Exploring Olympic Sculpture Park
This past weekend was absolutely perfect in Seattle - crisp fall air, sunny skies, and a gentle breeze off the Sound. Now that the smoke has cleared out of the city, we headed to Olympic Sculpture Park for a picnic and beautiful views.
Situated on top of Elliott Avenue and a rail yard, the park has stunning views of the Puget Sound, Kitsap County, and, on a clear day, the Olympic Mountains in to the west. This piece, Bunyon's Chess by Mark di Suvero, brings the legacy of logging in the region to the forefront of the landscape.
About Olympic Sculpture Park
In 2018, Artsy named the Olympic Sculpture park one of the world's greatest sculpture parks
The Olympic Sculpture Park is a 9-acre park located along the waterfront in Seattle. It is owned and operated by the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) and opened to the public in 2007. The site was a former industrial area that was occupied by the Unocal oil and gas company and served as a major barrier and contaminated site between Downtown, the waterfront and the Belltown and Queen Anne neighborhoods. The SAM worked with Weiss/Manfredi Architects to design the park which literally zig-zags over Elliott Avenue and active rail tracks. The result is an immersive experience that frames views of art, the skyline, and the Sound. By the time you have traversed the entire park, you have experienced the dense urban environment of Downtown all the way to sand and rocky beach along the Sound. Each stretch of the park provides great views and spots to settle down for a picnic or cup of coffee.
One of our favorite activities is to stop by Le Panier at Pike Place Market and pick of a fresh baguette, some delicious dill havarti cheese from Quality Cheese, and a coffee or tea from Anchorhead Coffee. Then we walk all that goodness over to the park and enjoy the delicious tastes and beautiful views the area has to offer. There are ample benches and ledges to sit on and take in the sites. I will also definitely be doing a Pike Place Market favorites post in the future so stay tuned for that!
How to Get There
Olympic Sculpture Park is right in the heart of Belltown, situated between the waterfront, Pike Place Market, and Seattle Center. The easiest way to get to the park is on foot, bike, or public transit. Parking is very limited in the area, though there is a paid lot on site and there are other paid lots closer to Pike Place Market. The Elliot Bay Trail begins at the park and follows the waterfront into Queen Anne and Inter Bay so turning your visit into a longer walk or bike ride is a great way to explore the area. Also, the neighboring Myrtle Edwards Park seems to be a place locals, rather than tourists, hang out so it can be a great way to visit downtown and avoid the crowds of the waterfront/piers and Pike Place Market.
Views from the Park
We love exploring all over the Pacific Northwest. Where should we head to next? Anything we missed at the Olympic Sculpture Park? Leave your ideas below.