Kick off the season with a picnic in one of these beautiful parks
First Published by Seattle Magazine
With warm weather right around the corner, there’s no better time to start staking out the best date spots in the city. And when it comes to romance, what’s sweeter than taking your sweetheart on a romantic picnic in one of the area’s many gorgeous parks? It’s hard to go wrong when you’re picnicking out on the shores of one of Seattle’s glistening bodies of water or sitting in the shade of its gorgeous greenery.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite summer picnic spots and ranked them from most secluded to prime people-watching. So depending on your style, there’s a place for everyone to lay down a blanket and enjoy a meal under the sun.
It’s hard to find a more beautiful collection of wooded trails, blooming flowers and sprawling green grasses than in the Arboretum. It’s the perfect space for a romantic hideaway picnic, and there’s no better time than the summer, when it’s all lush green and filled with colorful blooms. Grab a blanket and a picnic basket and sprawl out underneath the shade of a big tree for a fun afternoon lunch date.
If you’re looking to get away from the bustling businesses of downtown Bellevue, Clyde Beach Park offers a scenic spot for lunch. Located on Lake Washington, it’s a swimming hole in the summer, with plenty of grassy hills and picnic tables to have lunch and a beautiful view of the lake. And the best part: The park is tucked away in a residential neighborhood, making it a perfectly secluded spot.
Located in North Seattle, Magnuson is the second largest park in the city, and there’s no shortage of activities to do here. You’ll find runners, dog walkers, ultimate Frisbee players and swimmers scattered throughout the grounds. While the park is always bustling with activity, there are plenty of great spots to lay down a blanket and have a quiet picnic. Down by the boat launch and Kite Hill area, there are lots of picnic shelters and tables, and plenty of grassy spaces to sprawl out and watch the sun go down over Lake Washington.
Lincoln Park has the best of both worlds—grassy fields, a sandy beach and waterfront views. Located in West Seattle, this park has plenty of spots where you can sit on the hillside in the shade or camp out on the beach overlooking the Puget Sound. This beautiful Seattle park has got some of the best views the city has to offer, without the constant parade of people that walk the Alki Beach boardwalk each day.
Sitting on Lake Union, Gas Works is the quintessential Seattle park location. Rolling hills, picturesque jagged mountains and cityscape views make this a great picnic spot. It comes with picnic shelters and tables, fire grills and a children’s play place if you want to make it a family outing. And be sure to make the spiraling hike up to the sun dial to catch a glimpse of some more breathtaking Seattle skyline.
If you’re looking for a beach picnic, look no further than Golden Gardens Park. Located right next to Shilshole Bay Marina, you can sit on the Puget Sound and admire the picture-perfect views with sailboats floating by. Parking can be a bit tricky in the summertime, so we recommend parking in one of the upper lots rather than waiting in line at the waterfront.