Generally speaking, open areas, spots along the waterfront, and school sports fields, generally a sure bet. In the South Puget Sound area, there is no dearth of great cloud-viewing spots. Thanks to our wide-open spaces around the Sound itself (and its inlets and estuaries), you get the drama of the skies above and of the water below. Trails through our mountainous landscape offers plenty of vistas (some with benches); high-altitude spots let you look up, out, and even down at the clouds.
The I-5 corridor and shopping mall parking lots make afford big views of the sky and clouds, though I wouldn’t recommend making a special trip in your car to cloudwatch in these places.
Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge A popular place for birdwatchers—fantastic for nearly 360-degree sky views (see photo above).
Law Enforcement Memorial and Switchback on Capitol Campus, Olympia. Lovely view north and northwest over Capitol Lake, downtown, Budd Inlet, Black Hills, and Olympics in the distance. Seating on marble railing and benches on the switchback.
Bill Frank, Jr. Trail, Olympia. Off Marine Dr. NE, Olympia. This is the recently renamed and expanded park that comprises the East Bay Trail and NorthPoint Park and trail along Budd Inlet (around Swantown, Olympia Area Rowing, the parking lot on top of former Cascadia Pole, and KGY-Radio, to Hearthfire Restaurant). Benches and picnic tables along the trial.
Priest Point Park, Olympia. Water front beach on Budd Inlet provides fabulous views from Capitol Dome to the south and Olympics to Northwest. Main entrance is directly off East Bay Drive NE; smaller parking area off East Bay Drive on Flora Vista Dr. NE provides shorter access trail to water.
West Bay Park, Olympia.Off West Bay Drive NW, Olympia. This City of Olympia park is great for expansive views east across West Bay, to the Capitol dome, Mt. Rainier and north to Olympics. Benches, picnic tables.
Overlook Point Park, Tumwater. Very small City of Tumwater park at the water tower with territorial view of Olympia and Mt. Rainier. Picnic tables. A great place to hunker down and watch the fog move. The park is at 1205 Barnes Boulevard SW (Barnes Blvd is also 7thAve. SW).
And then, there's your own back or front yard. You really don't need to travel to see great clouds. Eventually, they will all come to you. Like this one (these ones) that flew right over my house last week.
Send me a photo of/from your favorite cloud-viewing spots around the Pacific Northwest and I'll post them here. Thanks!