The Seattle skyline is beautiful viewed over Lake Union. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

The city of Seattle is a gem nestled in between two mountain ranges and three bodies of water. The majestic Mount Rainier is visible above the city on clear days to the southeast, the Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascade Mountains to the east. Lake Washington borders the city on the east, Lake Union to the north and Puget Sound is to the west. Activities in the area include sailing, paddle boarding, hiking, beach bathing, amusement parks, horseback riding, hydroplane racing, parades, art festivals, music events and farmers markets. See what Seattle has in store for summertime fun with these great attractions and activities.

The view of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks from the Carl S. English, Jr., Botanical Gardens. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
3015 NW 54th St.
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 764-3464

Built in the early 1900s, the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks regulate the saltwater flow into Lake Union. The locks consist of a large lock, small lock, water overflow spillway and fish ladder. The fish ladder allows the salmon and trout to return to the rivers of their birth that flow into Lake Washington. These fish runs are vital to the economy of the Puget Sound region and local Native American tribes. On the Ballard side of the locks, visitors walk through the Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Gardens to view the locks. The area is home Canada geese, great blue heron, gray squirrels and stellar sea lions. On the Magnolia side of the locks is the fish ladder, a great blue heron rookery, art sculptures and areas for picnics.

Freemont Solstice Fair Parade
N. 36th St. and Fremont Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 633-0422

Date: June 21, 2014 at 3 p.m.

The Solstice Parade is part of the free-spirited Solstice Fair that happens in the Fremont district of Seattle. The fair is filled with music events, art, food, beer gardens, Solstice Cyclists and the parade. It runs from June 20 to 22, and the parade happens on Saturday, June 21. It ends at Gasworks Park. The world-famous Solstice Cyclists are known for their body paint, bareness and entertainment. The dog parade happens on Sunday. This whimsical event is hosted annually, when Fremont becomes the “Center of the Universe.”

Gas Works Park is part of Seattle’s history, and a popular park for recreation. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Gasworks Park
2101 N. Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 684-4075

Gasworks Park is on the old site of the former gasification site, which converted coal to gas and later crude oil into gasoline. The plant closed in the 1950s due to natural gas, and the city purchased the land. Many of the former tanks and other structures still remain in the park. The Boiler House is an area for picnics, and the former Exhaust and Compressor Building is the play barn. The park offers one of the best views of the Seattle skyline. There is no swimming, wading or boat launch at this park. This park is located near the Burke Gilman and Sammamish River trail, which connects Marymoor Park in Redmond to Golden Gardens on Puget Sound.

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The Edmonds-Kingston Ferry crossing Puget Sound to the Olympic Peninsula. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Edmonds-Kingston Ferry
199 Sunset Ave. S
Edmonds, WA 98020
(206) 464-6400

The Edmonds-Kingston ferry is one of the gateways to the Olympic Peninsula in the Seattle area. The Puget Sound area boosts the largest ferry system in the United States, and carries both cars and walk-on passengers. This route ends on the west side of Puget Sound in Kingston, and a short car ride goes across the Hood Canal Bridge to the Olympic Peninsula. The peninsula is home to Olympic National Park, and Highway 101 goes around the park. There are many hiking trails to explore or destinations reachable by car. The ferry ride is worth taking to experience the wildlife of Puget Sound. The sound is home to harbor seals, stellar sea lions, Orca and a variety of seabirds. On a clear day, visitors view the Olympic Mountains to the west, Mount Baker to the northeast and Mount Rainier over Seattle to the southeast.

Genesee Park
4316 S Genesee St.
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 728-0123

Date: Aug. 1-3, 2014

The highlight of Seafair is the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane races on Lake Washington. This year, the event is Friday, August 1 to Sunday, August 3, and visitors watch the races from the shore along Lake Washington Boulevard. The festivities include a flight demonstration by the US Navy Blue Angels squad. These pilots perform acrobatic maneuvers over Lake Washington. The prior weekend’s festivities, July 26, include the annual Seafair Torchlight Parade in downtown Seattle. The parade route is from the Seattle Center, down 4th Avenue and into downtown. Prior to the parade is the Seafair Torchlight Run, Torchlight Spectacular and Coronation for the Seafair Princess.

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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