When the sun comes out, Seattle’s outdoor-oriented culture shines, which means that adventurous activities, many within city limits, are bountiful. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy the unique mix of urban adventure Seattle has to offer:
Seattle is bordered by a whole lot of water, which makes touring one of the many waterways a unique way to enjoy the sights. There are numerous self-guided trip options and rentals available — don’t worry, sea kayaking is easy enough for a beginner to comfortably head out without a guide — including paddling from Portage Bay to the Arboretum, Lake Washington or Lake Union. A trip through Portage Bay to check out houseboats, yacht clubs and a little nature will take about an hour. Heading farther out to the other locations can take two hours or more. Try packing a lunch for a picnic at Madison Park Beach on Lake Washington. Guided tours, including sunset and full moon paddles, are also available. Some of the outfitters that can get people started on a kayaking adventure include Evergreen Escapes, Ballard Kayak and Alki Kayak Tours. For those looking for an even bigger water adventure, places such as the Center for Wooden Boats, Electric Boat Co., Adventuress, and Mallory Todd can get people sailing, yachting and virtually everything in between that involves boating.
Prefer to stay dry? Bicycling opportunities are numerous, especially in the South Lake Union neighborhood. In addition to friendly streets lined with restaurants and shops, the area offers a new recreational trail that provides sweeping views of the lake and some good, old-fashioned exercise. The Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop is a six-mile path that loops around Lake Union. The trail includes interpretive signs that celebrate Seattle’s maritime, industrial, Native American and natural histories. There are plenty of nearby restaurants to grab a snack. Seattle Cycling Tours offers guided bicycle tours of the city and provides the bikes, helmets and the local knowledge. Also check out The Bicycle Repair Shop and Eagle Rider motorcycle tours.
For a more leisurely ride, take a cruiser out along Alki Beach, in West Seattle. Alki Kayak Tours rents beach cruiser bicycles for the 3.5-mile cruise up and down the Alki Beach Trail, which follows the shoreline of Elliott Bay. Just south of the trail is the Alki Point Lighthouse, a nearly century-old landmark that is still in operation today. It’s easily accessible by bike, but the lighthouse grounds and tours are only open to the public on weekends from June to August. Alki Kayak Tours also rents quad roller skates, inline skates and longboards, offering alternative sets of wheels to explore the Alki Beach Trail on. If you prefer to see Alki Beach from the water Alki Kayak Tours offers stand up paddleboard rentals and of course kayak rentals (and classes). If you would rather have some guidance, Alki Kayak Tours features seasonal tours including their Alki Lighthouse Tour, Seattle Sunset Sea Kayak Tour, Duwamish River Tour, Elliott Bay Sea Kayak Tour and Blake Island Overnight Tour.
Of course, if the idea of biking is great except the actual pedaling part, downtown Seattle is home to a few pedi-cab companies. Hop in and let someone with steel legs take you around the city in an environmentally friendly manner for just a few bucks. There are also scooter rentals available along the Waterfront.