Newcomer's Handbook Seattle

Sports and Recreation

Seattle has much to offer in the way of sports and recreation. For weekend warriors who enjoy playing games as much as they like watching them, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities available, from a recreational pick-up game at one of Seattle’s many parks to participation in an organized league. For avid spectators, there is professional and college action galore. Health clubs are listed at the end of this chapter.

These sports publications offer in-depth coverage of local sporting events and activities:

Tickets

If you follow sports at all, you already know that Seattle has professional basketball, baseball, and football teams. What you may not realize until you live here is that fans in the Pacific Northwest tend to be of the fair-weather variety, both figuratively and literally. While that can be upsetting to the players, it is often good news for die-hard fans, because during mediocre seasons, tickets generally can be purchased without much advance notice. In boom years, however, like the Seattle Seahawks’ 2005 season leading up to their appearance in SuperBowl XL, tickets are hard to come by.

Tickets for all Seattle professional sporting events can be purchased by phone or online at Ticketmaster (206-628-0888, ticketmaster.com) or in person at Ticketmaster outlets at most Fred Meyer stores. Or, you can visit the venue’s box office. The Seattle SuperSonics left the city in 2008 to become the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the city currently hosts no men’s pro basketball team. Fans of women’s basketball cheer on the 2010 WNBA Champions the Seattle Storm at Key Arena. The Seattle Mariners play at Safeco Field, and the Seattle Seahawks play at CenturyLink Field. See below under Professional Sports for web addresses and contact information for each team.

Tickets to sold-out events are a little easier to come by than in years past, when your only recourse would be a high-priced ticket broker. Tickets for sporting and cultural events may be purchased through the website stubhub.com (a subsidiary of eBay), where fans resell tickets to other fans for a preset price, which may be more or less than the tickets’ original face value. Tickets purchased on Stubhub are guaranteed by the sponsoring website, which earns a 25% commission (10% from buyer and 15% from the seller) for each sale. You can also try purchasing secondhand tickets online directly from individuals via websites such as eBay.com and craigslist.com. If you’re wary of such transactions and price is no object, traditional online ticket brokers are still an option. You can find brokers in the Yellow Pages under “Ticket Sales—Entertainment & Sports,” or typing the search phrase “online ticket broker” into Google.com will result in pages of online brokers. While ticket scalping in Seattle was declared legal in 2005, tickets can’t be resold on event property. As a last resort you can usually find people selling tickets near event venues, though you may be limited in availability and price. It’s a seller’s market.

Professional and College Sports

Professional Sports

Baseball

Seattle is home to the Seattle Mariners, which after many years of being a sub-500 team, earned fan love and loyalty through a series of winning streaks and playoff berths. Nonetheless, the M’s hold the dubious honor of being the only team in the American League never to have gained a berth in the World Series, and in recent seasons have ranged from better than average to abysmal. Also in the Seattle area are two minor league teams, the Tacoma Rainiers and the Everett AquaSox.

  • The American League’s Seattle Mariners play 81 home games. They play in the highly touted Safeco Field, a ballpark admired for its easy viewing of baseball and a retractable roof for those notorious Seattle rain showers. You can order tickets by calling 800-SEA-HITS or online, where you can also print your tickets after purchasing. Visiting one of the Mariner stores, located in most area malls, is another option for ticket purchase. For a Mariners schedule and more information, go to seattle.mariners.mlb.com.
  • The Tacoma Rainiers are a Triple-A club in the Pacific Coast league. A farm team for the Mariners, the Rainiers play during the spring and summer in Cheney Stadium. There are usually several fun theme nights throughout the season with extra entertainment and prizes. For a schedule or tickets call 253-752-7707, or visit tacoma.rainiers.milb.com.
  • The Everett AquaSox host their home games at Everett Memorial Stadium in downtown Everett. The AquaSox are a Single-A farm team for the Seattle Mariners, and offer many exciting games during the summer. Contact their office at 425-258-3673, or visit aquasox.com.

Basketball

The Seattle Storm, named after the rainy weather in their home city, joined the Women’s National Basketball Association for the 2000 season. Like most expansion teams, the Storm struggled in their first season, but rapidly improved, and in 2004 they won the WNBA Championship and the continued adoration of fans. In 2006 the Storm was sold along with the Seattle SuperSonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder), and it looked like the team might also be Oklahoma bound. However, the Storm was bought by a Seattle group of Women called Force 10 Hoops, in a deal that disconnected the team from the Sonics and kept it in Seattle, much to the fans’ relief. During the 2010 season, the Storm was virtually unstoppable, winning a record of 17–0 games at the Key to grab their second WNBA championship. Storm games are family-friendly and feature an all-kid dance troupe that performs at home games. For tickets and information, call 206-217-WNBA or visit wnba.com/storm.

Football

In 2002, the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks moved into their new, state-of-the-art stadium at Qwest Field (now called CenturyLink Field)—and into a new division, the NFC West. The team went on to a championship 2005 season and an appearance in Super Bowl XL, where they suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Steelers. Disappointed fans all over the city rallied around the cry “next year.” For more about the Seahawks, go to seahawks.com. For tickets, call 888-NFL-HAWK.

Hockey

  • Key Arena is also home to the Seattle Thunderbirds, a Western Hockey League team. The Thunderbirds always draw a large and enthusiastic crowd for competitive games and the occasional brawl. Tickets and information are at 206-448-PUCK or seattlethunderbirds.com.
  • The Everett Silvertips made their Western Hockey League debut in the 2003–2004 season and two years later reached the final 4 in the WHL Playoffs. They play before enthusiastic fans in the Everett Events Center. For more information call 425-252-5100 or visit everettsilvertips.com.

Horse Racing

Northwest thoroughbred racing enthusiasts trek to Auburn to catch the action at Emerald Downs. For more information call 253-288-7000 or visit emeralddowns.com.

Soccer

  • The Seattle Sounders are Seattle’s professional soccer team. Part of the Western Conference of Major League Soccer, they play their home games at CenturyLink Field and have a loyal following of boisterous fans. Their loyalty has been rewarded by three consecutive U.S. Open Cup wins in 2009, 2010, and 2011, as well as MLS playoff appearances. Call 800-745-3000 for tickets, or visit soundersfc.com.
  • Women’s soccer in Seattle is represented by the Seattle Sounders Women, a member of the USL W-League founded in 2003. They play at the Starfire Sports complex in Tukwila. For information call 206-431-3232 or visit starfiresports.com.

College Sports

Many sports fans prefer college games to professional contests. For reasons of convenience, cost, or alum loyalty, it’s true that the frenzied fans and the youthful energy found at college events make for an exciting experience. The area’s largest draw for college sports is the University of Washington, which offers many first-class sporting events. The ticket office is at 101 Graves Building on the UW campus. For more information about UW athletics see below or visit gohuskies.com. To find out more about the sports programs of other nearby colleges or universities, call their information desk. (See Childcare and Education for a list of area schools.)

UW Baseball

The Huskies have a men’s baseball team and a women’s softball team. Both play at Husky Ballpark. Call 206-543-2200 or go to gohuskies.com for more information.

UW Basketball

The Husky Women’s Basketball team, once a frequent contender in the NCAA championship tournament, has foundered of late. Recent coaching changes may improve the team’s performance. The Husky Men’s team made the NCAA championship tournament in 2005 and 2006. Both teams play their home games at Alaska Airlines Arena at the Hec Edmundson Pavilion (aka Hec Ed) on the UW campus. In the 2011, the University announced plans to build a new multimillion-dollar training facility near the arena. Check gohuskies.com on the web or call 206-543-2200 for tickets and information.

UW Football

The University of Washington’s Husky Football team has a long list of national championships. On game days a steady stream of purple and gold clad fans makes its way into Husky Stadium, one of the best college football venues in the nation. Currently undergoing a $250-million renovation, the stadium is scheduled to reopen by the start of the 2013 football season (2012 home games will be played at CenturyLink Field). Husky Stadium offers great seating for the game, and provides fans with a panoramic view of Lake Washington and snow-capped Mount Rainier. Football games are popular with students, and many alumni are season ticket holders, so it’s often difficult to get tickets. Call 206-543-2200 or go to gohuskies.com for more information.

Participant Sports and Activities

Ask residents what they love most about the Puget Sound area, and a common response will be the great selection of outdoor recreation opportunities. From watching the sunset over the Olympics in a nearby neighborhood park to climbing to the summit of Mount Rainier, there are hundreds of activities for every level of athlete throughout the four seasons.

If you’re looking for general information on local parks, kiddie pools, tennis courts or community programs, start with the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department (206-684-4075, seattle.gov/parks) or your local community center (listed after the neighborhood profiles). In addition to playgrounds, ball fields, swimming pools, and basketball and tennis courts, neighborhood community centers offer fitness classes, dance lessons, pottery and art classes, and other activities. King County Parks can be reached at 206-296-8687 or kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks.aspx, and the Kitsap County Department of Facilities, Parks and Recreation can be reached at 360-337-5350 or kitsapgov.com/parks.

Parks and Recreation Departments

Adventure Racing/Orienteering

  • Adventure racing is a multi-discipline sport that usually involves paddling, mountain biking, and trekking, as well as navigating a course through wilderness, and can take anywhere from hours to days. Sometimes other disciplines like horseback riding and fixed rope are involved. Some teams offer training to those new to the sport, but you may have to find other like-minded individuals and form your own team. The Pacific Northwest Adventure Racing Community offers links to teams, events, and a forum, and can be reached at pnwar.com.
  • Orienteering is a fast-growing sport in the area involving navigating a course through sometimes difficult terrain with a map and compass. The Cascade Orienteering Club offers events, training, and maps, as well as permanent orienteering courses around the area. They can be reached at 425-778-7202 or cascadeoc.org.

Baseball/Softball

Every spring, as the cherry trees blossom, Seattle residents flock to local fields to play baseball or softball. If you’re simply in the mood for an impromptu game with friends or for some casual batting practice, ball fields are available. To reserve a field, call the Seattle Parks and Recreation Individual Field Reservation Line at 206-684-4077. For parks in surrounding communities, contact the city parks and recreation departments listed previously in this chapter.

If you’d like to put together your own team and/or participate in a league, most leagues are organized privately or through local community centers (listed after the neighborhood profiles). The following resources may also be helpful:

Adult Leagues

  • Bellevue Baseball/Softball Athletic Association, 425-746-4592, bbsaa.org
  • Puget Sound Senior Baseball League, 425-957-1430, pssbl.com

Youth Leagues

  • Little League, littleleague.org; every city and town in the Puget Sound region offers Little League baseball and softball. Larger cities like Seattle and Bellevue have several leagues. To find a league near you visit the official website.
  • United States Amateur Baseball Association, 425-776-7130, usaba.com

Basketball

Considering Seattle’s unpredictable weather, you might think that basketball would be near the bottom of the list as a favorite sport. That’s definitely not the case. Lively pick-up games are common in Seattle’s playgrounds and community centers, and there are many organized leagues at gyms and athletic clubs. If you’re interested in league play or workshops, consider the health clubs listed later in this chapter, or call one of the area’s parks and recreation departments (see above). For a casual but competitive pick-up game in Seattle call your local community center (see Community Resources following each neighborhood write-up in the Seattle Neighborhoods chapter) or call the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department at 206-684-4075.

Bicycling

In Seattle, cycling is popular as both a sport and a means of transportation. Despite the unpredictable weather and hilly topography, many residents bike to work and school, and to do errands. Bicycle lanes have become more common on major thoroughfares throughout the city and its surrounding communities. Seattle is also home to the World Naked Bike Ride (aka the WNBR Seattle) and other events when riders can cycle in the buff, if they are so inclined. (For more information on commuting by bike, naked or fully clothed, see the Transportation chapter.)

Green Lake is a popular destination for recreational cyclists, as are many locations along the Burke-Gilman Trail. For a fun and scenic ride, bike the Burke-Gilman Trail from Gasworks Park on Lake Union to Kenmore on Lake Washington. This trail is also used as a shortcut for many UW students riding to school each morning.

Cascade Bicycle Club (CBC), the largest cycling club in the United States, is based in Seattle. With more than 13,000 members, CBC sponsors several rides each day, for riders of all skill levels, as well as several annual events. Contact CBC at 206-522-BIKE, or check out their comprehensive website at cascade.org. Those interested in track racing should contact the Marymoor Velodrome Association at 206-957-4555, or go to velodrome.org/mva/node/19. Racing events are held regularly at Marymoor Park in Redmond.

The following are a few of the most popular annual street rides in the Seattle area:

  • The Cannonball, held in late June and organized by the Redmond Cycling Club, is a one-day trek from Seattle to Spokane along I-90. Call 425-739-8609 or visit redmondcyclingclub.org.
  • Chilly Hilly, held in late February and sponsored by CBC, is a 33-mile bicycle tour around Bainbridge Island. It marks the official opening of bicycle season in the Pacific Northwest.
  • The Daffodil Classic, an annual ride sponsored by the Tacoma Wheelmen’s Bicycle Club, is held in mid-April. There are several routes, ranging from 40 to 100 miles. Call 253-759-2800 or visit twbc.org.
  • The Kitsap Color Classic, a ride through Kitsap County on the Olympic Peninsula, is held in late September when the leaves begin to turn. CBC sponsors this ride, with features a variety of loop options for variously skilled riders.
  • PROS (Perimeter Ride of Seattle), sponsored by Cyclists of Greater Seattle (COGS) and held annually on Labor Day, is a hilly ride around the city’s perimeter, with options of a 60- and 80-mile route. &
  • The RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day) is sponsored by the Redmond Cycling Club and takes place in late July. It is a 150+ mile race around Mount Rainier, and is perhaps the most challenging in the area, with 10,000 feet of climbing during the race.
  • RAPSody (Ride Around Puget Sound), held in late August, is a 170-mile weekend ride organized by five bike clubs in support of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington (BAW). This challenging event is known for live music and great food along the route. &
  • STP (Seattle-to-Portland) is a two-day non-competitive bike ride from Seattle to Portland, sponsored by the CBC. Riders can choose to participate for one or two days; those riding for two days stay overnight midway. The STP takes place in mid-July and is the best-known bicycling event in the area.

Just as popular as traditional bicycling, mountain biking is a favorite recreational activity for many Seattle residents. Seattle’s hills provide great practice routes, and there are several scenic and challenging mountain-bike trails just a short drive out of the city. An excellent resource for local mountain-biking information is the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (206-524-2900, evergreenmtb.org). If you’re new to the sport, the club offers a “boot camp” for first-time trail riders. For information on nearby trails, check out a copy of the King County Bicycling Guidemap, available at King County Public Libraries; it can also be ordered by phone at 206-263-4741, or downloaded from kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/Roads/Bicycling.aspx.

Bird Watching

Though bird watching may not rank high on Seattle’s list of popular pursuits, the region does include its fair share of birders. In Seattle, the National Audubon Society recommends Discovery and Green Lake parks, the Montlake Wetlands, Washington Park Arboretum, and in West Seattle, Alki Beach and Lincoln Park. The Great Washington State Birding Trail, a series of detailed maps completed in 2011, describes the best sites for observing birds in nature around the region. To find bird watching spots in surrounding communities, visit wa.audubon.org.

  • Audubon Washington, 5902 Lake Washington Blvd S, Seattle, 206-652-2444, wa.audubon.org
  • Eastside Audubon, P.O. Box 3115, Kirkland, WA 98083, 425-576-8805, eastsideaudubon.org
  • Pilchuck Audubon Society, 1429 Ave D, PMB 198, Snohomish, WA 98290, 425-252-0926, pilchuckaudubon.org
  • Seattle Audubon Society, 8050 35th Ave NE, 206-523-4483, seattleaudubon.org
  • Washington Ornithological Society, 12345 Lake City Way NE #215, wos.org

Boating

It’s no surprise that Seattle residents love their watercraft. Even on cloudy days, you’ll see several boats out on the lakes or in Puget Sound. Colorful spinnakers dot the Sound each weekend, as sailing races are held near Shilshole Bay. On sunny days, floatplanes arriving at Lake Union dodge the many sailboats that crowd the lake, and the early-morning calm of Lake Washington entices crowds of skiers, kayakers, and stand-up paddle boarders.

Electric Boats

Rowing, Canoeing, Kayaking, and Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)

Sailing

Yacht Clubs

Other Boating Resources

  • Boating Safety Classes, 800-336-BOAT
  • Seattle Police Harbor Patrol Unit, 206-684-4071
  • Seattle Boat Ramp Supervisor, 206-684-7249
  • U.S. Coast Guard 24-hour Emergency, 206-217-6001 or 800-424-8802

Bowling

Bowling is most popular during Seattle’s wet, gray winter months. The following bowling alleys organize leagues regularly, but also welcome amateur and first-time bowlers.

Chess

Dance

Fencing

Field Hockey/Lacrosse

Fishing and Shellfish Gathering

The fishing and shellfishing opportunities in Washington are nothing short of amazing. Although the area is famous for salmon and Dungeness crab, you’ll also find clams, mussels, oysters, trout, and steelhead. If you’re gathering shellfish with a local, you may even get a glimpse of a geoduck. Geoducks, pronounced “gooey-ducks,” are huge razor clams indigenous to Washington’s ocean beaches. Like clams, you’ll need to dig for geoducks, but they’re fast and a lot tougher to catch! There are two things to be aware of before heading to a beach with bucket and shovel in hand— beaches are periodically closed due to algae blooms and/or pollution, and you need a license.

The summers of 2009 and 2010 saw some of the worst red tides in a decade and many Puget Sound beaches were closed to shellfish harvesting. Some of the toxins affecting shellfish can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning in humans and can’t be cooked out, so it’s always a good idea to check with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife first. You can reach their shellfish hotline at 800-562-5632 or visit their website (see below) or that of the Washington State Department of Health at www.doh.wa.gov/shellfishsafety.htm.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) regulates fishing and shellfish gathering throughout the state, acting as both conservation and licensing entity. The agency provides many helpful publications on a variety of fish and wildlife subjects, which can be ordered by phone or downloaded from the department’s website (see below). Recreational fishing licenses are required for all state residents 15 and over, and for all non-residents, regardless of age. Licenses are divided into three categories: freshwater, saltwater, and shellfish/seaweed. Licenses are valid for a variety of time periods, from one day to one year, and must be displayed at all times while fishing or gathering shellfish. License fees and restrictions vary according to the fish or shellfish collected; fees range from $5.40 to $46.20 for residents. Licenses may be purchased from most sporting goods stores, or online at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov.

  • Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, 1111 Washington St SE, Olympia, WA 98501, 360-902-2200, wdfw.wa.gov

Several types of salmon and trout migrate through the waters of western Washington. Chinook are the largest of the Pacific salmon and spawn in the Columbia and Snake rivers, as well as other small rivers and streams. Coho or silver salmon are a popular sport fish in the Puget Sound, and can also be found in coastal tributaries. Sockeye salmon are a flavorful salmon, found in Lake Washington, Baker Lake, Quinault Lake, Ozette Lake, and Lake Wenatchee. Pink salmon, or humpback salmon, spawn only every other year, so they appear in Washington waters during odd-numbered years only. Chum salmon can be found in small coastal streams, but are not particularly tasty and so are not popular as a sport fish. Steelhead and cutthroat trout, named for the red markings just below the head of the fish, live in freshwater streams and Puget Sound bays. Although cutthroats are common throughout North America, those in Washington are the only ones that spend the warm summer months in saltwater.

Lakes and rivers in Washington yield an unusual catch of fish, including many non-native species. When settlers arrived here in the mid-1800s, they caught trout, char, whitefish and a few other small fish in the freshwater lakes and streams. As more people moved to the area and the trout population began to dwindle, additional species of fish were imported. While trout (including rainbow, cutthroat, steelhead, brook, and brown trout) are still the most popular fish in Washington’s many rivers, the state’s lakes and rivers are now stocked with a variety of fish, from sunfish and catfish, to perch and pike.

Favorite locations for trout fishing near the Puget Sound are the Skagit, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, and Green rivers. Other plentiful rivers in the state include the Columbia, Cowlitz, Kalama, and Hoh. Bottomfish such as halibut, cod, and rockfish are common in Neah Bay, the Hood Canal, and around the San Juan Islands. Lake Washington and the Puget Sound have limited numbers of sturgeon, which are more numerous in the Columbia and Snake Rivers. If you’re looking for largemouth bass, try Moses Lake, Silver Lake, Long Lake, Sprague Lake or the Columbia River. Smallmouth bass are commonly found in the Columbia, Snake, and Yakima rivers, and in Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish, and Lake Stevens. You may catch yellow perch in Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish or Lake Stevens. You’re more likely to find walleye in eastern Washington lakes such as Moses Lake, Lake Roosevelt or Soda Lake. If you’re a fan of catfish, you’ll find brown bullheads in Lake Washington, Moses Lake or Liberty Lake, and channel catfish in Fazon Lake and Sprague Lake. Tiger muskies (pike) are commonly found in Mayfield Lake in Lewis County, while northern pikes swim in Long Lake near Spokane.

Frisbee

While many Seattle parks have adequate open spaces for a game of frisbee, a few parks are especially popular with enthusiasts. Gasworks Park, at the north end of Lake Union, combines a wide expanse of green lawn with pleasant breezes off the lake. Discovery Park in Magnolia has a good-sized grassy meadow in which to play, and Woodland Park near Green Lake offers a quiet shady expanse. The Seattle area also features several disc golf courses, including Lakewood King County Park, North Park (Mineral Springs), Juel Community Park, and Lake Fenwick. For more information, go to pdga.com.

If ultimate frisbee is your game of choice, you may want to try one of several regular pick-up games in the area. Common locations are Volunteer Park, Lincoln Park in West Seattle, and Marymoor Park in Redmond. League play is organized privately or through the Northwest Ultimate Association, P.O. Box 85112, Seattle, WA 98145, 206-781-5840, discnw.org.

Geocaching

This high-tech worldwide treasure hunting game is played using GPS devices to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, filled with trinkets, toys, or trackable items. Players log in to share their experiences online at sites such as geocaching.com. Whether you call it a sport, a game, or a hobby, geocaching originated in the Northwest and is the site of the Triad—three sought-after caches hidden around the region. The geocaching community has an environmental agenda, and many geocachers participate in Cache In Trash Out (CITO), a global environmental cleanup effort. In 2010, GeoWoodstock, the largest annual geocaching event in the world, was held in Carnation, Washington, and drew thousands of enthusiasts from around the globe. The Groundspeak “lackeys,” considered the stewards of the sport, are based in Fremont. For more information, visit groundspeak.com.

Golf

Three public golf courses, run by the City of Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, are listed below, along with public courses in surrounding communities. In addition, the parks department offers a short course near Green Lake, the Green Lake Pitch and Putt (walk-ons only), and near Queen Anne, the Interbay Golf Center, with miniature golf course and driving range (reservations taken up to seven days in advance). While there are many other golf courses in the greater Seattle area, most are private or semi-private courses. Check the local Yellow Pages or online for more information.

Gymnastics

Most community centers and YMCAs offer gymnastics and tumbling classes, but there are various gyms in the area devoted exclusively to the sport:

  • Cascade Elite Gymnastics, 23101 56th Ave W, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043, 425-672-6887, cascadeelite.com
  • Emerald City Gymnastics Academy, 17735 NE 65th St, Ste 110, and 17969 NE 65th, Redmond, 425-861-8772, emeraldcitygymnasticsacademy.com
  • Gymnastics East, 13425 SE 30th St, Ste 2A, Bellevue, 425-644-8117, gymeast.com
  • Gymnastics Unlimited, 34016 9th Ave S, D-5, Federal Way, 253-815-0998, gymnasticsunlimitedus.com
  • Metropolitan Gymnastics, 6822 S 190th St, Kent 98032, 425-282-5010, metropolitangym.com
  • Northshore Gymnastics Center, 19460 144th Ave NE, Woodinville 98072, 425-402-6602, northshoregymnastics.com
  • Northwest Aerials, 12440 128th Ln NE, Kirkland 98034, 425-823-2665, nwaerials.com
  • Seattle Gymnastics Academy, 12535 26th Ave NE, 206-362-7447; 5313 Shilshole Ave NW, 206-782-1496; 5035 37th Ave S, Ste 200, 206-708-7497; seattlegymnastics.com

Hang Gliding/Paragliding/Parasailing

On sunny days in downtown Seattle, the billowing parachutes of parasailers are a familiar sight on Elliott Bay. Most of the Puget Sound region is an hour or less from the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, which are an ideal place for hang gliding and paragliding, offering spectacular scenery on long, slow descents.

  • AAAA Hang Gliding School, 11345 Sand Point Way NE, 206-363-3680
  • Cloudbase Country Club, P.O. Box 629, Issaquah, 98027, 425-703-2382, cloudbase.org
  • The Northwest Paragliding Club, P.O. Box 2265, Issaquah, 98027, nwparagliding.com
  • Pacific Parasail, 821 Dock St, Ste 407, Tacoma 98402, 253-272-3883, pacificparasail.net
  • Parafly Paragliding, 10534 157th Ave NE, Redmond 98052, 425-605-0433, paraflyparagliding.com
  • Paraglide Washington, 206-679-1002, paraglidewashington.com
  • Pier 66 Parasail, 2203 Alaskan Way, 206-622-5757
  • Seattle Paragliding, 11206 Issaquah-Hobart Rd SE, Issaquah 98027, 206-387-3477, seattleparagliding.com

Hiking

If you like to hike, you’ll love living in Seattle. Not only are there several short hikes in local parks, such as Discovery Park and Seward Park, but just outside of the city there are hundreds of trails for hikers of all fitness levels. Mountaineers Books publishes a series of useful books that describe nearly every trail in Washington. The following resources may be helpful when choosing a trail.

Horseback Riding

Horseback rides and lessons are available in many of Seattle’s surrounding rural communities. Check with the following, search online, or look in the Yellow Pages under “Horse Rentals & Riding” for more listings.

  • Creekside Stables, 17513 51st Ave SE, Bothell, 98011, 425-485-6040, creeksideriding.com
  • Elk Run Stables, 45004 SE 161st Pl, North Bend, 98045, 425-888-4341
  • Gold Creek Equestrian Center, 16528 148th Ave NE, Woodinville 98072, 425-806-4653, gold-creek.com
  • Parkside Stables, 13020 N 39th St, Bellevue, 98005, 425-885-5025, parksidestables.com
  • Phoenix Farm, 8832 222nd St SE, Woodinville, 98077, 425-486-9395, phoenixfarm.com
  • Tiger Mountain Stables, 24508 SE 133rd, Issaquah, 98027, 425-392-5090

Ice Skating/Hockey

Most bodies of water in Seattle never freeze, but there are plenty of ice skating opportunities available, albeit the indoor kind. Most rinks offer skate rentals, lessons, hockey leagues and open ice sessions. During the holiday season, an ice rink at Seattle Center is open to the public. Call 206-684-7200 for details. Year-round rinks include:

  • Castle Ice Arena, 12620 164th SE, Renton, 425-254-8750, castleice.com
  • Highland Ice Arena, 18005 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline, 206-546-2431, highlandice.com
  • Kingsgate Ice Arena, 14326 124th Ave NE, Kirkland, 98024, 425-821-7133 ext. 104, kingsgateskatingclub.org
  • Lynnwood Ice Center, 19803 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, 98036, 425-640-9999, lynnwoodicecenter.com
  • Olympic View Arena, 22202 70th Ave W, Mountlake Terrace, 98043, 425-672-9012, olyview.com

In-Line/Roller Skating and Skateboarding

In-line skating is a popular activity on Seattle’s paved paths, particularly at Green Lake, Alki Beach, and on the Burke-Gilman Trail. Some skaters even turn vacant parking lots into impromptu rinks for trick skating or pick-up hockey games. Several sporting goods stores offer in-line skating rentals. Gregg’s Greenlake Cycle, 7007 Woodlawn Ave NE (one of three locations in the area), 206-523-1822, greggscycles.com, offers easy access to a paved path.

For in-line skating lessons, try the Lynnwood Bowl & Skate, 6210 200th St SW, Lynnwood, 425-778-3133, bowlandskate.com, or Skate Journeys, 206-276-9328, skatejourneys.com. For in-line hockey leagues and drop-ins, go to Arena Sports at Magnuson Park, 7727 63rd Ave NE, Ste 101, 206-985-8990, arenasports.net. You can also connect with the Greater Seattle Hockey League at gshockey.com. A good roller rink for family skating is the Skate King, 2301 140th Ave NE, Bellevue 98005, 425-641-2047, bellevueskateking.homestead.com.

If skateboarding is your thing, plenty of new skate parks have sprung up around the city. Head for the SkatePark at the Seattle Center (dubbed “Sea Sk8” by local skaters), or the outdoor skate park at Ballard Commons Park, 5701 22nd Ave NW. If the weather is lousy, try the recently remodeled Inner Space Skatepark at 3506-1/2 Stone Way N, 206-634-9090. innerspaceskateboarding.com.

Martial Arts

Every style of martial arts is represented by dozens of schools and dojos in the Seattle area and surrounding communities. The martial arts have a long history in Seattle, where the first U.S. judo dojo was founded in 1907. Bruce Lee, who attended the University of Washington, developed his style of kung-fu here and is buried in Lake View Cemetery on Capitol Hill. Whether you’re looking for simple self- defense instruction or advanced karate moves, you’re sure to find a sensei (instructor) to suit your needs. Many community centers offer classes, and the following are just a sampling of the martial arts schools in the area. For a complete listing, search online or check the Yellow Pages under “Martial Arts Instruction.”

  • Aikido of West Seattle, 4421 Fauntleroy Way SW, 206-938-5222, aikidows.com
  • Chinese Wushu and Tai Chi Academy, 709-1/2 S King St, 206-749-9513, yijiaowushu.com
  • Greenlake Martial Arts, 319 NE 72nd St, 206-522-2457, newkungfu.com
  • Minakami Karate Dojo, 9871 Aurora Ave N, 206-525-6100, minakamikarate.com
  • MKG Martial Arts International, 10722 5th Ave NE, 206-789-2411, mkgseattle.com
  • Two Cranes Aikido, 8512 20th Ave NE, 206-523-5503, twocranesaikido.com
  • Washington Karate Association, 8618 3rd Ave NW, 206-784-3171, washingtonkarate.com
  • World Martial Arts & Health, 2002 NW Market St, 206-782-7000

Racquet Sports

Tennis

Outdoor public tennis courts dot the city and are generally open on a first-come, first-served basis, although reservations may be requested through the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department. The Amy Yee Tennis Center in the Mount Baker neighborhood, also run by the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, offers lessons and indoor and outdoor courts. For tennis courts in surrounding communities, contact one of the parks and recreation departments listed previously in this chapter.

Racquetball

A few racquetball courts in the greater Seattle area are open to the public:

  • Kent Commons, 525 4th Ave N, Kent 98032, 253-856-5030, ci.kent.wa.us
  • Lynnwood Recreation Center, 18900 44th Ave W, Lynnwood 98046, 425-771-4030, playlynnwood.com
  • Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion, 5303 228th St SW, Mountlake Terrace 98043, 425-776-9173, cityofmlt.com
  • Steve Cox Memorial Park, 1321 SW 102nd St, Seattle, 206-205-5275, kingcounty.gov

Clubs

Private racquet clubs and health clubs offer lessons and court rentals for a variety of games, including tennis, racquetball, and squash. Call for details, as activities and services vary.

  • Central Park Tennis Club, 12630 NE 59th, Kirkland 98033, 425-822-2206, centralparktennisclub.com
  • Edgebrook Club, 13454 SE Newport Way, Bellevue 98006, 425-746-2786, edgebrookclub.org
  • Forest Crest Tennis Club, 4901 238th St SW, Mountlake Terrace 98043, 425-774-0014, forestcrest.com
  • Gold Creek Tennis & Sports Club, 15327 140th Pl NE, Woodinville 98072, 425-487-1090, goldcreektennis.com
  • LA Fitness, 1416 NW Ballard Way (one of many locations), 206-508-5030, lafitness.com
  • Mercer Island Country Club, 8700 SE 71st St, Mercer Island, 206-232-5600, mercerislandcc.com
  • Olympic Athletic Club, 5301 Leary Way NW, 206-789-5010, olympicathleticclub.com
  • Pro Sports Club, 501 Eastlake Ave E, 2nd fl, 206-332-1873 ; 4455 148th Ave NE, Bellevue 98002, 425-885-5566; 9911Willows Rd, #100, Redmond 98052, 425-869-4760; proclub.com
  • Seattle Athletic Club Downtown, 2020 Western Ave, 206-443-111, sacdt.com
  • Seattle Tennis Club, 922 McGilvra Blvd E, 206-324-3200, seattletennisclub.org
  • Silver Lake Tennis & Fitness Club, 505 128th St SE, Everett, 425-745-1617, columbiaathletic.com

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is a popular sport in Washington, with several local climbing clubs and walls, as well as many nearby outdoor destinations. Closest perhaps is Little Si, near North Bend along I-90. Leavenworth, a Bavarian-style village on Highway 2, attracts a variety of climbers. If you’re new to the sport, visit the Leavenworth area and start with the boulders near Icicle Creek; many of them have bars embedded in the rock for easy top-roping. More difficult climbs near Leavenworth can be found at Castle Rock and the Peshastin Pinnacles. Near Stevens Pass, the Index Town Wall provides challenging routes for climbers of all levels. Close to the town of Vantage, basalt columns near the Columbia River offer good climbing for experienced climbers only. Nearby, an area known as The Feathers is appropriate for beginners. In the Olympics, Flapjack Lakes Trail leads to challenging rock-climbing.

If you’ve never tried rock-climbing before, or if you’re an experienced climber who wants to stay in practice without leaving the city, the following climbing walls and clubs offer a variety of rock-climbing experiences. Most of the clubs offer rock-climbing lessons, as do those organizations listed under “Lessons and Guide Resources” below.

Climbing Walls

  • The Center at Norpoint, Climbing Wall (indoor), 4818 Nassau Ave NE, Tacoma 98422, 253-591-5504, metroparkstacoma.org
  • REI Pinnacle (indoor), 222 Yale Ave N, 206-223-1944, rei.com
  • University of Washington Climbing Rock (outdoor), south of Husky Stadium on Montlake Ave NE, 206-543-9433
  • Schurman Rock (outdoor), Camp Long, 5200 35th Ave SW, 206-684-7434, ci.seattle.wa.us
  • Marymoor Climbing Structure (outdoor), east end of Marymoor Park, Redmond, 206-296-2964, freemarymoor.com
  • The Crag at South Bellevue Community Center, 14509 SE Newport Way, Bellevue 98009, 425-452-4240, ci.bellevue.wa.us/sbcc_crag.htm
  • The Mountaineers’ Climbing Wall at Magnuson Park, 7400 Sand Point Way NE, 206-684-4946, seattle.gov/parks/magnuson/mountaineers.htm

Rock-Climbing Clubs

  • Edgeworks Climbing, 6102 NE 9th St, Ste 200, Tacoma 98406, 253-564-4899
  • Stone Gardens, 2839 NW Market St, 206-781-9828, stonegardens.com
  • Vertical World, 2123 W Elmore St, Seattle, 206-283-4497; 15036-B NE 95th Street, Redmond 98052, 425-881-8826; 5934 State Hwy 303 NE, Bremerton 98311, 360-373-6676; 2820 Rucker Ave, Everett 98201, 425-258-3431; 102 S 24th St, Tacoma 98402, 253-683-4791; verticalworld.com

Lessons and Guide Resources

  • Alpine Ascents International, 109 W Mercer St, 206-378-1927, alpineascents.com
  • KAF Adventures, 8512 122nd Ave NE, Kirkland 98034, 206-713-2149, kafadventures.com
  • Mountain Madness, 3018 SW Charlestown St, 206-937-8389, mountainmadness.com
  • The Mountaineers, 7700 Sand Point Way NErd, 206-521-6000, mountaineers.org
  • REI, 222 Yale Ave N, 206-223-1944; 7500 166th Ave NE, Redmond 98052, 425-882-1158; 3000 184th St SW, Lynnwood 98037, 425-640-6200; 240 Andover Park W, Tukwila 98188, 206-248-1938; 3825 S Steele St, Tacoma 98409, 253-671-1938, rei.com

Rugby/Gaelic Football

Running

Considering the weather in Seattle, you might think that running wouldn’t be a favorite sport in the city. For some reason, though, the rain just seems to make area runners more determined. The most popular running locations in Seattle are Green Lake (the inner loop is 2.8 miles, the outer loop is slightly over 3 miles), the Burke-Gilman Trail, Myrtle Edwards Park, and Alki Beach in West Seattle. Listed below are several running clubs in Seattle, which sponsor weekly club runs and annual events:

Many races are held annually throughout Seattle, some of the most popular of which are the St. Patrick’s Day Dash (4 miles) held in March, the Jingle Bell Run/Walk (5K) held in early December, and the Komen Race for the Cure (5K). The Torchlight Run (8K), held in August as part of the Seafair celebration, is both a run and a parade event, with prizes given for best costume and group theme. The Beat the Bridge Run (8K) is a favorite local run, so named because the object is to cross the University Bridge before the bridge goes up. Comedians and musicians entertain those runners who get stuck behind the bridge until the bridge is lowered again. The Seattle Marathon and Half-Marathon are held each year in November. The best option for getting information on upcoming races is to contact a local running club or running store. In addition, the following stores advertise races and also sponsor weekly group runs:

Scuba Diving

If you think that scuba diving is a purely tropical pastime, think again! Puget Sound may be cold and a bit murky, but with the proper equipment it can be a diver’s paradise. Depending on the time of year, you’ll probably want a drysuit and gloves, but once you’re in the water, with the abundance of fish and sights, you won’t mind the extra weight. You can find octopus, wolf eels and the occasional sixgill shark among many other natural wonders. There are plenty of dive schools and supply shops in the area.

  • A2Z Scuba, 1109 River Rd, Puyallup 98371, 253-840-DIVE, a2zscuba.com
  • Bubbles Below Diving, 17315 140th Ave NE, Woodinville 98072, 425-424-3483, bubblesbelow.com
  • Exotic Aquatics, 146 Winslow Way W, Bainbridge Island 98110, 206-842-1980, exoticaquaticsscuba.com
  • GirlDiver, 625C S Landers St, 253-217-8204, girldiver.com
  • Lighthouse Diving Center, 8215 Lake City Way, 206-524-1633; 5421 196th St SW, #6, Lynnwood 98036, 425-771-2679; 2502 Pacific Ave, Tacoma 98402, 253-627-7617, lighthousediving.com
  • Northwest Sports Divers, 1233 164th St SW #N, Lynnwood 98037th, 425-361-7696, nwsportsdivers.com
  • Seattle Scuba Schools, 2000 Westlake Ave N, #210, 206-284-2350; in Tacoma call 253-256-1759; seattlescuba.com
  • Silent World Scuba Diving, 13433 NE 20th St, Ste V/W, Bellevue 98005, 425-747-8842, silent-world.com
  • Sound Dive Center, 5000 Burwell St, Bremerton 98312, 360-373-6141, sounddivecenter.com
  • Tacoma Scuba, 1602 Center St, Ste C, Tacoma 98409, 253-238-1754, tacomascubacenter.com
  • TL Sea Diving, 23405 Pacific Hwy S, 206-824-4100, tlsea.com
  • Underwater Sports, 10545 Aurora Ave N, 206-362-3310; 264 Railroad Ave, Edmonds 98020, 425-771-6322; 205 E Casino Rd, Everett, 425-355-3338; 11743 124th Ave NE, Kirkland, 425-821-7200; 12003 NE 12th, #59 Brierwood Center, Bellevue 98005, 425-454-5168; 34428 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way 98003, 253-874-9387; 9608 40th Ave SW, Lakewood 98499, 253-588-6634; underwatersports.com

Skiing and Snowboarding

The highways over the Cascade Mountains lead to several ski resorts that are not too far. Whistler, a few hours’ drive north of Vancouver, BC, is considered one of the best ski resorts in North America. Skiing and snowboarding are both popular activities at nearby resorts, which usually offer lessons for all levels of skiers. Call ahead for details and lodging reservations.

Washington State Ski Areas

  • Crystal Mountain, near Mount Rainier, 33 miles east of Enumclaw on Highway 410, 360-663-2265, snow-line 888-754-6199, crystalmountainresort.com
  • Mission Ridge, 12 miles east of Wenatchee on Highway 2, 509-663-6543, snow-line 509-663-3200, missionridge.com
  • Mount Baker, 56 miles east of Bellingham on Highway 542, snow phone 360-671-0211, mtbakerskiarea.com
  • Stevens Pass, 65 miles east of Everett on Highway 2, 206-812-4510, snow-line 206-634-1645, stevenspass.com
  • The Summit at Snoqualmie, (includes Alpental, Hyak, Ski Acres and Snoqualmie ski areas), 60 miles east of Seattle on I-90, 425-434-7669, snow-line 206-236-1600, summit-at-snoqualmie.com
  • White Pass, near Mount Rainier, 50 miles west of Yakima on Highway 12, 509-672-3101, snow-line, 509-672-3100, skiwhitepass.com

Out-of-State Ski Areas

  • Mount Bachelor, 22 miles southwest of Bend, OR, 541-382-7888 or 800-829-2442, mtbachelor.com
  • Mount Hood Meadows, 80 miles east of Portland near Hood River, OR, 503-337-2222 or 503-659-1256, skihood.com
  • Mount Washington, located 80 miles north of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, BC, 888-231-1499, www.mtwashington.bc.ca
  • Silver Mountain, located 70 miles east of Spokane in Kellogg, ID, 866-344-2675, silvermt.com
  • Schweitzer, located 86 miles northeast of Spokane near Sandpoint, ID, 208-263-9555, snow phone 208-263-9562, schweitzer.com.
  • Whistler (includes Whistler and Blackcomb ski areas), 75 miles north of Vancouver, BC, 866-218-9690, whistler-blackcomb.com

Ski/Snowboard Rentals

  • All About Bike and Ski, 3615 NE 45th St, 206-524-2642, allaboutbikeandski.com &
  • Alpine Hut, 2215 15th Ave W, 206-284-3575, alpinehut.com
  • Bob’s Bike & Board, 3605 NE 45th St, 206-524-2642, bobsbikenboard.com
  • Eastside Ski & Sport, 15606 Woodinville-Duvall Rd, Woodinville 98072, 425-485-7547; West Commons Campus, 1 Microsoft Way, Bldg 98, Redmond 98052, 425-885-3000, eastsideskiandsport.com
  • REI, 222 Yale Ave N, 206-223-1944; 7500 166th Ave NE, Redmond 98052, 425-882-1158; 3000 184th St SW, Lynnwood 98037, 425-640-6200; 240 Andover Park W, Tukwila 98188, 206-248-1938; 3825 S Steele St, Tacoma 98409, 253-671-1938, rei.com
  • Seattle Ski and Snowboard, 14915 Aurora Ave N, 206-548-1000, seattleski.com
  • Seattle Snowboard Connection (Sno Con), 263 Yale Ave N, 206-467-8545, snowboardconnection.com

Snowmobiling

In Washington, snowmobiling is allowed on many forest and park trails. Snowmobiles are available for rent near most ski areas and in other wilderness areas throughout the state. Check the Yellow Pages. Rentals generally include a short lesson that covers riding techniques and safety tips. The following resources may be helpful if you’re planning a day of snowmobiling:

  • Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, 360-902-8844, parks.wa.gov
  • Washington State Snowmobile Association, 800-783-9772, wssa.us

Washington State Snowmobile Sno-Park Information

  • Apple Country Snowmobile Club, 509-667-0550
  • Chelan Ranger District, 509-682-4900
  • Cle Elum Ranger District, 509-852-1100
  • Colville National Forest, 509-684-7000
  • Cowlitz Valley Ranger District, 360-497-1100
  • Entiat Ranger District, 509-784-1511
  • Lake Wenatchee Ranger District, 509-763-3103
  • Mount Adams Ranger District, 509-395-3400
  • Mount Baker Ranger District, 360-856-5700
  • Mount St. Helens Ranger District, 360-449-7800
  • Okanogan County, 509-422-7324
  • Naches Ranger District, 509-653-1401
  • Pomeroy Ranger District, 509-843-1891
  • Snoqualmie Ranger District, 360-825-6585, 360-888-1421
  • Spokane County Parks and Recreation, 509-477-4730, spokanecounty.org/parks
  • Tonasket Ranger District, 509-486-2186
  • Wenatchee River Ranger District, 509-548-2550
  • White River Ranger District, 360-825-6585

Soccer

While a few high schools have teams, most children and adults play competitive soccer in private leagues. The following soccer resources are in the greater Seattle area:

  • Ballard Youth Soccer, 1752 NW Market St #224th, ballardsoccer.org
  • Beacon Hill Soccer Club, 2811 14th Ave S, 206-853-9935
  • Capitol Hill Soccer Club, capitolhillsoccer.org
  • Co-Rec Soccer Association, P.O. Box 22064, Seattle 98122, 206-329-1548, co-recsoccer.com
  • Eastside Youth Soccer Association, 15600 NE 8th St, Ste B1, Bellevue 98008, 425-454-7224, eysa.org
  • Emerald City Football Club, P.O. Box 85505, Seattle 98145, 206-629-8860, emeraldcityfc.org
  • Greater Seattle Soccer League (GSSL), 9750 Greenwood Ave N, 206-782-6831, gssl.org
  • Hillwood Soccer Club, P.O. Box 60226, Shoreline 98160, 206-542-3353, hillwoodsoccer.com
  • Lake City Soccer Club, 12345 Lake City Way NE, #401, 206-365-7684, lkcitysoccer.org
  • LVR Youth Soccer Club (Laurelhurst, View Ridge, Ravenna), lvr-soccer.org
  • Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association, 12525 Willows Rd NE, Ste 100, Kirkland 98034, 425-821-1741, lwysa.org
  • Liga Hispana del Noroeste, 11401 Rainier Ave S, 206-772-3785, ligahispana.com
  • Liga Hispana Rainier Youth Soccer Club, 11401 Rainier Ave S, 206-772-3785, laligayouthsoccerclub.org
  • Magnolia Soccer Club, 3213 W Wheeler St, P.O. Box 188, magnoliasoccerclub.com
  • McGilvra Youth Soccer Club, 4111 E Madison St #144, Seattle 98122, mcgilvrasoccer.org
  • Mount Baker/Lakewood Youth Soccer Club, 2945 36th Ave S, mblsoccer.org
  • Queen Anne Soccer Club, 2212 Queen Anne Ave N, qasoccer.org
  • Seattle Youth Soccer Association, 520 NE Ravenna Blvd, 206-274-1318, sysa.org
  • Shorelake Soccer Club, P.O. Box 55472, Shoreline, 98155, 206-362-3594, shorelake.org
  • Silver Lake Soccer Club, P.O. Box 12543, Mill Creek, 98082, 425-481-2665, silverlakesoccerclub.com
  • Washington State Adult Soccer Association, 7800 NE Bothell Way, Kenmore 98028, 425-485-7855, wssa.org
  • Washington State Women’s Soccer Association, P.O. Box 7505, Covington 98042, 206-626-6750, wswsa.org
  • Washington State Youth Soccer Association, 500 S 336th St, Ste 100, Federal Way 98003, 253-4-SOCCER, wsysa.com
  • Woodinville Indoor Soccer Center, P.O. Box 871, Woodinville 98072, 425-481-5099, woodinvilleindoor.com
  • Woodland Soccer Club, woodlandsoccer.org

Swimming

When hot weather hits Seattle, folks head in droves to the few swimming beaches in the city. Lifeguards are generally on duty at Seattle beaches 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., from June 20 through Labor Day (except in inclement weather). To find beaches in communities outside Seattle, contact one of the parks and recreation departments listed previously in this chapter. The following are Seattle parks with swimming areas (call Seattle Parks and Recreation’s general information line at 206-684-4075 for more information):

  • Green Lake Park, 7201 E Green Lake Dr and 7312 W Green Lake Dr
  • Madison Park, E Madison and E Howe St
  • Madrona Park, 853 Lake Washington Blvd
  • Magnuson Park, 7400 Sand Point Way NE
  • Matthews Beach Park, 49th Ave NE and NE 93rd St
  • Mount Baker Park, 2521 Lake Park Dr S
  • Pritchard Island Beach, 8400 55th Ave S
  • Seward Park, 5895 Lake Washington Blvd S

Wading pools are open for the little ones in many parks, playgrounds, and community centers in Seattle. Park wading pools are open daily (provided the temperature is over 70 degrees), from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Community center and playground wading pools are open weekdays only, and hours vary. Call the city’s Wading Pool Hotline at 206-684-7796 for more information. Here are the city’s three biggest wading pools:

  • Green Lake Park, 7312 W Green Lake Dr
  • Lincoln Park, 8600 Fauntleroy Way SW
  • Volunteer Park, 1400 E Galer St

For those interested in year-round swimming, Seattle city pools offer a variety of open swim sessions, lessons and lap-swimming options. Many host swim club practices for Masters and all-ages programs. To find pools in communities outside Seattle, contact one of the parks and recreation departments listed previously in this chapter.

  • Ballard Pool, 1471 NW 67th St, 206-684-4094
  • Colman Pool (outdoor), 8603 Fauntleroy Way SW, 206-684-7494
  • Evans Pool, 7201 E Green Lake Dr N, 206-684-4961
  • Madison Pool, 13401 Meridian Ave N, 206-684-4979
  • Meadowbrook Pool, 10515 35th Ave NE, 206-684-4989
  • Medgar Evers Pool, 500 23rd Ave, 206-684-4766
  • Mounger Pool (outdoor), 2535 32nd Ave W, 206-684-4708
  • Queen Anne Pool, 1920 1st Ave W, 206-386-4282
  • Rainier Beach Pool, 8825 Rainier Ave S, 206-386-1944
  • Southwest Pool, 2801 SW Thistle St, 206-684-7440

Several swim clubs hold regular practices at pools around Seattle, many offering a variety of practices for all levels of experience. Call for details, as prices and entrance requirements vary widely. An excellent resource for competitive swimming information in Washington is Pacific Northwest Swimming (PNS), 501 30th St NE, Ste E, Auburn, WA 98002, 1-888-300-SWIM. The organization maintains a comprehensive website at pns.org that includes swim club directories. Some local swim clubs are listed below. Because many practice at multiple locations, business office addresses are given for some clubs.

  • Cascade Swim Club, 20127 183rd Pl NE, Woodinville, WA 98077, 425-788-6860, cascadeswimclub.org
  • Chinook Aquatic Club, 54 Skagit Key, Bellevue 98006, 206-230-5812, chinookaquaticclub.org
  • Salmon Bay Aquatics, P.O. Box 17442, Seattle 98127, 206-362-3277 (message machine)

Video Arcades

  • Chuck E. Cheese’s, 2239 148th Ave NE, Bellevue, 425-746-5000; 25817 104th Ave SE, Kent, 253-813-9000; 3717 196th St, Lynnwood, 425-771-1195; 4911 Tacoma Mall Blvd, Tacoma, 253-473-3078, chuckecheese.com
  • Gameworks, 1511 7th Ave, 206-521-0952, gameworks.com
  • Seattle Waterfront Arcade, Pier 57, 1301 Alaskan Way, 206-906-1081, seattlewaterfrontarcade.com
  • Shorty’s (21 and over), 2222 2nd Ave, 206-441-5449, shortydog.com

Volleyball

You might think that volleyball would be a purely indoor sport in western Washington, and while there are many indoor leagues, summertime finds players on the sands of Alki Beach and Golden Gardens Park enjoying beach volleyball. North Beach Volleyball even offers indoor beach volleyball in a spacious warehouse at Magnuson Park. Many local community centers offer drop-in volleyball, and a good place to find resources is the website of Seattle Volleyball.Net, seattlevolleyball.net, a site devoted to connecting people to all things volleyball. The following organizations offer league play for different ages and skill levels nearly year round.

  • A/E Volleyball Association, 6724 2nd Ave NW, 206-782-8030, www.aevolleyball@comcast.net
  • Jet City Sports, info@jetcitysports.com
  • Moxie Volleyball, 770 122nd Ave NE, Bellevue, 98005, 425-985-0540
  • North Beach Volleyball Seattle, 7727 63rd Ave NE, Bldg #2, 206-624-2899, seattle@northbeachvolleyball.com
  • Northwest Volleyball, 15821 NE 8th St, Ste W-200, Bellevue, 98008, 425-497-1051, volleyballnw.com
  • Seattle Volleyball Club, 9501 Evanston Ave N, seattlevolleyballclub.com
  • Strike Force Volleyball, P.O. Box 3073, Redmond, 98052, 425-867-0489, sfvbclub.org
  • Underdog Sports Leagues Volleyball, 206-320-8326, underdogseattle.com

Water-Skiing

During the summer, there are hundreds of people water-skiing on Lake Washington. Many skiers launch their boats early in the morning from Magnuson Park in Sand Point and head out to the middle of the lake. Other lakes in Washington popular with water-skiers are Lake Sammamish in Bellevue and Lake Chelan, north of Wenatchee. For equipment and supplies, try the following resources:

  • Adrenaline Water Sports, 13433 NE 20th Ave, Ste C, Bellevue, 425-746-9253, adrenalinewatersports.com
  • Bakes ProShop, 6424 E Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE, Issaquah 98029, 425-392-7599, bakesmarine.com
  • Connelly Skis (online store based in Lynnwood), 425-775-5416, store.connellyskis.com
  • Seattle Watersports, 6820 NE 175th St, Kenmore 98028th, 888-481-2754, seattlewatersports.com
  • Sturtevant’s Sports, 1100 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue 98004, 425-454-6465 or 888-454-7669; Ski Mart Bellevue, 13219 NE 20th St, Bellevue 98005, 425-637-8958; Ski Mart Tacoma, 2220 S 37th St, Tacoma 98409, 253-473-1134; Ski Mart Alderwood, 18920 28th Ave W #N, Lynnwood 98036, 425-778-3616, sturtevants.com
  • Wiley’s Ski Shop, 1417 S Trenton St, 206-762-1300, wileyski.com

Windsurfing

While Green Lake, Lake Union, Puget Sound, and Lake Washington are all popular destinations for windsurfing enthusiasts, the Columbia River Gorge is the ultimate thrill for experienced windsurfers. Located on the southern border of Washington near Hood River, Oregon, the gorge is challenging and exciting for veteran surfers, but can be rough and even dangerous for beginners. The following resources provide information and lessons for both experienced windsurfers and beginners:

  • Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association, 202 Oak St, Ste 150, Hood River, OR, 541-386-9225, gorgewindsurfing.org
  • Urban Surf, 2100 N Northlake Way, 206-545-9463, urbansurf.com

Yoga

Yoga has become enormously popular in Seattle, with studios popping up all over the city, and health clubs rushing to add classes. Here are a few Seattle yoga studios:

  • 8 Limbs Yoga Centers, 6801 Greenwood Ave N, 206-432-9609; 500 E Pike St, 206-325-8221; 7345 35th Ave NE, 206-523-9722; 4546-1/2 California Ave SW, 206-933-YOGA, 8limbsyoga.com
  • Bikram Yoga Seattle, 1054 N 34th St, 206-547-0188; 4747 California Ave SW, 206-937-3900; bikramyogaseattle.com
  • The Center for Yoga in Seattle, 2261 NE 65th St, 206-526-9642, yogaseattle.com
  • Hatha Yoga Center, 4550 11th Ave NE, 206-632-1443, hathayogacenter.com
  • Inside Out Yoga, 8016 Dayton Ave N, 206-992-4808, kimtrimmer.com
  • Lila Yoga, 2812 E Madison St, 206-323-7138, lilayogaseattle.com
  • Lotus Yoga, 4860 Rainier Ave S, 206-760-1917, www.lotusyoga.biz
  • Planet Earth Yoga Center, 418 N 35th St, 206-365-1997, planetearthyoga.com
  • Red Square Yoga, 1911 10th Ave W, 206-999-6274, redsquareyoga.com
  • The Samarya Center, 1806 E Yesler Way, 206-568-8335, samaryacenter.org
  • Seattle Holistic Center, Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Room 302, 206-525-9035, seattleholisticcenter.com
  • Seattle Yoga Arts, 1540 15th Ave, 206-440-3191, seattleyogaarts.com
  • Sound Yoga, 5639 California Ave SW, 206-938-8195, soundyoga.com
  • Two Dog Yoga Studio, 12549 28th Ave NE, 206-367-9608, twodogyoga.com
  • Whole Life Yoga, 8551 Greenwood Ave N, Ste 2, 206-784-2882, wholelifeyoga.com
  • The Yoga Tree, 4250 Fremont Ave N, 206-545-0316, yogatree.com

Health Clubs

Whether you’re trying to stay in shape during the off-season, get in shape for spring break, or simply prefer group fitness or weight-lifting to outdoor sports, Seattle is full of health clubs and gyms. Most offer conditioning classes, as well as personal training programs. Some clubs also offer yoga, spinning, Pilates, Zumba classes, swimming workouts, and nutrition and health classes. Call or visit the club you’re interested in to get details on their programs.

  • 24 Hour Fitness, multiple locations, 800-224-0240, 24hourfitness.com
  • Allstar Fitness, 511 Olive Way, Ste 213, 206-292-0900; 2629 SW Andover St, 206-932-9999; 700 5th Ave, 14th floor, 206-343-4692, 31 Montana Ave, Tacoma, 253-475-7000; allstarfitness.com
  • Ballard Health Club, 2208 NW Market St, 206-706-4882, ballardhealthclub.com
  • Bally Total Fitness, multiple locations, 800-515-2582, ballyfitness.com
  • Community Fitness, 6108 Roosevelt Way NE, 206-523-3363; 2113 NE 65th St, 206-523-1534; communityfitness.com
  • Curves, multiple locations, 800-848-1096, curves.com
  • Gold’s Gym, multiple locations, goldsgym.com
  • LA Fitness, 1416 NW Ballard Way, 206-508-5030; 13244 Aurora Ave, 206-973-0232; 350 Baker Blvd, Tukwila 98188, 206-331-4071; lafitness.com
  • Mieko’s Fitness, 1629 220th St SE, Bothell, 425-483-3330, 206-286-9070; 12015 31st Ave NE, 206-417-4715; 8401 Main St, Edmonds, 425-712-0363, 13018 39th Ave SE, Everett, 425-385-8038, miekosfitness.com
  • Olympic Athletic Club, 5301 Leary Ave NW, 206-789-5010, olympicathleticclub.com
  • Pro-Robics, 1530 Queen Anne Ave N, 206-283-2303; 3811 NE 45th St, 206-524-9246, prorobics.com
  • Pro Sports Club, 501 Eastlake Ave, 2nd Flr, 206-332-1873; 4455 148th Ave NE, Bellevue 98007, 425-885-5566; 9911 Willows Rd #100, Redmond 98052, 425-869-4760; proclub.com
  • Seattle Athletic Club, 2020 Western Ave, 206-443-1111; 333 NE 97th St, 206-522-9400, sacdt.com
  • Seattle Fitness Club, 83 S King St, 206-467-1800, seattlefitness.com
  • Snap Fitness, multiple locations, 877-474-5422, snapfitness.com
  • Sound Mind & Body, 437 N 34th St, 206-547-3470, smbgym.com
  • Washington Athletic Club, 1325 6th Ave, 206-622-7900, wac.net
  • X GYM, 11 Vine St #B, 206-728-XGYM; 3213 Harbor Ave SW, 206-938-XGYM; 126 Central Way, Ste 150, Kirkland, 425-822-XGYM, xgym.com

Activity Clubs

Sporting Goods and Outdoor Wear

Whether you’re heading out of town for a rugged hike or spending an hour at the park with a Frisbee, you may need to go shopping first. Seattle is the birthplace of sporting goods giant REI, and residents take their sports and recreational activities seriously, so there are dozens of places to find just the right equipment. Check the Yellow Pages under “Sporting Goods—Retail” or search online for everything from boots and bicycling to fleece and fishing. Some of the best-known retailers are listed here:

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