"Looking upwards at a lifeguard chair at Madison Park in Seattle, WA with Lake Washington in the background."

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Madison Park Beach

The CD, Madrona & Madison Park

A riotously popular place in the summer with a grassy slope for lounging and sunbathing, two tennis courts, a swimming raft floating in the lake, and lifeguards on duty from late June to Labor Day (noon to 7pm Monday to Friday, from 11am Saturday and Sunday). The park has been a lure for townies since the early 20th century, when a trolley route was built from downtown to bus everyone in.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The CD, Madrona & Madison Park attractions

1. Washington Park Arboretum


This wild and lovely park stretching from Madison Valley up to Union Bay offers a wide variety of gardens, a wetlands nature trail and 200 acres of mature…

2. Japanese Garden

1.05 MILES

At the southern edge of Washington Park Arboretum, this 3.5-acre formal garden has koi pools, waterfalls, a teahouse and manicured plantings. Granite for…

3. Denny Blaine Park

1.12 MILES

South of Madison Park toward the tail of Lake Washington Blvd is Denny Blaine Park, found at the end of a looping tree-lined lane. The beach is surrounded…

4. Viretta Park

1.21 MILES

Amid a lakeside nirvana of posh mansions, you’ll find two-tiered Viretta Park, from which you can see the large house once owned by Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain…

5. Howell Park

1.34 MILES

Just south of Viretta Park in Madrona is a small beachfront abutting Lake Washington called Howell Park. If you're looking for a beach with some elbow…

6. Louisa Boren Lookout

1.68 MILES

Outside the Volunteer Park boundaries, the Louisa Boren Lookout provides one of the best views over the university and Union Bay. The small park is named…

7. Seattle Asian Art Museum

1.84 MILES

In stately Volunteer Park, this outpost of the Seattle Art Museum houses the extensive art collection of Dr Richard Fuller, who donated this late–art deco…

8. Water Tower Observation Deck

1.85 MILES

It's practically obligatory to climb the 107 steep steps to the top of the 75ft water tower in Volunteer Park. Built in 1907, it provides wonderful vistas…