Sailing past Mount Rainier

Sailing past Mount Rainier (©Jonathan Miske/Flickr)

Things to Do in Seattle: Outdoor Adventures

By Stacy Booth on 06/04/15
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There aren’t many places in the world as perfect as Seattle for heading outside on an adventure. With Puget Sound on one side of the city and the mountains on the other, you can be among the waves—or the trees—in less than an hour.

Beyond Seattle to the west, the Olympic Peninsula is home to Olympic National Park, where you’ll find the Hoh Rain Forest, a beautiful temperate rain forest. The Peninsula also boasts shores along the Pacific Ocean. Southeast of the city is Mount Rainier, part of Mount Rainier National Park, and to the east, the Cascade Mountains, where you’ll find plenty of skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing in the winter months, and some gorgeous hikes during the summer.

Whether you’d like to stick closer to the city or travel beyond the metro area, below are a few ways to have your own outdoor adventure in the Pacific Northwest.

EverGreen Escapes

(Courtesy EverGreen Escapes)

Activities

EverGreen Escapes

Get out and explore the Cascade region in the best way possible—the knowledgeable “Escape Artists” guide trips to Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park, Mount St. Helens, the San Juan islands and more, all with delicious, locally sourced lunch (on full-day trips). If you can’t decide what to do, custom tour packages are available.

Discovery Park

(©Keith Bellvay/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Attractions

Discovery Park

A true gem, this 534-acre park has a bit of everything—woods, beaches, meadows, a lighthouse, kid’s play area, tennis courts and lots of spots to hang out. This is a popular route among runners, and one of the best spots for trail running within city limits. While the trails are for foot traffic only, paved surfaces are bike-friendly.

The Center for Wooden Boats

(©Roseannadana Photography/Flickr)

Attractions

The Center for Wooden Boats

Located on South Lake Union, this hands-on maritime museum is a fun spot to not only learn about maritime history and see beautiful boats, but also to experience Lake Union from the water—there are boat rentals, classes, workshops and more. If you’d like to take out a sailboat, you must pass a checkout test, which you can schedule online.

Burke-Gilman Trail

(©gregobagel/iStockPhoto.com)

Attractions

Burke-Gilman Trail

This extensive trail through Seattle is a hot spot for cyclists, runners and walkers. Starting at Golden Gardens, a park at the north end of Ballard along Puget Sound, it’s possible to travel all the way to Red Hook Brewery in Woodinville—there is just one chunk of trail missing through Ballard (pick the trail back up in Fremont).

Lake Union Charters and Adventures

(©Bryan Aulick)

Activities

Lake Union Charters and Adventures

If you’re looking for a sailing adventure but would rather someone else handle the boat, this spot has a huge variety of sailing trips. From date night and sunset sails to family sails and full-day adventures, it’s a fun way to get out on the water. If you’re in town July 4, their charter boat cruise has unbeatable fireworks views.

Mount Rainier

(©Wanna Be Creative/Flickr)

Areas to Explore

Mount Rainier

You can’t miss this massive mountain southeast of the city. Rising 14,410 feet above sea level, this active volcano is the ultimate outdoor adventure. Even if you aren't summiting the mountain, the forests and subalpine meadows are worth exploring. The National Park Service website has the latest information on conditions for your visit.

Kenmore Air

(Courtesy Kenmore Air Harbor, Inc.)

Activities

Kenmore Air

Take flight above the city with these seaplanes on Lake Union. Kenmore Air does scenic flight tours, but they also fly to regional destinations, including the San Juan Islands and Victoria, British Columbia, which are both wonderful jumping-off points for outdoor adventures. Taking a Kenmore Air flight is the fastest way to get there.

REI

(Courtesy of REI)

Shopping

REI

Forgot a necessary something for your adventure? REI’s flagship store in South Lake Union has you covered with gear for every kind of outdoor activity, from a skiing and snowboarding shop and bike shop to clothing and shoes. There is also a rental shop with mountaineering gear, tents, backpacks, snowshoes, Nordic skiing gear and more.

Map of Things to Do in Seattle: Outdoor Adventures