Waterfall Garden Park in Pioneer Square
When you walk along 2nd Avenue South in Seattle, the sounds are typical for a big city. There’s traffic, construction, and all sorts of congestion. But there’s another sound that isn’t typically heard downtown: rushing water. That’s all thanks to Waterfall Garden Park.
Waterfall Garden Park is a well-maintained, “pocket park” (only 60 x 80 feet) in Pioneer Square (219 2nd Ave S). To make up for its lack of size, there’s a 22-foot waterfall that gushes inside the park. The waterfall is really moving. It pumps, filters and recirculates 5,000 gallons of water per minute. To help make the waterfall feel authentic, they used granite boulders from a nearby mountain.
On top of the featured waterfall, Waterfall Garden Park also has several little tables and chairs spread across two terraces. There are also plenty of plants and flowers inside the park, including Japanese maples, azaleas, and several other seasonal blossoms. It’s a pretty serene setting, especially for a park that’s right in Pioneer Square.
I saw several people taking advantage of the Waterfall Garden Park when I was there. They were reading books, having lunch with friends, and just simply relaxing. On Yelp, visitors have described Waterfall Garden Park as their “favorite spot in Seattle” and a “hidden gem.”
Waterfall Garden Park can actually be enjoyed throughout the year. The upper terrace is covered by a trellis roof and there are apparently heating elements built into the trellis arches to warm the area below. The lower terrace is unprotected from the elements, making it ideal for anyone trying to enjoy a sunny day. The best part — Waterfall Garden Park is always free and open to the public (open daily from 8am-5:45pm).
Waterfall Garden Park is also a historical location. It sits where the United Parcel Service started in 1907. That’s right…UPS started right here in Seattle (although it was originally known as the American Messenger Company). I honestly didn’t know that about Waterfall Garden Park until I recently started researching it. There’s even a plaque on the park wall commemorating the 100th anniversary of UPS.
NOTE: Also known as Waterfall Garden and UPS Park, Waterfall Garden Park is not an official Seattle park. The park was paid for by the Annie E. Casey Foundation (Annie E. Casey was the wife of UPS founder Jim Casey) in honor of all the men and women of UPS. The foundation has maintained Waterfall Garden Park since its completion in 1978.
There are several places to escape the hustle and bustle of city life in Seattle, but you might have to go out of your way to find them. That’s not the case with Waterfall Garden Park. Located near the heart of downtown, it’s a convenient escape for many city dwellers (and everyone else who wants to visit).
Have you ever stopped by Waterfall Garden Park? How was your experience? We’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more awesome places to experience in the Emerald City.