The Amazing Outdoors
The clean air and magnificent scenery ensure that there are always activities to get you outside. When the sun comes out any visitor can see how passionate Seattlites are about the outdoors. Here are a few of the best ways to take advantage of everything Seattle and the surrounding areas have to offer:
Seattle is bordered by a lot of water, which makes touring one of the many waterways a unique way to enjoy the sights. There are numerous 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 and Alki Kayak.
Prefer to stay dry?
Seattle and its surrounding areas boasts one of the most extensive system of trails and bike paths in the country. It gives locals and visitors the opportunity to stay fit and enjoy time amongst the surrounding nature. With hikes and walks for people of all skill levels, the Washington Trail Association provides an interactive map with difficulty levels, distance and scenery for thousands of trails in the surrounding areas.
But walking isn't your only option, Seattle has numerous bicycle paths that provide breathtaking views. The Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop is a Seattle's path that loops around Lake Union. The trail includes interpretive signs that celebrate Seattle’s maritime, industrial, Native American and natural histories. Seattle Cycling Tours offers guided bicycle tours of the city and provides the bikes, helmets and the local knowledge.
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 historic 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).
Finally if you are looking for a casual day of golf, Seattle and its surrounding areas is the right place to look! Home to some of the finest private and public courses such as Emerald Golf Trail. Chambers Bay Golf Course, just a few miles south of Seattle is renowned as one of the toughest courses in the nation and will be home to the 2015 U.S. Open.
Your Resources for the Outdoors:
Washington Trail Association
9 Great Day Trips Beyond Seattle