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Editor's Expeditions - Olympic Sculpture Park

  • Written by Kristen Hamilton, Editor

There are many explorations that you must plan a full day around while others can be enjoyed even if you only have a few hours to spare.  A great example of this would be an afternoon lunch date at the Olympic Sculpture Park in downtown Seattle that I experienced recently.  This short getaway fit the bill perfectly on a day in which I did not have all day to spare. What a treat this place is for the city!

The park is nine acres and includes about 20 sculptures that are situated along paths that lead to the water.  Views of Puget Sound can be seen from every angle of the park and remind me of why we moved to the area…water.

I can’t think of anyone that likes traffic so I suggest heading over about 10 a.m. to avoid the rush.  From Woodinville, it’s about a 30-minute drive.  Parking is available in a lot at the park or on the surrounding streets.  Be sure to stop by the Olympic Sculpture Park visitor information booth and pick up a walking tour brochure/map when you arrive.
There are many spots to sit and enjoy the views along the paths.  You can pick up lunch at Taste Café located at the Pavilion plus there are many restaurants nearby on Pier 70. Have even less time to spare?  Pack a lunch like we did, find a spot to sit, and enjoy the views.

Olympic Sculpture Park is located downtown at 2901 Western Avenue in Seattle.  The park is open and FREE to the public 365 days a year.  Hours daily: Opens 30 minutes prior to sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset. 

Following our lunch, we looped around and crossed Elliott Avenue as we went back to the car.  While walking, we discovered the extremely unique Neukom Vivarium.  The Vivarium is a hybrid work of sculpture, architecture, environmental education and horticulture that connects art and science. It features a 60-foot-long "nurse log" in an 80-foot-long custom-designed greenhouse. This must be seen to be believed!

Set on a slab under the glass roof of the greenhouse, the log has been removed from the forest ecosystem and now inhabits an art system. Its ongoing decay and renewal represent nature as a complex system of cycles and processes. You are able to observe life forms within the log using magnifying glasses.  The docent that was on duty was very helpful and really did a great job of explaining the art installation.  

For more information on the park, please visit www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/olympic-sculpture-park.

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