Kubota Garden, 9817 55th Ave. S., is a 20-acre peaceful refuge from urban Seattle life. Fujitaro Kubotu created this Japanese-style garden starting in the late 1920s, showcasing local Northwest plants. Fujitaro was a self-taught Seattle landscaper who, according to the Kubota Garden’s website, also landscaped and planted gardens at Seattle University and the Japanese Garden at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island. www.kubota.org
Jefferson Park, 4165 16th Ave. S., is located on top of Beacon Hill, close to Interstate 5. On a Sunday morning you’ll most likely find golfers getting a few holes in before brunch at the Jefferson Golf Course. The golf portion of the park consists of a driving range, a short-9 course and a full 18-hole golf course.
Jefferson also has play areas, basketball hoops, a community center and lawn bowling. The Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling Club has been operating the bowling green since 1945 and holds tournaments and offers lessons to those wishing to learn how to play.
The biggest of them all, Seward Park, sits on Bailey Peninsula, which jets out into Lake Washington. With support from the Olmsted Brothers, Seattle bought the park in 1911, naming it after William H. Seward, the U. S. secretary of state responsible for the purchase of Alaska in 1867. The park, 5895 Lake Washington Blvd. S., currently features 300 acres of forestland that is home to various wildlife, a 2.4-mile path for bicyclists and walkers, hiking trails galore, an amphitheater, a native-plant garden and an art studio. It also features the Seward Park Environmental & Audubon Center.
Other larger parks in Southeast Seattle include:
• Mount Baker Park, 2521 Lake Park Drive S. • Dearborn Park, 2919 S. Brandon St.
• Columbia Park, 4721 Rainier Ave. S.
• Judkins Park and Playfield, 2150
S. Norman St.
• Rainier Playfield, 3700 S. Alaska St.
• Genesee Park and Playfield, 4316
S. Genesee St.
• Lakeridge Park, Rainier Ave. S. and 68th St. S.
• Colman Park, 1800 Lake Washington Blvd. S.
• Beacon Hill Playground, 1902 13th Ave. S.
• Hutchinson Playground, South Norfolk Street and 59th Avenue S.