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Beautiful Lake Union in Seattle Washington

Updated on March 20, 2013
Sailboat, Speedboat and The Ducks Tour on Lake Union
Sailboat, Speedboat and The Ducks Tour on Lake Union | Source

Lake Union

Lake Union is a beautiful lake just north of downtown Seattle, Washington. This lake has 580 acres of surface area and was created 1200 years ago by the Vashon Glacier.

As Seattle developed and grew, a wonderful community blossomed around Lake Union as well.

More Beautiful Places You Must See While in Seattle

Activites and Enjoyment

There is a large variety of activities available at the lake and many wonderful things to experience. Many people enjoy being on the lake in everything from canoes to floatplanes, while others live on the lake in a vast variety of houseboats and some simply relax by the lake at one of the many parks or restaurants.

A few of the wonderful things that make Lake Union unique and attractive to so many are:

  • Houseboats
  • Floatplanes
  • Fireworks
  • Restaurants
  • Kayaking
  • Rowing
  • Sailing

Amazing Houseboats

Houseboats on Lake Union
Houseboats on Lake Union | Source


There are many houseboats surrounding Lake Union. These homes come in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles.

The most commonly sought out houseboat for sightseers and locals alike is the home used in the Sleepless In Seattle movie which was filmed on Lake Union in 1993.

Houseboats on Lake Union
Houseboats on Lake Union | Source

Floatplane on Lake Union

Kenmore Air Floatplane
Kenmore Air Floatplane | Source
Kenmore Air
Kenmore Air | Source

Floatplanes On The Lake

Kenmore Air is a small, unique airport located on Lake Union that offers their passengers the experience of flying on a floatplane.

These floatplanes offer people the sensation of taking off and landing in water. It is an exciting and beautiful way to see some of the surrounding areas of Seattle without the hassle of traffic.

Kenmore Air offers 5 different floatplanes that accommodate from 3 to 10 passengers per flight.

  1. Piston Beaver
  2. Turbine Beaver
  3. Turbine Otter
  4. Cessna Caravan
  5. Cessna 180

There are numerous locations available to explore via floatplane.

  • Downtown Seattle
  • San Juan Islands
  • Victoria British Columbia
  • Port Angeles
  • Olympic Peninsula

Inside Passages of British Columbia:

  • Gulf Islands
  • Nanaimo
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Desolation Sound
  • Blind Channel
  • Northern Inside Passage

For those passengers who don’t have a specific location in mind, Kenmore Air offers two Scenic Tours that are sure to impress everyone.

  • Seattle Scenic 20 minute Tour
  • San Juan Island Scenic 2 hour Tour

Both tours have breathtaking views and are narrated by an entertaining and informative guide.

Fireworks Display

For 25 years Lake Union has been home to the annual fireworks spectacular called Family 4th at The Lake.

This Seattle tradition is enjoyed and celebrated by people all around the Puget Sound.

Once per year, the whole area comes together to laugh, play and get a thrill from the carefully choreographed and dazzling light show.


There are over 30 wonderful restaurants surrounding Lake Union that are at your disposal.

There is a variety of cuisines and themes available.

Visitors can enjoy a wonderful steak, sushi, hamburger, donuts, clam chowder, seafood and there is even a restaurant that is strictly organic.

No matter what the craving is, there is a place to satisfy it on Lake Union.

The Center for Wooden Boats

The Center for Wooden Boats is the one stop shop for anything regarding wooden boats! They offer free boat rides on Sundays, sailboat rentals or lessons and they even have a museum with a large collection of old and new sailboats.

Boat enthusiasts are front and center during the 4th of July weekend for the Annual Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival.

This is the perfect stop for anyone who has an interest in the wonders of sailing.

Big and Small Boats Enjoying The Lake

Yacht and Wooden Sailboat on Lake Union
Yacht and Wooden Sailboat on Lake Union | Source

Seattle Ferry Service and The Fremont Avenue

Seattle Mini Ferry is a boat that is available for daily mini tours which begin at the University of Washington and end on the south end of Lake Union.

The mini tour takes 25 minutes one way and departs every 30 minutes so it is convenient for even the busiest sightseer. The boat can carry up to 14 passengers and will accommodate bicycles if needed.

Longer and more in depth tours are offered on the bigger boat called the Fremont Avenue.

The Sunday Ice Cream Tour is one option and is available all year long regardless of weather. These 45 minute tours are lots of fun thanks to the entertaining guide, music and refreshments.

Each Friday and Saturday afternoon from June until September the Fremont Avenue offers 60 minute tours of Lake Union and Portage Bay. It is a wonderful way to learn about Seattle from a unique vantage point.

The Fremont Avenue is also available as a charter boat. The Seattle Ferry Service rents this awesome vessel out for parties, weddings, school functions, New Year’s Eve celebrations or to enjoy the spectacular fireworks display that is a tradition on Lake Union.

Rowing on Lake Union

Everyone who has an interest in rowing can find what they are looking for on Lake Union.

There are two rowing clubs located right on the lake that can accommodate the seasoned rower and the beginner with ease. Both of these clubs offer classes and camps for beginners and the option to join a rowing club for more experienced athletes.

Lake Union Crew is located at 11 East Allison Street, Seattle, Washington and is open for anyone to learn, compete and win.

Lake Washington Rowing Club is on the north shore of lake union 910 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103. LWRC welcomes anyone and everyone to train with them and ultimately compete in a race and experience sweet victory.

Rent Kayak's or Enjoy a Guided Tour

Aqua Verde Cafe and Paddle Club
Aqua Verde Cafe and Paddle Club | Source

Agua Verde Cafe and Paddle Club

Kayak rentals and guided tours are provided by Agua Verde Café and Paddle club which is located on the north east end of Lake Union.

There is no better way to experience the beauty surrounding the lake than from right in the middle of it.

The guided Kayak tour is a wonderful way to see the variety of houseboats that surround the lake, the downtown Seattle skyline, Gas Works Park, the Center of Wooden Boats and all of the incredible sailboats and yachts that are also out enjoying the water.

Yacht and Kayak on Lake Union
Yacht and Kayak on Lake Union | Source

Directions To Some Of The Attractions Around Lake Union

show route and directions
A markerThe Center of Wooden Boats -
1010 Valley St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
get directions

B markerAqua Verde Cafe and Paddle Club -
1303 NE Boat St, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
get directions

C markerKenmore Air -
950 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
get directions

D markerLake Union Crew -
11 E Allison St, Seattle, WA 98102, USA
get directions

E markerLake Washington Rowing Club -
910 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
get directions

F markerSeattle Mini Ferry and The Fremont Avenue -
Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA, USA
get directions


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    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you alliemacb! It really is an amazing place. If you ever find yourself in the NW, it's a must see :)

    • alliemacb profile image

      alliemacb 5 years ago from Scotland

      This is an amazing hub. You've made Lake Union look so appealing. Seattle is high on my list of places to visit and this may be enough to put it at the top. Voted up!

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you! If you ever find yourself on this side of the country, you have to see it for yourself. :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      You should be on the Lake Union Travel Bureau! Nice hub with good, comprehensive information and your pictures are lovely!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      teaches12345, the house in that movie is definitely one of the many beautiful homes down there.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      As I read your hub, I was reminded of the houseboat on Sleepless In Seattle with Tom Hanks. Loved the idea of a home on the water and the one in the movie was so awesome. I would love to visit this area and to see the different houseboats.

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you Margie! It really is a beautiful place. It's pretty easy to always find something fund to do in Seattle. :)

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Great hub, Roxanne! I loved the beautiful pictures, especially. I would love to visit Lake Union and enjoy some of the activities that go on there.

      Voted up!


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