Tag Archive for 'Under 1 mile'

Walking Madison Park

Madison Park on the shore of Lake Washington is a peaceful place to walk with a small village of shops and restaurants.


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Madison Park used to be a popular destination for Seattlites in the early 20th century. A cable car ran from downtown to the lake. Until 1950, there was a ferry that took passengers across the lake to Kirkland.

Start at E Madison St and E McGilvra St. There is street parking in the area, or you can get here by the 11 bus.

Head northeast on Madison St along the southeast side of the street, passing retail establishments on both sides of the street. At E Blaine St, turn right. You’ll pass by the tennis courts of Madison Park on your left before reaching 43rd Ave E.

Cross 43rd Ave E before turning left. On your right is the Madison Park beach. Feel free to stop at a bench or walk down to the water for a view across lake Washington toward the Cascade Mountains and Bellevue.

Then, continue north along 43rd Ave E until you reach E Madison St. This intersection is a little unclear for pedestrians, but traffic should be light. Cross over to the northwest side of E Madison St when you can and head southwest along E Madison St.

Feel free to stop and enjoy a meal or drink at one of the restaurants you walk by. Otherwise, continue through this main part of Madison Park back to our starting point at McGilvra Blvd E.

Our short walk ends at McGilvra Blvd E & E Madison St, but feel free to explore the nearby upscale residential area or head back to the park and the water before heading home.

highlights: view across Lake Washington, quiet tree-lined streets, restaurants, park

lowlights: may be a little too upscale for some, park is a little small, can become crowded on a summer weekend day

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Walking Burke-Gilman from Fremont to Gas Works Park

The Burke-Gilman trail is 27 miles of a former rail line that has been converted to a pedestrian and bike path. We’ll be taking the relatively short walk from Fremont to Gas Works Park.


View Walking Burke-Gilman from Fremont to Gas Works Park in a larger map

You can get here easily via the 26, 28, 30, or 31 bus. You can also drive and park, but free parking can be hard to find.

Start in downtown Fremont at Fremont Ave N and N 34th St. Feel free to grab something to eat here before beginning, or something to drink along the way.

Head east on the south side of N 34th St, past Waiting for the Interurban, where aluminum statues are often decorated with clothes or other decorations.

We’ll cut through the plaza on the right to get to the trail. You’ll go down a few sets of stairs toward N Northlake Way. Cross the road and turn left. As you pass under the Aurora Bridge, to your right you may see some boats going toward Lake Union or toward Puget Sound.

After passing the bridge, you’ll cross N Northlake Way again and head north along the Aurora Bridge for a hundred feet or so. As you walk behind a couple buildings, there’s not a whole lot to look at, which is good because you may need to concentrate on staying out of the way of any bicyclists.

You’ll cross Stone Way N and continue east. The trail is marked for bicyclists and pedestrians, so be sure to stay on the correct side. The trail is insulated from the street with a row of trees and lined with other greenery.

As you cross N Northlake Pl, you’ll see a gravel parking lot for Gas Works Park on your right. You can walk through the parking lot to get to Gas Works Park, or continue walking and just after crossing Densmore Ave N, cross N Northlake Way to your right to enter the park between a gap in the wall.

Our specific walking route ends here, so feel free to explore Gas Works Park on your own. Be sure to enjoy the view of Seattle and the skyline across Lake Union. There are also picnic tables, a kite flying hill, and of course the historic gasification plant.

Highlights: Great views from Gas Works Park, art and landscaping under Aurora Bridge, places to eat and drink in Fremont, sculptures in Fremont

Lowlights: Trail can be crowded, not much to look at between Aurora Bridge and Gas Works Park

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Walking the Downtown Retail Core

This is a short and easy walk through the downtown retail core – a great way to see the shopping that downtown has to offer and end up at Pike Place Market.


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Start at 5th Ave and University St downtown near the 5th Avenue Theatre and head northwest. The theatre had a new sign installed on December 3, 2009. The new sign is similar to the sign that was originally on the theatre when it opened in 1926 except the current sign uses energy-efficient LED bulbs.

5th Avenue Theatre

5th Avenue Theatre, built in 1926

Feel free to walk along either side of the street, though if I had to pick, I’d opt for the right side to avoid the Red Lion parking garage entrance and an area in front of the hotel where tourists gather. Though 5th Avenue can be busy with vehicle traffic, it is lined with trees that help insulate you from the street, as well as glass windowed stores that draw you in. This initial section of 5th Avenue has an upscale feel to it, with Gucci and Louis Vitton. When you reach 5th Ave and Pike Street, you’ll see the Banana Republic on the north corner of the intersection.

Banana Republic (formerly Coliseum Theater)

Banan Republic, formerly the Coliseum Theater, built in 1916

Turn right on Pike St. You’ll see the Washington State Convention Center ahead. Turn left on 6th Avenue. There is more shopping on this block and some places to eat. Continue for a block to Pine Street.

At Pine Street, you’ll be in the middle of it all. This part of Seattle makes it feel like a big city. It seems there are always people walking here at any time of day. At this intersection you’ll see Pacific Place mall and the flagship Nordstrom.

Turn left on Pine St. You’ll pass by more retail stores, such as the GAP. There are also several entrances to the underground bus and light rail tunnel around this area. On your right will be Westlake Center. At Westlake Center you can take the Monorail to Seattle Center. The Westlake Center also has an outdoor plaza, which has the 2nd busiest Starbucks in North America. Up ahead you’ll see Macy’s (formerly the Bon Marché).

4th and Pine

Macy's, Starbucks, and Westlake Center

On the South side of the street is Westlake Park, which is often used by skateboarders and homeless. Cut through the park or turn left at 4th Avenue. On any weekend, you’ll likely find people at 4th and Pine holding signs protesting Israel or encouraging you to come to God. And you’ll be lucky to pass through this area without getting approached by someone with a clipboard representing a charity. You’ll also likely pass by a few buskers and shoeshiners,

Turn right on Pike St and you’ll be facing the “Public Market Center” sign of Pike Place Market. As you continue the few blocks to 1st Avenue, you’ll pass a few shops and cafes. Our walking tour ends here in front of the market, but there is plenty more walking you can do there.

Finish at 1st Ave and Pike

Highlights: shopping, things to look at, people, excitement, places to eat at the market, street performers, tree-lined 5th ave, ending at Pike Place Market

Lowlights: intimidating big city feel, loiterers, a few underused areas of the streetscape, can be crowded

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