The Seattle Chinese Garden is a hidden gem located in South Seattle. It was built to commemorate the sister-city relationship established in 1983 between Seattle and the municipality of Chongqing in southwest-central China. This five-acre Sichuanese-style garden offers a number of unique features such as the Song Mei Pavilion, Knowing-the-Spring Courtyard, Chan Education Center, Luoyang Peony Garden, and a bamboo grove.
The garden was first conceived in the late 1980s, but construction was put on hold after Chinese troops forcibly suppressed pro-democracy demonstrators at Tiananmen Square in 1989. The Seattle Chinese Garden Society was established in 1997 and began raising funds to bring the full vision of the garden to life. Construction began in the early 2000s, and in May 2011 dignitaries from Seattle and Chongqing attended a grand opening ceremony at the garden.
The garden holds annual events for the community, such as a Peony Festival and Kite Festival. Visitors may book educational tours to learn more about Chinese architecture and the garden’s unique flora. The garden also offers beautiful views of downtown Seattle, Elliot Bay, and the Cascade Mountains.