Seward Park is southeast of downtown Seattle, snugly set between Columbia City and Lake Washington. It is well out of the way of major traffic arteries, but close enough to make a quick jaunt up to the main city when needed. The fact that the Bailey Peninsula constitutes Seward Park’s eastern side makes it the perfect place to get both exciting city bustle and a relaxing waterside park you can jog along with your dog.
Seward Park is bordered by Lake Washington to the east and north. The western border, which it shares primarily with Columbia City, starts at the corner of Lake Washington Boulevard South and 43rd Avenue South to include Genesee Park and Playfield. It continues south to South Genesee Street and shoots south again on 46th Avenue South. The boundary then goes east for two blocks and heads south again on 48th Avenue South, where it begins to share a border with Hillman City. It continues zig-zagging southeast down 51st Avenue South and Seward Park Avenue South before cutting east back to the lake on South Kenyon Street.
A Brief History
No one knows if any of the First Nations people lived on the peninsula itself, the Duwamish were known to use the area heavily as hunting and fishing grounds. In 1863, David Graham acquired the land for logging. It is believed that the large amounts of poison oak in the area saved it from logging. In 1890, William E. Bailey, a real-estate investor from Pennsylvania, purchased it for $26,000. The city of Seattle purchased the land in 1911 for $322,000 and named it after William Seward, President Lincoln’s secretary of state. Since then, the city of Seattle has developed it for concerts, fishing, and more. While the hatchery is no longer open, the park itself still provides plenty to do.
Things to Do
Seward Park puts you in prime real estate to soak in some of Seattle’s best attractions. That includes the park itself, made up of 300 acres of winding bike trails, swimming beaches, amphitheaters, and art studios jutting out into Lake Washington. Being right on the water gives you the best view of everything Seafair Weekend has to offer. Just walk down to the beach and watch the hydroplanes or U.S. Navy Blue Angels Air Show with nothing in the way to block your view. Just to the west is Columbia City, one of Seattle’s eight Landmark District historic neighborhoods. You’ll find the Columbia City Farmers Market, beloved concert venues, and popular restaurants.
Seward Park is a cozy neighborhood with lots to offer, bookended by all of the appeal that Seattle has to offer.