In its early days, this county was where timber and coal reached by rush from through the shores of Lake Washington and was additionally delivered to Elliot Bay, where it went on to California and other places along the west coast. In other words, South Lake Union was contributory in the growth of the city. Sadly, after most of the trees had been cleared, industry dropped and the neighborhood went through a depression. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his Vulcan Real Estate have rapidly altered the empty warehouse district into a thriving hi-tech hub. The addition of a trolley system, a new park along the shore of Lake Union, and retail/apartment buildings have, in recent years, given South Lake Union the feeling of a neighborhood again.
City filled with lakes and enclosed by the Puget Sound, Lake Union stands out. For one, the lake is located precisely in the heart of Seattle. And while it’s not as huge as Lake Washington, Lake Union is filled with traditions to enjoy Seattle’s matchless oceanic culture—with even more opportunities on its shores.
Lake Union Seaplane Flight
Fly over Seattle on an exciting 20-minute seaplane journey. Takeoff from Lake Union and get a fabulous bird’s-eye view of Seattle, with attractive Mt Rainier set as a backdrop in the distance. Get unbelievable views of the iconic Space Needle, the downtown skyline, the bustling Elliott Bay seaside and more. You’ll hear a recorded commentary about the city during the flight. Land back on Lake Union to complete the tour. 20-minute seaplane tour of Seattle Soar above Seattle for aerial views of the downtown area, including the Space Needle and Elliott Bay Snap photos from the window seat, and listen to story about city innovations Enjoy takeoff and landing on Lake Union Choose from several departure times to suit your schedule
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Kayaking and Paddle Boarding
Kayaking and paddle boarding are some of the low-priced and coolest ways for just about anybody to get out on the water, and Lake Union is a great place to rent both watercraft and go. While taking these smaller water ships on the open Puget Sound takes a bit of skill to navigate swells and currents, Lake Union is calmer (though, you’ll have boat wakes to contend with, but a quick lesson from your place of rental can help you know what to do).
Center for Wooden Boats
Yet another way to get out on the water at Lake Union is to venture to the Center for Wooden Boats where you’ll find options… wooden boat options. If you want a cursory overview of what it’s like to go out in one of the center’s wooden boats, show up for a free Sunday public sail. If you want to delve a bit deeper, the center offers adult and youth sailing lessons. Finally, you can rent a verity range of watercraft. If you have no skill on the water at all, anyone can rent a rowboat or pedal boat. If you’ve kayaked or canoed before, you can rent those. Or if you have some sailing experience, you can even rent a sailboat here.
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park is a great all-around urban park with stellar views of the city skyline, the lake and some interesting appeal of its own to boot. The park is on the former site of the Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant, and still has the ruins of the plant—the only remaining coal gasification plant in the entire country. The bulk of the plant’s remains are fenced off, but are some of the best photo opportunities in the city.
Other parts of the plant have been tidied up and colorfully painted and are now located in a play area where kids (and adults too!) can climb on them and explore. The park is also a great place to fly a kite on the kite flying hill that gets plenty of wind.