Golden Gardens Park

089“I’ve been watching the Seattle weather for a couple of weeks. Does it ever not rain there?” This is a text I recently received from a good friend of mine who lives on the East Coast. What a ridiculous question, of course it stops raining here. We call it summer and it lasts for 2 ½ glorious months, beginning July 4th and ending sometime in mid-September.

Go ahead and snicker. Go ahead and laugh outright at the absurdity of 9 ½ months of relatively consecutive cloud cover and mist, with only occasional sun breaks. Come July 4th, us Seattleites are the ones who do the laughing.

Enjoy your humidity and temperatures reaching toward or passing 100 degrees. We’re relaxing in the dry breezes and mid 80’s temperatures that come during the daytime (lasting quite a long time, by the way, with sunsets coming past 9pm around the summer solstice) and then cools off enough in the evening to enjoy sitting around a fire or snuggling up cozily with your loved one to fight the oncoming chilliness.

164And what better place to take advantage of those glorious summer days and nights than Golden Gardens Park, located on the Puget Sound in Ballard?

Set up your chair or towel on the sandy beach. Dip your feet in the frigid Sound or dive in if you’re feeling extremely hot and brave – give it a minute once you get in and you’ll adjust to the cold water. Watch the boats, ships and ferries glide across the glistening water with the snow-capped Olympic Mountains as your picturesque backdrop.

Claim one of the permanent BBQs available. There’s also a fire-pit where Seattleites have a somewhat strange tradition of burning their old Christmas trees that they’ve saved and dried for months. We’re apparently easily amused here, but those suckers sure do burn up fast!

The park has a great playground for kids with structures to climb, slide and swing from. There’s a volleyball net set up in the sand, a little nature walk where you can see all sorts of wildlife and even a little snack shack to cure your thirst and munchies.

Enjoy the daytime activities, but be sure to catch one of Seattle’s amazing sunsets from this beach. Watch as the sun goes down behind the Olympic Mountains and marvel at the beautiful colors that abound.

Golden Gardens Park is located at 8498 Seaview Pl NW, 98117 in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. The park is open from 6am until 11:30pm every day. http://www.seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?ID=243

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