Get on a Boat - Explore Lake Union as a Non-Boat Owner

Lake Union is a pretty special lake: carved out by a giant glacier about 12,000 years ago and eventually named Lake Union in the 1850’s when it was just a lonely lake.  These days, it is attached to its two buddies, the Puget Sound and Lake Washington, by canals - so really is a union between the two!

Since it is connected by the ocean but also calm and protected like a lake, it is a popular place for all kinds of things, including Seattleites who taunt other Seattleites as they sit in traffic on the various bridges and roads that wind along the water. We know you would rather get your float on those lakes and waterways and we have some ideas for you!

Ice Cream Cruise

Is it too hot or cold to paddle?  Ice cream works for any weather (if you ask me).  Every Sunday there is a 45 minute cruise that departs from Lake Union park during which you can buy some ice cream and get a narrated tour of the lake.

Image: Seattle Ferry Service

Image: Seattle Ferry Service

Free Weekly Cruise from The Center for Wooden Boats

The Sunday Public Sail is offered to the public every Sunday by volunteer skippers and crew.  There are a variety of boats available, including ones powered by sail, steam, electricity, oars, or paddles.  Did we mention its FREE?!

Image: Center for Wooden Boats

Image: Center for Wooden Boats

WA Sauna - a floating sauna!


Its not quite ready for the public yet- but word on the water is that it will be open to the public starting sometime this summer, Keep an eye out for details! (images: goCstudio)


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Paddleboarding or Kayaking

Rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak and cruise around the lake at your leisure (or not, and get some exercise!).  Rentals range from $15-25 per hour and are available from a variety of locations around the lake.



Kayak for a cause!

The day after the 4th of July fireworks, you can help beautify Lake Union via Kayak by cleaning up the debris from our celebratory explosions the day before.  Not only do you get to do this via kayak, but there will be a picnic lunch from Tutta Bella afterward to celebrate your hard work!


Milk Carton Derby!

And finally, get creative and stylish:  The Seafair Milk Carton Derby on July 16th at Green Lake is sure to provide plenty of inspiration.  Contestants race with boats they have crafted out of used milk cartons!  Have fun out there!

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-Toby Peterson -  TWIF Volunteer Sherpa and Seafarer-extrordinaire!