Days of Seattle sun remind me of my eastern Washington roots: temperatures reaching 100 and more and days swimming in the cool Wenatchee River. While I’m not inclined to jump into 54+/- degree Puget Sound now that I’m over 10, I’ve found my city offers a wealth of cool-down experiences –
Washington State Ferries, while a busy part of our State Highway system, are also one of my favorite and most affordable ways to cool off. The $6.70 round-trip to Bainbridge Island is not only a fantastic destination, but a tremendous value too (and where else can you sip a glass of wine and enjoy a cup of clam chowder on your commute?!). Step out on the fore deck and enjoy the breeze!
The King County Water Taxi, part of KC Metro’s transportation system, offers a summer-long treat in a 12-minute/$3.00 commute from downtown’s Pier 54 to the cool shores of Alki Beach. While the trip isn’t long, views of the departing city behind and condo-dotted neighborhood ahead bring a sense of awe (do we really live and play here?!). Opportunities abound when debarking on the Seacrest Park side (West Seattle) from kayak , rollerblade and bike rentals, to a short jaunt down the pedestrian promenade to Salty’s on Alki – a mainstay favorite of locals and guests. Enjoy an hours-long bike ride, or just sit and take in the views of the sprawling skyline just across Elliott Bay. Imagine Arthur Denny and his party of 23 intrepid travelers arriving on a beach not far away 158 years ago dreaming of their New York by-and-by.
Take in Seattle’s expansive collection of parks – including old-growth forest at Schmitz Park Reserve (not a far trip from Alki Beach), or our only in-city wilderness park (Discovery Park in the Magnolia neighborhood). Ample choices with the Olmstead-designed spaces tied within a series of parks known as the Emerald Necklace which dot the lakeshores, boulevards and neighborhoods.
Head north from downtown’s Pier 70 into Myrtle Edwards Park and dip your toes in the water to feel why I choose not to jump in Elliott Bay (but imagine an ecosystem that comfortably keeps the world’s largest octopi and enough Dungeness Crab to keep me happy for the summer!). Want to add some culture? Step next door to Seattle Art Museum’s outdoor Olympic Sculpture Park!
Choose your way to beat the heat … and enjoy a bit of Seattle’s uniqueness!