As a city centered on water, Seattle is filled with fun paddling options. From Puget Sound to Lake Washington, Union, and Greenlake, paddling is a great way to explore Seattle from a different perspective—be it on a kayak, canoe, or SUP.
The city’s most unique paddling adventure is to start at Golden Gardens, enter the Lake Washington Ship Canal, and go through the famous Ballard Locks. The locks act as the gateway between the saltwater of the sound to the freshwater of Lake Union; it also serves to elevate or lower boats to meet the level of water on the other side, because Lake Union is about 20 feet above sea level. Once in Lake Union, located right in the heart of Seattle, you’ll have amazing views the city: the skyscrapers of downtown, the space needle in Queen Anne, and the quirky neighborhoods of houseboats that line the lake.