Discovery Park is one of my favorite parks to visit in Seattle. It’s a 534 acre park located in the Magnolia neighborhood. It’s on the water and on clear day offers amazing views of the Olympic mountains and Mt Rainier. This park is very large and is great for non-intense hikes. There are several paths and parking lots, so you can choose a route that is good for you, your family and friends. You can also visit the Daybreak Star Cultural Center, a Native American cultural center. the And yes, this is a great place to take out of town guests so that they can admire the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
My favorite route is to take the South Beach Trail down to the beach and the West Point Lighthouse. The views change as you walk, first you’ll have a great view of the park and the Puget Sound. Then you’ll see Mt Rainier on the other side from the viewpoints near the sand area – yes, there’s an area full of sand that is great for kids. Then you walk down steps through a forest area, with glimpses of the water, and several little decks – that are perfect for picnicking or having a quiet rest or reading a book. Then you’ll arrive on the main road, turn left and walk down to the South Beach and you’ll see the West Point Lighthouse. If you walk around the corner, you’ll be on the North Beach.
- If you have young kids (8 and under) or older adults (over 62) you can go to the visitor center and request a special permit that will allow you to park directly on the beach. We used to do this when the kids were smaller and it was great, because the paths along the beach are flat and easy for them to walk on. Also the favorite part for the kids is usually to throw rocks in the water or look for seashells. You are not allowed to take any of the seashells, but it’s still fun to look for them.
- The park gets very busy on nice days. I recommend parking at the South Parking Lot (off W. Emerson St) since it seems to be less busy and we’ve always been able to find parking there.
- Take plenty of water/snacks – especially if going with kids. Also download or take a screenshot of the park map on your phone – this way you’ll know where the trails are and also – very importantly – where the restrooms are located.
Discovery Park address:
3801 Discovery Park Blvd, WA 98199
Park website: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/environment/discovery.htm