When you're sprawled comatose on the sofa after a surfeit of pie this Thanksgiving, and are wondering whether to watch yet another tedious football game, or continue your endless circular political argument with crazy Aunt Betty, remember that there is another option.
I love walking in Seattle's Discovery Park at this time of year. The sun is low and the shadows are long and enticing; the leafless tree branches spread like a web of lace against the sky, opening up the vistas down to the Sound; the Olympics are clad in their first snow of the season, and the sunsets happen at a reasonable hour, leaving you plenty of time to get in line for the Black Friday sales.
And it's not just your food baby which will benefit. Your real babies will obviously adore being outside building a driftwood shelter on one of the most child-friendly beaches in Seattle, and it will give them a chance to blow off some turkey-fueled steam. And who knows, maybe some cold, crisp air will freshen up Aunt Betty's political opinions, though maybe that is too much to ask.
Discovery Park has over 11 miles of trails but we like to take the circular hike from the North parking lot down the stairs of the newly restored North Beach trail to the far end of North Beach (this is steep, so might be a bit much for Aunt Betty) and then walk along the flat shore path to the lighthouse. After rounding the lighthouse point, we hit the South Beach for driftwood-related fun and then return to the North parking lot via the road. It's probably about three miles all told, and perfect to do with older kids.
The 534 acres of Discovery Park occupy most of the former Fort Lawton military base to form Seattle's largest city park. The park, on Magnolia Bluff, offers spectacular views of both the Cascades and Olympic Mountain ranges, as well as Mount Rainier and Mount Baker. The park has over two miles of protected tidal beaches and is the site of the incredibly photogenic Discovery Park lighthouse.