Top Hidden Destinations To Visit In Seattle

July 30, 2016 5:00 AM

Seattle is known as the Emerald City, and is surrounded by the Cascade Mountains to the east, Mount Rainier rises to the south east, and the Olympic Mountains are to the west. These magnificent landmarks are visible from the city. Within the city and surrounding area, locals and visitors enjoy many open spaces or forested areas. Most of these are either city, county, or state parks. Locals hike, walk, or run through these areas on a daily basis, becoming immersed in the incredible scenery.
Seattle – Bremerton Ferry

The Seattle – Bremerton ferry travels across Puget Sound from downtown Seattle to Bremerton. A round-trip ride takes about 2 hours. The best way to experience the area is through a walk-on fare, and either sunrise or sunset. The ferry travels across Elliott Bay, and navigates the channels on the west side to Bremerton. The best part of the trip is returning from Bremerton, and watching the sunset cast its warm colors across the Seattle skyline. As the sunlight fades, the city lights up, and skyline is lit against the last sunset colors in the sky. This ferry route is one of the gateways to the Olympic Peninsula. The ferry runs through-out the day and evening. Sometimes during the ride, visitors are treated to seeing a pod of Orca, seals, or porpoise.

Carkeek Park

Carkeek Park is just north of Ballard along the shore of Puget Sound. The park is salmon habitat, and is currently being restored by the city and surrounding neighborhood. At various times of the year, it is possible to see spawning salmon in the creek and wetlands. This park offers views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, and is an amazing place to watch a sunset. Piper’s Creek flows through the park’s ravine and into Puget Sound. The main trail follows the creek. A bridge crosses the railroad tracks to the beach. The beach is a great place to enjoy Puget Sound. On minus times of 2 or more, visitor’s can walk the beach to Golden Gardens park. The park is accessible by car or city transit.

discoverypark2016 ot Top Hidden Destinations To Visit In Seattle

Photo Credit: Karen Ulvestad 

Discovery Park

Discovery Park is located in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle at the historic Fort Lawson. This is the most westerly portion of the city. There are over 11 miles of trails through the park, and the Discovery Park Loop Trail is listed as National Recreation Trail in the 1970’s. The trails pass through forests, meadows, and beaches in the park. This park is a great place to see local wildlife. The meadow on the south end of the park sits on a bluff with unobstructed 180 degree views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. The West Point lighthouse sits on the point, and offers views of Shilshole Bay, marina, and the waterway to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. Trail information is available at the Visitor’s Center.

Related: Best Bodies Of Water To Visit Near Seattle

Blake Island State Park – Tillicum Village

Blake Island is located in the middle of Puget Sound, and is a short distance from downtown Seattle. The island is a State Park and marine sanctuary. It is also the home of Tillicum Village, and true Pacific Northwest experience. The island is accessible via private boat or an Argosy cruise. There are many trails to hike, beaches to explore, and scuba diving in the marine sanctuary. Tilllicum village is a coastal Native American longhouse, which is accessible via an Argosy cruise. The park is open to camping in designated areas, and boat mooring is available.

alki2016 ot Top Hidden Destinations To Visit In Seattle

Photo Credit: Karen Ulvestad 

Alki Beach

Alki Beach is located on Puget Sound in West Seattle. The area offers magnificent views of the city’s skyline, Olympic Mountains, and Puget Stound. This is a great beach to walk, explore, sunbath, or simply enjoy the view. The park runs from the Duwamish Head to Alki Point. The Alki Point Lighthouse is located on the south end of the beach on Alki Point. It is accessible to the public. The beach is 2.5 miles long with a boardwalk between the beach and the main through-fare. Activities in this park include volleyball, walking/running, beach combing, sun bathing, and enjoying the views.

Related: Best Scenic Drives Near Seattle

Karen Ulvestad is a mother and professional writer/photographer, who lives in the greater Seattle area. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English Composition. Her background is in fitness, travel, photography and writing. She continually researches locations to visit, and/or entertainment opportunities for family outings and/or photo shoots. Her work can be found at

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