The best green space in Seattle has a little bit of everything: dense, nearly silent forest trails; paved stretches great for cycling; fields and lawns where dogs can romp (on leash); and a beautiful beachfront trail with unsullied views of the water and the mountains beyond (keep your eyes peeled for seals). At the east entrance is a visitor center that organizes bird-watching tours and children’s programs; at the north entrance is the Daybreak Star Center, an educational center for the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, which often has gallery exhibits and special events.
Tip: Athletic folks should seek out a fun shortcut to the beachfront trail. From the north parking lot, follow the signs for the loop trail, which will take you up a paved segment and through part of the forest trail. When you reach the meadow, head northwest and look for a green open gate. Here the trail continues, winding down stairs, along logs, and over tree roots, eventually bringing you out onto the beachfront.