Where To Paddle Near Seattle
Posted by Jordan Curet
written by Kim Kramers
With two large lakes and the Puget Sound bordering it, Seattle is a prime location for social as well as adventure seeking paddle boarders. There is no shortage of spots around in the greater Seattle area to enjoy a quick paddle. In this blog we will give our favorite spots in Seattle to have a paddle session on your own Red Paddle Co board, whether you are looking to lounge on the deck with a group of friends or tour around these spots.
PLACES TO PADDLE - Lake Union
Topping the list for best places to paddleboard in Seattle, is Lake Union. With stunning views of the iconic Seattle skyline as well as a multitude of paddle board friendly beaches to launch from and rental opportunities along the lake, Lake Union is a paddle boarder’s dream. If you’re just visiting this city or
want to try one of our beginner friendly boards, then head over to Urban Surf. Urban Surf is the local surf shop in Seattle, providing water sports stoke to the greater Seattle community. They provide Red Paddle Co. paddle board rentals, so that everyone can have an opportunity to enjoy paddle boarding in Seattle. Give them a call or reserve online on their website urbansurf.com. However, Lake Union doesn’t just provide a
stunning view of Seattle’s skyline. In addition to that, you can paddle around and look at all the beautiful house boots that line the circumference of the lake and spot the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat. You can also idle around two larg
e parks, Gas Works
park and South Lake Union park, both parks also have easy launch beaches. Finally, the Fremont Bridge and the Ship Canal bridge border the lake, crossing the two waterways that sprout out from the lake. Both are great to explore, I would suggest grabbing your touring board setup (check out touring boards here) and start off with a shorter paddle to the Ballard Locks and if you are ready for a lengthy paddle head under the Shipping Canal Bridge through Portage Bay and into Lake Washington!
PLACES TO PADDLE - Lake Washington
Next up on the list is Lake Washington. During the peak of summer when boat traffic is high on Lake Union, head over to Lake Washington to enjoy great views of Mount Rainier, the Cascades and the University of Washington’s football stadium. Lake Washington is a touring paddle boarder's dream, at 33.8 square miles, the lake is an endless adventure. I recommend taking your touring or Sport’s board on an early morning sunrise paddle session because in the morning as the sunrises over the cascades the lake tends to be buttery flat. Morning’s are when boat traffic and wake chop is at the lowest and tend to be the time where the wind is at its lightest as well. As a result, you will be gliding across the water. The best place to launch from and enjoy the sunrise on Lake Washington would be Magnuson Park. There are multiple spots to launch your paddle board from at Magnuson Park, but the easiest would be from the boat launch at the southern point of the park. Other great places to paddle board from in Lake Washington on the west shore are Seward Park and Logboom Park. On the East shore near Kirkland and Bellevue, the best launch beaches are OO Denny Park, Juanita Bay Park, and Houghton Beach
PLACES TO PADDLE - South Puget Sound (Golden Gardens)
If you are looking for a stunning sunset paddle board session, Golden Gardens on the Puget Sound is the spot to go. Just located past the Ballard locks, Golden Gardens is the ideal summer beach and Puget Sound paddle boarding location. Golden Gardens is one of the only sandy beaches in the Seattle area which means it is a super easy launch location for paddlers. In addition, it faces west on the Puget Sound so it provides unreal views of the Olympics. Make sure to arrive at least an hour early to find parking during the summer because the lots fill up pretty quickly before sunset. Once you have found parking and you have your paddle board inflated, you can launch anywhere along the beach and watch as the sun sets behind the Olympic mountains, saturating the sky with stunning colors. If you are a touring or downwinding paddle boarder, there are a multitude of options when starting at Golden Gardens. Follow the coastline toward Carkeek Park or Richmond Beach on a Southerly wind or on a Northerly paddle across Shilshole Bay to Discovery Park, just make sure you are aware of the boat traffic as you cross the mouth of the Ballard Locks near Shilshole Bay.
ANY OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS?
These are just some of our favorite places to paddle in Seattle and while there are countless other locations worth visiting, these are the places we’d recommend if you’re new to the sport or only visiting the city for a short time. That said, if there’s a location you would usually recommend to people wondering where to paddle board in Seattle, we’d love you to share it with us. You can email us your suggestion or head over to Places to Paddle and enter it in there.