As Seattle awakens from winter hibernation, celebrate Spring with one of these favorite city walks. Wear rain gear, dress in layers and bring a thermos of hot beverage for seasonal weather changes, just in case.
Get Your Art Fix at Olympic Sculpture Park.
Enhance your art appreciation with a stroll through Seattle Art Museum (SAM)’s waterfront sculpture park. Since 2007, the former industrial site has inspired art and nature lovers with native plantings, bold sculptures and stunning views.
Download a map or sign up for a guided one-hour tour to discover the history of the park’s z-shaped design. Wander the nine-acre green space while learning the stories behind the selected artwork. Notable pieces include Alexander Calder’s Eagle,Richard Serra’s monumental Wake and Mark di Suvero’s Schubert Sonata.
Walk the seawall to gaze across the Sound and see the snow-capped Olympic Mountains.Extend your outdoor venture at adjacent Elliott Bay Park and Myrtle Edwards Park.
*For more information, visit: SAM Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave, Seattle,WA 98121,.
Explore Green Lake Park.
Popular with pedestrians, joggers and bicyclists alike, Green Lake is Seattle’s most iconic city park. Catch up with friends and family or people-watch as you follow the flat 2.8 mile path around the lake. Enjoy the faint fragrance of yellow irises bordering the lake. Hear harbingers of Spring like robins and red-winged blackbirds among the numerous bird species that nest on site. And keep your eyes open for mallards with ducklings in tow at water’s edge.
Ready to become a Green Lake Park tree ambassador? Identify differences among species with a downloadable copy of the Green Lake Tree Walk map. In Spring, look for clusters of white flowers on the Common Horse chestnut and Flowering Dogwood,bright yellow blossoms of the Golden rain Tree and purple beauties of the Empress Tree.
*For more information, visit: Green Lake Park, 7201 Green Lake Trail, Seattle, WA 98115,.
Stop and Smell the Flowers at Washington Park Arboretum.
For best in show of Seattle’s favorite springtime flora, head to Washington Park Arboretum near the University of Washington. Beloved Azalea Way showcases a kaleidoscope of color along its flower-lined path of azaleas, dogwood and cherry trees. Inhale the scenic view and fragrance from the park’s lookout gazebo before setting off on your own explorations.
Look no further than the arboretum’s Rhododendron Glen for magnificent displays of the state flower of Washington: rhododendrom macropyllum. Magnolias,too, are prominently featured in the park. Budding botanists can enjoy a self-guided Spring scavenger hunt to scope out sweet and not-so-sweet-smelling flowers. Tip: Weekends are especially popular during peak season. To enjoy a walk through the arboretum with fewer visitors, opt for a weekday tour.
*For more information, visit: Washington Park Arboretum, 2300 Arboretum Dr E, Seattle, WA 98112, .
Go Beach combing at Carkeek Park.
Low-tide beach walks bring a bounty of treasures like shards of seashells, different seaweeds and marine life in Puget Sound. Seattle Aquarium recruits volunteers annually after the first of the year to serve as beach naturalists throughout the area. Look for their signs near the beach when you visit to learn about marine animal habitats while practicing beach conservation.
On your beach walk, discover sea anemones, red rock crabs, clams, purple and orange sea stars and moon snail egg collars. Volunteer Seattle Aquarium beach naturalist Lynne Lew advises: “If you touch an animal, gently use only one wet finger because a dry finger will damage their protective slime coating. Don’t turn over rocks—animals have made their homes there. You’ll be surprised at what you can find using just your eyes and looking closely!"
*For more information, visit: Carkeek Park, 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd, Seattle, WA 98177, .
Go on a Spring Safari at Woodland Park Zoo.
Spend a day learning about the African Savanna at Woodland Park Zoo’s “Spring Safari:African Wildlife Conversation Day.” Hear zoo educators describe the impact of illegal poaching and discover how you can play a part in wildlife conservation efforts.
For close encounters with birds and butterflies, visit the Butterfly Garden and Willawong Station: The Walk-through Bird Experience. Banyon Wilds introduces tigers and sloth bears to visitors through hands-on activities. Additional popular exhibits include Raptors in Flight, penguin feeding and baby gorilla Yola and family.
Walk the grounds between exhibits and take in the animal sights, smells and sounds of Spring at the zoo.
*For more information, including admission fees, visit: Woodland Park Zoo, 5500 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103,.