How to make Seattle more like the Bay Area?
April 22, 2007 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Seattle Filter: Summer is short and I need a plan. I would like to fill my calendar with outdoor activities. Lots of activities. Weekend road trips and weekday after work sports, please.

Weekend road trips: Within 3.5 hours max from Seattle. Ideally beautiful with hiking, clean air and open roads for my road bike. Sunny. Maybe camping, kayaking and perhaps climbing. Site-seeing is okay, but ideally the places will have some sort of vigorous exercise option.

After work activities: Ideally near the city after 6:00PM. Pick-up sports or organized leagues. Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, rowing, soccer, kickball.

Looking for groups to join and places to go. Secondary resources such as books or websites are okay. Personal accounts of said activities and groups are ideal.
posted by |n$eCur3 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The experiemental college in UW has sport based classes where upon completion the class forms a team and joins a local league.

Short trips on the ferries can be fun.

Blow some cash and take a trip to the Orcas via float plane.

Port Townsend if fun in the summer for a night or two.

Rain forest in the Olympics, hot springs in the Olympics.

Underground Tour under downtown. That volcano thing south of us, whatcha call it. Mt. Saint Helens.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 12:53 PM on April 22, 2007

REI has their flagship store in Seattle. They have information on groups to join, books, and probably people who can give you personal accounts of where you can go on the weekend.
posted by yohko at 12:55 PM on April 22, 2007

Two words: Snoqualmie Falls.

Oh yeah and don't forget that elusive mountain at the south end of town. Rain somethin.... I hear tell there's a national park down that way. /sarcasm yes I know it's Ranier, it's just that it's so infrequently visible it's like a painting of a mountain instead of the real thing

If you are into vinyards and wine tasting and stuff like that, head west.

These guys have lots of ideas.

If you want "sunny", you might take a slightly longer trip out to someplace like Sequim (pronounced skwim). The state park there is a nice place to camp.
posted by ilsa at 4:10 PM on April 22, 2007

bainbridge island is beautiful and a hour ferry ride away

second the san juan islands - great camping and kayaking!
posted by enaira at 6:56 PM on April 22, 2007

There are some good camping locations and hiking trails along the White River, in the Cascades out by Leavenworth. The town is kinda fun,and it also has some good resources for trails and other activities.
posted by veronitron at 7:55 PM on April 22, 2007

Well... where do I even start. Seattle is an outdoor paradise, squared.

The best after-hours weekday activity for me is riding my road bike. Some favorite rides are the Burke Gilman + Sammamish River trail (40+ miles), the round-mercer-island loop, to Alki and back, round-the-lake-washington loop, and so on. Pick up a free trail map and you will have enough to last you for months.

Another favorite is kayaking and canoeing. For canoeing, you can rent a boat from UW for something like $7 an hour, and paddle around the arboretum. Another great option is to go to Enatai Beach park in Bellevue rent a canoe or kayak from the people in park and go paddle around the protected wetlands. It is so peaceful and quiet there, you'd never believe you are in the middle of a city. For more serious kayaking, you can go to Aqua Verde (or a few other places on lake Union) to play around on the lake, or Alki Kayak on (surprise) Alki beach for an excursion to the sound. Alki kayak runs great 3 hour sunset trips most evenings, and are awesome people all around.

Green lake is always good for a combined evening run/people watching. The crowds are thick and diverse. I used to live near there, and I loved it. There is also some pickup basketball near community center on the north side of the lake... just hang out around there.

For rock climbing, there are two great free outdoor walls - a bouldering wall in UW (technically for UW students only, but never enforced), and another with real 5.10+ routes in marymoor park in Redmond. Bring your own rope. You can easily ride your bike to Redmond from Seattle if that's your thing. Beyond that, there is a HUGE variety of sport (i.e. bolted) climbing in an area called exit 38 - named such because it is right off exit #38 of I-90. If you work on the eastside, that's close enough to go after work... many people do. You can climb in just that little pocket for years.

For road trips, you have a million choices. For example:
-- As suggested above, go to leavenworth. Icicle creek canyon has some of the most amazing hiking in the state, and hands down best rock climbing. Lots of paved roads for road biking too. Later in the summer, it is THE SPOT for inner tubing - you can rent a tube, a floating beer cooler, you name it. Highly recommended.

There are of course San Juan isalnds, with much hiking, biking, camping and whale watching. Many make for great bike trip. The easiest one to get to is Whidbey Island - just take the ferry from Edmonds. Once there, a good beach for walking is Doublebluff Beach, on Useless Bay (no joke). You'd better like dogs, because a part of it is set as an off-leash area.

I've been hiking around Washington for 10 years, and I have barely scratched the surface. Start with and (and if you are looking for people to do things with). Generally, you have three national parks (Mount Rainier, Olympic and North Cascades), a huge chunk of land taken up by several National Forests (Gifford-Pinchot, Snoqualmie, Wenatchee, etc) and numerous wilderness areas. Here are some favorite hikes: Rampart Lakes, Gothic Basic, Grand Park, Windy Gap, Mt. Defiance, etc. For more serious mountaineering, you do have a bunch of volcanoes nearby... just look around on a clear day.

Hope this helps... if you have more questions, email is in the profile.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 4:56 AM on April 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

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