Freeway Park in Seattle, WA
Freeway Park is an oasis in the middle of Downtown Seattle, WA. It’s a beautiful park that has been constructed for people to enjoy because it sits between two busy highways- I-5 and SR 99. The park is made up of five acres, making it easy for people to explore and take in all the beauty that it has to offer. Freeways are not always seen as destinations by travelers looking for somewhere to go or something interesting to do, but this park proves otherwise!
History of Freeway Park
Freeway Park was built in 1976 and is a public park located between the I-90 express lanes, which are part of the more comprehensive Interstate 90, also known as “the Big Dig,” due to its construction deep below ground level.
The freeway system connects Seattle with other cities eastward towards Canada or westward across Lake Washington via several bridges. Through downtown Seattle’s hilly terrain, it provides multiple routes for different vehicles, including cars, buses, motorcycles, and trucks.
Freeway Park is open 24 hours a day throughout the year except during major events where it may be closed temporarily. From specific points within this landscaped urban green space, one can view both Mount Rainier and Downtown Seattle skyscrapers at night Visitors might find many types of trees and vegetation, ponds, and waterfalls. The park’s design includes a wading pool for children, surrounded by an open plaza with ornamental lighting and historic artwork depicting the old-growth forest that once existed in Seattle before it was logged to create much of downtown Seattle.
In 2007, Freeway Park became listed on the National Register of Historic Places based on its cultural significance to Seattle’s history from 1976-1977. The park was designed by Lawrence Halprin, who worked closely with landscape architect Richard Haag during its construction.
The Canadian-based landscape architecture firm, Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg (PF+S), is currently the designer and manager of this five-acre park that includes seven ornamental ponds. Freeway Park attracts about one million visitors per year who enjoy it for relaxation and recreation and its unique design features, including a waterfall where I-90 express lanes pass overhead.
About the Freeway Park
The Freeway Park in Seattle, WA, is the only park built between two interstate highways.
This six-acre urban retreat was created through an innovative partnership between government and citizen groups that transformed a sunken freeway into a public green space. This project won awards for its creativity—the Federal Highway Administration has called it “a national example of how roadways can blend with open space.” It also revitalized downtown by encouraging new development along adjacent streets and providing unexpected vistas from underpasses previously walled off by highway traffic noise. The plantings are mature, making the site lush year-round with ferns, dogwoods, azaleas, cherry trees, cedar hedges, and wisteria. Dark caves, cascading waterfalls, and a winding creek provide respite from the bustle of downtown.
Situated between two downtown freeways and spanning six blocks of the city’s central business district, this park features fountains, art installations, and plenty of trees. There are also several food options nearby if you get hungry after exploring the area surrounding the park. If visiting during nice weather, it’s worth spending some time relaxing outdoors at one of our thoughtfully landscaped public spaces! The best part about parks like these is that they give people who live here an extra reason to spend time outside enjoying nature. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the park between the freeways.
What makes Freeway Park so unique?
Well, how about these excellent features:
Freeway Park is an unusual and unique public space built to soften the visual impact of five elevated lanes of Interstate-90. The park features an artificial waterfall, as well as native plants such as rhododendrons and evergreens. There are also large fountains for children to play in during the summer months. The park is an excellent place for outdoor events such as movies or festivals.
Freeway Park is a great place to stop and stretch your legs while traveling through Seattle. Freeway Park is also an art space with some kick-ass sculptures. Did you know that Freeway Park is also a Christmas light destination? The Seattle Center Winterfest takes place every year in December and features over one million twinkling lights!
There’s even free WiFi at Freeway Park if you need to take care of some business while enjoying nature. How awesome is that?!
Another cool feature of Freeway Park is the aforementioned “Waterfall Garden Walk,” which features a path that leads to an elevated platform. From here, you can take pictures of downtown Seattle as your backdrop. The park was made to represent the natural environment, which it does beautifully.
Lastly, Freeway Park is dog-friendly and has a few doggy stations where you can clean up after your furry friend. A must-visit in Seattle for anyone visiting the city or living there, Freeway Park will blow your mind away—and you’ll never want to leave!
Things to do in Freeway Park
- Wander around the park
- Check out the fountain
- Visit the Conservatory
- Enjoy a nice picnic lunch in the park
- Play at one of three playgrounds located within Freeway Park
- Take a nice walk across the park
- Lay in one of many lawns throughout Freeway Park
- Enjoy a pleasant stroll down East Jefferson Street
- Enjoy seeing fish swim under bridges that are above parts of the upper pond near I-90 road
Things not to do in Freeway Park
- Do not leave food or wrappers behind
- Do not leave your dog’s waste behind
- Do not feed any of the waterfowl in Freeway Park!
- Do not climb on the rocks
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times
- Do not litter in the water features
- Do not leave trash behind
- Do not feed birds, squirrels, etc., as it may cause damage to their health and can lead them to be aggressive towards others around you.
Freeway Park Directions:
Freeway Park is located in downtown Seattle between Interstate-90 and Interstate-695. To get to Freeway Park, there are signs for the park on both highways when you reach the downtown area of Seattle. There’s also street parking around, or nearby that can be used if you don’t want to pay at one of many garages around the city. The unique urban oasis has its history preserved throughout time—and it’s just minutes away from major hotels like The Westin Hotel, Spring Hill Suites by Marriott, Renaissance Hotel & Spa – Downtown Seattle, Courtyard By Marriott Bellevue/Downtown, and Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Tacoma.
Best Time to Visit the Freeway Park
The best time to visit Freeway Park would be weekdays in the late afternoon or early evening. It is a great place to relax and unwind. The park provides the perfect environment for family, friends, business associates, or even an individual on their own to walk around freely with no one bothering them.
If you’re looking for House Cleaning Service in Seattle, you can book with us!
Next Thing To Do in Seattle: