Things to Do in Kirkland Washington

20 Best Things to Do in Kirkland, Washington

Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by Kelly

The city of Kirkland is located right along the shores of Lake Washington. As a Seattle suburb, Kirkland is easy to reach from both Seattle and Bellevue. Kirkland is known for its many waterfront parks and trendy restaurants. We visit Kirkland frequently, and today we’re sharing our list of the best things to do in Kirkland

If you’re in a hurry, my personal favorite place to visit in Kirkland is Juanita Beach Park. The paved walkway over the lake is such a unique experience!

My favorite place to visit near Kirkland is St. Edward State Park. The trail through the forest and down to the water is so pretty!

Things to Do in Kirkland

1. Juanita Beach Park

Juanita Beach Park in Kirkland, Washington

Juanita Beach Park is hands down one of the best parks in Kirkland. Juanita Beach Park has 1,000 feet of shoreline on Lake Washington, bathhouses with restrooms, picnic shelters, and lots of play structures. It also has sand volleyball courts, tennis courts, horseshoe rings, and ball fields. We also saw rentals for stand up paddle board, kayaks, and life vests.

My favorite part about Juanita Beach Park is the paved walkway that makes a loop over the water. It’s a unique experience getting to take a stroll right over Lake Washington! 

There’s a large parking lot adjacent to Juanita Beach Park with 4-hour parking. We had no trouble finding parking on a spring weekend. If you visit the park on a weekend during the summer, you might need to be patient with parking.

On the north end of the park, you’ll also see a sign for Juanita Creek. There’s a trail that will take you over the creek and through some wetlands. 

Juanita Beach Park is well-cared for and is the perfect place to spend a sunny day.

2. Juanita Bay Park

Juanita Bay Park in Kirkland

Just south of Juanita Beach Park is Juanita Bay Park. This park is a little more wild and rough around the edges. This wildlife habitat is the perfect place to go birdwatching. There’s a lovely boardwalk that goes through the 110-acre park. On the first Sunday of each month, volunteer Park Rangers from the Eastside Audubon Society lead an Interpretative Tour of the park. Swimming and boating are prohibited in this area in order to protect the wetlands. 

3. Chainline Brewing Company

Chainline Brewing Company is the place to go for craft beers. They specialize in locally-made lagers and ales.

4. Waverly Beach Park

Waverly Beach Park in Kirkland

Waverly Beach Park has a swimming beach and a dock. Waverly Beach Park has a nice playground and picnic shelters as well. It’s the perfect place to visit on a warm summer day! When we last visited, we saw lots of kids playing in the sand and enjoying a party at the playground.

5. Flatstick Pub

Flatstick Pub in Kirkland

If you’re looking for a fun indoor activity, head over to Flatstick Pub. This pub has an indoor miniature golf course. Grab a pint and play a few rounds! This pub also hosts a weekly trivia night and bingo night. We visited Flatstick Pub recently and played 9 holes of miniature golf. They also had lots of board games available. It’s a great place to hang out with friends and play games.

6. Marina Park Pavilion

Marina Park in Kirkland

When I think of Kirkland, I think of the Marina Park Pavilion. It’s located right on the water and within walking distance of downtown. We almost always end up there at some point when we visit Kirkland. The park has a paved trail that is perfect for strolling, and during the summer this park is often used for concerts and other events. The Marina Park Pavillion is easily reached from downtown Kirkland.

7. Techcity Bowl 

Techcity Bowl has 32 lanes and cosmic bowling options too. It’s the perfect place to go during a rainy day in Kirkland.

8. Seaplane Tour

It’s not everyday you get the chance to ride a seaplane. This 20-minute seaplane tour departs from Carillon Point. You’ll get a completely different perspective of the Space Needle, Ballard Locks, and Lake Washington.

9. Kayak or Paddle Board

One of the best ways to experience Kirkland is to rent a kayak or stand up paddle board and hit the water. There’s a couple of companies that rent kayaks: Northwest Paddle Surfers and Woodmark Waterfront Adventures. (Open seasonally.)

10. Houghton Beach Park

Houghton Beach Park is within walking distance of downtown Kirkland. There’s plenty of grassy spaces with lake views. There’s also a swimming beach and a volleyball court.

11. Kirkland Performance Center

The Kirkland Performance Center hosts a variety of performances each month. Check their schedule to see what’s currently available.

12. Cross Kirkland Corridor

The Cross Kirkland Corridor is a 5.75 mile path for running and cycling. If you’re looking for exercise, this trail is 10 feet wide and very scenic. 

13. 132nd Square Park

The 132nd Square Park has a playground, picnic shelter, and ball fields. It also has a reflexology path that you can use as part of a walking meditation to massage your feet.

14. Carillon Point

Carillon Point in Kirkland

Carillon Point is located right on the water overlooking Lake Washington. There are several excellent restaurants at Carillon Point. My favorite restaurant at Carillon Point is Como, which is an Italian restaurant that makes handmade pasta for their dishes. You can also find kayak rentals at Carillon Point during the summer. We like to admire the boats in the marina and take a stroll on the dock.

15. Art Galleries

There are several fine art galleries in Kirkland. These include Ryan James Fine Arts, Parklane Gallery, and NYB Gallery.

16. Shopping

There are many boutique shops in downtown Kirkland. The store Alesia has lots of ethically-made jewelry and accessories, and the shop Clementine has beautiful home decor.

17. Heritage Park

Heritage Park in Kirkland

Another beautiful park in Kirkland is Heritage Park. The park is home to Heritage Hall, trails, tennis courts, and a large grassy field. We went for a walk through the park and enjoyed views of Lake Washington.

18. Park Lane

Park Lane in Kirkland

Park Lane is one of downtown Kirkland’s most beautiful shopping areas. Park Lane has been awarded as a Great Street in America by the American Planning Association. We like to grab gelato at Sirena Gelato and stroll through this area.

19. Pop Culture Champagne Bar

For a fun night out, head over to Pop Culture Champagne Bar. They have all sorts of fancy champagnes available for purchase. We recommend purchasing a champagne flight and tasting several!

20. Wine Tasting

If you’re looking for a wine bar, head to Melody Lynne Vineyard. You can enjoy their excellent wines and they are easily accessible downtown.





If you’re headed to Kirkland from Seattle, you’ll need to cross Lake Washington. You can choose either the 520 floating bridge (toll bridge), or you can take a slightly longer route by crossing the I-90 bridge. 

From Bellevue, you can reach Kirkland by heading north on Lake Washington Boulevard NE or I-405 N.

Try to avoid rush hour if you can, because traffic going in that direction can be pretty rough! 

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Hotels in Kirkland

There are so many beautiful places to stay in Kirkland! We’ll first share about our experience at the Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa, and then provide you with some other hotel recommendations as well. 

Our Experience at the Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa

When we decided to do a staycation in Kirkland, we were completely blown away by the luxury and location of the Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa.

We visited the hotel at the end of December. There was fresh snow on the ground and a crisp, clear view of Lake Washington. The holiday rush was over, and the hotel was very quiet. (We barely saw any other guests… it was such a quiet escape!)

Kirkland Washington Carillon Point
A beautiful sunrise in Kirkland… the mountains were glowing pink!

We booked the Lake Washington Suite, which had a large living space with windows facing the water, a large corner balcony, and a bedroom with a king bed and views of Carillon Point. The suite had a large bathroom with a jetted tub and overhead rain shower. The suite also came with terry cloth plush robes.

morning coffee with a view Woodmark Kirkland Washington Carillon Point
Morning coffee with a view!

Overall, we had a fantastic time staying at the Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa. We would highly recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a place to stay the night in Kirkland. 

Other Hotels in the Kirkland Area

In addition to the Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa, there are several other excellent choices for lodging in Kirkland. These include:

  • Heathman Hotel: The Heathman is a boutique hotel located in downtown Kirkland. This hotel was ranked as one of the Top 15 Pacific Northwest Hotels by Conde Nast. The rooms are large, modern, and full of amenities. When staying at this hotel, you can easily walk around downtown Kirkland and to Marina Park. We also stayed at this hotel recently, and we thought it was really walkable to all the main attractions in Kirkland.
  • Courtyard by Marriott Seattle Kirkland: This hotel is tucked further back in the city and isn’t within walking distance to the downtown area. However, it’s a little over a mile away from the very popular Juanita Beach. This hotel also has an indoor pool.


Activities Near Kirkland

One of the best things about Kirkland is its prime location! Major cities like Bellevue and Seattle are close by, as well as many outdoor recreational opportunities in the mountains.

St. Edward State Park
Me walking through St. Edward State Park

Here’s a few ideas of activities that are close to Kirkland:

  • St. Edward State Park: We visited St. Edward State Park recently for some urban hiking. The trails at St. Edward State Park did not disappoint! We felt like we completely left the city, yet we didn’t have to drive hours to get to the mountains. (We’ve also been wanting to visit the brand new lodge that was built there!)
  • Bellevue Botanical Garden: We’ve visited the Bellevue Botanical Gardens a few times. They have a beautiful Christmas light display in the winter. The last time we visited, we explored some of the trails on the edges of the park. We especially recommend that you visit the suspension bridge. We never knew there was one at this park and it’s a really cool photo spot.
  • Woodinville Wineries: One of our favorite weekend activities is to head to Woodinville and visit a new winery. There are dozens of wineries and tasting rooms in Woodinville, so we are constantly getting to try something new. Read all about our favorite wineries in Woodinville.
  • Bellevue Square Mall: This is the place to go shopping. The Bellevue Square Mall has high-end stores (like Tiffany’s and Tesla), as well as boutique shops.
Bellevue Botanical Gardens
The suspension bridge at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens


Kirkland, Washington, is a great place to visit for a variety of reasons. The city is located right on Lake Washington, so its numerous parks and beaches make it a great place to visit on a summer day. We hope this list of things to do in Kirkland helped you to plan your visit!

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Hi, I’m Kelly!

After studying abroad in Spain, I became passionate about international travel. Since then, I’ve traveled to 6 continents and 36 states within the United States. When I’m not travel blogging, you can find me hiking, reading books in Spanish, or playing cribbage. I hope my blog inspires you to see the world!