Seattle Chinese Garden is one of the largest Chinese gardens outside of China. Their mission is to create a traditional Sichuan-style Chinese garden, the only one of its kind outside China.
The garden is a way to celebrate Seattle’s rich Chinese heritage, supporting future business and cultural relationship with China, and inspire global understanding by immersing visitors in the richness and beauty of Chinese culture.
The 4.6-acre garden is also a showcase for four elements that are customary to Chinese gardens: plants, stones, architecture, and water.
In the Seattle Chinese Garden, these elements interact to create a refuge from daily life and a vibrant center for education, community gathering, and Chinese culture. Chinese gardens are distinctive in their symbolic use of these elements to create a place of beauty, vibrant with flowing energy known as “qi” (chee), the universal energy.
Open year-round, the garden changes dramatically with each season. Seattle Chinese Garden, 6000 16th Ave. SW, Seattle WA 98106.
What to know before you visit Seattle Chinese Garden
- Open daily from dawn to dusk. (“Knowing the Spring Courtyard” is closed on Mondays.)
- No pets are allowed in the Chinese Garden.
- No admission fee, but a suggested donations of $5 is appreciated to support garden maintenance and cultural programs.
- Parking is $3, through the North Gate at South Seattle College (SSC).
- Comfortable walking shoes are recommended for the gravel paths.
When you arrive, stop in the Ticket Office to pick up a self-guided tour brochure and plant guide. All visitors are asked to sign-in so they have an accurate daily visitor count.
Bonus: South Seattle College Arboretum
After your visit, take another stroll through the adjacent South Seattle College Arboretum, which is also free to the public.
Often called “the best kept secret of West Seattle”, the 5-acre park sits on the edge of a bluff with stunning views of downtown Seattle, Elliott Bay, and the West Duwamish Greenbelt.
The Arboretum is a classroom as well as a garden, and an important part of the SSC Landscape Horticulture Program. It is used as a laboratory for courses in plant identification, arboriculture, pruning, irrigation, garden renovation, plant problem diagnostics, landscape management, and landscape construction courses.
Highlights of South Seattle College Arboretum
The Arboretum is a National Wildlife Federation Urban Wildlife Sanctuary and has been “pesticide-free” since 2008. Coenosium Rock Garden has one of the best collections of dwarf conifers in the United States.