The Best City For Outdoor Recreation: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, a dense metropolis nestled in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, has been dubbed ‘The Emerald City’ for its lush greenery—perfect for any nature enthusiast.

There are more than 6,000 acres of parks within Seattle’s city limits. The temperate, often rainy climate feeds the Washington woodlands that surround this bustling metropolis. For outdoor enthusiasts, Seattle is a dream come true.

Scott Herder and Megan Indoe of Bobo and ChiChi live in Los Angeles, but they take frequent trips to Seattle to visit friends, wander Pike Place market and even spend the day soaking up the sun in a hot tub boat. ESTATENVY spoke with Indoe on what makes Seattle such a great city for tree huggers and city slickers alike.
If you’re trying to get outside in Seattle, almost no terrain is off limits. This little corner of the Pacific Northwest is dappled with rivers and lakes, flanked on every side by national parks and forests. “Seattle is on the water and surrounded by smaller islands to the west. You’re always just a ferry ride away from basically being completely removed from the city,” said Indoe. “There are campgrounds and hiking trails that are also just a short drive away in almost any direction. Mt. Rainier is incredibly scenic and just two hours outside of the city.”
Architecturally, Seattle is very diverse. “I personally like the historic older architecture in Pioneer Square,” said Indoe. “That part of the city is really great.” Seattle is also a destination for contemporary architecture including the iconic Space Needle.
For those caught between the worlds of outdoor adventure and city life, Seattle is the perfect balance of urban stimulation and peaceful greenspace. “As far as urban greenspace goes, it’s amazing,” said Indoe. “You’re able to enjoy the outdoors but still experience that urban environment almost anywhere you are. In the heart of the city is Lake Union, where visitors can rent cruisers for an aquatic picnic, kayaks, paddle boats and sailboats.
Bainbridge Island is the most accessible island from the city. We couldn’t believe how remote we felt after a 25-minute ferry ride,” said Indoe. “There’s so much to do, whether you want to just stroll along the shore or go for a serious hike. Especially in the summer—it’s amazing.”
Gas Works Park is a really cool urban greenspace,” Indoe continued. “There’s no other park like it in the world where you can have a picnic and enjoy the view while also really taking in the amenities of the city.”
Indoe’s friends live in Shoreline, a city just nine miles north of downtown Seattle. Shoreline is an appealing neighborhood for commuters that also offers easy access to the Puget Sound’s sandy beaches and 300 acres of parks. “If you wanted to have the perks of being right near the city, it’s just a short drive in, but if you want to leave and access all the outdoor adventures, it’s easier to get out there,” said Indoe.
Architecturally, Seattle can accommodate just about any lifestyle, and has a huge market for waterfront properties. The city even has some pretty fabulous houseboats and waterfront homes.
If you’re planning a move to Seattle, you better bring your camping gear, mountain bike and fishing pole if you really want to take advantage of all the outdoor adventures this gem of a city has to offer.