Next walk is
April 14, 2018 

Free City Walks around Seattle

Come walk with us. We are leading free fun and interesting urban nature walks in the greater Seattle area.

SAVE THE DATE. Our next walk is set for April 14, 2018 in the Central/Madrona/Leschi neighborhoods! Details coming soon. 

You can get all the details for our walks by subscribing in the box on the left side of this page. Share with your friends. They are free and fun!


Seven things to do outside this winter

Tundra Swans. © 2017 Curt Given/Given Photography

A Sweet Little Guide to Nature Me For You


A Simple Way to FEEL MORE JOY in your life

© Cary Given/Given Photography 2016



Journal Archive

Walk with us in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood on March 3, 2018 - completed and closed

Magnolia is an outstanding urban Seattle neighborhood perched on a peninsula above the Puget Sound with breathtaking Seattle skyline and Olympic Mountain views. 

It's situated on a peninsula more 


Walk with us in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood on January 20, 2018 - closed and completed

Don't let the gray Seattle skies keep you home. Come walk with us in Wallingford!

This Seattle neighborhood spans a sloped hill from Lake Union north to 60th street. We'll wander through the residential streets getting a good look at this in-demand Seattle neighborhood with its 1920 box homes and bungalows. 45th street is a hub of activity, lined wtih shops and restaurants... [read more]


Nature your spirit for the holiday season

Winterberry. © 2017 Curt Given/Given Photography

The razzle-dazzle of a lit up city with throngs of people during the holiday season always makes me feel all...well...sparkly. 

But put me in the woods or along a beach during the midst of the merriness and I'm instantly in a state of appreciation. And beauty. And joy. And serenity. I feel lighter and more beholding. 

I think it's the contrast that I like the most. The glittering, bustling city versus the serenity of nature. 

One is not better than the other, but the serenity of nature helps me find more joy in the razzle-dazzle. I breathe better, stay centered, keep it simple and feel the spirit of appreciation and love more often.

It's so wonderful to feel like I'm part of something bigger than me. And of course, to keep on sparkling.

Wishing all of you a sparkly holiday and a second wish for you to feel the splendor of nature during this holiday season.

Please join the conversation and share with us your great ideas about how you find the true spirit of the holidays! And if you feel so inclined, share this post with the button below. 


More posts you might like

Seven things to do outside this winter

Five gifts for the bird lover in your life

Five easy ways to practice gratitude in nature


Six simple ways to keep yourself centered on Thanksgiving

Aspen and Ponderosa Pine. © 2017 Curt Given/ Given Photography

Thanksgiving is my favorite celebration. Loving friends and family. The kind grocer. Our bountiful earth with its nourishing root vegetables. The delightful beauty of autumn at every turn. For me, all of this and more comes together to make a beautiful Thanksgiving celebration.   

But sometimes, amidst hectic preparations and a room full of guests, it can be challenging to feel centered enough to enjoy the day.  

Here are a few of my favorite nature-nurturing tips that will help you enjoy every moment. Try a couple of them. Before you know it, you'll feel centered enough to appreciate or at least tolerate even the most exasperating person! 

  1. Start your day with a ten minute gratitude walk. A walk is all you need to feel invigorated and excited about the day no matter how you are celebrating. Make it a gratitude walk and it will be even more powerful. If it's not doable on Thanksgiving, take a walk the day before.
  2. See the natural bounty of the season. Do some of your holiday shopping at a farmer's market or natural food store. The displays are fabulous and these are great places to pick up unique hostess gifts, organic root vegetables, or artisan foods. 
  3. Make room for play. Add an element of play to your day. Weather permitting, outside is best. Some of my friends t-day traditions include a game of tag football, signing up for the local food bank Turkey Trot, taking a short hike before the feast or a round of corn hole. Whatever you choose, bringing playfulness into the day will keep your vibe up all day!
  4. Stop and smell the herbs. If you are hosting, add herbs to your feast and fresh sprigs around your home and table. Smell them often for an instant moment of bliss. Rosemary, thyme, and sage are good choices. 
  5. Use a mantra and breathe. Focused breathing is a natural way to calm overwhelming or anxious feelings. Add a mantra to give this practice even more power. When things get a little crazy or overwhelming take three to four deep breaths and silently repeat the mantra, "It's okay. All is well." Might sound a little hokey, but I guarantee it works. It immediately gets you back on track and centered. This is good anytime you're feeling a little stressed or annoyed.
  6. Give yourself some head space. Start your day with a five minute meditation or just sit quietly without distractions for a few minutes. Find a a quiet place. Crack the window if you can. Light a naturally scented candle or incense. Lavender and jasmine are my favorites. Focus on your breath and feel the lovely stillness arise. This simple practice will set a positive tone to your day.

What are some of the ways that you keep yourself centered duiring a hectic celebration? Share your ideas with us! We would love to get your input. And if you are so inclined, please share this article with the button below.

Wishing all of you a bountiful Thanksgiving!


PICTURE IT WELL: creating space

The River Coe, Scotland. © 2017 Curt Given/Given PhotographyFall has a natural cleansing energy that makes it easy to clean out, clear out or let go of unwanted stuff. Both emotionally and physically. Are spaces in your house cluttered with old or unused stuff? How about unfinished summer projects that need to be dumped? What  do you keep doing to make others happy, but no longer resonates with you? You will be surprised at how simple actions like these go a long way toward creating space for the new to flow into your life in many ways. It's all connected! 

PICTURE IT WELL photos from symbolize some aspect of well-being. The brief text is meant to inspire you and demonstrate the uplifting power of nature.   


Find your path to joy

The mind body-connection 

Be the one who has moxie

A peaceful way

Letting go

See the abundance in your life

Dig into your roots

Play it up in the new year

Do one thing

Reflect for growth


Join us for an urban hike in Saint Edward State Park on October 14, 2017 - completed and closed

Copyright. beautifulwashington.comThis beautiful state park was the location of a seminary in the 1930s. Today it's an in-city state park that offers sprawling grounds in a natural setting of forested trails, open fields and a lakefront shoreline. The old seminary is no longer in use, but it's still standing strong, giving more


Dahlias in full bloom at Volunteer Park

Dahlia Garden, Volunteer Park

This is a beautiful Seattle park for fall walks, picnics and exploring. (A favorite for runners, too.) It's located in the Capital Hill neighborhood near 15th--a hip street lined with cool eateries, pubs and coffee houses, making it a perfect place for a morning Sunday walk, followed by brunch or coffee! Volunteer Park also has a wonderful conservatory. So go when you can, and savor every step as you explore this wonderful park.

Read Volunteer Park-a jewel in the midst. 

Dahlia, Volunteer Park


Beautiful mix of flowers bordering the conservatoryA peek inside the conservatoryWide open grounds, sidewalks and trails for walking


Here are all the details about our next walk in Woodland Park and Phinney Ridge neighborhood - September 16, 2017 

Rose Garden of Woodland Park

Phinney Ridge is a fun little neighborhood that climbs from the west side of Green Lake to the top of a ridge, then drops down toward the Puget Sound. Charming homes and curvy, sloped streets make up this Seattle neighborhood. You'll get peek-a-boo... read more


Join us for our next walk in the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood on September 16, 2017

Phinney Ridge, Seattle. ©
Our next urban nature walk is set for September 16. Come join us while we explore Phinney Ridge and its mix of shops, eateries, colorful homes and urban nature. It's located in one of Seattle's many sloped neighborhoods just above Green Lake.


To register for the walksign up here in five easy steps.

  1. Enter name
  2. Enter email
  3. Enter "Phinney Ridge" in the subject box
  4. Enter, "I'm in" or whatever message you want in the message box (form requires this) 
  5. Then hit the submit button.

Once you sign-up, we will send you a confirmation email a couple of days before the walk with final details of where to meet and parking options.

We'll post more details about the walk next week!


Join us for our Westlake neighborhood walk on August 19, 2017

Our next summer walk takes us along the western shore of Lake Union. This bustling area is all things boating with house boats, marine businesses and a variety of water craft. We'll walk from the Fremont bridge to Lake Union Park and back. And after, we'll lunch at the famous Red Door restaurant in Fremont--a super fun summer experience. Get all the details here. 

PICTURE IT WELL: find your path to joy

Anna's Hummingbird. © Curt Given/Given Photography 2017Nature offers all kinds of simple pleasures that can bring you much joy in an instant. You only need to be aware of your surroundings to experience it. Hummingbirds, for example, are symbolic of love and goodness. They remind us to seek out the good and beauty in life everyday. Next time a hummingbird crosses your path, stop for a moment, enjoy this tiny bird's beautiful colors and energy, then make its message your own.

PICTURE IT WELL photos from symbolize some aspect of well-being. The brief text is meant to inspire you and demonstrate the uplifting power of nature.  


Creating space

The mind body-connection 

Be the one who has moxie

A peaceful way

Letting go

See the abundance in your life

Dig into your roots

Play it up in the new year

Do one thing

Reflect for growth



Join us for our next walk in Carkeek park and the Broadview neighborhood on July 9, 2017 

Our next walk on July 9 explores the beautiful Carkeek Park and surrounding neighborhood located in north Seattle. We think you'll love this neighborhood and the beach makes it perfect for a summer walk. To sign-up click: Carkeek Park.


Looking for a scenic day hike or campground in the Pacific Northwest?

Are you looking for a beautiful place to explore this summer? Deception Pass State Park is a gorgeous setting with activities for every kind of outdoor enthusiast. And it's only a couple of hours north of Seattle.

It has a beautiful bay for kayaking, bluff trails, campgrounds, picnic shelters, sandy beaches, tide pools and a big fishing dock. In my view, its beauty is akin to many national parks. 

For all the details, read my article, Deception Pass: Explore, hike, camp & picnic


WALK THIS WAY - Join us for our next Seattle city walk through downtown Seattle -completed and closed

Come walk with us! We are leading free urban nature walks around Seattle. We've got a new walk planned for downtown Seattle on May 20, 201 - completed and closed


This urban nature walk takes us right through downtown Seattle. We'll start at Seattle's oldest park--Denny Park, walk on to the very urban Freeway park, head down to the Seattle waterfront, back up to Pike place, around through Belltown and finish in the newly developed area of South Lake Union. We think you'll love this super fun walk through the heart of the city.   

It's approximately a four mile loop walk. The terrain is asphalt with some stairs, so wear comfy walking shoes. Depending on our pace, allow two hours for the walk. 

Our intent for these walks is all about discovery and connection with nature in an urban setting. We want to show you how easy it is to incorporate nature into your everyday life. The exercise is an added perk!

Just so you know...these are interesting guided city walks, but not formally narrated walking tours. We explore right along with you.

Date and Time: Saturday, May 20, 2017. 10 am

Where: Downtown Seattle (Meet-up location and parking details to come with your confirmation email)

Optional: As always, if you like, after the walk, the fun continues when we gather at a nearby Seattle restaurant for refreshment and a little conversation. 

Here's what we experience when we walk:

  • fresh, fun and uplifting 
  • full of discovery and newness
  • an easy way to meet and connect with people
  • a nice blend of urban and nature 
  • a great way to get moving
  • a fun way to explore city neighborhoods


To register for the walksign up here in five easy steps.

  1. Enter name
  2. Enter email
  3. Enter "Downtown Seattle" in the subject box
  4. Enter, "I'm in" or whatever message you want in the message box (form requires this) 
  5. Then hit the submit button.

Once you sign-up, we will send you a confirmation email a couple of days before the walk with final details of where to meet and parking options.

Read seven ways to help you get more out of your wallk!


Becci and Tiffany


P.S. We have more urban walks coming--one each month, so to get updates, make sure you are subscribed to Nature Me. You can subscribe in the box to the left of this post! And please help us spread the word by sharing with the button below.


Road tripping along California's Eastern Sierra and a few tips to help you plan your own road trip

Road trips are a blast! From the planning stage to the last bend in the road, you will be continually inspired by all of the spontaneity and discovery that naturally happens when you travel by auto.

You are on the move discovering new places. Your curiosity is peaked. You feel really, really good.

One of my favorites was when we road-tripped down US 395, which parallels California's Eastern Sierra mountains. It's a remote area that offers fantastic views of these massive mountains. I was open-mouthed at their dramatic pinnacles, spires, ridges and peaks--all set against a brilliant blue sky.

And along the way, we explored lakes, canyons, pine forests, scenic drives, quirky towns and pretty trails. Really, a very cool little road trip.

Pictured above is Alabama Hills. It's an area where many old westerns were filmed. Giant boulders and twisting canyons offered perfect cover for shootouts between the good and bad guys.

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your own road trip! And just for fun, at the end of the post, I've added a few of my phone pics from our trip.

1. Plan ahead. Give yourself several hours to research and make your reservations. You don't have to do it all at once, but take the time to get everything arranged. The research is part of the fun and it will get you excited about what you are going to experience on your trip.

2. Pick a theme. As you research destinations, choose something that interests you. Examples might be wine tasting, coastal travel, fall colors, historical sites, regional areas, photography, or natural areas. Also, there are tons of scenic byways that make it easy to organize a trip.

3. Make it fit your schedule. For example, you can travel for seven to ten days and stay at 3 or four different places or take a long weekend loop-trip, stay in a different place each night, and do day-stops along the way. 

3. Be flexible on your accommodations. But know your limits. Some out-of-the-way places might have limited accommodation choices. Read the online reviews to help you determine if you want to stay there. You can usually get decent clean hotels. We recently stayed at a budget hotel in a remote area and although it was dated, it was clean, spacious, quiet and owned by a young couple who were willing to help us in any way. Their tips about the area expanded our travel in a lovely way. 

4. Take the details of your trip with you. This might seem obvious, but it's easy to think you have all of the details on your mobile phone, but that is not always the case. Include travel maps and info you've printed from the internet about what you want to see. Have the names, dates of stay, phone numbers, and cancellation policies of your accommodations. You might need a late arrival and/or change your itinerary mid-trip with still plenty of time to cancel a reservation and make a new one. Trust me, you will want these. 

5. Fill a cooler for roadside picnics. You can usually find a picnic area or do your own tailgating along the way! And you can do these pretty much year-round--even winter for hardy souls. Roadside picnics are especially good in remote areas, where restaurants are not abundant. Pack a bag with hand sanitizer, silverware, plates, napkins, cups, a small cutting board and knife, and big dish towels for makeshift tablecloths. Cheeses, smoked salmon, tinned tuna, apples, olives, crusty bread, garbanzo beans, hummus, crackers, cut veggies and nuts make wonderful roadside picnics and they last a long time in a cooler. And throw in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar for bread dunking. Always a yummy snack.

6. Bring a travel journal. Whether it's a short weekend jaunt or week-long road trip, journaling along the way will help make you a savvy and active traveler. You'll pay more attention. Your curiosity will grow naturally. Your experience will become a downright adventure as you open to new things and uncertainty. And you will delight in spontaneity. Never again will you be a ho-hum tourist waiting for things to happen. 

7. Take pictures. Taking photos on your trip is one of the easiest and satisfying ways to engage in your trip. Similar to travel journaling, you will become more interested and notice more things along the way. Suddenly the landscape you are viewing opens up into an entire new dimension. 


A few of my pics from our road trip...

Photo of the Alabama Hills recreation area...a very cool place to explore. It's run by the Bureau of Land Management, which has a nice little map showing where movies were filmed such as Tremors, and How the West was Won.


These unusual rock formations make up the Devil's Postpile National Monument that features basalt columnar shaped rocks. 


Giant boulders, domes and lakes make up a lot of the beautiful landscape in Yosemite National Park. The above three photos were taken in the eastern area of Tioga pass.  

Convict Lake is located in the Sherwin range of the Sierra Nevada. Its dramatic mountains, a paved path and good fishing make it popular destination.  


Now it's your turn. Do you have any favorite road trips or maybe some yet to do on your bucket list? Share with us in the comments section. Or join our Free Facebook Community and post your travel pics. We would love to see them and always, always need fresh ideas!

Happy road-tripping!