This is the fourth post in my central Seattle Lake Washington parks series. For full info and a list of the parks see the introduction here.
Under I-90 Bridges
Unique View of I-90 Bridges
View of Bellevue, Cascades, and Mt. Baker
Hand Carry Boat Launch
South Day Street Park is located underneath the I-90 Bridge structures and offers a unique perspective for photographers.
It’s worth noting though that currently transit construction is being done on one of the bridges, so you don’t get the usual full choice of compositions if you want to avoid the clutter of containers and such in your images. I’m not sure how long the project is supposed to last, but at least another year or two I think.
The parking lot is entered at its south end from Lakeside Avenue. The entrance can be tricky to see so slow down when approaching, especially if coming from the south. The lot is one-way with entrance at the south end and exit at the north end. (Though I have to admit that I cheated and entered through the exit one time when I missed the entrance.)
You can back into a parking space and enjoy a decent view of the lake from your car here, but it’s not nearly as good as the car view at Madrona.
The park is on a short slope, but a view bench is located right in front of the parking lot for those who don’t want to or are unable to go down to the water.
There are two ways to get down to the lake. Close to the bridge supports is a paved path with stairs that go directly down. For those who can’t do stairs, a more gradual paved path starts near the north end of the parking lot and leads down to the water.
At the lake is a deck that sticks out over the water for enjoying the view and fishing. There is one bench on the platform and you can see Mt. Baker from here on a clear day. This is also a good spot for watching ducks, especially from late fall through early spring. There were quite a few buffleheads (one of my favorites) swimming around when I was here in February.
South of the lake platform is a small beach that stretches back under the bridges and is good for launching small watercraft and wading. Though you might want to wear water shoes since there are a lot of pebbles.
South Day Street is a neat little park and certainly worth a stop if you find yourself in the area. This is a good park to add to your list of obscure Seattle viewpoints to show off to friends or visiting family.
Things to Know
6 am to 10 pm
One bench next to parking lot.
One bench on lake deck.
No picnic tables.
Public bathrooms are available at Madrona Park a ways to the north or Mt. Baker Park a ways to the south.
The lot is one-way with the entrance at the south end and exit at the north end.
Space for approx. 10-15 cars.
The lot can occasionally fill up, but most of the time there’s no trouble getting a space, even on summer weekends.
South Day Street Park is primarily used by locals, but a mix of sightseers and photographers find their way here as well.
Usage varies a lot. It’s not unusual to have the place to yourself, especially in the cooler months. But don’t be surprised if you arrive to find several others present, especially on clear sunny days. When I was here on a Sunday in June a family of five was set up for an afternoon of fishing.
The majority of people don’t stay long, either wandering through while out on a walk or just dropping by for a few minutes to take photos or enjoy the view.
Other Lake Washington parks in the area.
4 thoughts on “South Day Street Park in Seattle”
You are amazing in your explorations! I had no idea about this viewpoint.
I didn’t know it existed until about 2 years ago myself! I stumbled over this one when studying a map for a different viewpoint higher up on the hill (which I haven’t been to yet).
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I should have said also, your maps and slide shows are really helpful. Even though I am a Seattle native, I have always lived in north Seattle and you have found many other Seattle-area spots which I never heard of!
Thank you! A large part of why I started this blog is because anxiety makes it difficult for me to go new places without much information, but it was impossible to find the details I was looking for. So I hope that the combination of description and photos give other people the information I’d wanted. Plus it gets me out of the house. 😀
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