The Seattle Outdoor Activities Everyone Must Do

From wildlife (and pet) viewing to sporting events, Seattle is flush with enriching outdoor experiences
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 
Japanese-inspired Kubota Garden in Rainier Beach

This article appears in print in the June 2019 issue, as part of the 150 Must-Do Summer Experiences cover story. Click here to subscribe.

> Bring back the spring in your step on a stroll through sublime Kubota Garden, a 20-acre, Japanese-inspired urban oasis where footpaths crisscross streams, ponds and waterfalls. Rainier Beach, kubotagarden.org

> Climb Schurman Rock at Camp Long. The erratically shaped 20-foot-tall “human-made mountain” incorporates every potential rock-climbing challenge in its design. Sleep it off at a one of the park’s rentable rustic cabins. West Seattle, seattle.gov/parks

> As you hike along one of Discovery Park’s trails, keep your eyes on the treetops. Chances are good you’ll spot a bald eagle going about its business on rounds back and forth from its perch. Magnolia, seattle.gov/parks

> Rent a rig from Cascade PaddleSports on Enatai Beach and paddle through the Mercer Slough, where you’re sure to spot ducks, geese and herons—and maybe even a beaver, muskrat or coyote. Bellevue, parks.bellevuewa.gov/parks-and-trails

> Spy on a siege of great blue herons—Seattle’s official city bird—in their rookery in Commodore Park on the south side of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. Magnolia, heronhelpers.org

> You’ll never have nine better shots at making a hole in one than at the fun all-ages, par-three Green Lake Pitch & Putt, where most of the fairways are less than 100 yards long. Green Lake, greenlakegolfcourse.com

> Get your apple on at historic Piper’s Orchard, where a grove of heritage fruit trees, some planted before the turn of the last century, are tucked into a forgotten clearing in the forest primeval of Carkeek Park. Broadview, pipersorchard.org

> It’s worth sticking your neck out to see the new baby giraffe at the Woodland Park Zoo. Phinney Ridge, zoo.org

> Take a hike in Seward Park with Seattle Audubon Society and chances are you’ll spot owls, eagles, butterflies and other iconic Seattle wildlife. The park is one of the few remaining patches of old growth left in the (once) Emerald City. Seward Park, sewardpark.audubon.org

> Catch the often stiff breeze off Lake Union and let your kite fly above the giant mound, aka “Kite Hill,” at Gas Works Park. Don’t forget the picnic lunch! Wallingford, seattle.gov/parks

> Ride a bike or walk across the SR 520 Trail, the new 2.7-mile pedestrian/bicycle path alongside the revamped State Route 520 floating bridge. If you have steam to spare, keep on going along 60 miles of Eastside regional trails. Montlake, traillink.com

> Given the ubiquity of bike-share services, you’ve really got no excuse not to ride at least part of the 20-mile Burke-Gilman Trail, one of the nation’s premier “rails to trails” success stories, right in our own backyard. Ballard–Bothell, seattle.gov/parks

> The San Juan Islands aren’t the only locale for spotting orcas; when the timing is right, the whales pass right by Seattle’s shorelines, such as at Lincoln and Alki Beach parks. West Seattle, seattle.gov/parks

> If trees truly are the lungs of the city, a walk around the green grounds of the Washington Park Arboretum and nearby Foster Island will surely replenish your oxygen supply. Montlake, botanicgardens.uw.edu/washington-park-arboretum

> If beautiful views, fresh air and a heart-pumping workout are your idea of a good time, head east toward the Cascades and hike the 4-mile trail to the summit of Mount Si. North Bend, wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/mount-si

> Check out Amazon’s unofficial dog parade during lunch hour in South Lake Union; then take your own pup for a run at a dog park near you, such as the off-leash areas at Westcrest and Magnuson parks. South Lake Union, West Seattle, Sand Point; seattle.gov/parks/find/dog-off-leash-areas

> Appreciating salmon is practically a religion in Seattle, and there’s no better place to worship than at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, where you can watch our sacred fish make their way up the fish ladder built just for them. Ballard, ballardlocks.org


WNBA champs Seattle Storm. Photo by Neil Enns

Game Time
Whether you’re a spectator or a participant, check out the region’s best bets, from T-Mobile Park to tee time

Play golf like a pro—or at least play where the pros play—at Chambers Bay. University Place, chambersbaygolf.com

Celebrate summer on Lake Washington with hydroplanes and Blue Angels during Seafair. Lake Washington (in particular, Genessee and Seward parks), seafair.com

Scout a hot prospect—or an old Crash Davis—at a minor-league baseball game. Tacoma Rainiers (AAA), milb.com/tacoma; Everett AquaSox (A), milb.com/everett

This is all about you, so yes, get the garlic fries. There’s no better way to enjoy a Mariners game at sublime T-Mobile Park (née Safeco Field). SoDo, mlb.com/mariners

Storm watching has never been this much fun. Watch our very own WNBA champs the Seattle Storm defend their title over the 34-game season. (While KeyArena undergoes renovations, the Storm are playing home games at the University of Washington’s Alaska Airlines Arena; storm.wnba.com)

March to the match with thousands of other rabid Sounders fans, accompanied by a blue-and-green-clad marching band. Pioneer Square (meet at Occidental Park 90 minutes before kickoff), soundersfc.com

Have bumper, will party. Join the tailgating fun outside a Husky football game. Don’t forget the hibachi and kielbasa. University District, gohuskies.com

Cheer on the boys and girls in the boat from the shores of the Montlake Cut at the Windermere Cup, the annual crew regatta hosted by University of Washington the first Saturday of May. Montlake, windermerecup.withwre.com

Cause a DIY earthquake with the rest of the 12s making some nooooooooooise at a Seahawks game. SoDo, seahawks.com

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