Olympic Sculpture Park

Top choice park in Belltown & Seattle Center

Image by Richard Cummins Getty Images

This smart urban-renewal project and outpost of the Seattle Art Museum was inaugurated in 2007 to widespread local approval. The terraced park is landscaped over railway tracks and overlooks Puget Sound with the distant Olympic Mountains winking on the horizon. Joggers and dog walkers meander daily through its zigzagging paths, enjoying over 20 pieces of modern sculpture.

The park’s most conspicuous work is also its newest: Jaume Plensa’s Echo (2011) is a huge white head that seems to contort depending on which angle you look at it from. Another head-turner is Alexander Calder’s The Eagle (1971), whose curvaceous red form perfectly frames the nearby Space Needle. Many overlook Roxy Paine’s Split (2003), a stainless-steel tree that draws attention to the sometimes blurry split between art and nature.

The pavilion at the top of the park contains a small cafe, restrooms, a gift shop, wi-fi and visitor information (limited hours).