While on a recent visit to Seattle, my partner and I hit the Washington weather jackpot for June: 65-degree mornings and 85 degree afternoons, without a single cloud in the sky. We decided to grab Thai food and head to Golden Gardens, which is a beachfront park located in northern Ballard.
“Hooray, beach day!” I said as we drove to the park.
“Well,” my partner replied, with that tone he often takes when he is about to be clever. “Beach day.” He pantomimed air quotes around “beach,” implying that Seattle beaches are not real beaches.
My partner is from Colorado (which, let me just point out, has zero beaches), and he grew up frequently visiting family in Hawaii, enjoying pristine white sand beaches and warm waters. I love him dearly, but he is a tiny bit of a beach snob.
“What are you saying?” I asked.
“I mean, is it even a real beach if it’s all rocky and doesn’t have any sand?”
I told him that he’d better change his attitude or I would eat all of the spring rolls and his pad thai (which I am totally capable of doing).
While driving to the park, we were able to check out some of the lovely homes in northern Ballard. Ballard is one of Seattle’s hottest neighborhoods, and the average cost of homes in this area is currently about $700,000. Check out this gorgeous home, or this one, which are both within walking of the park and feature stunning architecture and views.
Call us if you’d like to see these homes at #425-502-5397!
When we finally arrived at Golden Gardens, I was happy to rub it in my partner’s face when he discovered that its beach does, in fact, have sand–a luxurious stretch of soft golden sand. The snow-capped Olympics were in full view across the sparkling water. It was bliss.
We sat on a blanket and ate our Thai food (Thai Siam), so affordable, yummy, and just a few minutes away from the park by car), took a dip in the water, and enjoyed people-watching the Seattleites as they played frisbee, talked about crabbing, drank beer, and did whatever else Seattleites do on gorgeous summer days. This is one of the delightful things about Western Washington people–when the sun finally arrives, they soak it all up like dogs hanging out of car windows, huge grins on their faces.
While it’s hard to choose a favorite among the city’s many gorgeous parks and beaches, Golden Gardens Park is definitely one of the best summer spots in Seattle. Wealthy developer Harry W. Treat opened the park back in 1907. As for why it’s named Golden Gardens, this is somewhat of a mystery; the Ballard News Tribune reports that Harry Treat named it after his daughter Golden. (If this story is true, it means that Harry’s daughter was named Golden Treat!)
In addition to its sandy beaches (which are real beaches, thank you very much), the 87-acre park also offers a boat launch and a pier, picnic tables, wetlands, a short hike on a forest trail, and an off-leash area for dogs. Between 4pm and 10:30 pm, visitors are welcome to enjoy bonfires in the park’s designated firepits.