Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in West Seattle, WA

  • Published 2022/08/02

West Seattle is a vibrant and thriving community with many activities to keep residents and visitors entertained.

Incorporated in 1902, West Seattle is a town full of hidden gems waiting for exploration.

It includes all of Seattle west of the Duwamish River and two of the city’s 13 districts, Delridge and Southwest.

West Seattle is where you want to go if you want to stay close to the growing metropolis without subjecting yourself to the hubbub of the city’ center.

If you’ve had enough of West Seattle’s tranquility, you can quickly go to the city center, only minutes away.

You can easily go to many of Seattle’s most popular attractions from West Seattle.

West Seattle features amazing views of the Cascade Range to the east and the Olympic Mountains to the west.

If you’re looking for the best things to do in West Seattle, read on for a few suggestions.

Take a Hike in Lincoln Park

View of Lincoln Park's water

GeorgeColePhoto /

Lincoln Park is one of Seattle’s largest parks, located on the western edge of West Seattle.

The largest multi-use park in West Seattle is Lincoln Park.

It sits on a nose-shaped cliff on Puget Sound, to the north of the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal.

A mile of seawalls and rocky beaches connect to a cliff of grassy woodlands and meadows.

The park also has plenty of play and picnic spaces on the north and easy trails on the south.

Picnic tables along Lincoln Park

Beach Creatives /

Lincoln Park also offers beautiful views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and Vashon Island.

Some of the Park’s features include forest trails, a paved beach walk, sports fields, picnic areas, and a high-temperature saltwater pool.

There are hiking and biking trails, a disc golf course, tennis courts, and a playground.

Lush greenery of Lincoln Park

Max Herman /

Visit the West Seattle Farmers Market

The West Seattle Farmers Market is one of the city’s largest and most popular farmers’ markets.

West Seattle Farmers Market opens every Sunday, from May to October.

The market features over 70 vendors selling locally grown produce, flowers, artisanal goods, and prepared foods.

Live music and children’s activities make the market a fun and lively place to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The West Seattle Farmers Market is a treasured Sunday tradition and weekend destination for families throughout South Seattle.

You can find it in the center of the West Seattle Junction between Alaska and California Avenues.

Its growing appeal among locals and business owners in Junction comes from the unbeatable sense of community.

Families form when friends and neighbors get together, whether on purpose or not.

Share your passion for high-quality foods and products at the West Seattle Farmers Market.

Enjoy the Waters of the Alki Beach Park

People at Alki Beach Park

LifeisticAC /

The Alki Beach Park is one of Seattle’s most popular summertime destinations.

Located on Puget Sound, the beach offers stunning views of the Seattle skyline and the Olympic Mountains.

The Elliott Bay beach between Alki Point and Duwamish Head makes up the 135.9-acre Alki Beach Park.

This place is the first public saltwater swimming beach on the west coast of the United States, boasting 0.5 miles of shoreline.

Sunset over Alki Beach Park

Korneva Irina /

In 1952, the city erected a replica of the Statue of Liberty model on the seashore.

Alki Beach Park also houses the Alki Point Monument, which honors Seattle’s early white settlers.

Likewise, you can bring dogs to the park, but not to the beach.

People walking along Alki Beach Park

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore the West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails

The West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails spans 550 acres.

You can find it in West Seattle, from the tip of Pigeon Point to Westcrest Park.

Likewise, these trails comprise the largest contiguous forest in Seattle.

These surroundings likely formed the West Duwamish Greenbelt’s crest and steep slopes more than 60,000 years ago.

The glacier’s movement left the steep sides of the ridge, which also compressed and solidified soil layers to make the rocks more erosion-resistant.

Following the glacier melt, a towering conifer forest emerged to cover the ridge.

These conifers include the Douglas fir, western red cedar, and Sitka spruce.

Native Americans first inhabited the Duwamish Peninsula.

They built winter longhouses over the Duwamish River, serving as a “gateway” to the Puget Sound Lowlands.

Today, West Duwamish Greenbelt Trail features running, walking, and biking trails.

There are also several playgrounds, a spray park, and a picnic shelter.

Discover Nature in Schmitz Preserve Park

Nature trail in Schmitz Preserve Park

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Schmitz Preserve Park is a hidden gem in West Seattle comprising old-growth forests and meadows.

Between 1908 and 1912, residents donated portions of Schmitz Preserve to the city.

The most considerable donation came from Ferdinand Schmitz, a German immigrant, banker, and pioneer who was also a member of the park commission at the time.

Schmitz came up with the idea to preserve a portion of the vast forest in its natural state.

He had noticed how quickly it was disappearing.

After 1908, the Park quickly became recognized as a peaceful addition to the West Seattle park complex.

The features of Schmitz Preserve Park are old-growth forests, walking trails, mountaineering, and nature research.

There are trails to explore and wildlife to see, including deer, coyotes, owls, and eagles.

The park hasn’t changed, save for the paved entry and a parking lot in the northwest corner.

Stroll Down the North Admiral District

North Admiral is the first recognized community in West Seattle.

You can find it atop a hill that offers breathtaking views of Elliott Bay, Downtown Seattle, and the neighboring mountain ranges.

Some of the first pioneer families in Seattle founded this close-knit neighborhood.

These immigrant families arrived in the city during the 1800s.

California Avenue, the main street, features many quaint shops and eateries.

The North Admiral District is a great place to stock up on groceries or pick up a bouquet, lined with quaint shops, cafes, and bakeries.

You can also find the Admiral Theater, a vintage movie palace built in 1923, on California Avenue.

This theater is the place to catch a classic film.

Discover the Splendor of Alki Point Lighthouse

Daytime view of Alki Point Lighthouse

Clifford Wayne Estes /

The US Coast Guard uses the Alki Point Lighthouse to aid their vessels’ navigation.

You can find the lighthouse on the bluff at Alki Point in West Seattle.

Built in 1887, the original lighthouse was the first steel-hulled, screw-pile light station constructed on Puget Sound.

In 1913, they completed the current lighthouse, a replica of the original.

View of Alki Point Lighthouse lamp

Jason Olstad /

The Alki Point Lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places; it’s also a designated Seattle landmark.

The Alki Point Lighthouse is open to the public during the daytime.

Marvel at the spectacular views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, Elliott Bay, and downtown Seattle.

Aerial view of Alki Point Lighthouse

Cascade Creatives /

Sip Fine Wine at the Viscon Cellars

Viscon Cellars is an award-winning boutique winery in the heart of the West Seattle Junction.

Viscon Cellars produces small-batch, handcrafted wines using traditional methods.

The Viscon Cellars tasting room is open daily for wine tastings.

They also offer events throughout the year, including live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

Located in West Seattle, Viscon Cellars is a family-run winery specializing in small-lot production.

This winery purchases fruit from the best Washington State grape growers.

Viscon Cellars’ winery tasting room in West Seattle offers samples and sales of their wines.

Learn about the Past in Log House Museum

Exterior of Log House Museum

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can find the Log House Museum in a restored turn-of-the-century log building, previously the Fir Lodge’s stable or carriage house.

The Fir Lodge was one of Alki Beach’s first year-round residences.

Well-known Seattle residents William and Gladys Bernard built the original lodge.

Visit the Log House Museum to learn about the history of the Duwamish Peninsula.

The museum strives to preserve the memories of Southwest Seattle with the assistance of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

Different Alki families have lived in this historic, log-built structure for the last 90+ years.

Part of an old bridge displayed in Log House Museum

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Log House Museum once even housed an antique shop.

The Log House Museum is open for tours and features a carefully curated gift shop.

You can find native plants scattered on the museum grounds.

Likewise, you can find a granite and marble donor circle in the courtyard.

This circle honors the people who helped make the heritage project an award-winning institution and a community asset.

Display in Log House Museum

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Admire Artwork at West Seattle Junction

The West Seattle Junction is the center of the neighborhood.

It’s home to various businesses and services, as well as art galleries, restaurants, and cafes.

The Junction is also home to several public art installations, including sculptures, murals, and mosaics.

One of the most notable pieces of public art in the Junction is the “Mural of Peace,” which local artist Joe Mabel painted in 2003.

The mural depicts a variety of people and animals peacefully coexisting.

The Junction contributes to the streets’ continued beauty, cleanliness, and safety.

The public pays for the 95 flower baskets that brighten the Intersection every summer.

They also put up the banners and lights that give the West Seattle Junction a lovely appearance.

Meet the Duwamish Tribe at the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center

Exterior of Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn about the Duwamish people at the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center.

The Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center serves as the tribal administrative center, a hub for education, and a gathering place for ceremonies.

The Duwamish Tribesmen first inhabited the region currently known as Seattle.

Likewise, the Duwamish Longhouse is the last remaining Native American longhouse in the city.

Canoe displayed in Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center offers various classes and programs to the public, including language classes, drumming and dance classes, and workshops on Duwamish culture.

The Duwamish Longhouse also allows rentals for events such as weddings, conferences, and meetings.

Display in Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check Out the Fauntleroy Park

Fauntleroy Park is a heavily forested area with a network of trails and roads ideal for exploring, hiking, and walking dogs.

The neighborhood’s name, “Fauntleroy,” takes inspiration from a neighboring cove in Lincoln Park on Puget Sound.

In 1857, Lt. George Davidson named the Cove in honor of his Indiana-born fiancée Ellinor Fauntleroy while conducting regional soundings.

You can find Fauntleroy Park on the west side of Vashon Island.

Take a ferry from Seattle to reach the place.

The park also has a playground and a basketball court.

There are two main trails in Fauntleroy Park, the North Loop and the South.

The North Loop is 0.8 miles, and the South Loop is 1.1 miles.

Take in the Scenery at the Hamilton Viewpoint Park

Beautiful tree in Hamilton Viewpoint Park

Beach Creatives /

Hamilton Viewpoint Park exhibits Seattle’s urban and natural beauty with a breathtaking view of the city, Elliott Bay, the harbor, and the Cascade Mountains.

This park spans 16.9 acres, located in the Delridge neighborhood of Seattle.

It features a picnic area, a playground, and a basketball court.

There are also walking trails, a native plant garden, and an observation deck with stunning city views.

Plants in Hamilton Viewpoint Park

Beach Creatives /

The city purchased the property in 1914.

Four years later, they turned it into a park.

The park takes its name from Rupert L. Hamilton, a well-known figure in the West Seattle neighborhood.

He was instrumental in establishing the park.

It was once the Duwamish Head Park and West Side Park.

Hamilton Viewpoint Park is open daily from dawn to dusk.

Visit Elliott Bay

The city of Seattle surrounds the developed Elliott Bay, located on the Central Basin of Puget Sound.

The Duwamish River runs from the northern extremity of Harbor Island downstream of the Green River.

It’s also the primary source of fresh water for Elliott Bay.

Elliott Bay is home to the Port of Seattle and its waterfront, stretching southeastward between West Point and Alki Point.

In the 1850s, the settlers established Seattle on this body of water, which has expanded to enclose it completely.

Elliott Bay remains a dependable saltwater source following established water quality standards.

The Seattle Aquarium uses water from Elliott Bay for its animal exhibits.

Facilities in Elliott Bay include the Seattle Aquarium, the Olympic Sculpture Park, and Myrtle Edwards Park.

Visitors can enjoy activities including fishing, swimming, and boating.

Take a Hike in Discovery Park

People walking along Discovery Park

Globe Guide Media Inc /

Discovery Park is a 534-acre urban wilderness park on the shores of Puget Sound in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood.

It includes 12 miles of hiking trails, 2.8 miles of scenic coastline, forest and meadowlands, and a historic lighthouse.

This place is also home to various wildlife, including bald eagles, herons, owls, and coyotes.

Fall foliage along Discovery Park steps

David7 /

See wildlife, particularly birds and marine mammals at Discovery Park.

The Seattle Audubon Society has recorded about 270 species in the park and the neighboring waters.

For those who love the active lifestyle, you can take a hike at the 2.8-mile Discovery Park Loop Trail.

In 1975, the government declared it a National Recreation Trail, circling the Park and connecting to other paths.

Final Thoughts

West Seattle is a peaceful community that lives by its own rules and enjoys the slower pace and stunning natural surroundings.

The area is heaven for hikers and nature lovers, with plenty of easy-to-access trails and parks.

There is also a strong food culture here, with some of the best coffee shops, bakeries, and restaurants in Seattle.

If you’re looking for a community outside of the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle, West Seattle is the perfect place for you.

Book your trip today!

You might even find more things to do in West Seattle, WA after you arrive.

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