Seattle has no shortage of trails but the arboretum is unique in that it runs just under 520, a major interstate. Despite this proximity to roadways, the arboretum is a serious stress-reducer. Just spending one hour here helps my mood shift from harried to calm.
My favorite part of the arboretum is Foster Island- a beautiful walkway that attracts everyone from serious joggers to grandparents. There are many different views from the island- you can even see the brand-new UW football stadium from one vantage point. Kayakers come by throughout the day, as the calm waters of Lake Washington make for good paddling.
I come here in the late afternoon or evening, when the sun is setting as the entire area is bathed in a beautiful golden shade. Even in the fall or winter, the arboretum is a wonderful place to explore local nature- the leaves on the trees turn from green to red, orange, and yellow.