Madison Park

Madison Park


Madison Park, the beach and the neighborhood that surround it, retain the cute seaside village feel of its resort roots. On the shore of Lake Washington, the eastern edge of central Seattle, the park has a sandy, life-guarded swimming area and a large grass area for taking in the sun and having a picnic. Sunbathers are treated to a view of the sapphire blue expanse of lake, dotted by pleasure boats and punctuated by bridges, looking east to the suburb of Bellevue. As the closest swim-able beach many of the most densely populated areas of Seattle, Madison Park carries an air of see-and-be-seen with its beachfront attitude. During the week, families with children are the most likely candidates for a spot here, but come the weekends, you’ll find it packed with the young adult crowd.

Madison Street itself comes to an end at Madison Park, the first street to run directly from salt-waterfront to lake-waterfront in Seattle. Here, for many years, ran the cable cars and later a variety of ferries from the dock that still sits at the north end of the beach. Now you’re more likely to arrive via car, over the 520 floating bridge that crosses the water just north of the park. Madison Park’s history remains evident in its adorable architecture and small town feel. When crowds spill out from the park, you’ll find them patronizing the local ice cream shop, Scoop du Jour, or the many small, independent restaurants that dot the area with outdoor patios and delicious food.

If the sun peeks out in Seattle, as it does often in the summer months, Madison Park’s beach will immediately be filled with sunshine-deprived Seattleites, desperate to get their fill of vitamin D. That does not mean that the area goes lonely the rest of the year, though. Across the street from the shoreline is the rest of the park—in fact, the original park prior to the building of the ship canal in 1917, which lowered the water level. Large grass playfields invite sports of various kinds, while play structures dot the grass for children of all ages.




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