maintained by the gardeners of the Department of Park and Recreation.

The park is a beautiful and peaceful place to take a stroll and admire the Japanese architecture. There are a couple of picnic tables for you to enjoy lunch and a handful of benches throughout. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash and the park is wheelchair accessible.

Since no trip to a garden is complete without food (who are kidding…no trip to anywhere is complete without food!), we recommend grabbing some fried chicken at nearby Ezell’s (11805 Renton Ave. S.) or a donut at King Donuts (9232 Rainier Ave. S.).

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

This park isn't a new, unknown thing to do in the PNW, but it is a beautiful park that people of all ages can enjoy year round in Vancouver, BC. 

The Capilano Suspension Bridge was first built in 1889 (yep 1889, I definitely wouldn't have walked across this canyon before modern engineering) by a Scottish engineer. He had built a cabin on the edge of the canyon and needed a way across, so he took some rope and some wood and made himself a bridge (people were so resourceful back then). The bridge has had many owners and modifications since then; the bridge you walk across today was built in 1953. 

Now Capilano Suspension Bridge sits in the middle of a huge park and is one of a few attractions you get when you pay for entry (Adults $39.95, Children, $12.00). You not only get to walk across the giant swinging bridge (the thought that you are about to plummet to your death will cross your mind, just go with it), you also get to walk in the treetops on mini suspension bridges and the newest attraction, the Cliffwalk, where adventurers can hike along the cliff face on small walkways that jut out over the Capilano River. 

In addition, the park offers a lot of history in photos and stories in various locations about the park and the First Nations people who are connected to it. And it goes without saying there are places for you to spend additional money (gift shop and a cafe). 

Insider Tips: 

  • In the summer this park is a hot spot. It fills up fast and can definitely impact your happy-time fun levels. Go before 11 AM to have a little more space to explore. 
  • This summer they are also offering "Twilight Rates" if you go after 5 PM. Tickets are 20% off. The sun doesn't set until around 10 PM, so this gives you ample time to explore and save a few bucks!
  • In the winter they drape all nine different species of trees with Christmas lights! It makes visiting the park magical. Walking in the trees filled with twinkling lights will make you feel like you are in a fairy tale! 
  • If you want to avoid the lines and the price tag altogether, Lynn Canyon Park is nearby and also boasts a suspension bridge you can cross for free. Sure, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Capilano, but it is a nice alternative. 
Don't look down!

Don't look down!