Top 20 Seattle attractions

Gas Works Park

free admission
Gas Works Park

Enjoy sweeping views of Lake Union and the Seattle skyline from the Gas Works Park.

The free Gas Works Park is in the quirky neighborhood of Fremont, just north of Seattle's downtown. 

This 19-acre park is at the former site of a coal gasification plant, and has been transformed to a beautiful lawned area with walking paths, picnic tables and a playground.  However, swimming is prohibited.

It's the perfect place to hang out on a warm summer's day, and the parking lot is at 2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA, 98103.

10 best things to know about Gas Works Park

1. The Gas Works Park is popular for kite-flying and picnicking, or relaxing on its grassy slopes.

Don't forget to bring a blanket to sit on, and some refreshments.  It's easy to spend a few hours here, observing all the action on the lake.  The Gas Works Park has sweeping, south-facing views of the Space Needle, Seattle downtown, and the Amazon Headquarters in South Lake Union.

2. Once inside the park, climb the Great Mound to enjoy breathtaking views over Lake Union. 

3. Stand on the giant sundial at the top of the Great Mound, and follow the instructions to figure out the time.

4. The Gas Works Park was named after the coal gasification plant that operated on it's shores from 1906 to 1956.

This coal gasification plant provided most of Seattle's power up until the 1930's. The rusted ruins of the plant still remain, but are fenced off.  Its giant tanks, smoke stacks, spiraling staircases and pipes form a strikingly beautiful sculpture, testament to this neighborhood's industrial, gritty past.

5. The old Pump House has been converted to a sheltered playground, and the Boiler Room is a picnic shelter.   

Concrete train trestles are visible beside these buildings, once used to transport coal from the plant.  

6. The Gas Works Park is a fantastic place to watch boat traffic on the water.

Can you spot the Ride the Ducks amphibious vessel in the water? 

Ride the Ducks used to be one of Seattle's most popular tourist attractions, but closed in March 2020 during the Coronavirus Pandemic.  The Ducks are WWII amphibious landing crafts that can drive on land and float in water. The Ride the Ducks Seattle tour was loads of fun, with lots of music and frivolity.  The ducks first traveled on surface streets through downtown Seattle, Pioneer Square, and the Pike Place Market. They then transitioned to boat mode as they entered the waters of South Lake Union.  

7. Wander down to the lower viewing platform by the water's edge for amazing views.

The orange boat on the left is the party boat, The Cycle Saloon.  Partygoers BYO booze, and cycle their way around Lake Union.  It holds 15 people including the captain.  

8. Unfortunately swimming or wading is prohibited due to hazardous sediment in the water. 

9. The Gas Works Park also provides a close-up look of Seattle's famous houseboats.  The Sleepless in Seattle houseboat from the 1993 movie, is moored near here.

10. One of the most thrilling sights is watching a float plane expertly navigate a landing on the lake. 

Kenmore Air operates float planes that fly from Lake Union, to the San Juan Islands, Vancouver BC, Victoria BC, and the Inside Passage.  You can also do scenic flights over Seattle and near Mt Rainier.

Know before you go

  • Address: 2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA, 98103.
  • Parking Lot: Just off Northlake Way.
  • Playground: Yes.
  • Restroom: Yes.
  • Picnic Shelter: Yes.

Things to do near Gas Works Park

Explore the fun shops and restaurants in the bohemian neighborhood of Fremont, and take a picture with the scary Fremont Troll.  Further afield, drive 3 miles northwest to the neighborhood of Ballard to enjoy a historic shopping district, the stunning Golden Gardens beach, and the captivating sight of boats passing through the Ballard Locks.

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