Discovery Park is over 500 acres, making it the largest park in Seattle. It's about a 15 minute drive from downtown Seattle, and it's nestled in the neighborhood, Magnolia. Discovery Park offers spectacular views since it's situated on Magnolia Bluff, which allows you to have breathtaking views of tidal beaches and a lighthouse.
There are many trails leading to the lighthouse and unforuntaely since the signage is a little scarce (especially on the Loop Trail), it makes it a little difficult to be confident you are still on the same trail. But half of the fun of a new park is the exploring aspect; I was definitely on several different trails. If you end up taking the Hidden Valley trail from the lighthouse to the visitor center, you are going to end up climbing about 100 stairs. At the visitor center they sell maps for $1; however, there are free (somewhat blurry) maps available on the kiosk at the park's entrance. If you have a teeny tiny bladder, no worries; there are several bathrooms throughout the park. Parking was a little difficult, but my parking lot stalking skills are superb, so I was able to get a parking spot in less than 5 minutes on a Saturday afternoon.
The beach was really pretty and especially on the North Beach Trail, which has an array of rocks and seashells. It was definitely peaceful in the park with several great views of the mountains (Cascades and Olympics) and the sparkling water of the Puget Sound. The day we went, it was definitely a little hazy but the views were not disappointing.
An expected surprise was that along Discovery Park Avenue (the main road to the park), the intersecting streets are named after states. I started noticing this when I saw a Nebraska street sign. Also along this road there were little entrepreneurs selling Gatorade by the glass; I guess lemonade stands are so 2011.
|Meadow and the Puget Sound|
|At the top of the bluff, the lighthouse is sort of located on the peninsula; the trail that is visible is South Beach Trail|
|My dad and me at the lighthouse (from the South Beach Trail)|
|My dad at the lighthouse (from the North Beach Trail)|
|Trying to locate rocks and seashells|
|The precious seashells for the grandchildren|
|A little touch of the Midwest in Discovery Park|