park

5 Secret Tiny Parks of Seattle

Seattlelites love parks, and with over 485 to choose from in the city, there are countless options to find a place to spend a sunny afternoon (check out our parks and hikes page to see a few of our favorites). But what if you don't want to be surrounded by a bunch of people? What if you just want a quiet spot and a patch of grass to call your own? Well, no problem! There is a good chance you'll be one of the only people visiting these tiny, but mighty, parks around Seattle.

Bhy Kracke Park

Bhy Kracke Park

Probably the most popular and well known park in Queen Anne is Kerry Park because it boasts what are arguably the best views of the city. However, with popularity comes crowds and tourists (and lots of selfie sticks). What most people don't know is that Bhy Kracke Park is located right down the street and it's just as wonderful in its own way. This tiny park has an upper and lower level connected by a winding little path. The lower level has a playset for kids and a picnic table tucked under an arbor of ivy. The upper level has a nice grassy lawn for spreading out and beautiful views of Lake Union, the Space Needle, and downtown.

Sidenote: Hanging out in Queen Anne always involves walking the streets and staring at the homes. They give us serious house envy -- how do we get one?!

Bky Kracke Park
Bhy Kracke Park
Bhy Kracke Park
Louisa Boren Lookout

Located right next to Volunteer Park, this little park has breathtaking views of Lake Washington, some impressive trees, little benches for watching the world go by, and a unique (and untitled) sculpture by artist Lee Kelly. There is also a running path that goes right through the park in case you feel like getting some exercise. This is a perfect spot to have a picnic, mediate, or take a little rest. It's in a very quiet and quaint neighborhood with only a few joggers and dog walkers passing through.

Louisa Boren Lookout
Louisa Boren Lookout
Howell Park

It's hard to find a spot on the shores of Lake Washington where you don't have to wrestle crowds and jockey for a spot. Howell Park is a true secret Seattle gem. It's hidden down a tiny street (that looks almost like a driveway) and has no parking, but the little park butts up right to the lake with a little shore providing easy access for wading in on a hot day. Chances are you will have this lake front spot all to yourself. Since there is also no parking on Lake Washington Blvd., your best bet is to park down the street at Denny Blaine Park (another tiny park with amazing views!) and walk to it.

Howell Park
Howell Park
Howell Park
Thomas C. Wales Park

This park was once a gravel quarry, but now it's a unique park tucked in Downtown Seattle. The city worked with an artist to create these amazing rock structures. There is a small pond in the center, which makes it an ideal spot for birds (and apparently bats) to hang out. We suggest grabbing a sandwich at the nearby Lyon's Deli and finding a bench to pass the time.

Thomas C. Wales Park
Thomas C. Wales Park
Thomas C. Wales Park
Rainbow Point

Hiding next to an I-5 on-ramp in North Seattle, you are almost guaranteed to have this little park to yourself. It has great views of downtown, Green Lake, and (on a clear day) the Olympics. There are a few benches for sitting and a little grassy area for relaxing and picnicking. We recommend grabbing snacks from the deli at the nearby PCC and heading here for a quiet afternoon of reading.

Rainbown Point
Rainbow Point

What are some of your favorite little spots to visit around Seattle on a nice day? We would love to hear about them in the comments! 

Freeway Park

Freeway Park

Freeway Park is a little spot in the middle of Seattle that often goes unnoticed. Unless you work or live nearby you might never venture to this park built over I-5 in downtown Seattle. We were itching to get outside last week when it was warm and sunny for one of the first times in a long time in Seattle and discovered it is actually a nice slice of quiet in a city full of construction and noise. 

The park is a little difficult to actually enter. We had to plug it into GPS and navigate to an entrance off 7th Ave, near Town Hall. When we go back we will definitely opt for the 6th and Seneca entrance, which looks a bit like a courtyard for the federal building, but don't worry, keep walking east and you'll find the park!

Map of Freeway Park, Seattle

Our favorite discovery was Canyon, a giant concrete structure that was built to muffle the noise from the interstate and give visitors something to climb and explore, just like if they were in a natural canyon. 

Disclaimer: This park is a tad dirty. It serves as one of the only spots in the area for people with dogs to get some grass, so watch your step, and at night many of the city's homeless sleep here, so there is some trash and debris as well. 

If you can ignore some candy wrappers and enjoy creative and functional art, this is a great spot to check out and explore. We will definitely be using this as a workday escape. With the tables and chairs in the courtyard area it makes for a great place to enjoy your lunch in the sunshine and the long stretch of pathways are great to stretch your legs for a mid-day break. 

Freeway Park
Freeway Park
Freeway Park
Freeway Park
Freeway Park
Freeway Park
Freeway Park
Freeway park

The Best View in Seattle: Kerry Park

In celebration of its 50th Anniversary t he Space Needle was painted orange, the original color from the 1962 World Fair.

In celebration of its 50th Anniversary the Space Needle was painted orange, the original color from the 1962 World Fair.

No trip to Seattle is complete without a trip to Kerry Park to get your iconic shot of the Seattle skyline. Halfway up the hill in the beautiful Queen Anne neighborhood you can find a tiny one-acre park overlooking the city. This park was gifted to Seattle by the Kerrys in 1927 so that everyone in Seattle could enjoy the beautiful view. So when you visit, say a silent thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Kerry (we like to imagine them as a slightly richer version of the old couple in Pixar's Up) because otherwise we would have to sneak through people's yards to get these photos (Sarah will do anything to get a good photo).

On a clear day you can see as far south as Mount Rainier. Or as Seattleites refer to it, The Mountain.

On a clear day you can see as far south as Mount Rainier. Or as Seattleites refer to it, The Mountain.

The view from Kerry Park during a foggy sunrise.

The view from Kerry Park during a foggy sunrise.

If you want to shoot at night make sure to bring a tripod or use the length to steady your hand! Photo credit: Suzi Alexander

If you want to shoot at night make sure to bring a tripod or use the length to steady your hand! Photo credit: Suzi Alexander

We were recently asked if we recommend visiting during the day or night. We are going to take the easy way out on this one and say, "It depends" and "Both." 

If you have never been to Seattle before it is neat to come to Kerry Park during the day and get a panoramic view of the city. You can see Mount Rainier in the distance on a clear day and identify lots of landmarks from your lookout. At night though, the city offers a whole different experience. The city lights along with the water of Puget Sound glistening as the ferry boats go back and forth is something you can sit and watch forever (realistically more like 10-15 minutes, but it's really nice, okay?)

The park might be small, but there is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the view!

The park might be small, but there is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the view!

Changing Form  by Doris Totten Chase. 

Changing Form by Doris Totten Chase. 

You can always identify Seattle parks by these colorful signs! 

You can always identify Seattle parks by these colorful signs! 

Insider Tip: Molly Moons Homemade Ice Cream has a location just a few blocks up. On a warm day/night stop there first and walk down with your waffle cone to the park. Don't forget to check out all the beautiful homes in the neighborhood while you stroll.