Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Eve from Kerry Park!

2010 ended on a high note for me. I finally visited a park that has been on my list for the last several years - Kerry Park. Wow! There is a reason for it's popularity. Actually, I should say reasons - plural.

Kerry Park is one of, if not the, supreme view of the city skyline that Seattle has to offer, and includes the bonus of Mount Rainier off on the horizon. The visual is magical.

Access to the park was pretty straight forward and easy, even on such a day as New Year's Eve. It is certainly a popular spot, but as with many tourist locations, people come and people go. Too crowded for you? Wait 10-15 minutes.

Actually, the people were a large part of the experience for me. They were from all parts of the country, and the world. The entourage of guests came on foot, on bikes, personal vehicles, small tour buses, and even stretch limos. And everyone I talked to were inebriated from the views and enjoying the moment.

It was fun sharing stories with people from Georgia, while offering to take pictures of a family from South Carolina. The spirit was festive!

Kerry Park is not very large. In fact, the "park" is mostly down below viewpoint, and requires a steep descent to visit. Kerry Park as photographers know it is more of a paved viewpoint, roughly 100 feet long. The best vantage if from the far west (right) end near the steps that descend to the play area and basketball court.

I saw very few photographers during my visit. Much fewer than expected, anyway. And I could count the professionals on a single hand.

I recommend arriving at Kerry Park about an hour (or slightly more) before sunset. Not so much for the potential crowds (and it will help), but for some of the best lighting. I found the vantage from Kerry Park best while Mount Rainier and the foreground still had some light on them, and then well after sunset when the city lights transformed the setting.

The scene becomes much different after dark, both through the lens and the number of people standing around you. The city lights change the setting from one of stretching panorama under a pink hue of the evening sunset to one of festive nightlife. Both are quite intoxicating. It's a scene that is hard to pull away from. But as the skies grow darker, you realize the best images to be had are already on your flash card and it is time to move on.

A visit to Kerry Park at sunset should be a must on every visitor's list. I strongly recommend it.

The park is located on Queen Anne hill, just west of Queen Anne Ave.

There are other magnificent places to view the city as well, including Alki Point and other vantages from West Seattle. Make sure you check them all out!

Next, I will share yet another new vantage of the city that I found quite impressive. Stay tuned!


  1. What is the best time to visit Kerry Park on new year eve? I don't want to stuck in the traffic but i can wait there in the park. I have heard that parking lot is not big, only manages 12 cars. Where can i find the parking on new year eve?

  2. Adeel, I am seeing your post a little late, but I will respond anyway in case it helps for next year.

    I have not visited Kerry Park on New Year's Eve. I would definitely arrive several hours early (8:00?). Parking is available along nearby residential streets, but you will likely be competing against many New Year's Eve parties on top of the obvious fireworks draw. Did I mention to arrive early?

    If you visited Kerry Park, I would be very interested to read about your experience. Please leave a comment!

  3. Thanks for giving such a nice information about the celebration of Seattle New Year'sEve 2014. It's such a memorable day for everyone to welcome New Year 2014.

  4. This is the time to plan out a great upcoming year and an amazing way to say
    GoodBye 2016 Hello 2017