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12 Parks with Transit Options to Enjoy the Great Outdoors!

A tree-lined path in Lincoln Park


Use the bus for more than just your trip to work. Taking transit helps you avoid parking, takes the stress out of driving, cuts down on traffic (which is especially important during the #SeattleSqueeze!) and reduces the environmental impact of driving alone.


While June is #RideTransit Month, let’s ride transit for the rest of the summer too. Here are 12 of Seattle’s finest parks that you can take transit to any day of the week!


1. Alki Beach Park


People on the beach at sunset at Alki Beach Park


Picture a perfect summer day, and chances are your thoughts will take you to Alki Beach Park, a long beach strip that runs roughly from 64th Place SW to Duwamish Head on Elliott Bay. It’s a great spot for a long walk any time of year, and in the summer draws joggers, rollerbladers, volleyball players, sunbathers, bicyclists, and strollers out to enjoy the sun.


How Do I Get There: Routes 37, 50, 55, 56, 128, and 775

Where Can I Come From: West Seattle, Morgan Junction, White Center, Tukwila, SODO, Beacon Hill, Columbia City, and more!

Major Activities: Beach sports, fire pits, picnics, hand carry boat launches, and sunsets.


2. Carkeek Park


Stairs next to railroad tracks lead down to rocky beach at Carkeek Park at sunset


This popular park offers extraordinary views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Explore the secrets of this northwest Seattle watershed, nine miles from downtown. Come take part in an education program, have a picnic, or get involved as a volunteer teacher or as part of an outdoor work party.


How Do I Get There: Routes: 15, 28, 40, and RapidRide D Line

Where Can I Come From:  Broadview, Bitter Lake, Ballard, Fremont, Uptown, South Lake Union, Northgate

Major Activities: Hiking, Olympic views, picnics, salmon-runs, and hand carry boat launches.


3. Discovery Park


A path through long grass leads to the lighthouse at Discovery Park


Discovery Park is a 534-acre natural area park. The role of Discovery Park is to provide an open space of quiet and tranquility away from the stress and activity of the city, a sanctuary for wildlife, as well as an outdoor classroom for people to learn about the natural world.


Bonus: take a walk on Seattle’s wild side using the Salmon Bay walking map, which takes you from Golden Gardens Park to Discovery Park!


How Do I Get There: Routes: 19, 24, and 33

Where Can I Come From:  Major Connections: Magnolia, Interbay, Downtown

Major Activities: Hiking, Cascade and Olympic views, events, picnics, and sunsets.


4. Green Lake Park


People in rowboats paddle across Green Lake at dusk


Green Lake is one of Seattle’s most beloved parks. Its expanse of water and green space in the center of a dense urban neighborhood draws thousands of people daily from all over the city. The 2.8-mile path around the lake provides a perfect recreational spot for runners, bikers, skaters and walkers.


How Do I Get There: Routes: 26, 45, 62, 63, 77, 316, and RapidRide E Line

Where Can I Come From:   Greenwood, Roosevelt, Sand Point, University District, Wallingford, Bitter Lake, South Lake Union, Downtown

Major Activities: Running and walking, picnics, sports, playgrounds, hand carry boat launches, swimming, and fishing.


5. Jefferson Park


Children playing in waterpark at Jefferson Park


Jefferson Park, the sixth largest park in the city, offers unparalleled views of the Duwamish River, the city and the Olympic Mountains. It is the home to the Jefferson Park Golf Course, the Jefferson Community CenterJefferson Lawn Bowling, Jefferson Skatepark, and Beacon Mountain.


How Do I Get There: Routes: 36, 50, 60, and 107

Where Can I Come From:  West Seattle, SODO, Columbia City, Seward Park, Rainier Valley, Georgetown, Renton, Capitol Hill, First Hill

Major Activities: Duwamish River and Olympic views, sports, walking, skate park, picnics, and golfing.


6. Lincoln Park


A path leads through the trees in Lincoln Park


Amazingly diverse for its size, Lincoln Park includes 4.6 miles of walking paths, 3.9 miles of bike trails, five picnic shelters, acres of playfields, and an outdoor heated saltwater pool and bathhouse in West Seattle.  Launch your hand carry boat from 300′ of shoreline at the south end of the park.


How Do I Get There: Routes: 116, 118, 119, and RapidRide C Line

Where Can I Come From:   Vashon Island, West Seattle, Downtown

Major Activities: Beaches, walking, boat access, picnics, and sports.


7. Ravenna Park


Children climb a jungle gym in Ravenna Park


Ravenna Park is a ½ mile wooded ravine which connects two picnic areas just north of the University District, and is a popular spot for hiking, jogging and picnics. Park features include a play area for children, a wading pool, ballfield, trails, and tennis courts.


How Do I Get There: Routes: 45, 62, 64, 67, 71, 73, 74, 76, 372, and 373

Where Can I Come From:   Greenwood, Green Lake, Sand Point, Wedgwood, University District, Fremont, Wallingford, Downtown, Northgate

Major Activities: Sports, hiking, picnics, and jogging.


8. Seward Park


People play on the grass as boats pass through Lake Washington in the background of Seward Park


Within the Seattle city limits, Seward Park boasts 300 acres of beautiful forest land, home to eagles’ nests, old growth forest, a 2.4 mile bike and walking path, an amphitheater, a native plant garden, an art studio, miles of hiking trails, shoreline, beaches and more.


How Do I Get There: Route: 50

Where Can I Come From:  Columbia City, Beacon Hill, SODO, West Seattle, Admiral

Major Activities: Hiking, sports, events, picnics, fishing, boat access, playgrounds, swimming, and Lake Washington views.


9. Volunteer Park


Planters and bollards in front of a building in Volunteer Park


Located in the heart of Seattle, Volunteer Park is home to the Volunteer Park Conservatory and the Seattle Asian Art Museum.  In addition to the park’s permanent landscaping, from July through the first frost beautiful dahlias bloom in abundance, thanks to the efforts of the Puget Sound Dahlia Association, whose members have been planting them each year since 1984.


How Do I Get There: Routes: 9, 10, 12, and 49

Where Can I Come From:  Rainier Valley, Downtown, University District, Capitol Hill

Major Activities: Walking, jogging, sports, playgrounds, and garden viewing.


10. Magnuson Park


Plants and flowers in front of a pond in Magnuson Park


Formerly a military base, Magnuson Park has many landmarks and historical sites that prominently display Art Deco style architecture. Magnuson also has a huge variety of amenities and features such as sports fields, community garden, wetland habitat, trails, boat launch, community center, swimming beach, and more!


How Do I Get There: Routes: 62, 71, 74, 75, and 76

Where Can I Come From:   South Lake Union, Fremont, Wallingford, Green Lake, Roosevelt, Sand Point, Lake City, Northgate

Major Activities: Hiking, sports, boat access, swimming, off-leash dog park, picnics, and events.


11. Washington Park Arboretum


A building is surrounded by trees, grass, and a walking path in Washington Park Arboretum


The Arboretum is a welcome oasis on the shores of Lake Washington. Jointly managed by the University of Washington Botanic Gardens and the City of Seattle, its 230 acres contain a dynamic assortment of plants, some found nowhere else in the Northwest.


How Do I Get There: Routes: 11, 43, and 48

Where Can I Come From:  Madison Valley, Capitol Hill, University District, Central District, Mt. Baker, Downtown

Major Activities: Hiking, jogging, gardens, boat access, birding, and events.


12. Woodland Park


People riding bikes next to sand hills in Woodland Park


Woodland Park is an exciting multipurpose park and recreation space just southwest of Green Lake and north of the Fremont district. The side west of Aurora is largely occupied by the Woodland Park Zoo, but also includes some picnic space, a formal rose garden, a few open spaces, and a play area for children. East of Aurora, just south of Green Lake Park, the park is an ideal spot for picnics with reservable picnic areas, barbecues, woods, pleasant grassy hills and pathways.


How Do I Get There: Routes: 5, 44, and RapidRide E Line

Where Can I Come From:  Ballard, Wallingford, University District, Phinney Ridge, Bitter Lake, Shoreline, South Lake Union

Major Activities: Sports, skate park, walking, picnics, and the zoo.


Let’s celebrate our city’s transportation system by taking it to these beautiful parks all summer. Remember to check Metro’s route alerts and schedules for arrival information and download OneBusAway for real-time information. Enjoy the ride!