Seattle WA – Harbor Ave, city viewpoint


What? :

Seattle skyline view as it seen from Harbor Ave waterfront across Elliott Bay.


Where? :

Harbor Ave. SW is located along the bay front in the West Seattle neighborhood.

When roads are clear, it is about 15 minutes’ drive from Seattle downtown to the other side of the bay. The time it will take you depends on where you are exactly in downtown and the Seattle traffic, that can be slow at working rush hours.

You need to take I5 south or use highway 99 south.

Take West Seattle Bridge to SW Spokane St. Take the exit toward Harbor Ave/Avalon Way from West Seattle Bridge.

Turn right into Harbor Ave SW., here you will drive along the bay-front, and you can find several locations to stop.

Google Map Link



When? :

This viewpoint along the road is open year-round all day long.


Due note 1: If you are here, you can also visit the nearby Hamilton Viewpoint public park.


Due note 2: I visit here twice at night, and I was feeling safe to walk here alone. There are few restaurants and traffic of people that want to enjoy the view.


Due note 3: The most convenient way to get here is by car, about 15 minutes’ drive from downtown, but you can also take a water taxi and arrive to the local terminal.



My thoughts:

I visit here several times, mainly to take some night pictures of the city skyline.

I probably want to visit here also before sunset and to check the view from Jack Block Park.



The visit:

The city view from across the bay is not as close as from other viewing points so you probably need a binocular or a zoom camera if you want to see it up close.

There are many viewing locations along the road, and I recommend checking them as you drive on Harbor Ave. find open parking spots and check if the view to the city is open.

Sometimes there are large boats in the middle of the bay that can hide the city view, keep driving until you can see open view.

If you have time, you can also take a stroll along the shore pathway north of the water taxi landing and around to Alki Beach Pier or even head to Alki Beach further to the left (you do not have city view from the beach itself).


A very short drive-up California Way SW will lead you to Hamilton Park viewpoint.

Hamilton Park is located on the hill, so the view is more open.

The small parking lot is right at the viewing platform, so you do not need to leave your car alone.

There is not much more than a parking lot and a viewing platform, short stop, enjoy the view and move one to your next destination.



A nearby park that offer city view is Jack Block Park, situated on the northwest corner of the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5.

I never visit here but I saw that the park offers public beach access, a trail short leading to the waterfront and the 45-foot observation tower. Park hours are dawn to dusk so you can’t visit here at night.




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