Kayaking Seattle

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Do you have a trip schedule to Seattle?

Do you love kayaking?

Would you like to try out kayaking when you are in Seattle?

If you love spending time on the water, you may get plenty of kayaking opportunities when you’re in Seattle. Not sure where all to go? We’ll tell you all about it right here in this article.

Check out the top spots in Seattle that you should visit to try out kayaking. Read about the different features of each kayaking spot so that you can choose a few that will suit you the best.

Where is Seattle?

Seattle is a city that is located in the Washington State of the United States of America. This choice is a seaport city and is on the West Coast of the USA.

Is it a popular place to go for kayaking?

Seattle is known as a city with lots of water bodies, and as a result, kayaking has turned out to be a very popular activity here.

What makes Seattle a great destination for those looking to kayak for fun?

While Seattle has many water bodies that are suited to different skill levels of kayaking, one of the main reasons that you should definitely try out kayaking once in Seattle is to take in the beauty of the city through the water route.

9 of the best places to go kayaking in Seattle

Option #1

ALKI BEACH

Difficulty/skill level: Easy/Beginner
Trip cost/price: $
Trip duration: Whole day/ half day/ a few hours

Exact location

  • 1702 Alki Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98127

Description of the site/area

  • Family-friendly
  • Log House Museum, Schmitz Park, Pike Place Market, Seattle Wine Tours, Living Computers Museum and Lab, Seattle Bites Food tours
  • Onsite gear rental available

Pros

  • Beautiful beach
  • Scenic views
  • Many tour providers
  • Gorgeous views
  • Very clear water
  • Spot seals

Cons

  • Little far from downtown  

Option #2

BALLARD LOCKS

Difficulty/skill level: Easy/Beginner, Moderate
Trip cost/price: $
Trip duration: Whole day/ half day/ a few hours

Exact location

  • On the shores of the Ship Canal
  • 3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107

Description of the site/area

  • Family-friendly
  • Seattle Fish ladder, Visitor Centre, Ballard Locks Garden, Ballard Farmers Market, Golden Gardens Beach Park, Discovery Park, Woodland Park Zoo, The Edith Macefield House
  • Onsite gear rental available

Pros

  • Unique kayaking place
  • This option may spot jumping salmon in the water
  • Multiple operators available
  • Many water tour options
  • Easily accessible

Cons

  • This offer can get very crowded

Option #3

ELLIOTT BAY

Difficulty/skill level: Moderate to Difficult (especially because you will have to move carefully around the many bigger boats and ferries here)
Trip cost/price: $
Trip duration: Whole day/ half day/ a few hours

Exact location

  • Puget Sound in Cascadia
  • 47.603°N 122.373°W

Description of the site/area

  • Family-friendly but not for first-timers
  • Seattle Art Museum, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Museum of Pop Culture, Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Children’s Museum, Pacific Science Centre, Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, Log House Museum, Space Needle, Gum Wall
  • Onsite gear rental available

Pros

  • Some of the best views of Seattle
  • Plenty access points
  • Huge number of nearby attractions
  • Perfect for an adventurous water time

Cons

  • Too much boat traffic

Option #4

LAKE SAMMAMISH

Difficulty/skill level: Easy/Beginner
Trip cost/price: $
Trip duration: Whole day/ half day/ a few hours

Exact location

  • King County Washington
  • 47°36′59″N
  • 122°05′22″W

Description of the site/area

  • Family-friendly
  • Lake Sammamish State Park, Bellevue Zip Tour, Cougar Mountain Zoo, Cinebarre Issaquah, Village Theatre, Boehms Candies
  • Onsite gear rental available

Pros

  • Lots of water sports
  • Marine life spotting  
  • Many paths and trails
  • Scenic
  • Easily accessible

Cons

  • Most customers seem to love the overall experience here, no cons

Option #5

LAKE UNION

Difficulty/skill level: Easy/Beginner
Trip cost/price: $
Trip duration: Whole day/ half day/ a few hours

Exact location

  • 47.6392°N
  • 122.3337°W

Description of the site/area

  • Family-friendly
  • Centre for Wooden Boats, boat cruise, Gas Works Park, walk through the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop
  • Onsite gear rental available

Pros

  • Beautiful natural views
  • Spot marine life and birds
  • Training and easy volunteer programs
  • Clean
  • Utilities, washrooms available

Cons

  • Crowded

Option #6

LAKE WASHINGTON

Difficulty/skill level: Easy/Beginner
Trip cost/price: $
Trip duration: Whole day/ half day/ a few hours

Exact location

  • 47°37′N 122°16′W
  • King County, Washington

Description of the site/area

  • Family-friendly
  • Catch the sunset tours, evening light tours, Sky View Observatory, Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle Japanese Garden, Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park
  • Onsite gear rental available

Pros

  • Huge lake
  • Smooth water
  • Easy access points
  • Quick kayak lessons available
  • Gorgeous views

Cons

  • Beware of faster boats zipping by

Option #7

PORTAGE BAY

Difficulty/skill level: Moderate to Difficult (especially because you will have to move carefully around the many bigger boats and ferries here)
Trip cost/price: $
Trip duration: Whole day/ half day/ a few hours

Exact location

  • Forms part of the Lake Union and Lake Washington Ship Canal in Seattle
  • 47.646728°N 122.312808°W

Description of the site/area

  • Family-friendly
  • Eastlake Bar and Grill, delicious French goodies at Le Fournil Bakery, Roanoke Park Place and Mammoth for craft beer and sandwiches, Interlaken Park, Boren Park
  • Onsite gear rental available

Pros

  • Many access points
  • Easy to reach
  • Ideal for kids
  • Various activity options available
  • Gorgeous views
  • Lots of things to do nearby

Cons

  • Too many bigger boats around

Option #8

RATTLESNAKE LAKE

Difficulty/skill level: Easy/Beginner, Moderate, Difficult
Trip cost/price: $
Trip duration: Whole day/ half day/ a few hours

Exact location:

  • 47.43°N 121.775°W
  • King County Washington

Description of the site/area

  • Family-friendly
  • Rattlesnake Ridge hike, Twin Falls, Mt. Si, Northwest Railway Museum, Mailbox Peak, Bybee Blueberry Farm, Olallie State Park
  • Onsite gear rental available

Pros

  • Shallow water
  • Easy to paddle
  • Clear water
  • Amazing water life
  • Spot tree roots in water
  • Small size of lake ideal for young paddlers

Cons

  • Most customers seem to love the overall experience here, no cons  

Option #9

SAN JUAN ISLANDS

Difficulty/skill level: Easy/Beginner
Trip cost/price: $$$
Trip duration: Whole day/ half day/ a few hours

Exact location

  • 48°31′55″N 123°01′45″W

Description of the site/area

  • Family-friendly
  • Friday Harbor, American Camp, Pelindaba Lavender Farm, whale watching
  • Onsite gear rental available

Pros

  • Short shorelines
  • Gorgeous views
  • Spot whales, harbour seals, eagles and more
  • Explore islands

Cons

  • Most customers seem to love the overall experience here, no cons  

When is the best time to go kayaking in Seattle?

The summer months are the best time to go kayaking in Seattle, especially if you want to avoid the chilly weather. Even if the weather is otherwise alright in the other months, it can get too windy and cold to go out kayaking.

Is there a peak season for kayaking in Seattle?

April through October are the peak months for kayaking at Seattle.

Advantages of coming during peak season

  • Many rentals available
  • Pleasant weather
  • Calm water
  • Additional water activities available

Benefits of going during off-peak season

  • Less crowded
  • Lesser wait time
  • Discounted rates

While almost all these spots are really loved by locals and kayakers, some require you to be especially alert as big boats pass by. Make sure you are careful of the same.

With so many spots to choose from, we’re sure you’ll find your favourite soon! And yes, don’t forget to wear your life jacket at all times, to enjoy kayaking safely.

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