The surface of Lake Washington is often as smooth as glass in the early morning, serene and untouched except for the occasional paddling of ducks.
It’s around this time—when the sun peers over Seattle—that the first watersports enthusiasts are entering the shallows. Paddles in hand, they slip their kayaks and paddle boards into the water, and soon they are joined by small fleets of boats, jet skis, wakeboarders, and swimmers as Lake Washington becomes a playground for summer activity.
On the western shore of the lake, The Woodmark’s recreation booth, aptly named Waterfront Adventures, is already open for the day welcoming hotel guests and locals alike to one of the most beautiful destinations in the Pacific Northwest. Here families can rent kayaks, paddle boards, boats, and jet skis or reserve a driver for a gentle cruise around the lake. The watersports team is available to instruct visitors on something new or set them up with a favorite summer activity.
Our iconic yellow and blue kayaks are complimentary for hotel guests for up to four hours, available in both singles and doubles.
To start your kayaking adventure, we recommend taking an easy trip to the nearby Yarrow Bay Wetlands. The serene 73-acre wildlife preserve is only accessible by water, and motorized craft are not permitted so the atmosphere is ideal for wildlife viewing. In the shallows, you may spot great blue heron, while ospreys and even bald eagles have been known to rest in the trees above. Chances are you will also see turtles, beavers, and a great variety of fish in the water.
For a longer paddle, head to Juanita Bay Wetlands 5 miles to the north. The lush park is a popular picnicking spot for Kirkland and Bellevue locals, so it’s a fun stop-off during the summer.
Those with the right balance will enjoy paddle boarding on the lake and even paddle board yoga for experienced yogis. Just steer clear of fast-moving boats if you don’t want the wake to toss you into the water (though it can actually be very refreshing in August!).
As for thrill seekers, our high-powered jet skis and wakeboarding boat make for an adrenaline-filled day on the water. Wakeboarding is similar to other board sports, so even visitors who are attempting it for the first time should be able to adjust quickly.
For a slower, more scenic excursion, we recommend a boat cruise or a walk along the lakeside trails. When boating, the entire lake is open to you—whether you wish to circle Mercer Island or motor to Lake Washington’s shore for an up-close view of Seattle. Alongside the lake, a network of trails starts at Carillon Point, and visitors can walk among the collection of outdoor sculptures. There are also beach cruisers for rent at The Woodmark.
As for renting options, Waterfront Adventures has several boats that can accommodate up to 12 people, and we also offer cruises on The Woodmark II, our vintage, 28-foot boat for six with a sleek, retro design and beautiful mahogany decks. And as the activity on Lake Washington quiets down at the end of the day, a sunset cruise on the smaller boat can be an intimate and memorable way to end your time at The Woodmark.
Walk-ups are welcome, but reservations are strongly encouraged for all watersports and special events on Lake Washington. Waterfront Adventures is open from May through September and can be reached at 425-216-2257.
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