I have a list of must see places for out of town visitors. Volunteer Park is in my top 10. It's a hidden treasure amid grand, historical homes in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Although I'll be featuring the Volunteer Park Conservatory in this post, I want to start by giving you an overview of the park. (Click images to enlarge.)
The first thing you’ll notice about the park is how big it feels. There are expansive lawns for picnics, playing games and relaxing under shaded trees. You’ll see a cool view of the Space Needle and Olympic mountains through a sculpture by Isamu Noguchi called the Black Sun. It’s across from the Seattle Asian Art Museum, which is closed for renovations until 2019. There are trails for walking dogs, a huge playground for kids, tennis courts, an amphitheater and an old water tower with amazing views from the top. Right now, the dahlia garden is in full bloom and a lovely addition to the park.
The Volunteer Park Conservatory has a special place in my heart. It’s where my pre-wedding pictures where taken more than 28 years ago. It was built in 1912 in the style of the great Victorian conservatories in Europe. It contains five houses (sections) that represent plant life from different environments around the world.
The Palm House is full of orchids and anthuriums from Hawaii and Costa Rica. You'll see multicolored croton, tall banana and ginger plants from Asia, and many species of palms.
The Seasonal Display House is filled with colors and fragrances depending on the season. During the holidays, you'll find a decorated tree, poinsettias, peperomia and the Volunteer Park Express model train.
Personally, I love the Cactus House. It's full of succulents that are vibrant with flowering cacti in the spring. Not something you normally see in the Pacific Northwest.
I'm hoping Volunteer Park will make it on your must see list. The beautiful and tranquil atmosphere of the Conservatory beckons you to take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Don't forget your camera!
Volunteer Park Conservatory
1400 E. Galer Street
Open 10 am - 4 pm Tuesday through Sunday (Closed on Mondays)
Entry fee is $4
Hey, there. I'm Karen. Writer, photo enthusiast and urban lover. Sharing my favorite things to do in Seattle neighborhoods.