Saint Edward State Park has always been a great place to visit, with its Lake Washington access, miles of hiking trails and (in the past) slightly creepy but intriguing old, former monastery.
Now the former monastery is an upscale hotel, so the creepiness is gone and the intrigue is replaced by a beautiful space that celebrates its interesting history.
Oh, and did we mention the playground?
That alone makes this Kenmore park a great destination for some playtime and a change of scenery.
St. Edward State Park: what to see
But if you go, you’ve got to at least take a few walks around the property and take a peek inside the building. Here’s the scoop:
The 326-acre park has 3,000 feet of Lake Washington shoreline, ballfields, great picnic spots and miles of trails, popular for both hiking and mountain biking.
Not to be missed: an old orchard and a river-rock alcove called The Grotto (which can be rented for events, above) and a sprawling play structure built thanks to community funding.
There are both indoor restrooms and porta-potties near the playground.
The seminary itself, which was a school from 1931-1976, has been remodeled into The Lodge at St. Edward Park, and it showcases the building’s history with lots of historic photos and a self-guided tour accessed via phone. There’s also a lot of art and a small gift shop.
What there isn’t (but could be): a place to stop in for a cup of coffee, snack or treat. The Lodge has a sit-down restaurant and two bars, but a coffee counter or snack bar would be a great addition. (Hint, hint.)
Saint Edward also is on Agents of Discovery, a free educational mobile gaming app.