Enjoy the natural beauty of Seattle’s parks


Luckily the weather in May in Seattle is typically relatively mild with highs in the upper 60s and 70s (Fahrenheit). Perfect for taking a stroll through one of the many beautiful publicly accessible and free parks in the city.


Located literally right next to the Seattle Convention Center, over the I-5 freeway, is one of my favorites, Freeway Park — a nice little green space in the middle of urban downtown to eat lunch or meet up with friends outside during ARVO 2024. Check out various art instillations and brutalist architecture. This park is popular also among parkour and freerunning enthusiasts.


View of lake at Centennial Park, SeattleAbout a 30-minute walk from the Convention Center, through the Belltown neighborhood, is the Olympic Sculpture Park — another gorgeous urban park dotted with numerous huge sculptures you can view for free. This park continues northwest along the Elliott Bay waterfront to become Myrtle Edwards and then Centennial Park, with an accessibly paved walk path along the entire route.


Two tier metal sculpture at Kerry Park

A bit further out, and accessible by cheap public transportation or a quick Uber/Lyft are:

Kerry Park in Upper Queen Anne for amazing views of the Seattle skyline, Mount Rainier and Puget Sound

Discovery Park in Magnolia, the city’s largest park with over 500 acres to explore

Gas Works Park in Wallingford — a former gasification plant, this is where they filmed the paint ball scene in the movie “10 Things I Hate About You”. It has also a nice grassy area to sit by Lake Union.

Washington Park Arboretum — managed by the University of Washington, you can stroll across 230 acres of gardens, trees, and wetlands for free. The elegant Japanese Garden is also located here which you can visit for a $10 admission fee (view upcoming events in May)

Volunteer Park in Capitol Hill is another huge green space you can stroll through or have a picnic lunch. Don’t forget to climb up to the top of the water tower for free views of the neighborhood. At the park you can see a variety of plants and flowers at the Volunteer Park Conservatory — a botanical garden you can visit for only $6/$4 for students (admission is free first Thursday/Saturday of the month). Or check out the exceptional Seattle Asian Art Museum, one of my favorite art museums in the city — admission is just $14.99/$9.99 for students if you buy your tickets in advance online (prices increase $3 if you wait until the day of your visit to purchase).


Sathi Maiti, OD, FAAO

Sathi Maiti is vice president of clinical research at the Periman Eye Institute and a primary care optometrist in Seattle, Wash. She graduated from the UC Berkeley School of Optometry in 2014 where she studied endothelial cell traits as a NEI research trainee. A sub-investigator of a number of clinical trials related to dry eye and ocular surface disease, her research interests include demodex and cosmetics. Maiti sits on the editorial boards of Eyes on Eyecare and the Journal of Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Disease. She is a member of the Optometric Physicians of Washington’s Diversity, Inclusion, Access task force, volunteers as vision director of organizations Uplift Northwest and Seattle/King County Clinic, and mentors local high school students interested in eye care through Project InSight. Maiti was named one of Vision Monday’s most influential women in optical in 2021 and UCBSO’s “40 under 40” in 2023. She spends her free time crocheting, sewing, writing satire, playing with her dachshund-mix Kali, and sharing her love for all things eyeball related on her Instagram, @dr.maitiseyeballsandstuff.