A picnic around every corner

This article was originally published in July 2013

This selection of parks big and small — each a short trip from one of our 14 markets — offers a bounty of fun and beauty to savor during our short-but-sweet Northwest summer.

Ballard Corners Park
1702 N.W. 62nd St., Seattle (0.6 miles from Ballard PCC)
Walk or bike your way up to this small park that packs a lot into just one neighborhood block. Take a seat on a not-so-typical cement couch, snag a stool at the high table or plop yourself on a plot of green grass alongside the abstract playground.

Cedar Grove Park
22421 9th Ave. S.E., Bothell (1.2 miles from Bothell PCC)
Claim a picnic table and grill after making your way along the wetland boardwalk towering with cedars. This lush, nearly 14-acre park is a slice of nature where you can meander and play ball with the kids — just off the 405.

Dottie Harper Park
421 S.W. 146th St., Burien (1.1 miles from Burien PCC)
Once home to the Burien Arts Gallery, this 3.5-acre park features an old-growth cedar stump that has been artfully carved. Take in the historic and natural beauty through this park’s walking trails before posting up in the picnic area or the classic amphitheater.

William Grose Park
1814 30th Ave., Seattle (0.8 miles from Central District PCC)
Tucked away on a quiet residential block, you’ll find this verdant sliver of space named after William Grose, the founder of Central District. Pick a spot on the rolling green lawn to play cornhole and munch on your snacks or set yourself up on the shady picnic table.

Genesee Park and Playfield
4316 S. Genesee St., Seattle (0.9 miles from Columbia City PCC)
Cozy up along the shores of Lake Washington and watch the waves roll by or take a stroll through the meadow to find the perfect place to lay out your spread. Kick around a soccer ball, bike along the trails and explore the garden in full bloom.

Marina Beach Park
498 Admiral Way South, Edmonds (2.2 miles from Edmonds PCC)
Plunk yourself on a driftwood log or spread your picnic along the grass at this southernmost park of the Edmonds waterfront and take in the view: mountains, the salty Sound and the Kitsap Peninsula in the distance. Fly a kite, play with your dog at the nearby dog park or wander the sandy shore.

Fremont Peak Park
4357 Palatine Ave. N., Seattle (1 mile from Fremont PCC)
Perched in upper Fremont, this half-acre, hidden urban oasis offers serenity from city life — not to mention a panoramic view of the Ballard Bridge and the shimmering waters to the west. Bring a blanket, lounge on the grass and count clouds overhead. Feel your cares slip away.

Sunset Hill Park
7531 34th Ave. N.W., Seattle (3.1 miles from Green Lake Aurora PCC)
This tranquil, wind-raked bluff offers unfettered views of the Olympics, of sailboats skating across Puget Sound and vibrant sunsets. Grab a picnic table or bring a blanket and soak in the scenery and salty breeze from Shilshole Bay below.

Maple Leaf Reservoir Park
1020 N.E. 82nd St., Seattle (1 mile from Green Lake Village PCC)
Head to the viewpoint for a sweeping scene of Mount Rainier, Lake Washington and even glimpses of the city skyline. Discover something new along every acre — rain gardens, basketball courts, and even a zip line — before you settle on a table near the water tower.

Issaquah Creek Confluence Park
655 Rainier Blvd. N., Issaquah (1.9 miles from Issaquah PCC)
This park in Olde Town Issaquah merges three parks (Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek) for more than 15 acres that includes trails, a playground, and a sweeping meadow that runs to the edge of Issaquah Creek. Linger along the waterways as you stroll off those lunchtime calories.

Marsh Park
6605 Lake Washington Blvd., Kirkland (0.8 mile from Kirkland PCC)
Unobstructed views of Lake Washington and Seattle are the highlight of this waterfront park. Stroll to the end of the dock and take in the sunset as you nosh and nibble, wander along the shoreline and then check out a bit of public art.

Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park
19545 N.E. Redmond Rd., Redmond (2 miles from Redmond PCC)
Friendly farm animals for little ones to visit? Check. Tire swings, orienteering course, nature trail and covered picnic shelter? You betcha. This 68-acre park literally offers something for anyone who might be along on your picnic.

View Ridge Playfield
4408 N.E. 70th St., Seattle (0.5 mile from View Ridge PCC)
Bring the lawn games and get ready for an afternoon of merriment. A large playground and small wading pool make this spot ideal for little ones, plus a covered picnic area allows for easy dining outdoors.

Me-Kwa-Mooks Park
4503 Beach Dr. S.W., Seattle (2.5 miles from West Seattle PCC)
Dine at one of the picnic tables near the entrance to this park then wander into the woods and keep your eyes peeled for screech owls overhead and other wildlife. Or time it right and explore the tide pools across the street, abundant with sea life.

Updated July 2020.

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