Summer Guide 2010: Seward Park

The crown jewel of this residential, multi-culti neighborhood is Seward Park itself, which sits on B

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The crown jewel of this residential, multi-culti neighborhood is Seward Park itself, which sits on Bailey Peninsula toward the southwest end of Lake Washington and offers spectacular views of Lake Washington and Mount Rainier.

Seward Park
Get Outside
Walking or biking the paved 2.4-mile Seward Park loop (sewardpark.org) takes you along the lake and past 300 acres of old-growth forest. And behold: On a clear day you can see Mount Rainier and Mount Baker from different ends of the path. The stately park, designed in 1903 by the Olmsted brothers (of New York City’s Central Park fame), has interior trails for an even woodsier feel, but heed the poison-oak warning signs. You’ll often see folks practicing tai chi on the grassy knoll on the west bank of the park. Casual swimmers and triathlon trainers alike splash in the cool waters here—and if our temperatures soar as high as they did last summer, you’re advised to join in the water fun (beats hanging around the freezer section at PCC trying to look busy). Picnic areas abound, and a revamped playground is in the works. Bonus: There’s a clean and non-scary public restroom on the south end of the park (yep, we couldn’t believe it either). The Seward Park and neighboring Mount Baker ’hoods get a little nutso during Seafair’s hydroplane races and Blue Angels show (August 6–8; seafair.com), but you can always step back from the madness a bit at Genesee Park—where your canine companions will make new friends of the furry sort. P.S. for pooches: The Seattle Animal Shelter’s 11th annual furry 5k fun run and walk (furry5k.com) takes place in Seward Park on June 20—great, galloping fun for humans and dawgs alike.

Freewheel it
Bicycle Sundays, which happens on 18 Sundays—and one Monday—this summer, closes Lake Washington Boulevard to motorized vehicles from the entrance at Seward Park north to Mount Baker Park Beach. It’s all yours, baby, and no cars to swerve around. We’ll pop a wheelie to that. A few Sundays are exempt, so check the schedule (seattle.gov/parks/bicyclesunday).

Loosely translated, Pista sa Nayon (pista.org) means “town festival” (but it could also mean “eat a lot of great food”). Seward Park Amphitheater houses this free outdoor party celebrating the culture and cuisine of the Philippines on August 1, when everyone is an honorary Filipino American for the day. The fest brings so many different generations of folks together—for arts and crafts booths, professional and impromptu dancing, music and food vendors—and that everyone behaves, because Great-grandma’s watching!

Originally Published In June 2010

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