Looking to explore one of the best parks in Seattle? Take a short drive from Seattle Southside along Puget Sound to Discovery Park and 534-acres of nature. You’ll find easy, family-friendly walking trails and beaches, a lighthouse, historic district and kids play park, and even a military cemetery.
Discovery Park was originally home to Fort Lawton and is home to the West Point Lighthouse, among many other things.
My family decided to explore and hike around Discovery Park one weekend. We have a 2 and 4-year-old and knew this should be an easy hike for them.
We started by grabbing lunch at Bahama Breeze next to Westfield Southcenter. The tropical themed restaurant is great for kids and we had plenty of food to hold us over for a few hours while we explored the park. There are plenty of great restaurants in Seattle Southside, so take your pick and eat up before you go!
The official Loop Trail is only 2.8 miles round trip, but there is also the South Beach Trail and Hidden Valley Trail that accumulates to more mileage. I think we walked about 4 miles that day.
You get everything at Discovery Park: paved trails, rocky trails, forest trails, steep staircases, sandy areas, and more! We witnessed mountain views, beach areas, the forest, birds flying overhead, and even former military housing.
There was so much to see that we ran out of time before we made it down to the beach and lighthouse! There is a trail leading all the way down there, but it was getting late, so we decided to continue on the Loop Trail and head back to the car.
We are definitely planning to go back and adventure that area very soon! At the halfway point we stopped to give the kids a break, snack a little, and just enjoy the natural setting. The boys loved it and made it through the entire hike without whining!
Along the way we observed joggers, pets, families enjoying picnic lunches, kite flyers, and even someone practicing to paraglide. It was quite picturesque and adventurous.
Discovery Park is located in the Magnolia neighborhood, 6 miles northwest of downtown Seattle and 19 miles northwest of Sea-Tac Airport. To get there by car, take the Western Ave exit off of the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Hwy 99 North. By public transportation from Sea-Tac Airport, hop on the Link Light Rail at the Sea-Tac Station to Pioneer Square and transfer to bus #24 (to W Magnolia) at 3rd Ave & James ST.