Saint Edward State Park is on Seattle’s Eastside, and sits on the 316-acre grounds of a former seminary on Lake Washington. The seminary and grounds were sold to the State of Washington in 1977 and became a State Park.
This beautiful State Park is anchored by the magnificent romanesque-revival building that is now The Lodge at St Edwards. The Lodge operated as a seminary for the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle for 45 years, before being converted to a luxury hotel that opened in 2021. The Lodge has a stylish, art deco interior that features a restaurant and two bars.
Visitors can hike or bike miles of trails at Saint Edward State Park, that includes lush forests, meadows and half a mile of pristine waterfront on Lake Washington. There are also plenty of picnic tables on the expansive lawns in front of the hotel, and a huge playground for kids.
Day Use: Saint Edward State Park is a day use park, so there is no camping.
Fees: A Discover Pass is required to visit any State Park in WA.
Dogs: Dogs are welcome, but only a leash.
10 best things to do at Saint Edward State Park
1. Hiking & biking trails.
Visitors can hike or bike miles of trails at Saint Edward State Park, through forests and meadows. The easiest trail is to the historic Grotto (10 minutes). The trail down to the beach (30 minutes) is more challenging, and involves a 400-foot descent down the hill to Lake Washington.
Mountain biking is extremely popular in this park, although some trails are clearly marked no bicycles.
Check out the trail map, with key landmarks like the seminary, beach and Grotto.
2. Historic Grotto.
It’s only a 10-minute walk from the Lodge to the enchanting grotto tucked away in the forest at Saint Edward State Park. Two sets of stone stairs lead to this serene oasis, hemmed in by stone walls and lush ferns, with a small altar. The Grotto was built in the early 1940s by seminarians, and hosted many prayer meets and ceremonies.
The Grotto is available to rent today for weddings or other special events, and can accommodate up to 120 guests.
3. Picnic on the lawns.
Enjoy a picnic on the expansive lawns in-front of the magnificent The Lodge at St Edwards, or adjacent to the playground (the tables are first come, first served). Bring a frisbee or throw a ball on these massive lawns.
4. Playground & sport amenities.
Saint Edward State Park has a huge, fortress like playground, south of the Lodge. There are also other recreational amenities at this State Park, like a horse-shoe court and baseball fields.
5. Restaurant & bars.
You can enjoy a meal or drink at The Lodge at St Edwards, even if you aren’t a hotel guest. Book a table at the elegant Cedar + Elm restaurant, which was the former dining hall for the seminarians, or indulge in a cocktail at either Father Mulligan’s Heritage Bar in the lobby, or the atmospheric bar in the basement that was formerly the barber shop, known as the Tonsorium.
Cedar + Elm restaurant.
Father Mulligan’s Heritage Bar.
6. Gallery of Fine Arts.
Explore the magnificent Gallery of Fine Arts corridor on the main floor of the Lodge, with a choice of Northwest artworks and sculptures available for purchase.
7. Basement photos.
Take the stairs down to the basement at The Lodge at St Edwards, to see a corridor lined with black and white historic photos of the seminary. Learn all about the fascinating 45-year history of this former seminary.
8. Self guided tour.
Go to the front desk at the Lodge and request the “Stories of St Edward” self-guided tour with QR codes.
9. Gift shop.
Stop by the gift shop at The Lodge at St Edwards, for a local selection of unique, handcrafted goods.
10. Events calendar.
The Lodge at St Edwards has a full calendar of events, for hotel guests and park visitors. These include a Thanksgiving Dinner, a Holiday Tree Lighting & Market, fancy afternoon tea, yoga classes, live music at the Tonsorium Bar, and so much more! Check the events calendar.