Many of the free things to do in and around Seattle are outdoor activities. Because of the incredible views and magnificent scenery in and around the area it makes perfect sense that several of these would be visiting the many state parks in the area.
Keep in mind that not all state parks are free to visit but below you will find information on some that are. If you are a lover of nature and the outdoors then this should really get your blood pumping. Remember to bring along all the fun equipment that makes the outdoors fun.
First of all there is Deception Pass State Park. This park has salt water, fresh water, camping, hiking, boating, spectacular views, and a few areas with playground equipment for the little ones. There are many activities available and appropriate for the island: hiking, horseback riding, boating, fishing, swimming, white water kayaking, diving, clamming, crabbing, bird watching, mountain biking, and simply viewing the wonderful scenery that nature provided.
Next, there is Fort Worden State Park. Fort Worden was originally used to guard the entry into Puget Sound. Fort Warden became a state park in 1955 and remains a popular park and convention center. Convention and camping facilities are opened on the park year round and there is plenty to do to keep guests busy, happy, and entertained. In addition to the traditional hiking, biking, diving, water skiing, swimming, boating, and animal watching, Fort Worden offers baseball, basketball, softball, and volleyball facilities. If that isn’t enough there is also a museum and incredible views that simply invite the photographer within to come out and play.
Fort Flagler State Park Fort Flagler, like Fort Worden originally guarded the entryway into the Puget Sound. Also like Fort Worden, Fort Flagler became a state park in 1955. Fort Flagler still has some of the original military structures that tell the proud history of this island. It is also surrounded on three sides by salt water. While there are many similarities between Fort Worden and Fort Flagler, the latter is only open for campers for part of the year. Day visitors are allowed year round, however. It is the stunning view of the Sound and the surrounding mountains, however that makes this park so spectacular. I hope you have the chance to visit.
Finally, there is Lime Kiln Point State Park. This park is a 36-acre park that is only for day use. The park is located on the western side of San Juan Island and is an excellent location from which to watch Orca whales from land. In addition to whale watching you can go hiking, tour the lighthouse, and enjoy viewing various other wildlife here as well. Diving is possible here but very dangerous as the currents are quite strong. The lighthouse here still serves as a navigational aid for ships in the Haro Strait. While this particular park offers less in way of amenities it remains my favorite simply because of the lighthouse and the possibility of seeing whales while visiting. The months of June and July are the best for whale watching but any time during the months of May throughout September, whale spotting remains a possibility.
While not everyone is interested in nature or experiencing the great outdoors, state parks such as these mentioned above make it much more enjoyable-especially when you consider the fact that there is no admission fees for visiting these parks. If you love the outdoors and nature as much as I do then you would probably have been more than willing to pay for the privilege of visiting any one if not each and every one of these parks. It is my sincerest hope that you will find something that is fun, frivolous, and most importantly free to do while you are on vacation. You know how the saying goes, “the best things in life are free”.