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Lake Washington
Lake Washington

Lake Washington

Free admission

The Basics

Bordered by the towns of Kirkland and Bellevue, Lake Washington is home to Mercer Island. The Lake Washington Ship Canal connects the lake to the Puget Sound. Plenty of shoreline lets visitors take in the lake’s inherent natural beauty through activities such as swimming, picnicking, and hunting for clams and crawfish. Other attractions include the Kurt Cobain bench, a cultural memorial that pays homage both to the Nirvana legend and to downtown Seattle’s vibrant music scene.

Sightseeing tours here often include a Lake Washington cruise (many with live narration from a captain or naturalist guide), views of some of the lake’s opulent waterfront homes, and a visit to the floating bridge. Some tours combine stops at Seattle’s other major water features—Lake Union and the Puget Sound—via boat, ground transportation, or even seaplane. Another option is a dinner harbor cruise, which allows you to enjoy the sunset over the water after spending the day enjoying other activities. The University of Washington operates a boat rental facility in Union Bay, where you can rent a boat and explore under your own steam in a rowboat or canoe.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Seattle

star-5
Breathtaking
Celeste_S, Aug 2021
Mt Rainier Seaplane Tour Departing from Lake Washington
Our tour guide so very friendly and knowledgeable. The views were absolutely incredible. This is a one of a kind experience.
star-5
Fun time
Catherine_R, Jul 2021
Mt Rainier Seaplane Tour Departing from Lake Washington
The pilot was confident and made us feel comfortable A great experience and learn some interesting facts
star-5
Gorgeous, once-in-a-lifetime experience
Aaron_H, Jul 2021
Mt Rainier Seaplane Tour Departing from Lake Washington
Absolutely beautiful tour of Mt. Rainier. Our pilot, James, was phenomenal. He provided a great sense of humor and narration of the tour. The views of the mountain were breathtaking. Although expensive, we have no regrets about doing this and was the highlight of our vacation. Communication between the managers was great (we switched locations from Kirkland to Remington based on our location) and they provided easy-to-follow directions to the pickup and drop-off locations.
star-5
Awe inspiring peaks
Marie_P, Jul 2021
Mt Rainier Seaplane Tour Departing from Lake Washington
There aren’t the right words in the a English language to describe how amazing this experience was. From take to landing, the flight delivered awe.
star-5
Awesome views and a friendly pilot
Rick_M, May 2021
Mt Rainier Seaplane Tour Departing from Lake Washington
We had an awesome time on our seaplane flight over Mt. Rainier for our honeymoon. Our pilot was engaging and informative. We had a lot of fun and the view was incredible.
star-5
Unbelievably beautiful experience
Gunjan_B, Apr 2021
Mt Rainier Seaplane Tour Departing from Lake Washington
An exhilarating experience of viewing Mt. Rainier up, close and personal. Worth every buck if you love the mountain just like we do.
star-5
Amazing! Surpassed expectations! Unforgettable!
William_W, Mar 2021
Mt Rainier Seaplane Tour Departing from Lake Washington
Our pilot was amazing! He was so knowledgeable, kind, thoughtful, and wanted to make sure we had the beat experience. The trip surpassed my expectations. It was worth every penny!
star-5
Hello Beautiful
Reyes_L, Mar 2021
Mt Rainier Seaplane Tour Departing from Lake Washington
The whole experience was everything, if not more than I would have ever dreamed of. Our pilot, James, was amazing, super friendly, and very knowledgeable. Thanks for that awesome experience. Worth every penny.
star-5
Don’t miss out!
Aubrey_L, Aug 2020
Mt Rainier Seaplane Tour Departing from Lake Washington
We had an amazing time! James was hilarious and super knowledgeable. The flight itself was stunning and it’s so rare to see WA and the mountains from that perspective. Would highly recommend!
star-5
Seaplane tour
Melanie_G, May 2020
Mt Rainier Seaplane Tour Departing from Lake Washington
Our flight was incredible! The tour guide, James made the whole experience more fun. I would definitely go again!
star-5
What a view!
nrgre78, Aug 2019
Mt Rainier Seaplane Tour Departing from Lake Washington
The flight really allowed us to see Mt Rainier in a way that time would have otherwise not afforded us. Pilot was incredibly friendly, and the views were stunning. Although a little pricey, it was an incredible experience.
star-5
Great flight with seaplane
mbauzyk, Aug 2019
Mt Rainier Seaplane Tour Departing from Lake Washington
Our experienced pilot James made us all feel at ease. This was the highlight of out Seattle vacation. Highly recommended

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Outdoor enthusiasts, Seattle sightseers, and city slickers looking for an urban escape will love a day at Lake Washington.

  • Expect summer crowds at the most popular beaches, Madison Park Beach and Denny Blaine Park.

  • Seward Park, at the south end of Lake Washington, is the nexus for the lake’s perimeter path, perfect for pedestrians and bicyclists.

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How to Get There

As Lake Washington defines Seattle’s eastern boundary, it’s hard to miss. There are several access points along the shore, including the Atlantic City Boat Ramp, Seward Park, Stan Sayres Memorial Park, and Warren G. Magnuson Park.

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Trip ideas

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When to Get There

Seattle's rainy reputation is well earned, but the summer months tend to be drier and suitable for beach days or forays on the water. Most sightseeing cruises have covered interior cabins and operate rain or shine.

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Floating Bridges

A drive over one of the world’s longest floating bridges—the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge, the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, and the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge—is totally worth a brief detour from downtown Seattle. The three floating bridges on Lake Washington connect Seattle, Mercer Island, and Bellevue. Constructed on floating concrete pylons, these engineering marvels came about by necessity, as the bottom of Lake Washington is soft, muddy, silt, which is unsuitable for anchoring a traditional suspension bridge.

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