We did the work for you and found the top eight spots in Seattle where you can get incredible photos for your Instagram and impress your out-of-town visitors. Best of all, each of these scenic viewpoints are located within charming Seattle city parks. Not only are they easy to get to from anywhere in Seattle, but these parks are also peaceful respites for hanging out, playing, and having picnics.
In case you work up an appetite, we included recommendations near each park where you can grab some coffee, ice cream, cocktails, or a meal when you’re done checking out the views. Whether you’re visiting Seattle for the first time or have lived here for years, you’ll be blown away by the views at these Seattle parks.
1. Kerry Park
Not exactly a well-kept secret, Kerry Park is arguably the number one place to go to see the quintessential Seattle view. The park itself, perched atop a hill in Queen Anne, is quite small. There’s a (often crowded) viewing area and a grassy slope just below it. It’s not the best picnic spot but most people go for the epic view of the Seattle skyline featuring the Space Needle and—on a clear day—Mount Rainier.
We recommend: first stopping at Molly Moon’s Handmade Ice Cream; it’s close enough that you’ll still be enjoying your ice cream by the time you reach the park. Afterwards, be sure to stroll around Queen Anne and enjoy the beautiful, historical houses.
📍211 W Highland Dr
2. Ella Bailey Park
This park is not as well-known as Kerry Park, but it should be. Located in the quiet Magnolia neighborhood, Ella Bailey Park will surprise you with its cinematic view of the Seattle skyline and Mount Rainier. As a bonus, there’s much more to do at this park—especially if you have little ones with you. You can make use of the playground, picnic tables, and a walking pathway that many like to use for riding bikes and skateboards.
We recommend: picking up pizza from nearby Queen Margherita or gyros from Niko’s, then enjoying the view while eating at a picnic table or on a blanket. Just be sure to bring a jacket, because this park tends to get quite windy year-round.
📍2601 W Smith St
3. Gasworks Park
Gasworks Park is one of those Seattle spots that should not be missed. Its grassy slopes can get quite crowded in the spring and summer months but it offers a stunning view year-round. Go there just before sunset and watch the city light up across Lake Union.
We recommend: packing your own picnic lunch to enjoy at the park, and then strolling over to nearby Pablo y Pablo for happy hour margaritas and tacos. You can also go sit outside at Fremont Brewing’s Urban Beer Garden and enjoy a few beers.
📍2101 N Northlake Way
4. Volunteer Park
Located in Capitol Hill, Volunteer Park offers not one but two Instagram-worthy viewpoints. First you’ll want to check out the Black Sun sculpture across from the Seattle Asian Art Museum. You can get a really cool shot of the Space Needle lined up within the center of the donut-shaped sculpture. Then, brave the winding stairs of the Volunteer Park Water Tower for a 360-degree view of Seattle.
We recommend: enjoying a picnic within the 48.3-acre park if it’s nice out. If it’s chilly or rainy, head over to the nearby Volunteer Park Cafe & Pantry for comfort food, coffee, and a homey vibe.
📍1247 15th Ave E
5. Dr. Jose Rizal Park
Located in Beacon Hill, Dr. Jose Rizal Park offers an expansive view of the Puget Sound and downtown Seattle from a southern vantage point. Not only is it worth visiting for the view, but it’s also a great place to bring your dog or kid since there is a children’s play area and a four-acre off-leash dog section.
We recommend: picking up Toshio’s Teriyaki on your way to the park if you want to have a picnic. Alternatively, watch the Seattle skyline light up after sunset and then go have a memorable dinner at nearby Filipino restaurant Musang.
📍1007 12th Ave S
6. Alki Beach Park
We didn’t forget about West Seattle! Alki Beach Park has 135.9 acres with a half-mile beachfront strip. You might recognize it from Sleepless in Seattle. You’ll find views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains at the beach (but no Tom Hanks, sadly), as well as the Seattle skyline to the east.
We recommend: taking the water taxi over to Alki Beach from downtown Seattle—you’ll get some great photos of the city from the water. West Seattle has plenty of restaurants to choose from so after working up your appetite at the beach, head across the street to Duke’s Seafood or Harry’s Beach House for some casual but delicious food and drinks.
📍2665 Alki Ave SW
7. Fremont Peak Park
This pocket park is a hidden gem located atop a hill in Fremont. Follow a short path through towering pines and you’ll discover a peaceful grassy area that overlooks the Ballard Bridge and the Olympic Mountains. Go here on a clear day to get the clearest view of the mountain range—even better if you can time it for the sunset.
We recommend: picking up coffees and pastries at nearby Lighthouse Roasters if you’re heading to the park on the early side. Alternatively, you could catch the view at sunset and then walk over to RockCreek for delicious seafood and cocktails.
📍4357 Palatine Ave N
8. Discovery Park
Located in Magnolia, Discovery Park is the largest city park in Seattle and the only one on this list without an urban view. (Fremont Peak Park is really more about the mountain view than the view of Ballard, but still.) We’re including it in our top ranking because sometimes it’s nice to take in a naturally stunning panorama and forget you’re even in a city.
If you follow one of the many walking trails from the south parking lot to Magnolia Bluff, you’ll be able to gaze over Elliott Bay towards Bainbridge Island and West Seattle. In the distance, the Olympic Mountains will take your breath away on a clear day.
We recommend: packing a picnic and enjoying a sunset dinner atop Magnolia Bluff. Bring your dog or your kids and afterwards, stop by family-friendly Dirty Couch Brewing for a couple brews and a round of board games before heading home.
📍3801 Discovery Park Blvd