One of my favorite aspects of living in the Seattle area is all of the different experiences you are surrounded with. 

The Green Lake neighborhood is just north of downtown Seattle. A quick 15-minute drive will take you away from the high rises and bring you to this low-key neighborhood built around the lake it’s named after. If you’re looking for a way to spend your day, here are some of the many attractions of the Green Lake neighborhood. 

interior of retreat cafe in green lake

Every Good Day Starts with Coffee

If you’re in Seattle and don’t start your day with coffee, are you even in Seattle? While there’s a place to get coffee on every corner in this city, I personally recommend stopping by Retreat to fuel up for your adventure. Not a coffee drinker? No problem! They have an extensive menu of coffees, teas, wellness drinks, smoothies, and cocktails!

Don’t forget to get a snack as well. I can personally attest to the deliciousness of their veggie toast.  And, if it happens to be a dreary, wet, winter day like when I visited, the ambiance full of bright lighting and house plants will instantly lift your mood!

food at retreat cafe in green lake
outside retreat cafe in green lake
egg breakfast at retreat cafe

Spend Some Time in Green Lake Park

You can’t visit the Green Lake neighborhood without visiting Green Lake! There’s a paved trail that runs the circumference of the lake. At 2.8 miles roundtrip it’s a great place to go for a run, ride your bike, or take your four-legged friend for a walk. It also has two swimming beaches open in the summer months. Fun fact: dredging of the lake has uncovered volcanic ash from an eruption 6,700 years ago!

winter at green lake park
green lake park loop trail

Woodland Park

Woodland Park sits on the south end of Green Lake. Here you’ll find an off-leash area for your pup to stretch their legs. It’s also home to a rose garden that was established in 1922. It’s one of only two dozen certified American Rose Test Gardens in the US. Walking through the rose garden from May to August gives you the opportunity to see new hybrids of roses blooming.

See a Show

Nestled on the banks of Green Lake in the old bathhouse is the Seattle Public Theater, a non-profit that promotes inclusivity and engaging the public with new ideas and people. For information on their upcoming shows and how to buy tickets, go to their website. 

seattle public theater at green lake

Stop by the Zoo!

The Green Lake neighborhood is home to some exotic creatures. If you’ve got an animal lover in your life a trip to the Woodland Park Zoo a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Walk through their different exhibits, including Tropical Asia, Northern Trail, African Savanna, and more! The zoo is actively participating in a number of different conservation projects. Their Living Northwest program facilitates projects focused on the native raptors, turtles, butterflies and carnivores, and the shrub-steppe, wetlands and forest habitats they depend on to survive in the Pacific Northwest. For more information on hours and admissions, check out their website. 

vanilla brownie pop at seattle pops

A Sweet Treat to End the Day

While not technically in the Green Lake neighborhood, I couldn’t resist adding this popsicle shop to the list. Right outside Green Lake is another pop of color, Seattle Pops, a family-owned and operated popsicle shop!

With a revolving menu of delicious flavors, there will be something everyone in the family will love! Plus, their focus on local ingredients means you’ll not only be getting a taste of the Pacific Northwest but also supporting the locals! Don’t be afraid to make it your own, either. I devoured a vanilla brownie pop dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with graham crackers!

Featured image: Brandon Fralic. All other photos by the author.