Seattle has its stereotypes. It has its hipsters, its coffee shops, shorelines and Pike Place Market. Something else Seattle has? Beautiful parks and unpredictable weather.
Maybe you think you’re upcoming WordCamp trip will have to be spent indoors, avoiding the city’s “liquid sunshine.” It’s possible that you’ll need to break out a Gortex and rainboots (just don’t use an umbrella unless you really want to look like a tourist). But, Puget Sound likes to surprise even the locals with a crisp, sunny fall day (every once in a while).
If you are given some sun while at WordCamp Seattle and are looking to get away from downtown tourists, here are a couple of parks that are just enough off the beaten path to qualify as an outdoor escape.
On the shores of Puget Sound, Discovery Park is the city’s largest park at 534 acres with over 11 miles of trails. From some points of the park, you can even see both the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges. The park is as biologically diverse as you get in Seattle, with forests, sea cliffs, meadows, a two-mile stretch of beach, and tidal pools.
The Arboretum is a top botanical destination in the Pacific Northwest. Located unexpectedly close to downtown, it’s home to hundreds of species of plants, some of which you wouldn’t dream of seeing in Western Washington. It’s also a great spot to rent a canoe to launch into Union Bay, where you can explore the dozens of little islands off the shore. The Arboretum also boasts one of the nation’s best “winter gardens,” so you’re guaranteed to see something great no matter what time of year you visit.
Greenlake is a manmade lake in the middle of the northside of Seattle, originally constructed for the 1964 World’s Fair. The lake is around 3.1 miles around, making it a popular destination for joggers and dog-walkers. Greenlake is also right next to Woodland Park, which features more trails and is home to the Woodland Park Zoo.
The beach on Alki Point is the closest you’ll get in Seattle to feeling like you are in a quaint coastal town. The beach is just off of Alki Avenue, the main coastline drag in South Seattle lined with shops and seafood stops. While in the summer, Alki is the destination for sand volleyball, November is the perfect time to take a waterfront stroll and watch the ferries float by. To get there, hop on the water taxi for an added chance to take in some views.
Carkeek is a bit far off the beaten path for the average tourist, but it’s worth checking out if you are looking for somewhere quiet and relaxing. Take the bridge over the train tracks down to Carkeek’s beachfront. It’s a bit rocky, but that means that low tide comes rich with sea life. If you’re looking to get your heart rate up, Carkeek also has a lot of trails through its 220 acres of forest. With a westward view of the entire Olympic range, Carkeek is also a top sunset spot.
We’ll be at the camp all weekend long, so look for the Pressable crew and say hi! You might get some sweet swag out of it. While you’re prepping for the camp, join us and co-hosts Geek Adventures for a digital detox before the camp. Friday, November 8, we’ll be hosting a get together with the local chapter of Hiking with Geeks in Discovery Park from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Pack your hiking boots and meet us there! You can RSVP to the event here.