Explore downtown Seattle’s waterfront the “parks way!” Get to know this part of the city by making your way from one park to another, with stops for rest, refreshments and fun. You’ll be rewarded with fabulous views, historical hot spots, and a maxed-out step counter to boot!
Starting at the northwest end:
Myrtle Edwards Park offers a fantastic panorama of the Olympic Mountains, Mount Rainier, and Elliott Bay. Lovely bike and pedestrian paths meander for 1.25 miles, connecting at the northwest end to the Port of Seattle’s Centennial Park (home of the grain elevator) and bike paths to Magnolia. Access is via the pedestrian bridge where 3rd Ave W. crosses Elliott Avenue W., or where Alaskan Way and Broad Street meet at Pier 70.
Emerge from Myrtle Edwards at Pier 70 and go a half-block up the hill to the Olympic Sculpture Park. A former nine-acre industrial site, it became a vibrant green space for art in 2007, and is owned and maintained by the Seattle Art Museum. Experience a variety of sculptures in an outdoor setting while enjoying those gorgeous views! (Admission is free.)
Next, grab a drink or snack while moseying along the waterfront, taking in cruise ships, hotels and condos until you see the hillside stairs to Pike Place Market. Ascend, and at the north end of the Market you’ll encounter Victor Steinbrueck Park, bustling with neighborhood residents, tourists, and local workers. The park is named after a Seattle architect who was instrumental in preserving the historic Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square districts. Improvements to the park are slated for 2018-19, thanks to funding from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy.
No doubt you’ll want to eat at one (or three) of the market stalls, or explore the vendors at Pike Place Market. To tackle the next link in the park chain, head back down the stairs you climbed, cross the street, and find:
Waterfront Park, accessible next to the Seattle Aquarium. Its primarily concrete features include a large bronze waterfall sculpture (fun to snap selfies with on a warm day), and seating areas that lead to viewing platforms of the surrounding sights. Parts of the park may be affected by nearby construction while the Seattle waterfront transforms into a new urban vision.
One more destination! Continue along the salty edge of Elliott Bay, and just after the ferry terminal, turn left on S. Washington Street. In one block, Occidental Square dominates the historic Pioneer Square district. It’s a shady spot to enjoy fare from nearby cafés and food trucks, play a game of bocce ball or ping pong, and browse small shops and galleries. Part of “Seattle’s first neighborhood,” the Park is bordered on one side by the Grand Central Building, a former office building converted to a popular hotel during the 1897 Gold Rush. The open space of Occidental Square was developed in 1971, during the general renovation of the Pioneer Square area.
Take in one park or spend a day exploring the length of Seattle’s waterfront. Either way, views abound and you will leave in awe of the beauty of our parks and our great city. Enjoy!