Seattle, also known as the Emerald City, is one of the most spectacular city settings in the United States. Situated on a narrow isthmus between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, there are miles of waterfront, and spectacular views of the mountains. There’s nothing like Rainier on a clear day! Running in Seattle offers a great variety, owing to the city’s unique geography, seven hills, and 5,500 acres of parkland. Two major bridges connect the city center with the major eastern suburbs.
The best place to run in downtown Seattle is along the waterfront paths of the Elliott Bay Trail. North of downtown, the Burke Gilman Trail has some pretty sections. We also love Discovery Park, Lake Union, Green Lake and Woodland Park. Another great run is the area around the Washington Park Arboretum/Marsh Island/University of Washington. South of the city, the running highlight is Lake Washington Blvd. to Seward park. Great residential neighborhoods for running include Capitol Hill and the Queen Anne neighborhood. In West Seattle, enjoy the Alki Beach coastal trail or the lovely trails in Lincoln Park. We’ve also developed guides to the best places to run in the eastern suburbs of Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond, location of major corporate offices and new residential neighborhoods. For some bucolic running away from things, head to Bainbridge Island. South of Seattle, a favorite run is the Soos Creek Trail from Renton to Lake Meridian in Kent. We’ve also mapped out several pleasant waterfront and park routes in the Tacoma area.
Seattle remains a car-centric city, with legendary traffic. A new light rail system has been a boon, connecting the University of Washington with downtown and out to the airport, and a new line connecting to eastern Seattle (Bellevue, etc.) opening in 2023-24. The King County Metro Transit offers a decent bus system. Note also Seattle’s famed weather — in winter, there can countless days of chilly, rainy, overcast. This gives way to spectacular summers, with consistent sun and mild temperatures.