Seattle Activity Highlights: Embracing the Great Outdoors

Seattle offers countless riches to its residents and visitors. Among them? Natural beauty that simply cannot be beat. Whether the skies here are gray or blue (which they are more often than the rumors suggest...), it's imperative that you pencil in sufficient time to explore the Great Outdoors. 

While in Seattle, outdoor activity options include exploring or exercising in urban parks (Gas Works, Discovery Park, Green Lake and so on), or simply throwing down a picnic blanket, toting along some BYO provisions and soaking up sensational views. Alternatively, visits to cultural hotspots that also happen to be alfresco–like the Olympic Sculpture Park and Woodland Park Zoo, just north of the city–kill two birds with one stone.

If you have a car, be sure to venture a bit outside of town, too, to relish awe-worthy sites from Mount Rainier and Mt. Baker to Olympic National Park, which boasts an impressive variety of terrain from exquisite coastline to dramatic glaciated lakes. An abundance of trails and waterways (perfect for sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, etc.) give visitors easy access to Mother Nature's playground, and an impressive line-up of adventure tours happily accompany folks on excursions both near and far. 


Gas Works Park


On the north end of Lake Union, you'll find what may be the most unique park in the area. The 21-acre industrial area, formerly the site of a gas plant, was transformed in the 1975 into a recreational complex (a worldwide first). You'll find...  Read More



Originally built in 1911, these locks offer a fascinating lesson in technology from days gone by. Observe ships and sailing vessels as they enter the locks and " following a series of mechanical adjustments " depart into either the sound or...  Read More

Woodland Park Zoo
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo


Woodland Park, known for its exceptional zoo, has a lot of other things going for it. Located on approximately 90 acres, the multipurpose park and recreation space is just southwest of Green Lake and north of the Fremont district. Separated into...  Read More



This local park accommodates a host of joggers, in-line skaters and sunbathers that exercise and bask along the greenbelt that circles Green Lake, the park's picturesque centerpiece. A favorite of locals, the park's plentiful green space and...  Read More



This slumbering volcano is the second-tallest mountain in the continental United States after California's Mt. Whitney. Because of its northern locale and more extreme weather, though, Washington State's prime peak is used by many mountaineering...  Read More

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest


Some of Washington's most magnificent scenery can be found within this national forest's expansive boundaries. The rugged--and at times harsh--landscape encompasses the Cascade Mountains as well as an active volcano in the form of Mt. Baker....  Read More



Magnuson Park is an urban, 350-acre park on Sand Point at Pontiac Bay, Lake Washington. This park, the second largest in Seattle, includes pieces of Seattle's military past (it's situated on a former Navy airfield). Today visitors enjoy boating,...  Read More

Olympic Sculpture Park


Olympic Sculpture Park: Stroll through the grounds and admire the fascinating large-scale works on display at this nine-acre green space. Extensive landscaping enhances the park's beauty, and a walkway, extending from the beach to Belltown,...  Read More

Outside the city
Olympic National Park
Photo courtesy of Lana_aka_BADGRL


Olympic National Park provides Seattle visitors with a huge range of recreation options in a compact area. About an hour to an hour-and-a-half southwest of Seattle on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula, the nature preserve centers around the...  Read More



Situated on Magnolia Bluff overlooking Puget Sound, this expansive urban park--the largest in Seattle--offers two miles of beach trails and nine miles of winding footpaths. Ostensibly a bluff-top reserve, Discovery Park protects a remarkable...  Read More


Meet Corinne Whiting

Corinne hails from the other Washington, where she caught the travel bug early on. Corinne studied abroad in Strasbourg, France (undergrad) and in Edinburgh, Scotland (graduate school). She's...  More About Corinne