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.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.