Seattle’s Top 5 Outdoor & Wildlife Experiences
By: Mike Jerrard
Seattle is known for its large population, tech industry including Microsoft and Amazon headquarters, and for being one of Americas largest ports. It is however also an incredible city for exploring the great outdoors. Within the city one has beautiful parks and gardens as well as a multitude of National Parks and wilderness areas within a few hours drive. Here are some top recommendations for those wanting to get outdoors and explore the wilder side of Seattle.
Woodland Park Zoo
Recipient of many awards, the Woodland Park Zoo offers over 1,000 animals representing some 300 species worldwide. It offers an incredible full immersion exhibit featuring gorillas as well as species from South American jungles, the African Savanna, Northern Tundra, and Australia. They are very focused on conservation and also have found a way to recycle and offer ZooDoo Compost you can purchase for your garden. Who wouldn’t like to brag that their flowers are fertilized by the dung of hippos, giraffes, and zebras!
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
Visitors can view migrating salmon via the Fish Ladder viewing rooms as well as take in the beauty of the surrounding Carl S English Jr. Botanical Gardens. The gardens are free of charge and open daily offering around 1,500 varieties of plants around the world. Species such as King, Coho, and Sockeye salmon can be seen via the locks as well as sea lions.
You’ll find this large beautiful park on the shores of the Puget Sound. Birds are the highlight of any wildlife watcher with an extensive checklist of about 270 species. There is a 3 mile Discovery Park Loop Trail along with many other connecting trails for extended hikes. There have even been sightings of coyotes, bears, and mountain lions within the park. Along with the wildlife, the park offers beautiful vegetation and a lovely lighthouse.
Washington State’s second largest natural lake, Lake Washington offers wonderful fishing for bass, perch, trout, and many more species. It offers a beautiful view of Mt Rainier, one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. It is home to some of the world’s longest floating pontoon bridges and a great spot to have a picnic or engage in water sports. Beautiful hiking around the lake that can give you quite a workout with its steep hills.
Olympic NP & Mt Rainier NP
Both National Parks are just a few hours drive from Seattle and make the perfect day or overnight trip. The scenery of Mt. Rainier and the wildlife of Olympic are truly incredible and although seeing everything in just a day would be impossible, you are sure to come away with memorable images no matter how much time you spend. Temperate rain forests await you in Olympic while majestic mountain views and wildflowers are on display at Mt. Rainier. One can see bears, eagles, mountain goats, and spotted owls just to name some of the fauna.