Here in Washington, we love our outdoor green spaces. When the sun is out, that's the best time to explore the best parks in Seattle Southside – whether it’s a beach park, a garden park, a state park or one of the other numerous parks we have to enjoy. Here’s a quick list of some of the best parks to visit throughout the greater Seattle area:
Top Parks in Seattle Southside
- Des Moines Beach Park
- Saltwater State Park
- Tukwila Community Center and Skate Park
- North SeaTac Park
- Angle Lake Park
- Redondo Beach, Pier and Boardwalk
- Duwamish Hill Preserve
- Bicentennial Park
- Riverton Park
- Fort Dent Park
- Grandview Off-Leash Dog Park
Just three miles from the airport, the 19.6-acre Des Moines Beach Park offers a variety of activities for everyone. Whether you want to walk a trail, collect seashells, hang out in the water or picnic, Des Moines Beach Park is ideal for a relaxing day at the beach. Plus, it offers some of the most beautiful views of the Puget Sound, especially at sunset!
There is nothing more Pacific Northwest than our marine habitat and rocky beaches. Saltwater State Park in Des Moines offers a chance to get up close and explore the wildlife inherent to the Puget Sound. The park is a favorite for camping, scuba diving, clamming, hiking and swimming. Yes, you read that right, scuba diving! The waters just off the beach feature an artificial reef which is home to a diverse array of marine life, perfect for viewing on a dive.
Want to learn to skateboard, practice, or just watch some of the amazing tricks others can do? Head to the Tukwila Skate Park, which opened in 2002 – it’s free to users and features HUNA ramps, quarter pipes, grinding rails, and more!
The Tukwila Community Center is also home to the Recreation Division of Tukwila's Parks and Recreation Department, located right along the Duwamish River with a southern view of Mt. Rainier. The public can reserve the area for events such as wedding receptions, sporting events, community and business meetings, and special events. With a spray park and ample grass arena in addition to the skate park, the TCC is a fun gathering place for families. The park accommodates parties up to 50+ people, with 310 parking spots, easy freeway access, and close vicinity to the airport, major hotels and large shopping centers.
Are outdoor sports more your thing? North SeaTac Park has room for everything – even a newly renovated BMX track! Head to this City of SeaTac park for baseball, soccer and softball fields, outdoor basketball, a skate park, and disk golf. For those who are looking for something else a little less active, there is a great open area, playground equipment, paved walking trails, picnic area and a community center. This sprawling park is also home to the beautiful Highline SeaTac Botanical Gardens. There's a ton to see and do at North SeaTac Park, and it's conveniently located near to the airport!
Not only is there a beautiful lake from which this park derives its name, but there's a great splash park for the kids to enjoy on a hot day as well! Grills are available on a first-come-first-served basis, so it makes for a great grill and picnic spot. Plus, on a clear day, you can get some absolutely gorgeous views of Mt. Rainier!
If the jam-packed Alki Beach is too busy for you in the summer, head south to the much quieter Redondo Beach, Pier and Boardwalk – all the views of Alki, but without the noise. If you get hungry, just head to Salty’s for a seafood lunch. On Saturdays, you can also enjoy the MaST Center Aquarium for free, a great outing for any family with someone who has an interest in marine life!
Situated on a hill, this neighborhood park provides families with trails to go exploring or hike the historical hill up to the lookout of Mt. Rainier. Facilities at the site include trails, viewpoints and an outdoor classroom gathering area, accommodating up to 50 people.
Located adjacent to Duwamish River and close to Westfield Southcenter Mall, this park is heavily used by daytime employees and local residents as trail runners and walkers passing through along the trail. Facilities include a playground, shelter, picnic area, walking path and a log cabin built by volunteers in 1976 serving as a tribute to our nation’s pioneer roots. The park also hosts many summer music concerts and the picnic area is available for reservations of up to 25 people.
This park upholds a historical significance, being the site of the old South Gate elementary school in the 1950s. Vacated and never rebuilt, it became one of the first and now most popular neighborhood parks, accommodating reservations of up to 35 people with an open grass area, playgrounds, picnic tables and paved path providing handicap access. The backside of the park is a small P-Patch serving as a community garden catering to Tukwila’s immigrant population as well as offering spaces available to rent out for personal gardens.
Part of the Starfire Sports Campus, Fort Dent Park is co-owned by both the parks department and Starfire Non-Profit Corporation. As the largest park in Tukwila, it features 54 acres of soccer fields, trails, open areas, restrooms, and a playground and picnic area. Reservations for soccer fields are available upon request, but no reservation is needed to enjoy the paved pathways along the Duwamish River.
Now here's a park that's really gone to the dogs - but don't worry, there's plenty for the humans to do, too! As the name suggests, this park has a truly grand view of the Kent Valley and Mt. Rainier. But there's more to this park than meets the eye - as a part of our Scenes Trail, this park has some hidden history that makes it a fascinating destination!