Best Parks in Lake City, Fremont, and Ballard

Aug 10, 2020 | Suggests

The best parks in the North End to socially distance while still getting outdoors!

Seattle summers are the best-kept secret in the Pacific Northwest. While they may be fleeting, they are truly spectacular. In the summer of COVID-19, there’s really no better place to escape than your local park. Lux Pot Shop has a long history in the North End and considers our team to be experts on the best parks in Lake City, Fremont and Ballard. Most of the parking lots are closed, but each park remains accessible on foot or by bike and there is plenty of ways to social distance at any of the locations. Remember, keep it to groups of five or less, wear a mask, and leave the parks cleaner than you found them.

CANAL PARK

Pairs well with Honu Peanut Butter Cups

Features:

  • Sunrise and Sunset views
  • Long promenade along canal open to pedestrian, bike, skates, etc. 
  • Outdoor art installations and interactive landscape design

This linear park strolls along the canal between Lake Union and Lake Washington and is just blocks from our Fremont location. With plenty of views in either direction, it’s an ideal park to stroll along, find a shady spot, and dangle your feet in the water while watching the boats go by.

 

CARKEEK PARK

Pairs well with watermelon Pioneer Squares.  

Features:

  • 200 Acres of forest, meadows, wetlands, creeks and beach. 
  • Cross over train trellis for beach access
  • Excellent beachcombing and tide pools 

This lush northwest Seattle watershed, is just four miles, or less, from any of our Lux Pot Shop locations. With miles of trails, weaving throughout the forest, it’s easy to wander without seeing many other people. Open meadows throughout the park provide perfect places to put down a picnic blanket and relax. There’s also a fish ladder, where you can see Chinook, Coho and Sockeye salmon spawning in Venema Creek beginning in September. 

 

DISCOVERY PARK

Pairs well with Mortimer’s Ginger Ale

Features:

  • 534 Acres of natural park and Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center
  • Views of both Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges
  • Two miles of protected beach, tidal beaches, open meadows, sea cliffs, forest groves, active sand dunes, thickets and streams. 

Discovery Park is the largest park in Seattle, and there is no way to explore all it has to offer in one visit – and it is conveniently just a short drive across the Ballard bridge to Magnolia from our Ballard location. Whether it’s hiking through the forest (of which there are miles to explore) or wandering among the wildflowers and tall grass meadows, you’re sure to be amazed. The hike down to the beach is worth it, but come prepared with a towel. In late summer Discovery Bay warms to bath water temperature during low tide. You can wade out to your waist without experiencing the typical chill of the Puget Sound. 

 

GASWORKS

Pairs well with Pineapple Strawberry Sparkling Water 

Features: 

  • Tall hill for kite flying
  • Large Sundial installation and remnants of an old gas refinery converted into a play barn
  • Stunning view of Downtown Seattle set against Lake Union

Located on the Burke Gilman trail, this iconic Seattle Park has ample room to socially distance and cool off. There are multiple places to hang in the grass, in the shade or the sun, and cool off in the water – although there is no actual beach. Watch boats come from the Locks through Lake Union and on through the Montlake Cut, into Lake Washington. On the site of an old Gas refinery, the skeletons of the refinery give it a remarkable silhouette, that was made wildly famous by the 2000’s classic Ten Things I Hate About You.

 

GOLDEN GARDENS

Pairs well with Swifts Cherry and Black Raspberry Gummies

Features: 

  • One of Seattle’s most famous “Stair Hikes” in Seattle
  • Small section of woods on the beach, perfect for hammocks
  • Wetlands and a sandy beach Easily Seattle’s most well known beachfront — complete with volleyball courts, fire pits for bonfires, and two wetlands housing turtles and waterfowl of all shapes and sizes, this park does fill up quicker than most. If you want a picnic shelter, be sure to reserve in advance. But if you’re looking to just stroll along the beach, we recommend going at low tide, where you can stroll all the way to Carkeek Park, and catch incredible tide pools along the way.

Easily Seattle’s most well known beachfront — complete with volleyball courts, fire pits for bonfires, and two wetlands housing turtles and waterfowl of all shapes and sizes, this park does fill up quicker than most. If you want a picnic shelter, be sure to reserve in advance. But if you’re looking to just stroll along the beach, we recommend going at low tide, where you can stroll all the way to Carkeek Park, and catch incredible tide pools along the way.

 

MAGNUSON

Pairs well with Verdelux Milk Choclate Bon BombS 

Features: 

  • Large waterfront Dog Park
  • Winding paths and wetlands along Lake Washington
  • Multiple playfields and large meadows

With over four miles of winding pathways along the lakeshore and beautiful art installations throughout the grassy fields, gravel paths and sandy shores, there’s no shortage of places to explore and decompress at Magnuson. It’s an ideal park for dog owners – you can wear your pooch out in the water and then find a warm spot on the grass to relax with a picnic later. There is regularly live music in the grassy fields and is also a known location for activists in the area to hold demonstrations and public education events. 

 

MATTHEWS BEACH

Pairs well with Blue Raspberry Marmas

Features: 

  • Ten acre park with boat launch, sport courts, hiking, picnic areas, bbq pits and more
  • Just off the Burke Gilman trail with lots of large shady trees and grass expanses
  • Largest freshwater swimming beach in Seattle, excellent for floating

Located where the Burke Gilman Trail meets Thornton Creek, just over a mile from our Lake City location, this is a great spot to cool off on a summer bike ride. Ample shade throughout the park makes for the perfect place for an afternoon nap, or a quick snack and refreshment along the journey. It’s also an easy place to launch a stand up paddle-board or kayak into Lake Washington. 

 

FREMONT PEAK PARK

Pairs well with Flav Peach Rings

Features: 

  • Unobstructed views Puget Sound, Ballard, Fremont and the Olympic Mountains
  • Unique landscape architecture, built to maximize places for people to sit and relax
  • Art installations

Fremont Peak Park is a half-acre park tucked away on the Fremont ridge, just blocks from our Fremont store. It’s rarely over-crowded and provides a truly epic view of much of the city. Perfect for when you want to just lay out and do absolutely nothing. Great spot for a blanket and a book, or some relaxing tunes. Peak Park always gets more crowded at sunset, so make sure to get there early if that’s what you’re aiming to watch.

 

SUNSET HILL

Pairs well with Fairwinds Siriracha THC Tincture

Features: 

  • Stunning panoramic view of Shilshole Bay and the entire Olympic Mountain Range
  • Short walking path, grass patches and benches
  • Pull up parking

Sunset Hill is a small park in northwest Ballard, roughly one mile from our Ballard location. Located on top of a bluff, above Shilshole Bay, you won’t find a better unobstructed view of the Olympic peninsula in the city. It can get crowded at sunset, so we recommend getting there early in your car and having a picnic out of your trunk. It’s easy to find a spot along the fence or leaning against your car when dusk hits. 

 

VIRGIL FLAIM

Features: 

  • Sport courts
  • Skateboard park
  • Large lawn area with shady trees, picnic tables and grills

Located just one mile from our Lake City Way location, what once was an elementary school playground is now a central fixture in the Lake City Way business corridor and industrial area. It’s an ideal spot to relax and lay out, or get active with a day of Frisbee, grilled food, and people watching. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the skills of the local skaters, we promise.