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Washington Park Arboretum

The CD, Madrona & Madison Park

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 forest threaded by paths. More than 5500 plant species grow within the arboretum’s boundaries. In the spring Azalea Way, a meandering trail that winds through the arboretum, is lined with a giddy array of pink- and orange-flowered azaleas and rhododendrons.

Trail guides to the plant collections are available at the Graham Visitor Center. Tram tours ($20 per person) are offered April through October, usually on Saturdays. Check online for the full schedule and to make reservations.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The CD, Madrona & Madison Park attractions

1. Japanese Garden

0.62 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…

2. Louisa Boren Lookout


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…

3. Madison Park Beach


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…

4. Lakeview Cemetery

0.97 MILES

One of Seattle’s oldest cemeteries and the final resting place of many early settlers, Lakeview Cemetery borders Volunteer Park to the north. Arthur Denny…

5. Seattle Asian Art Museum


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…

6. Volunteer Park Conservatory

1.01 MILES

The conservatory is a classic Victorian greenhouse built in 1912. Filled with palms, cacti and tropical plants, it features five galleries representing…

7. Water Tower Observation Deck

1.03 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…

8. Volunteer Park

1.08 MILES

Seattle's most manicured park sits atop Capitol Hill and is named for US volunteers in the 1898 Spanish-American War. While wandering among its leafy…