While it is still very much an urban university campus, the University of Washington Seattle campus (there are locations in Bothell and Tacoma, as well as many smaller locations in the state) just north of downtown Seattle does offer some activities of interest to the traveler. Many parts of the campus are very attractive in their landscaping, and there is what appears to be a small community garden area on the south side of campus.
A beautiful fountain and grass commons area are aimed at Mount Rainier, and provide a very attractive setting for studies and recreation for students. This part of the school is really more like a park than a university campus.
Bike trails and walking paths are all over campus, and there are at least a few pedestrian bridges over some of the more busy streets. Some of the main bike paths are quite wide, and provide good (though sometimes crowded) biking location.
There are also the usual crazyness that one can expect on a university campus, such as odd artwork placed in common areas.
Getting to the campus from downtown Seattle is fairly easy. I suggest using public transport, such as bus routes 70 or parallel routes. Bus route 44 goes between the Ballard Locks area, the Ballard downtown area, and the University district.
Currently showing on the UW web site is a "photo gallery" that opens with video footage of a flyover of the campus wetlands area.
One last tip: if you want to sound like a local, refer to the University of Washington as the "U-Dub".
The Union Bay Natural Area and East Montlake Park are also part of the University Campus, and yet are attractions in their own right as well. These are urban natural areas that are located near the Campus.
UW in summer is a giant, beautiful park. Interesting architecture, lush grounds with forests and gardens and outdoor art, interesting people, and not the least bit crowded. Parking on roads along the university are free after 6pm, which happens to be a great time for walking. I recommend going on a weekend. The library is stunning - be sure to go upstairs and explore - the study room is magical.
I was lucky enough to get an inside tour of Microsoft's Redmond, WA campus. While the inner offices don't appear much different than any other corporation, I was most impressed with this pop machine - what a selection!!!
In case you're not aware, anything with caffeine is the chosen elixir of most programmers! :-)
University of Washington Campus
A beautiful university campus situated between Lake Union and Lake Washington, just north of downtown. Well worth the visit! This is a the view of Lake Washington and the Cascade Range from my dorm room in McMahon Hall-spectacular! Check the travelogue for some pictures of the campus...