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There's not much grass at Waterfall Gardens, but that won't bother you for long. The dominant materials in this Pioneer Square park are wood, concrete and water. It's like stepping into a Zen water and rock garden. The splashing water drowns out traffic noise and soothes the soul, while the few plants stir gently in the breeze. Benches provide a welcome urban respite. There's a plaque on the outside wall commemorating, the birthplace of the United Parcel Service.
Visitors to Seattle are usually stunned by the abundance of water surrounding the city. Just north of downtown lies Lake Union. Surrounded by houseboat communities, marinas, shipbuilders and glitzy restaurants, the lake is a hub of activity. Seaplanes take off and land, sharing the 600-acre lake with kayaks, canoes, powerboats, sailboats and tugboats. While the lake can be explored any time of year, Fireworks Over Lake Union are an annual highlight, bringing thousands of people to the lake's shores. For a day out with children or friends, Lake Union never disappoints.
Whether you are a water sports enthusiast or a thrill seeker, come to Northwest Outdoor Center and check out their various kayaking options. The center offers lessons in how to handle regular kayaks, kayaks which are operated by a group as well as paddle boards on which the rider has to stand. After an orientation class in the lake, you can go for one of their trips and try your hand at whitewater rafting and sea kayaking. Kayak rentals are also available here.
Like the state in which it resides, Lake Washington is named after our first president, George Washington. The second largest lake in Washington, it attracts numerous visitors daily. While the lakeside is a perfect spot to idle away time, active people can indulge in boating, kayaking, sailing and other sporting activities offered at the lakefront. Pack a lunch, bring the family and let the sun envelop you as you enjoy one of Seattle's most famous spots.
Go kayaking in the blue waters of the Seattle bay with Alki Kayak tours. This tour company specializes in adventure sports, specially kayaking, skating and fishing. Some of the kayak tours which are conducted by this company include the Alki Lighthouse tour, wherein tourists paddle on kayaks from the Seacrest Boathouse to the lighthouse and then back once more, the Full Moon Sea Kayak Tour and the West Seattle Sunset Sea Kayak Tour. They also rent out and sell equipment for water sports.
Gas Works Park is an example of urban renewal at its best. Take an old gas-processing plant that has outlived its usefulness, and transform it into something everyone can enjoy. Located on the north shore of Lake Union, the park has excellent water views and a spectacular, unobstructed view of the city skyline. It is a popular spot for concerts, bikers, kite flyers, families on picnics and just about everyone else. This is also a prime spot from which to view the fireworks on the Fourth of July.
This 200-acre (80.93 hectare) park is a must-see for every Seattle visitor with even an hour of free time. With its lush green spaces, its breathtaking Japanese Garden (open 10a daily), and its abundance of rare trees, plants and flowers (more than 40,000 species), it is one of the brightest jewels in the Emerald City. Scenic and aptly named Azalea Way cuts a path through the park. The Graham Visitor's Center can be rented for social events, meetings and seminars for 45-75 guests. Rates include kitchen and audio-visual equipment. Call or visit the web site for detailed information and hours.
Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center is a recreational facility which offers offers experiences like windsurfing, kayaking, boating, sailing, rowing and paddle boarding and has been doing so for the past 30 years. Attracting locals as well as tourists, they also conduct professional classes and courses in rowing. Summer youth camps and fitness programs are also organized here. Participate in one of their weekend events like a boat race or a row race and make a day of it!
A major landmark in West Seattle, Alki Point is constantly brimming with locals and tourists. Alki Point Lighthouse and Alki Beach being the major tourist attraction, this location offers a plethora of options to spend a delightful day. Alki Point sees numerous swimmers and surfing enthusiasts indulging in their favorite sport. Besides, concerts and live acts held here are a major crowd puller.
The Green Lake Park is one of Seattle's most popular recreation parks that became a part of the city as a part of the grand Olmsted plan which aimed at creating a cluster of interconnected green spaces within the city. The lake is engulfed by a 2.8 mile (4.5 km) path that is divided into two different lanes, one for unmotorized vehicles and the other for pedestrians. These paths attract a lot of people seeking relaxation and exercise and hence can be crowded especially on weekends. The Park also features watersport facilities, a golf course, a library and a theater. The Green lake is home to a wide array of flora and fauna, making it a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.
Walk, stroll or simply sit at this beautiful beach overlooking Shilshole Bay in North Seattle. It is a great place to watch the sunset or frolic in the water. During the day, families and couples walk their dogs or play volleyball, basketball or Frisbee on the sandy beach. On cooler evenings, bonfires can be lit in park-owned concrete pits. The park is conveniently located near some fabulous waterfront restaurants like Anthony's Pier 66 and Ray's Boathouse. Park permits are also available for company and family picnics.
Tiger Mountain is part of the Issaquah Alps and has six peaks. There are several trails on the mountain, ranging in difficulty. However, make sure you research your trip since some of the hikes take all day and only experienced hikers should attempt them. On the other hand, some trails are wide with a nice slope and can easily be hiked by less experienced adventurers.