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“great way to see the houseboats (or boat houses)”

Agua Verde Paddle Club
Ranked #23 of 108 Outdoor Activities in Seattle
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Explore Seattle the way it’s meant to be viewed–from the water. We offer kayak and paddle board rentals March through October. Embark from beautiful Portage Bay explore Seattle’s diverse and vibrant house boat community. Cross the Montlake Cut to drift among herons and turtles in the serene Washington Park Arboretum. Or, sail under the freeway bridge toward Gasworks Park for beautiful views of the Seattle skyline. After your adventure is done, top it all off with margaritas and delicious Mexican food from upstairs. Kayaks, food and ambience may just be the best way to explore Seattle.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access
Level 6 Contributor
186 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“great way to see the houseboats (or boat houses)”
Reviewed 26 June 2013

Great way to spend and hour or two, paddling around Portage Bay and Lake Union. Fun activity and a good value!

Visited June 2013
Thank kibbe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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64 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“First Time Paddleboarding!”
Reviewed 12 February 2013

My friend invited me to join her and others at Agua Verde to go paddleboarding. I was pretty excited because I have always wanted to try but nervous because it was open water.

We went on a sunny September Sunday and parking across the street in the gravel lot was free and I found a spot. Parking in the area is free on Sundays anyway, but this was a great spot. To the right of the building you will find the stairs that will lead you to down the paddle club. Wow, what a view!! You get in line and move through quickly and let them know if you are there for paddleboarding or kayaking. I believe both are $15 per hour (not including tax) at the time of this posting so a great experience at a great price. They have lockers for your shoes and other non-valuables (leave valuables with someone staying behind, put in a ziploc bag to stash in your secure pocket, or leave in your car). They have water proof bags to store anything like phones that they will secure on your life vest. They tell you not to take your phone out of your bag, but I did...I had to get pics and I knew how to seal the bag back up when I was done.

We were given quick instructions and it's best to go with someone who has had some experience with either paddleboarding or kayaking - it will come in handy for either option. We push off from the dock on our knees for safety and once out in open water we could stand. I chose to stay on my knees for quite a ways and attempted to stand but didn't get the hang of it. A new friend I met on this adventure chose to sit on the board and paddle like on a kayak. I tried that, too. It good to alternate to give your body a break from positions. My friend who invited me stood the entire time. Once you are out on the water there is no better feeling. So free and the water was a little choppy but manageable. We were instructed to stay out of the boat lane but you will have right of way if you are a newbie - I guess that's water law, non-motorized have right of way. I could have that wrong, but hope you get the gist. The boaters are really respectful from my experience as a newbie.

I had a hard time turning around until much later one of my crew told me to flip the oar over as it curves and will help with steering - yeah, wish I had known that earlier. The water isn't too deep and is very relaxing. You will see people dining by the water and playing with their dogs on the patches of beach. Such a view. In the distance you can see downtown Seattle and the Space Needle. Be mindful of your time if you want to stay within the one hour, otherwise keep paddling. But do be mindful as you still have to paddle back. :) You will be sore afterwards in so many places your first time or three out and it's so worth it. I'm addicted to paddleboarding and now I want to try kayaking at Agua Verde.

They do close for the winter from what I heard from my friend as we were interested in getting out on the water soon. This is a great place to hang out afterwards for a drink and food at Agua Verde's restaurant. They boast fresh food, great view, and an eclectic decor. It gets busy so be prepared to stand in line for the restaurant as well as the paddle club.

I recommend coming on the weekend, Sunday if you can for the free parking and the quietness since it is near the college campus. Summer and early fall are especially nice. Come when you can during your visit, whether it's on the weekend or during the week. I hope you have as good a time as I did. I love the PNW!

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Estella N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
54 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Locals line up at this Boat Street institution”
Reviewed 9 February 2013

Agua Verde is two-faced - in a good way. Innovative Baja del Sur restaurant up top, and kayak rental on the water side. Located on the Ship Canal on Boat Street and surrounded by the University of Washington campus, the food, drinks and view bring locals and visitors back time and again.

On rare occasions, I have heard rumblings of indifferent food and/or service, but I have not experienced this first-hand.

A fun trip: Spring through fall - catch the m/v Fremont Avenue (passenger ferry) at South Lake Union park and ride across the lake and up the canal to Agua Verde for lunch or drinks. Return on the next boat.

Visited July 2012
Thank 444RayS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
79 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Great afternoon kayakking”
Reviewed 28 December 2012

A bunch of friends and I rented kayaks from Agua Verde and paddled down to Gasworks Park. The price is reasonable, and so long as you stick to the sides, you shouldn't have any problems with other boats. There are several options for kayaks: one person - stable, one person - maneuverable, and two person. A lovely way to see Seattle, from the lake.

Visited August 2012
Thank TravelingYarn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“The highlight of my trip to Seattle”
Reviewed 5 October 2012

I rented a 2 person Kayak and took my 5-year-old out on Portage Bay about an hour before sunset. This is my fondest memory of my recent Seattle trip. I recommend bringing a waterproof camera (I think I saw some disposable waterproof cameras for sale in the rental giftshop) because you will want photos to remember this. If you paddle across the bay, you can get up close to some of Seattle's famous house boats.
I also recommend wearing fast-drying pants, or bringing an extra pair to change into. I kept dripping (cold) water from the paddle onto my lap and my pants were soaked by the time I got back to shore.

Visited September 2012
Thank kittytraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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