A favorite with local walkers and runners, Discovery Park has nearly 12 miles (19 kilometers) of trails. The most popular is the 3-mile (4.5-kilometer) Discovery Park Loop trail, which departs the visitor center to a mix of forest and open meadows. The park is also an included stop on some tours of Seattle, which range from shorter sightseeing trips to full-day excursions. Since Discovery Park is located near the Ballard Locks, it’s sometimes featured on boat tours of the locks. To explore more of Discovery Park, single-destination tours offer a more in-depth look at the network of trails and natural features.
Recent reviews from experiences in Seattle
Things to know before you go
- This is a great destination for bird watchers. Both year-round species and migratory birds can be spotted in the meadows and on the coastline here.
- Bring layered clothing, as it can be cool by the coast even on warm days.
- Not all the trails can be accessed with a stroller or wheelchair. On-site play equipment and picnic areas comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility standards.
How to get there
The Discovery Park visitor center is located at 3801 Discovery Park Boulevard, and is the starting point for some walks in the park. Parking is available at the visitor center, and permitted beach parking is available for visitors with mobility issues; these can be requested at the Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center. On summer weekends, a free beach shuttle brings visitors to the beach.
When to get there
Discovery Park is open daily. The visitor center, where information, restrooms, and maps are available, is open from Tuesday through Sunday. With its western views across Puget Sound, Discovery Park is a great place to visit during sunset hours, when the Olympic Mountains reflect evening light.
Top Parks in Seattle
Called the ‘Emerald City’ for its year-round canopy of evergreen trees, Seattle has plenty of public space to roam. One favorite spot is the chain of parks along Elliott Bay, with trails that extend from Olympic Sculpture Park all the way to Centennial Park. Another great destination is Green Lake Park, where cyclists, skaters, and pedestrians follow a 3-mile (4.5-kilometer) trail around a scenic body of water with resident ducks.
- Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
- Fishermen's Terminal
- Ballard District
- Woodland Park Zoo
- Fremont District
- Lake Union
- Queen Anne Hill
- Kerry Park (Franklin Place)
- Woodland Park
- Elliott Bay
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center
- Seattle Center
- Chihuly Garden and Glass
- Pacific Science Center
- Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)