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55 Best Photo Spots in Seattle | Instagram Locations

55 Best Photo Spots in Seattle | Instagram Locations
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Updated: 9/6/2023 | Best Photo Spots in Seattle

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Seattle Gum Wall

As a photographer and lifestyle blogger, I am always on the lookout for beautiful travel destinations to take photos of.

Here are my favorite places to take photos in and around Seattle, Washington. Hope these spots inspire you to get out of the home and explore our beautiful city.

Related: The Complete Seattle Travel Guide

Best Photo Spots in Seattle

#1 Pike Place Market

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Pike Place Market Sign

The Pike Place Market is a GREAT place to take photos. There is the iconic Pike Place Market sign, the Farmer’s Market, the Seattle Gum Wall, Post Alley Sign, and so much more!

 You’ll want to set aside a few hours to explore all that the market has to offer.

Address: 85 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101

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Post Alley in Pike Place Market

#2 Seattle Waterfront

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View from Old Stove Brewing

The waterfront is part of Pike Place Market. From the Old Stove Brewery & restaurant, there is a great view of the Seattle Great Ferris Wheel and waterfront.

The waterfront is under construction right now. We can’t wait until they’re done so we can have a beautiful waterfront to explore. 

Address: 1901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

#3 Seattle Great Wheel

Seattle Great Wheel Ferris Wheel at Pier 57 Wallaroo Hats

The Seattle Great Wheel is one of the best places to take photos in Seattle and one of the most accessible. You can take pictures from far away or go closer to it and get right underneath the wheel. I highly recommend visiting at night when it lights up for unique photos.

While it does cost money to ride, from the top of the ferris wheel, you’ll get incredible views of Downtown Seattle, Puget Sound, and West Seattle. You can get even more Seattle photo location ideas while you’re viewing the city from up above!

We also love getting ferris wheel photos from Pier 57 (near Miner’s Landing), or while returning to Downtown Seattle on the water taxi and Bainbridge ferry.

Related: Ferris Wheels from Around the World

#4 University of Washington

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Smith Hall at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington

The University of Washington has plenty of unique and amazing buildings. There are buildings, rooms, and stairwells that are reminiscent of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter movie and book series.

Our favorite buildings include:

  • The Quad – Come during Spring during cherry blossoms season to see pink flowers bloom and cover this picturesque courtyard.
  • Suzzallo and Allen Library
  • Smith Hall
  • Raitt Hall
  • Miller Halland
  • Drumheller Fountain

Parking in the Central Garage is free on Sundays! Not all the buildings may be open, but you can enjoy the campus and exterior of the buildings.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#5 Green Lake

The docks at Green Lake are fun to explore and take photos of. it offers a backdrop of both water and greenery. We try to take a weekly walk around Green Lake with our dogs. It’s also a great place to paddle board and kayak.

The parking lot is small, but you can park across in the residential areas and walk over to the park. It’s also a great place to put up your hammocks and chill.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#6 A Secret (Nude) Beach

Hidden away at the end of 39th Ave E. and E. Harrison (near Denny Blaine Park), this oasis offers up one of the few soft-sand beaches around, views of Mount Rainier and the Cascades and waters warm enough to take a dip in, on a hot, sunny day.

Nudity is also legal in Washington State. Expect to see some naked bodies if you decide to do a shoot here.

#7 Seattle Center

Seattle Space Needle against downtown seattle buildings

The Seattle Center is where the iconic Seattle Space Needle lives!

There is so much to do at the center. There are many attractions, sculptures, and artwork you can explore. 

We recommend checking out the following attractions:

It’s also a great place to attend events such as Bumbershoot and the Northwest Folklife Festival.

Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109

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Seattle Space Needle and MoPOP Museum Monorail

MoPOP Museum, Seattle Space Needle, and the Monorail

Seattle Center Sonic Bloom Flowers

Sonic Bloom Flowers at Seattle Center

#8 The MoPOP Museum

Also known as MoPOP, the Museum of Pop Culture is full of spots to take photos of. The building was designed by famous architect Frank Ghery and the outside is super photo-worthy. 

The colors look particularly cool during sunrise and sunset as the sun reflects off the building, so I recommend coming then if possible. The building looks great when sunlight is reflected on it. Make sure to walk around the whole building to get some unique angles.

Also, make sure you stop inside the museum as well to see a collection of music history and special rotating exhibits. They have everything from guitars, song lyrics from Nirvana, to Sci-Fi and Fantasy costumes and exhibits. 

The cost to enter is around $35 but is totally worth it.

Address: 325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

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Outside MoPOP Museum

#9 King Street Station

If you’re taking a train into Seattle, it will drop you off at King Street Station. The exterior of the building is just gorgeous!

Address: 303 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104

#10 Lula Coffee Co.

Lula Coffee Co. is Seattle’s new pink destination located in SoDo! Their pink cafe is the perfect Barbie setting.

#11 Amazon Spheres

The Amazon Spheres houses exotic rainforest plants and more. It’s a meeting and relaxation area for Amazon employees. You can also go on a guided weekend tour of the Spheres but will need to make reservations ahead of time. 

If you know someone who works at Amazon, ask if they can take you on a private tour of the Spheres! Employees get free access to the Spheres. 

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Amazon Spheres

#12 Volunteer Park

Volunteer Park is a 48.3-acre park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. It’s a great place to have a picnic and hang out. They also have events here. 

Recommended attractions to see at Volunteer Park include: 

  • Volunteer Park Conservatory
  • Water Tower Observation Deck
  • Bruce and Brandon Lee’s Gravesite
  • Seattle Asian Art Museum
  • The Black Hole Sun by Isamu Noguchi
  • Thomas Burke Memorial
  • Wading Pool

Address: 1247 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#13 Go Skiing or Snowboarding!

Get up into the mountains during winter to snowboard or ski. The snow-capped mountains look beautiful from above. We love visiting Mount Baker, Stevens Pass, and Crystal Mountain.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#14 Georgetown Hat and Boots

Located in Oxbow Park, the Georgetown Hat and Boots are remnants of what was part of a cowboy-themed gas station. The boots were restrooms and the Stetson hat was where to gas attendant worked.

#15 Jose Rizal Bridge

The Jose Rizal Bridge just minutes from downtown provides another iconic spot to capture the city skyline. Come here for the sunset over Elliot Bay and stay to capture light trails from the freeway below after the sun goes down. The bridge can be a bit windy, so dress in layers and definitely bring a tripod.

#16 Kerry Park

Kerry Park is by far one of the most Instagrammable places in Seattle and one of the best places to see in Washington State.

From this viewpoint, you can see the Space Needle, much of downtown, and Puget Sound. Many shots you see of the city are taken from this tiny park in Queen Anne.

If you’re good at night photography, I recommend coming here to capture the city lights. This is one of the most popular Instagrammable spots in Seattle and has even been featured in many movies, postcards, and posters.

On a sunny day, you’ll find crowds here and may get lucky and spot a wedding photoshoot.

Address: 211 W Highland Dr, Seattle, WA 98119

Another great spot for photos in Queen Anne is at 5th and Lynn Park. From here you can catch a beautiful view of Gas Works Park and Lake Union.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#17 Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square is Seattle’s “first neighborhood.” The area is known for its First Thursday art walks, nightlife, street art, delicious restaurants, and funky boutiques. 

While you’re here, we recommend stopping by the Merchant’s Cafe. It’s a restaurant and bar that is supposedly haunted! You can dine upstairs or downstairs where ghosts (yes, multiple ghosts) have been sighted. Watch our video to see the inside of Merchant’s Cafe and visit if you dare!

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Merchant’s Cafe in Pioneer Square

#18 Olympic Sculpture Park

The Olympic Sculpture Park is a huge 9-acre outdoor sculpture museum created and operated by the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). It has huge towering sculptures, indoor pavilions, a beach, and amazing views of the Puget Sound.

And the best part is it’s FREE! 

Address: 2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

#19 The Seattle Green House

The Seattle Green House is a privately owned studio that can be rented out by photographers to take some dreamy photos.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#19 Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park is a 19.1-acre public park on the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant, located on the north shore of Lake Union at the south end of the Wallingford neighborhood.

It’s the perfect place to have a picnic and check out the amazing skyline view of Downtown Seattle.

Address: 2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103

Seattle Gas Works Park Fremont Wallingford

Gas Works Park

#20 Washington Park Arboretum

The Washington Park Arboretum is a joint project of the University of Washington, the Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the nonprofit Arboretum Foundation. 

The Arboretum is known for its lush landscapes and is a great place to view cherry blossoms.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#21 Historic Buildings Throughout Downtown Seattle

Downtown is filled with gorgeous buildings that make great photography backdrops. 

Here are just some that we highly recommend:

  • Seattle Municipal Court
  • Smith Tower
  • Rainier Tower – A dreidel-shaped building that defies the laws of physics. 
  • Columbia Center
  • Interurban Building
  • Coliseum Theater
  • Eagles Auditorium
  • Old Federal Building
  • Safeco Plaza
  • F5 Tower
  • St. James Cathedral
  • The Arctic Club
  • Union Station
  • MOHAI
  • Bullitt Center
  • Edith Macefield House (The House from UP the movie)

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#22 On a Boat!

Boating is a huge part of Seattle life. Many people own boats, can drive or sail boats and when it’s summer out, everyone is on the water. 

We love taking boat photos from Lake Union, Lake Washington, and Shilshole Bay.

And if you’re not able to get on a boat, we recommend taking a ferry or renting a paddle board or kayak to get onto the water.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#23 Kubota Gardens

The Kubota Gardens is a free public park located south of Downtown Seattle. It has beautiful Japanese architecture and sculptures including a bell, bridges, a pagoda, and more.

Address: 9817 55th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#24 Seattle Street Art

We love seeking out street art while traveling! If you’re like us, you should check out some of our most famous street art:

  • Greetings from Seattle Mural
  • Ryan Henry Ward’s Murals
  • Room for Change (near Zig Zag Bar) by Caroline Silva
  • Tetris (8th Ave and Pine) by Will Schlough and youth from Urban ArtWorks
  • Denny Dog Park by Cern
  • Until Next Time by Glynn Rosenberg
  • Power to the Patients by Shepard Fairey (Yesler Way and 2nd Ave.)
  • Sunlight Over First Hill, I-5 overpass between James and Cherry Streets | By Nathan Watkins
    Spanning 68 pillars on First Hill, this piece was painted by more than 100 Urban Artworks volunteers. The design was chosen through a 2017 competition.
  • Terrestrial Memory, 2233 Sixth Ave. S. | By David Rice and Ola Volo
    The artist duo mixes their individual talents for a piece blending multicultural folk figures with real-world counterparts.
  • The Whale Wins, 3506 Stone Way N. | By Kyler Martz
    James Beard Award-winning chef Renee Erickson’s restaurant of the same name sits just on the other side of this nautical work.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., 2726 E. Cherry St. | By James Crespinel
    The mural’s original artist flew back to Seattle last year to re-touch the portrait after it was defaced in February 2022. It’s located next to Fat’s Chicken and Waffles.
  • Untitled, 4300 University Way | By Stevie Shao
    Stevie is another one of Seattle’s most easily recognizable muralists, with her bright-coloring and folkloric themes. You can find her other works tucked away in Belltown alleys or streaking across entire building faces — like this spot in the U District.
  • Abbey Road, 201 NE 45th Street | By David Heck
    It only makes sense that a record store would honor one of rock n’ roll history’s most iconic albums.
  • Seattle Doesn’t Settle, 620 Stewart Street | Artist unlisted
    Hidden in the alleyway next to Hotel Max, this piece regularly uplifts a number of downtown’s dumpsters.
  • The Wallingford Seat Turtlegiant mural on the street in Wallingford and now we finally know what it is – an awesome giant sea turtle! Learn more how this mural came to be HERE.Location: North 41st St and Interlake Avenue N
  • We noticed a new Star Wars mural along 34th Ave and the Burke Gilman Trail across the street from Brooks Running. Sounds like the building the art is on is marked for demolition, so make sure to check out this mural soon.Location: 34th Ave
  • Muralists Zahyr and Mari Shibuya recently completed the new Seattle Storm Mural in Uptown. The Storm’s mural features Jewell Loyd, Sue Bird, and Breanna Stewart in the “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name” t-shirts from the 2020 WNBA Bubble season.Location: Queen Anne Avenue and Mercer
  • You have arrived in SODO and will be greeted by this mural. After that then head to the other murals in the area listed below.Location: 6th Ave S & S Lander St.
  • Wyland
  • Ten Hundred
    Seattle, Washington
    118 Pine Street in Downtown Seattle
  • Olivia Knapp
    Seattle, Washington
    720 East Pike Street in Capitol Hill
  • Kristen Ramirez
    Seattle, Washington
    400 South Hanford Street in SoDo
  • Broken Fingaz
    Seattle, Washington
    2928 4th Avenue South in SoDo
  • Fin Dac
    Seattle, Washington
    1312 East Pike Street in Capitol Hill
  • John Sarkis
    Seattle, Washington
    1516 Summit Avenue in Capitol Hill
  • 1st & Lenora Doodle Mural
  • Cruise on by the Sounder train station and take in the 4Culture art project spanning 32 different buildings along the tracks. You can also park nearby and get a glimpse of some of these amazing murals. Like the smiling Mount Rainier above.Location: SODO Busway
  • Across from Bartell Drugs in Lower Queen Anne is a kinda new public art piece by local artists John Osgood and Zach Bohnenkamp. Some of the emblematic identifiers of the state are on display in this one like the Goldfinches and Pacific Rhododendrons, the state’s bird and flower. (Roy St and 1st Ave)
  • Careless Whisper Mural (1st Ave and Lenora)
  • Wayne Tunnel (16900 W Riverside Dr, Bothell, WA 98011)

Greetings Tour Greetings From Seattle Mural in Belltown

Greetings from Seattle Mural

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#25 Seattle Central Library

The Seattle Central Library is a gorgeous work of architecture designed by renowned architects Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus. The 11-story building features a striking glass and steel exterior and a visually stunning, light-filled interior.

Photograph the library’s dramatic, angular lines and innovative design elements.

Or explore the building’s unique interior spaces, which include a soaring atrium, colorful escalators, and an intricate book spiral.

Stop by the reading room on the 10th floor to see the excellent views of Elliott Bay.

#26 Visit the Skagit Valley Tulip Farms

Visit the Skagit Valley Tulip Farms! Just about an hour away from Downtown Seattle are the Skagit Valley Tulip Farms. Come around late March through April during tulip season to see the fields in full bloom!

You can check out our Skagit Valley tulip guide to see which are the best farms to visit. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#27 Go Hiking!

The best thing about Seattle is how close the city is to amazing hikes. We recommend renting a car or taking a bus to a hiking destination.

Hikes we recommend checking out include:

  • Wallace Falls
  • Poo Poo Point
  • Rattlesnake Ridge
  • Discovery Park
  • Franklin Falls
  • Heybrook Outlook
  • Mount Si
  • Little Si
  • Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls
  • Lake 22
  • Twin Falls
  • Cherry Creek Falls
  • Mailbox Peak
  • Heather Lake
  • Barclay Lake
  • Golden Lake (Stevens Pass)
  • Marymere Falls
  • Heather Maple Pass Loop
  • Mount Pilchuck
  • Colchuck Lake
  • Summit Lake
  • Sage Hills
  • Snow Lake
  • Mailbox Peak
  • Lighthouse Point Loop (Deception Pass)
  • Gold Creek Pond Loop
  • Coal Creek Falls
 
 
 
 
 
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#28 Mount Rainier

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#29 Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Even if you’re not a museum person, you’ll appreciate Chihuly’s collection of beautiful glass-blown art. It’s one of the more popular Instagrammable spots in Seattle because of all the bright colors used in Chihuly’s glass artwork.

Our favorite exhibit is the glass garden room. It’s well lit and you can even get a snap of the Space Needle through the glass windows.

If you plan on visiting Chihuly Garden and Glass, visit their website first to look for any fun events they might be throwing. You can take classes such as photography and even yoga throughout the year.

The museum is also great for Seattle winter activities since you can stay warm and dry the entire time.

Related: Honest Selkie Review – Should I Buy Selkie?

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#30 Discovery Park

Seattle is so lucky to have a dog-friendly recreational park! We come here multiple times a year to hike out to the West Point Lighthouse. We take several different paths and there are so many things to see along the way. 

If you’re lucky, you might be able to spot whales breaching in Puget Sound.

West Point Lighthouse at Discovery Park Seattle Washington

West Point Lighthouse at Discovery Park

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Discovery Park

#31 Freeway Park

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Freeway Park

 
Freeway Park, officially known as Jim Ellis Freeway Park, is an urban park with sculptures and a very interesting columned design. The park connects the city’s downtown to the Washington State Convention Center and First Hill neighborhood.
 

#32 UPS Waterfall Garden Park

To find this, look for Occidental Square Park, and you’ll find it right behind the park. This site used to be where the United Parcel Service’s first headquarters were in 1907.

#33 Smith Tower

The Smith Tower (circa 1914) is an iconic office tower featuring a speakeasy-style cocktail bar & a 35th-floor observatory. At the top, you can get amazing views of Downtown Seattle, West Seattle, Mount Rainier, and the Puget Sound.

You’ll walk through a museum as you enter and learn about the Smith Tower’s significance during the Prohibition Era. Elevators will then take you up into the cocktail bar and observation deck.

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Smith Tower Observation Deck

#34 Golden Gardens

If you want to capture a majestic sunset, then this is probably the best spot for that in the entire city. Golden Gardens Park is a significantly large place, and it’s filled with natural beauty. The beach is one of the most popular Seattle Instagram spots and it never ceases to amaze.

Here you’ll be able to easily capture both people and stunning nature in one go. With the boats lazily floating in the water, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most Instagrammable spots in Seattle. 

Golden Gardens is a popular day trip during the summer in Seattle as people celebrate the sun and warmth we experience.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#35 Ferry to Bainbridge

Take a day trip to Bainbridge via Ferry. You can drive your vehicle onto the ferry and explore what Bainbridge island has to offer. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and even wineries.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#36 Fremont Troll

The Fremont Troll is a public sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington in the United States. It’s a mixed-media sculpture that thousands come to visit each year.

Address: North 36th Street, Troll Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

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Fremont Troll Statue

#37 Alki Beach

For an opposite view of Seattle, head west of the city to reach West Seattle’s Alki Beach. It’s one of the only true sand beaches in the area, so it’s packed during the warm weather.

You can see how the city looks from across Puget Sound, which is especially fun as the sun is going down. Alki Beach is a great Instagrammable spot in Seattle during both the day and night.

You’ll head away from the city across the West Seattle bridge to reach this Instagrammable spot in Seattle. Take the Harbor Avenue exit to turn right on Alki Avenue and drive about three miles until you see the sandy beaches and shops.

Parking can be tight here in the summer, so it might take you a bit to circle around until you find a spot.

There are many different photo-ops you can take at this Seattle Instagram spot. During the summer, beach volleyball is popular, so you can get an action shot on the beach.

#38 Starbucks Reserve

You can’t come to Seattle without stepping by the Starbucks Reserve! Seattle is home of Starbucks. 

#39 Union Station

 

#40 Jack Block Park

 

#41 Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls is approximately a 35-minute drive from Downtown Seattle. Parking and viewing the waterfall is free from dusk to dawn. Over 1.5 million visitors come to see the falls each year.

This 268-foot waterfall is one of Washington’s most popular scenic attractions and is known internationally for its appearance in the TV show Twin Peaks.

Snoqualmie Falls Seattle washington guide

Snoqualmie Falls

#42 Chateau St Michelle Winery

 

#43 Occidental Square

 

#44 Lincoln Park

 

#45 Luna Park

 

#46 Woodland Park and Rose Garden

 

#47 Rainbow Crosswalks of Capital Hill

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#48 Visit a Rooftop Bars

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Frolik Rooftop

Seattle has rooftop bars that you can visit! Our favorite rooftop bars include The Nest, Frolik Rooftop Bar, Smith Tower, Ascend (in Bellevue) and the Fog Room.

#49 Seacrest Park

After your Salty’s photoshoot, stroll down the beach until you reach Seacrest Park. This park is an intimate location for a couples’ photo session at sunset and an awesome park to bring the kids to play at during the day.

Take a walk down the pier and lean against the wooden railing for some photos with the skyline behind you, or jump onto the next water taxi to Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle.

There are plenty of things to see and do at this West Seattle hotspot.

#50 Coal Creek Falls

#51 Rattlesnake Lake

#52 Amgen Helix Pedestrian Bridge 

#53 Ursula Judkins Viewpoint

#54 Woodland Park and Rose Garden

Woodland Park is a 90-acre park offering lush greenery, walking trails, and recreational facilities.

One of the park’s most photogenic attractions is the Woodland Park Rose Garden, a beautifully landscaped garden featuring over 200 varieties of roses.

While exploring the garden’s winding paths, charming gazebos, and tranquil water features, be sure to shoot the roses themselves. Flowers are always a great subject, from the elaborate details to the vibrant colors.

#55 Alki Point Lighthouse

 

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