Explore Seattle Parks
Playing on a Volunteer Park Lawn
1247 15th Avenue East
Volunteer Park is one of the great parks in Seattle and in America. This 45 acre park was designed in 1904 by the famous Olmsted brothers. My brother lives close to this park and I have been to it many times. I always look forward to strolling around this beautiful place. All of the Seattle travel guidebooks consistently rank Volunteer Park as one of the top places to visit in the Seattle area. On sunny days, Seattleites come to the park to have fun playing on its gorgeous lawns. Early in the morning, a yoga class usually meets to do their activities in the center of the park.
Volunteer Park Water Tower
One of the popular features in Volunteer Park is the Water Tower (built in 1906). Visitors can climb 100 steps to the top of the tower and enjoy 360 degree views of the Seattle area. It is one of the best views of Seattle at an elevation of 520 feet above Puget Sound (the top of the Space Needle is 720 feet).
Please click here to go to our virtual tour from the top of the Water Tower.
Volunteer Park Conservatory
Another great building in the park is the Victorian era Volunteer Park Conservatory. It is a elegant building on the outside and it is filled with lovely plants.
Volunteer Park Asian Art Museum
The Art Deco Seattle Asian Art Museum building is in the park. For lovers of Asian art, this is one of the best collections in the U.S. The building itself is striking and the landscaping around the building really complements the building.
Volunteer Park Landscaping and walking path
The best feature of Volunteer Park is its lovely landscaping. The gracious old trees serve as a splendid backdrop for the open grassy areas and the beautiful foliage and flowers in the park. It is a delightful place to stroll and savor the beautiful landscaping. At dawn and at dusk, the park is illuminated by beautiful street lamps.
Volunteer Park has a sculpture by Isamu Nogichi entitled Black Sun. It is a large doughnut shaped piece of black granite that was carved from a 30 ton block. Many people take a photo of the Space Needle that can be seen through the large hole in the center of the sculpture.
For photographers, this place offers countless scenes just waiting for your camera. Sunrise and early morning times are especially camera-friendly and merit an early rise. The conservatory is especially pretty around sunrise.
Don't rush your visit to this park. It demands that you slow down to savor its beauty. Take time to walk down part of 14th Avenue near the Water Tower. The lovely mansions on the street were built with gold brought back from the Yukon gold rush. The majestic white mansion next to the entrance to the park on East Prospect Avenue is the Parker/Fersen House, a recognized Seattle landmark.
Please click here to go to the Seattle Parks web page for Volunteer Park.
Volunteer Park is one of Seattle's crown jewels. I hope you have the opportunity to visit this lovely place on top of Capitol Hill.