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Spring break staycationing with Seattle Parks and Recreation

Ah, spring break. You’re picturing yourself on a beach in Mexico. Or hiking in the Grand Canyon. You’re looking at airline and hotel prices and…wait. You’re not going anywhere.

Perhaps you can’t afford to go out of town for spring break or maybe you can’t escape the 8-5. Don’t you worry, friend. There are PLENTY of breathtaking and memorable activities to embark on right here. In fact, we don’t know why you’d ever want to leave!

Presenting your Go-To Guide for Seattle Spring Break Staycations

You are: Staycationing with friends

Alki Beach

Alki Beach, Photo by Laurel Mercury

Playing tourist in Seattle never goes out of style, especially if you’ve got friends in town. Take the opportunity to show off our magnificent city to the out-of-towners.

Here’s how: Head to Pike Place Market in the morning, peruse the displays and buy some of the plumpest, freshest fruit for breakfast. Making a stop at the Daily Dozen Doughnut Company is also highly recommended. Take your goods to Victor Steinbrueck Park and dine while enjoying one of the best views in the city. Victor Steinbrueck Park captures the essence of Seattle. It celebrates our Native American heritage and offers glimpses of the Olympic Mountains and ferry boats. Allow plenty of time for your friends to take Instagram photos.

Next, hop, skip and jump on down to the waterfront and catch a ride to Alki Beach on the Water Taxi. Most people don’t expect Seattle to have a California-esque boardwalk and beach, and they’ll truly appreciate the city’s diversity. Let your guests marvel at the city skyline from the west side of the sound, and then treat them to ice cream, nachos or fine seafood along the boardwalk.

You are: Staycationing with your significant other

Marshall Park

Marshall Park, Photo by Laurel Mercury

No matter how long we’ve lived in Seattle, the city still has the ability to take our breath away. One of our favorite spots for romance is the top of Queen Anne Hill. Head over to Northwest Seattle with your honey and be prepared to fall in love all over again.

Here’s how: Wait ‘til an hour or so before sunset and begin your outing at Marshall Park. This little oasis offers gorgeous views of the Sound and includes a memorial to Betty Bowen, a well-loved matron of the arts. In fact, prominent Northwest artists such as Morris Graves, Margaret Tompkins, Victor Steinbrueck, Guy Anderson, Charles Stokes and Kenneth Callahan have done some unsigned work cast in the concrete walkway enclosing the park. Take a short stroll and guess whose artwork is whose.

Next, cross the street and throw down a blanket in Parsons Gardens. Take a few minutes to lay on your backs and admire all of the gorgeous colors and plants in the garden. With its secluded location and whimsical atmosphere, this park screams romance.

Finally, walk down to famed Kerry Park and watch the sun go down over our sparkling city. This is the perfect opportunity to gaze into your loved one’s eyes and silently congratulate each other on choosing the greatest city in the world for settling down.

You are: Staycationing with kids

Golden Gardens Park

Golden Gardens Park

When staycationing with kids, it’s important to have plenty of activities planned. We have a few suggestions to keep the kiddos entertained while school’s out.

Here’s how: Bring the whole family over to Magnuson Park and take part in a variety of Earth Day activities on April 18. Let the kids burn off some energy in the Magnuson Series Earth Day run. The Kids’ Dash kicks off at 9:45 a.m. but there are longer races too. For registration details, go here. After the race, head to the Magnuson Children’s Garden for 2015 Family Days. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. there will be special art projects for kids and other nature activities.

In the evening, head over to Golden Gardens and build a fire in one of the designated fire pits. Let the kids build sand castles or play some beach volleyball before roasting hot dogs and marshmallows for dinner.

In need of more structured activities for the kids? Seattle Parks Youth Appreciation Week coincides with spring break. Our community centers will be hosting teen events April 13-18. For details, visit the Seattle Parks Teens website in early April.

You are: Staycationing alone

Maple Leaf Park Photo by Futoshi Kobayashi Photographer

Maple Leaf Reservoir Park
Photo by Futoshi Kobayashi Photographer

If you’re working a chaotic job, going to school or running around five days a week, sometimes nothing sounds better than finding some peace and quiet.

Here’s how: Find tranquility and gather your thoughts along one of our dozens of nature trails. Our resident trail expert recommends these paths, but there are many others to choose from. Pick your trail and then locate a nearby coffee shop. Fill you travel mug with local joe and set out on your journey.

Not seeking total silence? Set your sights on popular walking destinations, like the pathway around Green Lake Park or Maple Leaf Reservoir.

In the evening, grab a bite at one of the many eateries along Bell Street Park or Occidental Square. Reflect on your day, appreciate the variety of landscape in the beautiful Emerald City and then say cheers to yourself.