Great outdoors: Seattle's top 5 parks to visit now

Great outdoors: Seattle's top 5 parks to visit now
Kerry Park. | Photo: Crystal C./Yelp 
By Hoodline - Published on September 10, 2018.

Wondering where to find the best parks near you?

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top parks in Seattle, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of the best spots to venture next time you want to step outside and breathe some fresh air.

1. Kerry Park

Photo: Jess S./Yelp

Topping the list is Kerry Park. Located at 211 W. Highland Drive on Queen Anne Hill, the park is the highest rated in Seattle, boasting 4.5 stars out of 817 reviews on Yelp.

This popular tourist attraction offers panoramic views of downtown Seattle, the Space Needle, Elliott Bay, Bainbridge Island and Mount Rainier. The park has even been featured in Hollywood movies like "10 Things I Hate About You," "Life or Something Like It" and "The Amazing Race." A steel sculpture of stacked geometric shapes by Doris Totten Chase, called "Changing Form," stands in the middle of the park. 

2. Golden Gardens Park

Photo: Gina L./Yelp

Next up is Ballard's Golden Gardens Park, situated at 8498 Seaview Place NW. With 4.5 stars out of 295 reviews on Yelp, the beachfront park has proven to be a local favorite.

A sharp eye might spot kayakers and killer whales swimming off shore at this popular recreation area. The park offers hiking trails, a dog park, scenic views, campfire opportunities in designated areas, and a relatively large playground complete with monkey bars and a slide. Plan for bathroom lines on busy days.

3. Volunteer Park

Photo: ronald s./Yelp

Capitol Hill's Volunteer Park, located at 1247 15th Ave. East is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the space 4.5 stars out of 187 reviews.

Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi's sculpture "Black Sun," a giant granite circle with a hole in the center that reveals the Space Needle at certain vantage points, is a popular attraction here. The dog-friendly park features the Seattle Asian Art Museum, a conservatory, water playground, a playground for kids and lots of green space and large trees. 

4. Lincoln Park

Photo: mike r./Yelp

Lincoln Park in West Seattle is another much-loved go-to, with 4.5 stars out of 117 Yelp reviews. Head over to 8011 Fauntleroy Way to see for yourself.

Leashed dogs are allowed in this waterfront open space offering hiking trails through the woods, scenic views, a loop around the Puget Sound, foliage-covered walkways, wildlife viewing opportunities on the Whale Trail, public restrooms, birding opportunities, a wading pool near the beach and a covered picnic area. 

5. Ella Bailey Park

Photo: chewie n./Yelp

Last but not least, check out Ella Bailey Park in Magnolia, which has earned five stars out of 31 reviews on Yelp. You can find the park and playground at 2601 W. Smith St. 

This outdoor area offers spacious green lawns suitable for tossing a Frisbee or letting your children and pets burn off extra energy. The park features scenic views of the city and Mount Rainier, walking paths, bike racks, a playground, grinding rails so skateboarders can shred, a basketball court, swing sets, picnic tables and barbecue grills.