20 Free Things to Do in Seattle, WA

Free Things to Do in Seattle, WA

With a perfect blend of urban chic and natural beauty, Seattle is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

So, strap on those rain boots, grab a coffee, and let's explore the free things to do in Seattle, Washington.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Amanda Witcher, Miguel Henderson, Regina Kirkland, Keith Dolph, Patricia White, Jannie Baird and Mavis Talley.

Stroll through Gas Works - Lake View Point

Visitors walking at the Gas Works
Anthony Ricci / Shutterstock.com

I have a special place where I find peace and tranquility right here in the heart of our bustling city - the Gas Works - Lake View Point.

Amidst the concrete jungle, this gem provides a refreshing oasis of calm.

What I love about the park is its versatility.

Whether you're in the mood for a solitary stroll, or a fun day with the kids, or a peaceful evening just watching the world go by, this place has something to offer.

The kids' playground is always buzzing with laughter and the view of the skyline from the park is simply breathtaking.

There are plenty of benches to sit on and enjoy the scenery, and the park is always kept clean and tidy.

The park is also a haven for bikers and skateboarders.

I've seen some terrific stunts being performed right here.

Bird's eye view of the Gas Works
Cascade Creatives / Shutterstock.com

The walking and biking paths are well-maintained and lead to the stunning viewpoint of downtown across the water.

And you can grab a snack or pack a picnic; there are plenty of spots to sit and enjoy a meal.

For a more dramatic view, Kate Hill is just a few steps away from the park and provides an amazing view of the city.

My favorite time at the park is during the evenings.

The setting sun casts an ethereal glow, painting the skyline in hues of orange and red.

Gas Works - Lake View Point, with its lights twinkling in the dusk, is a sight to behold.

No matter how many times I go there, the charm never fades.

It's a perfect way to end a busy day, just sitting there, watching the city lights come alive.

Get a Glimpse of Seattle from Kerry Park

Skyline of Seattle from Kerry Park
CommunistSquared, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

I've always counted myself lucky to live in Seattle because it gives me easy access to places like Kerry Park.

It's one of those spots that is known mostly to locals, tucked away in a residential neighborhood.

But believe me when I say its popularity is completely justified.

Whether it's a regular weeknight or a sunny Sunday afternoon, you'll find me there, perched on one of the few benches, soaking up the panoramic view of the city.

You can see everything from Kerry Park, from the iconic Space Needle to the majestic Mount Rainier in the distance.

Even on gloomy days, when it's raining cats and dogs, the view is still breathtaking.

Did I mention it's one of the best places in the city to watch the sunset?

It's like a painting unfolding right before your eyes.

One thing that I've noticed is that the place gets crowded, especially on weekends.

It seems that the secret's out, and more people are discovering this gem.

And why wouldn't they?

It's like getting a snapshot of the city wrapped up in one scenic view.

However, the influx of visitors does make parking a bit of a challenge.

I've noticed people circling around the block to find a spot.

But hey, that's a small price to pay for a view that's worth a million bucks.

If you're planning to visit, I'd like to give you a pro tip.

Bring your camera along.

You'll see long lines of folks waiting to get that perfect shot of the Seattle skyline.

And once you've had your fill of the view, I'd suggest taking a stroll down towards the downtown area.

It's a different vibe but equally captivating.

When I'm not at Kerry Park, I find myself missing it.

The tranquility, the view, the vibe; it's more than just a park to me.

It's where I go to find some peace amidst the city's chaos.

Immerse in the Scenic Beauty at Washington Park Arboretum

Picturesque view of the Washington Park Arboretum during fall
Claudia G Cooper / Shutterstock.com

I can tell you from personal experience there's no place quite like the Washington Park Arboretum.

The place is a sprawling 230-acre oasis of tranquility right on the shores of Lake Washington.

I've walked its trails countless times, always finding something new to admire.

The botanical wonders in this park are a sight to behold, with some spectacular rare trees like the Giant Sequoias dotting the landscape.

But remember, they don't show all the trails.

One of my favorite spots is the Japanese Garden.

However, be sure to check their website for timings, as it tends to close early, with the last entry being one hour before closing.

Totem at Washington Park Arboretum
knelson20 / Shutterstock.com

While there is an entry fee for this section, the rest of the park is freely accessible.

On the days I miss the Japanese Garden's visiting hours, I simply soak in the vistas from the trails circling outside.

Trust me; the views are just as mesmerizing!

But the arboretum isn't just for tree enthusiasts.

If you're a dog owner like me, it’s an excellent place to take your furry friend for a walk.

The tranquil environment, coupled with the occasional encounter with wildlife, is an experience few other places offer.

For an insider tip, try visiting on a 3-day weekend.

Washington Park Arboretum takes on a special charm that has left me coming back for more, time and again.

Pretty flowers at Washington Park Arboretum
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Hike through Discovery Park

It's easy to forget you're nestled within the urban expanse of Seattle when you're lost in the miles of rugged trails of Discovery Park.

Hiking the 4.5-mile loop trail, you might think you've somehow been transported out of the city into a wilderness wonderland.

The trails have everything from sand to dirt, packed dirt/rocks, trail stairs, and a challenging 450ft ascent/descent elevation change.

It's the perfect place to break in new boots or just enjoy a leisurely stroll.

The views are, in a word, sublime.

From the top, you're embraced by a breathtaking panorama of the Sound.

Step off the beaten path onto one of the offshoot trails, and you might find yourself on a secluded beach, the perfect spot for a quiet moment of reflection.

Discovery Park is more than just a hiking destination; it's also a sanctuary for wildlife.

The park is a hub of activity, with the occasional bunny hopping along the trails.

On clear days, the imposing silhouette of Mt. Rainier is visible, adding another level to the already stunning vista.

For dog owners, it's a paradise.

The sprawling parkland offers countless opportunities for canine adventures.

You'd be forgiven for thinking it's a private park; such are the opportunities for solitude.

Take a Dip at Seward Park

A man enjoying the serenity of the nature at Seward Park
Beach Creatives / Shutterstock.com

Every time I lace up my hiking boots, grab my trusty water bottle, and set out for Seward Park, I know I'm in for a day of wonderful adventure amidst nature's charm.

Nestled in my neighborhood, this 300-acre wooded refuge is my go-to spot for peace and relaxation.

If you're in Seattle and haven't visited Seward Park yet, you've truly missed out.

The park is a treasure trove of experiences, each more exciting than the last.

My favorite thing to do is hike through the park's lush green forest.

The trails wind their way around the park, revealing small secluded beaches along the way.

What better way to break up a hike than with a quick dip in the cool waters of Lake Washington?

The lake's views are simply picturesque, offering a tranquil setting to sit and soak in the natural beauty.

Birds swimming on the lake at the Seward Park
Beach Creatives / Shutterstock.com

The sight of the majestic Mount Rainier reflected in the calm waters never ceases to amaze me - it's an awe-inspiring spectacle that leaves you in complete admiration of nature's grandeur.

And let's not forget the wildlife!

The park is a haven for diverse flora and fauna.

Birdwatching is a popular activity here, with the Audubon Bird Center offering a chance to learn about the area's avian inhabitants.

For families, the large playground near the main parking lot is perfect.

Various play structures keep the young ones entertained while the adults can enjoy a serene walk.

The tennis courts are a great spot for a quick match, always well-maintained and ready for a game.

In this hustle and bustle of city life, Seward Park is my personal sanctuary.

It's a place where tranquility and adventure go hand in hand, where every visit is a fresh escape to the beauty of nature.

Trail at the Seward Park
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Have an Exercise at Union Bay Natural Area

Scenic view of the Union Bay Natural Area
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

I've always been keenly aware of the beauty nestled in the heart of Seattle, but it wasn't until I took the time to wander through the Union Bay Natural Area that I truly appreciated it.

A hidden gem, this area is a haven of tranquility amidst the city's bustle.

It's a perfect place for me to unwind after a long day.

The natural beauty of the place, you know, has a way of calming the mind.

They say, 'curiosity killed the cat', but here, it only leads you to stunning sceneries that you'd never imagine.

I often find myself jogging on the trails, the chirping of the birds being my perfect rhythm.

Trust me, those trails are an explorer's delight.

And speaking of birds, the Union Bay Natural Area isn't just for joggers and walkers; it's a paradise for bird watchers, too.

The friendly folks I bump into on the trails are more than willing to share their knowledge about the birds in the area.

Feel free to ask them for any tips.

They certainly enhanced my bird-watching experience.

Mesmerizing sunrise at Union Bay Natural Area
Nav Tombros / Shutterstock.com

If you need more information about this spectacular area, you can visit the Union Bay Natural Area.

While the trails are overall in good shape, they could use a bit more maintenance, especially after heavy rains.

I'd recommend wearing shoes that can handle mud.

But don't let that deter you.

The views are well worth it.

If you're lucky, you might even spot some wildlife.

I once came across a brood of ducks waddling along, and it was one of my most endearing experiences there.

I should warn you about the gnats, though.

There can be quite a few of them buzzing around.

In the end, it's more than just a trail.

It's a place to connect with nature, to find calm, and to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

A bird resting on the fallen bark at the Union Bay Natural Area
Emily Marie Wilson / Shutterstock.com

Discover Seattle's Industrial Legacy at Gas Works Park

View of the Gas Works
Checubus / Shutterstock.com

Honestly, there's nothing quite like whiling away a lazy Saturday at Gas Works Park.

It's an unbeatable blend of Seattle's industrial past and bright, outdoorsy present.

Once an oil plant, this 20-acre expanse has now been repurposed into a park that retains its unique character while offering residents a space to escape the city's hustle and bustle.

For me, the park's dramatic, unobstructed views of the Seattle skyline are a constant draw.

Unlike more popular tourist spots in the city, Gas Works Park promises a quieter experience.

The abandoned industrial structures make for an interesting backdrop for photos and selfies.

Old machineries at Gas Works Park
Jason Finn / Shutterstock.com

Plus, the wide-open spaces are a joy to explore and offer plenty of room to run around or enjoy a picnic.

One of the highlights for me is the beach that offers a serene view of both the lake and the city skyline.

And if you're looking to keep your little ones engaged, there's a delightful playground that keeps them entertained while you sit back and enjoy the view.

But what sets it apart from other public parks in Seattle is its unique combination of natural beauty and industrial charm.

It is undoubtedly one of the most unique parks I've ever been to.

I find myself here often in the evening, as the park offers an awe-inspiring view of the sunset.

It's an experience that's hard to beat.

And if you're in the area, don't miss the Fremont Troll, a quirky local landmark that's just a stone's throw away from the park.

An old man painting at the Gas Works Park
Ankur Sarda / Shutterstock.com

Make a Splash at the Golden Gardens Park

Hiking trail at Golden Gardens Park
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There is no place like the Golden Gardens Park in Seattle that can give you the perfect blend of nature's tranquility and fun-filled outdoor activities.

It's my go-to spot whenever I need a break.

The beach there is magnificent.

You won't believe how vast it is!

Even on the busiest days, you will always find a corner to enjoy the stunning view of Puget Sound and the mountain.

Don't be surprised if you see families splashing around in the water, picnickers, couples stealing a quiet moment, windsurfers showing off their skills, or school kids on their field trips.

It's a favorite spot for everyone!

Visitors relaxing on the beach at Golden Gardens Park
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

And, oh, the nearby food stand never fails to surprise.

It might appear closed, but don't let that fool you.

I've often grabbed a quick bite from there while enjoying the beach view.

Personally, I love taking my dog along.

The park is pet-friendly, and they even have a dedicated off-leash area for our furry friends.

If you are a birdwatcher like me, you would be thrilled with the variety of water birds that frequent the area.

And if you're lucky, you might spot seals and sea lions basking in the sun!

For outdoor enthusiasts, there's plenty more to explore.

The numerous playgrounds, picnic spots, and trails make it a perfect spot for family outings.

On a clear day, the view of the majestic Olympic mountains is a sight to behold.

And let me tell you, nothing beats the experience of paddle boarding or kayaking with such a view in the backdrop!

View of the Golden Gardens Park
Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / Shutterstock.com

Discover the History of the Chief Seattle Fountain

As I wake up to another beautiful day in the Emerald City, my morning walk invariably leads me toward the soul of Seattle - Pioneer Square.

Looming over the square, the stoic figure of Chief Seattle, the city’s namesake, urges me to ponder over the rich history every single day.

It's not just a statue but a symbolic representation of the chief, who was a Suquamish and Duwamish leader.

His life was a testament to accommodation and adaptability, as he formed personal relationships with white settlers, notably "Doc" Maynard.

His legacy is so powerful that it continues to shape the city, which is proudly named after him. 

Every day, I stand before his stone statue, awed by his silent resilience.

Resilience was demonstrated in 1854 when he chose peace over pride, preferring to leave his beloved land rather than engage in a brutal and inhumane conflict with the white settlers.

He was a man of wisdom who, unlike the usual narratives of revenge and retaliation we hear about, chose a path of peace and co-existence.

His teachings of ecological responsibility and respect for Native Americans' land rights still reverberate in the heart of every Seattleite.

As I continue my walk, leaving the Chief Seattle Fountain behind, I carry his legacy with me, inspired to live another day with the spirit of understanding and peaceful existence.

Meditate in the Tranquil Kubota Garden

Stunning view of the Kubota Garden
Jaime Pharr / Shutterstock.com

Every now and then, when the hustle and bustle of city life in Seattle starts to overwhelm me, I seek refuge in the gentle embrace of Kubota Garden.

Spanning over 20 acres, this hilly Japanese-style garden has been a sanctuary for me and many others since 1927.

The moment I step in, a sense of calm washes over me.

I'm greeted by a vibrant array of flowers, their colors painting a scenic masterpiece across the landscape.

Every season breathes new life into the garden, revealing a multitude of hues that never cease to amaze.

As I wander through the winding trails, each turn reveals another surprise - from the gleaming ponds to the cascading waterfalls and even a moon bridge that seems to have been plucked straight out of a fairy tale.

One of my favorite spots is amidst the multitude of maple trees.

The sight of their leaves rustling in the breeze, reflecting off the tranquil ponds, transports me straight to Japan.

It's a place where I can just stop, breathe, and find a moment of peace.

Waterfalls at the Kubota Garden
Delaney Van / Shutterstock.com

I often find myself losing track of time; my afternoon walks turn into evening strolls, each moment in this garden offering a sense of rejuvenation.

Accessibility is another aspect I admire about Kubota Garden.

As someone who uses a walker, I found all the paths in the garden easily accessible.

There are mild inclines and declines, making it a bit challenging for those who prefer flat ground.

But for me, it adds to the garden's charm.

The views of older trees and shrubs, the unique environment – it’s all worth it.

Often, I pack a picnic and spend the day here.

There's something incredibly soothing about dining amidst this natural splendor.

And the best part?

It's dog-friendly, so my furry friend can join in on the fun too!

Kubota Garden has always been a hidden gem in Seattle.

Despite the signs warning about vehicle safety, I have never had any trouble during my visits.

Huge tree at the Kubota Garden
Claudia G Cooper / Shutterstock.com

Practice Photography at the Waterfall Garden

Every now and then, amidst the hustle and bustle of Seattle's city life, I gravitate towards this quiet sanctuary that offers an escape from the urban chaos.

Nestled in the heart of downtown, the Waterfall Garden is a hidden oasis that I like to call my secret retreat.

Let me tell you, there's something magical about being in the heart of the city and hearing nothing but the calming sound of a waterfall.

The 22-foot tall artificial waterfall, coupled with the rustic charm of the rock garden, offers a sense of tranquility that's hard to come by in a bustling city like ours.

What makes this place all the more interesting is the history attached to it.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that this serene park is actually the birthplace of the United Parcel Service (UPS)!

The monument to U.S. Postal Service workers stands as a testament to their dedication and service.

Whether you're looking for a dose of history or just a calm place to unwind, the Waterfall Garden offers both in abundance.

Art lovers will surely appreciate the water-based art installations scattered around the park.

As for me, I like to grab a cup of coffee from a nearby café, find a cozy spot, and just bask in the serenity it offers.

I often find myself lost in thought, admiring the long, thick chains hanging from the ceiling that serve as anchors.

Strolling around the Pioneer Square area, I often make it a point to visit this park.

Cool Down at the International Fountain

View of the International Fountain
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Whenever I need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, I find myself drawn to the International Fountain at the Seattle Center.

Built in 1995, the fountain offers an expansive basin that transforms into a playground for children on sunny days.

Time seems to slow down in this oasis.

It's nestled just a stone's throw away from iconic landmarks like the Space Needle, the Armory, and Climate Pledge Arena and surrounded by some of the most delightful eateries the city has to offer.

Summer weekends at the fountain are like treasured traditions.

Families spread their picnic blankets over the lush grass, friends gather for laughter-filled conversations, and even solitary visitors find joy in the simple act of basking in the sun.

What I love most about this place is the water show that begins every weekday evening.

Accompanied by music, the water dances in a rhythm that's almost mesmerizing.

International Fountain lit up at night
Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com

But the real spectacle lies in the festive days when the fountain comes alive with a riot of colors, reflecting light from the installed LEDs.

It's like watching a painting come alive, every hue vibrant under the evening sky.

Even on days when I don't have the luxury of time, I often find myself stopping by for a quick moment of respite.

With plenty of benches around the fountain, it's a perfect spot to sit back and marvel at the view.

Occasionally, I bring along my pet for some much-needed outdoor time.

Nothing beats the sight of him romping around, enjoying the shade of the towering trees surrounding the area.

The International Fountain, with its free access and endless charm, is more than just a landmark.

It's a haven for locals like me, a reminder of the beauty that lies within the heart of our city.

Kids playing at the International Fountain
lembi / Shutterstock.com

Step to a New World at Seattle Chinese Garden

The first time I stumbled upon the Seattle Chinese Garden was purely by chance during a workplace tour, and it felt like uncovering a hidden gem right in my own backyard.

This peaceful oasis, brimming with traditional elements of stone, water, and plants, instantly became a place I knew I'd be visiting again.

What really sets the garden apart for me is the occasional public tours offered by the society that manages it.

Each tour is like a mini-lesson in Chinese culture and tradition.

They do a fantastic job explaining the distinct elements of the garden and their vision for its future.

It's fascinating to learn that Seattle has a sister city in China that actually helped build this authentic Sichuan-style garden.

Even though I visited during a particularly hot day and couldn't see the whole garden, I still had a pleasant time.

There's no admission charge, parking is a breeze, and I even managed to snap some lovely pictures.

While it may not quite match the grandeur of Kubota Garden or the Japanese garden in the Arboretum, it holds its own unique charm that's worth exploring.

I'm already looking forward to revisiting when the weather cools off.

One thing to note is the size of the garden - it is relatively small and may not warrant a special trip for those coming from far off.

But the attached arboretum, although also small, houses some interesting areas that add to the overall experience.

Take in the Views at West Point Lighthouse

Beautiful view of the West Point Lighthouse
Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock.com

Quietly nestled on the tranquil shores of Puget Sound, there's a hidden gem that's been silently witnessing the changing tides since 1881 - the charming West Point Lighthouse.

This quaint beacon of light is known for its small white tower and cottage, offering picturesque views that would leave any visitor in awe.

Living close by, I often find myself drawn to the lighthouse for its serene environment.

The place is a haven for those seeking a break from the city's hustle and bustle.

As I walk down the paths leading to the lighthouse, I'm always greeted by the fresh salty breeze from the Sound.

However, it's the breathtaking view of Seattle's natural beauty from this vantage point that truly captures my heart.

Parking could be a challenge during busy weekends, but no worries, there's a North Parking Lot that offers sufficient free parking spots.

However, if you wish to park closer to the lighthouse, remember to grab your permit from the visitor center beforehand.

Top view of the West Point Lighthouse
Dene' Miles / Shutterstock.com

And while a bit of a walk, the journey is worth every step.

As you explore the grounds, you might notice a lack of dedicated seating areas.

It's true, we could use more benches and picnic spots.

But for me, the natural beauty of the surroundings more than makes up for it.

After all, who needs a bench when you have the entire sea in front of you?

One thing I do wish they'd improve is the signage.

But even without it, West Point Lighthouse is a place that speaks for itself.

Despite being a local, the place never fails to amaze me.

Whether it's low tide exposing the hidden sea life or the steep hill leading to the lighthouse, every visit is a new adventure.

And yes, there's a water treatment plant nearby, and it can get a bit whiffy, but trust me, the view more than makes up for it.

If you're in the area, I highly recommend visiting this underappreciated marvel.

Take Snaps with the Installations at Olympic Sculpture Park

Huge sculpture at Olympic Sculpture Park
Checubus / Shutterstock.com

A favorite haunt of mine is the Olympic Sculpture Park, a vibrant extension of the Seattle Art Museum.

Spanning over 9 acres, this park is a masterful blend of natural beauty and man-made artistry, with diverse sculptures strewn across the landscape.

Walking through the park, I am always fascinated by the dynamic sculptures, each one unique in its own way.

The artworks not only capture my imagination but also reflect the creativity of their creators.

The time it takes to explore the entire park varies, depending on your pace and interest in each piece.

For me, I often spend a relaxing 45 minutes enjoying the scenery and the sculptures.

The park isn't just about the sculptures, though.

It's also about the remarkable views from up the hill, the stunning vista of the harbor, and the serene sea views.

Performance at the Olympic Sculpture Park
Bob Korn / Shutterstock.com

Whether it's a sunny day or a cool evening, the park always offers a breathtaking panorama that never fails to impress me.

The location of Olympic Sculpture Park is another bonus.

Nestled near a cluster of appetizing restaurants and close to the water, it creates an ideal spot for a romantic date or a family day out.

I often find myself enjoying a leisurely stroll with my loved ones, savoring the artistry and the ambiance.

Dog lovers will be pleased to know that this park is pet-friendly as long as your furry friend is on a leash.

There are also fun trails for biking or scootering along the water, offering a great way to enjoy the park and its surroundings.

For those who enjoy a bit of relaxation, there are both sunny and shady spots with trees perfect for hanging a hammock.

And the more adventurous can even find some rocky beach spots, complete with logs, for a bit of exploring.

People relaxing at the Olympic Sculpture Park
Roman Khomlyak / Shutterstock.com

Uncover the Secrets of the Fremont Troll

View of the Fremont Troll
Frankie WO / Shutterstock.com

Every now and then, I find myself fascinated by the real-life fairytale sensation found under the George Washington Memorial Bridge, the Fremont Troll.

Designed and crafted by local artists, this 6.5-ton, mixed-media statue has been a part of my neighborhood since 1990.

Whenever I pass by, I'm always amazed to see people, both locals and tourists alike, marveling at the enormity of the statue.

It's not surprising; the Fremont Troll in person is so much more astounding, almost like a living, breathing creature guarding our bridge.

Despite being a popular tourist spot, it has managed to retain its unique charm.

Visitors clicking pictures at the Fremont Troll
Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock.com

During the summer, parking can be a bit tricky, and you might find a horde of tourists trying to get their perfect shot with the troll.

But trust me, the wait is always worth it.

What I personally love is the interactive nature of the troll.

You can climb it, crawl up on it, pose next to it, or simply observe its intricate detailing from afar.

Each experience is unique and intriguing in its own way.

But the adventure doesn't stop there.

Walk up the hill, and you'll find the magical tortoise waiting for you.

And who knows, if you make a wish, it just might come true.

Go Kayaking at Matthews Beach Park

Landscape of the Matthews Beach Park
Dgu / Shutterstock.com

If you're looking for a hidden gem in Seattle, Matthews Beach Park is the place to be.

The moment you arrive, you're greeted by the serene beauty and vast expanse of Lake Washington.

It's the perfect spot to connect with nature, unwind, or spend quality time with the family.

I'm fortunate enough to live nearby, and this park has become a regular spot for me.

I spend most of my time here kayaking.

Gliding over the crystal clear water with a breathtaking view of Mount Rainier in the distance is an experience like no other.

And when the mountain is out, the sight is simply mesmerizing.

Don't have a kayak? Don't worry.

The park has a boat launch.

Walking through the park, it's not uncommon to see ducks waddling about.

It adds a charming touch to the place.

Shoreline at the Matthews Beach Park
Dgu / Shutterstock.com

Watching them walk and swim amongst people never fails to delight.

If you're a bird lover, you're in for a treat.

Matthews Beach Park also has a nicely maintained picnic area.

On sunny days, we often bring a blanket, lay it on the grassy areas, and enjoy a perfect picnic while soaking up the sun and admiring the sparkling water.

It's an idyllic setting.

However, be prepared for limited parking.

It's on a first-come, first-serve basis.

But don't let that deter you.

The park is well worth the visit.

And if you're planning to bring a stroller, there are good paths for access.

One downside is that the bathrooms are usually locked, which can be an inconvenience.

And the birds do tend to make the grassy areas their litterbox.

Visitors feeding the birds at the Matthews Beach Park
Dgu / Shutterstock.com

Journey through Time at the Alki Point Lighthouse

View of the Alki Point Lighthouse
Clifford Wayne Estes / Shutterstock.com

One of the special things about living here is that I get to explore the rich history and beautiful landscape of the Alki Point Lighthouse.

I remember the first time I visited; it was a sunny Sunday afternoon.

The lighthouse, an active Coast Guard navigational aid built in 1913, holds a wealth of history within its walls.

The Coast Guard volunteers warmly welcomed me and shared detailed stories about the lighthouse's past.

One fascinating aspect is that most of the generational mechanisms are still intact, providing a unique insight into centuries of innovation.

You can't help but marvel at the technology and craftsmanship that has stood the test of time.

Back side of the Alki Point Lighthouse
Jay Yuan / Shutterstock.com

Beyond Alki Point Lighthouse itself, the surrounding area is equally captivating.

Nestled within a gated complex, the lighthouse sits by a beautiful beach adorned with driftwood.

On clear days, it offers a splendid view.

During winter, when the lighthouse is closed, you can still admire it from the beach.

One of my favorite pastimes is watching wildlife by the beach.

I was lucky enough to spot plovers on one of my visits.

Seeing them in their natural habitat, up close, was a truly exciting experience.

Be warned, though, the beach can get quite windy, so be sure to dress appropriately.

Pose with "A Salish Welcome"

Throwing a stone's distance from my doorstep, you'd find the hidden charms of the "A Salish Welcome" statue nestled near the overhang by the locks.

It's a place I frequent in my everyday wanderings.

You might not think much of it at first glance, but the place has its own unique flavor that has grown on me over the years.

Now, the place isn't without its quirks.

Take, for instance, the fact that you can't actually see the locks from there due to a barrier of trees.

The irony tickles me every now and then.

And then there are the two benches which are often occupied by homeless folks.

They're decent enough, so I've never felt threatened.

However, I do wish the area could be kept cleaner, as the riverbank is often littered with trash.

But the charm of A Salish Welcome comes from its surrounding natural beauty and the little surprises it brings.

Day or night, you'll get a beautiful view of the train bridge, which I find particularly captivating when the sky is streaked with hues of sunset.

A recent addition to the locale is a small parking lot market that's set up every Thursday from 2-7 pm.

It's a delightful little gathering where you can find all sorts of treasures.

Sometimes, there's even a musician who sets up shop, crooning tunes that lend an air of cheer to the place.

And if you're a nature enthusiast like me, you might just be treated to the sight of birds nesting on the top of the bridge.

If you're really lucky, you might even spot seals entering the locks!

Discover the Intriguing Charm of Seattle's Gum Wall

View of the Gum Wall
Suzanna Pratt / Shutterstock.com

You bet I've seen some quirky things around Seattle, but nothing quite matches the Gum Wall.

Nestled right in the heart of Pike Place Market by the pier, I pass by it almost daily, and let me tell you, it never gets boring.

Oh, yes, it's as gross as you've heard – a whole brick wall plastered with chewed-up gum in an alley, and not just a wall, mind you.

The Gum Wall is practically a piece of pop culture now.

I mean, it's not every day you find a place where Buddy the elf would feel at home, right?

As repulsive as it might be, it manages to charm you with its weird uniqueness.

Every day, I see tourists and even locals stopping by, their faces a mix of fascination and mild revulsion as they add their own colorful contributions to the wall.

Visitors taking photos at the Gum Wall
The Image Party / Shutterstock.com

It always makes me chuckle, wondering what makes it so irresistibly attractive.

What's more, the location couldn't be any better.

It’s near the always-bustling Ghost Alley Espresso, just by the stairs leading down to the Farmers Market.

And don't even get me started on the historic first Starbucks shop just a stone's throw away, along with an array of other fantastic restaurants and shops.

You can easily spend an entire day exploring the area.

Everything is so conveniently close and within walking distance.

Parking, though can be a bit of a bummer, especially during peak hours.

But don't let that deter you.

There's an array of parking structures nearby, it's probably best to park there and take a leisurely walk over, avoiding the brunt of the traffic.

Remember, though, pictures don’t quite capture the essence of the Gum Wall.

It's one of those things you really need to see in person to appreciate.

I know it sounds weird, but trust me on this one.

A man admiring the gums at the Gum Wall
ARTYOORAN / Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

Whether you're a seasoned Seattleite or a newcomer to our beautiful city, I hope you've found this list helpful.

There are so many amazing places to explore without even having to open your wallet.

From the unique and quirky (ever chewed gum at the Gum Wall?), to the breathtakingly beautiful (have you seen the view from Kerry Park?), there's something for everyone.

So, get out there, breathe in the fresh Pacific Northwest air, and start exploring - the best things in life (and in Seattle) are free!

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