Seattle is blessed with beautiful beaches, mountains, sea life that make it one of the best places to go paddle boarding in King County, Washington. People who are hesitant to try out paddle boarding in Seattle, just get a standup paddleboard and do it. The paddleboarding spots in Seattle can offer you a fun and relaxing session of standup paddle boarding. Here are several of the best places for you to get out on the water and paddleboard in Seattle.
Shilshole Bay/Golden Gardens
This place gives you almost all the goodies you can find in Seattle. You have a beautiful beach to camp or take breaks on, mountains with great scenery, views of sea life and the Puget Sound. The best time to visit the Golden Gardens would be in the summertime after the sun comes out. You can paddle on the water and observe sea life very closely. There’s the Ballard nearby for you to grab a bite, do some shopping, see a live concert or even do a little sightseeing. Parking spots can be found at the Northside of the Marina, which is an ideal spot to launch your paddle board. Weather and tides can have a great impact on your SUP trip so be sure to check them out before you set out.
Alki Beach/West Seattle
Here you can get the best view of the city. Find Salty’s seafood restaurant because it is the place where you can launch and enjoy a wonderful meal at after finishing your paddleboarding session. Alki Beach can get pretty busy in the summertime thanks to its restaurants and shops on the street. Beach goers and SUPers are the most frequent visitors of this place. If you are planning on a long distance SUP trip, go south and you will see the Alki Point Lighthouse and Lincoln Park on the way. Remember to check for information of the weather and tides beforehand because the water is cold all year round.
Lake Union is a great spot to meet other paddle boarding lovers like you. Not to mention you will get the breathtaking city views. If you are planning on taking a break at the nearby restaurant, then you are in for a treat. The clam chowder at Ivar’s Seafood house is probably one of the best you can find outside of New England. The ideal place to launch would be the Sunnyside boat ramp that sits on the north side because parking on the south end is kind of troublesome.
Lake Washington, North
If the purpose of your SUP trip is to relax, then Lake Washington is probably the best destination for you. Unlike the saltwater that surrounds the city, here in Lake Washington, the water is much calmer and more suitable for a relaxed session of stand up paddleboarding. You even get to enjoy the scenic views of Mt. Rainer when paddleboarding on the lake. At the north end you can find the Matthews Beach Park which is a great spot to launch. On the east side is St. Edward Park and on the south side you will find Sand Point. The water won’t be much of an issue for your SUP trip but the wind will. Deal with the wind carefully or you might end up in the water.
Usually the sea breezes are all it takes for a lake in Seattle to become difficult for beginners to paddleboard on. But there are calmer waters in certain part of Lake Washington that are suitable for even rookies to start their very first SUP journey, like Andrews Bay in Seward Park or Mercer Island. Other paddlers with mid-level or advanced paddling skills can consider challenging themselves to a trip from the lake to the Mercer Island.
Rentals of stand up paddle boards can be found in some parks and lakes. There are also online paddleboard rental shops that allows you to order the board online and they’ll send the stand up paddleboard to your location. But if you are going to paddle board a lot, it’s strongly recommended that you get your own board. For a relaxing session of paddle boarding, an inflatable stand up paddle board is a more suitable choice than a rigid paddle board. Compared to a typical hardboard, an inflatable SUP board is cheaper, much easier to transport from one place to another, and much more durable. Choices are abundant. A Goosehill Rainbow R inflatable SUP board would be a solid choice. If you don’t want to settle in one place for stand up paddleboarding, there are some nice paddle boarding spots in San Diego, Austin and a lot other cities across the U.S.