Rain isn’t the only water you’ll find in Seattle. With Lake Washington to the east, the Puget Sound to the west and Lake Union in the middle, the city is surrounded by the stuff.
If you’re looking for something special to do in the Emerald City, get some sea legs with these five different day trips.
Take a ferry
A trip to Seattle isn’t complete without the quintessential ferry ride. The city has a comprehensive ferry system running between surrounding ports, which is used as daily transportation for many residents of nearby islands. (There are even public and private ferries running to Vancouver Island and Victoria in British Columbia, Canada). One of the most popular routes is from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island where you can enjoy a leisurely brunch and browse the local boutiques. You can catch the boat from the Seattle Ferry Terminal at Pier 52 on Alaskan Way along the city’s waterfront. The ferry takes about 35 minutes and allows both walk-on passengers and drive-on vehicles.
Go on a cruise
Experience a different side of the city on a quick trip aboard Argosy Cruises, a local company running daily sightseeing and dinner cruises around the Seattle harbor. Tour the Ballard locks or visit Tillicum Village on Blake Island to learn about northwestern tribal cultures, complete with traditional totem poles, longhouse and a live show. There are also a number of themed and holiday tours including a murder mystery cruise and Christmas Ship Festival where tours follow a festive boat parade complete with carolers and lights, a truly unique way to spend the holidays.
Ride the Ducks
Ever ride a car that turns into a boat? Here’s your chance to see the city by land and sea with the Ride the Ducks tour. The 90-minute trip will take you through the city’s Fremont neighborhood, historical center, and downtown before plunging into Lake Union, home of the community of houseboats made famous by Sleepless in Seattle. Sure, the guides’ jokes may be on the cornier side, but where else can you ride a bus straight into the water? Yolo.
Rent a kayak
Several places throughout the city rent kayaks for you to paddle around the Puget Sound, Lake Washington and Lake Union at your own pace. On sunny days, a popular rental spot is Agua Verde Mexican restaurant near the University of Washington campus where you can grab a bite before heading into the water. Ballard Kayak also offers rentals along with kayak and paddleboard tours for beginners or those wanting a guide.
Sail into the sunset
See Seattle in style from the deck of a sailboat. Various companies offer short-term or long-term chartered sailing trips ranging from hour-long cruises to multi-day affairs around the city and/or region. Enjoy a romantic sunset sail or privately charter a boat for a once in a lifetime trip. Want to be your own skipper? Many companies also offer lessons.
So what will it be – brunch on Bainbridge? Cruising through the Puget Sound? Setting sail for parts unknown? No matter what you choose, a day on the water will be a unique opportunity to experience Seattle in a fun and memorable way. After all, the Mariners and Seahawks are called that for a reason.