TRAVELS | September 24, 2014

Seattle: Rediscovering my home city

Experiencing the outdoors of the Emerald City

Carrie, Founder & Chief Wanderer

Looking down at Seattle as I fly in, I always notice the collage of green and blue. Seattle is surrounded by bodies of water, including: four major lakes, the Puget Sound, and an infinite number of streams and lakes. If you aren’t looking at a body of water, chances are you are looking at a sea of evergreens. Most likely you’re looking at both a body of water and a mass of towering trees.

While in Seattle I wanted to take advantage of the unique juxtaposition of trees and water that makes Seattle and the Pacific Northwest so iconic. My favorite way to do this is to go kayaking on Lake Union, which overlooks the City. There are several places to rent kayaks, yet I always go to Agua Verde, which is also a Mexican restaurant. Before hopping in a kayak, my family and I fueled up with a big lunch— it might be better to wait until after you kayak, but we were hungry. The cafe offers gluten-free and vegan options and often sources local and seasonal ingredients. Needless to say, the food is delicious!

After enjoying a giant burrito, we headed down to the boat rental to get our kayaks. As I mentioned in the Destination Guide for Seattle, kayaking is an excellent environmentally-friendly way to take in the views of Seattle, as it is both carbon neutral and the environmental cost of producing kayaks is reduced by the high re-usability of the kayaks. Leaving the dock at Agua Verde, you can either go left towards Lake Washington or right towards Lake Union— I always go right. When I kayak on Lake Union my turnaround point is always Gas Works Park; it’s a little over a mile, making for a 2.5-mile round-trip. Along the way, I enjoyed the sites of houseboats, pleasure boats, the duck boats, and going under several bridges. Of course, it was awesome watching several seaplanes take off and land from what felt like only a few feet away. Reaching Gas Works was as satisfying as it always is— with such a unique park on one side of my kayak and such a breathtaking view of the city on the other, we had to stop for the photo opp.

Once we had enough of being on the water, we headed to Golden Gardens to enjoy being next to the water. It was my first time going, despite being born and raised in Seattle— and it did not disappoint. After luckily snagging a coveted parking spot, we put the leashes on the dogs and headed to the beach. The first thing I noticed when we got to the beach was the stunning vantage point it offered. You could watch for hours as sailboats float on the Puget Sound while the Olympics Mountains provide a jaw-dropping backdrop. While there, I walked up and down the beach, dipping my toes in the water along the way. After strolling along the beach, we enjoyed the grassy lawns as we played chase with the dogs.

The night ended wonderfully back in the City, as we watched the sun set to the backdrop of the Space Needle while eating a healthy, home-cooked meal. Now, only if we were on the water with that view and some good ole evergreens behind it— now that would be perfection…