A record-breaking heat wave is set to usher in the official start of summer, and you might be wondering what you can do to stay cool. Seattle has become the first major city to vaccinate 70% of its eligible population and many COVID-19 restrictions have relaxed while recreation options have expanded.

But we are still cautiously coming out of a pandemic, so it is a good idea to exercise caution as you evaluate your outdoor-activity options.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that the coronavirus can spread through recreational water. We’ve gathered some options to help you escape the heat and stay cool in-and-out of the water outdoors in the Seattle-area.

Many beaches, pools and watercraft-rental places may have limited hours or operations as they emerge from pandemic-mode, so it’s always a good idea to check websites or call before you gear up for an afternoon outdoors.

Natural Waterfronts

Visit Alki Beach and Golden Gardens for a rocky-sand beach excursion. You can grab to-go food and enjoy a picnic for a tastier experience.

Visit Point Ruston for a waterfront experience including bike rentals and a splash park.


Dine on the waterfront at some of the top restaurant patios for outdoor dining in Seattle. You can also visit the Edmonds waterfront which features two new waterfront restaurants.

Outdoor Recreation

Rent a wooden boat from the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union or Cama Beach 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (last boat out at 5:45 p.m.). Their Public Peapod Program offers free one-hour rowboat rentals for groups of five or less.

Rent a doughnut boat on Lake Union. These donut-shaped boats come equipped with a large umbrella, the perfect add-on to shade you from the sun. Reservations can be made online.

You can even use one of several new apps to get out on the water and rent a boat in the Seattle area.

If you don’t want to be in charge of driving a boat yourself, consider a cruise. Seattle Water Tours is hosting Ice Cream Cruises starting June 19. Sailings are at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Rent a kayak or paddle board from Agua Verde Paddle Club, or a number of other watercraft-rental places in the area. You can also book a paddling tour through South Lake Union, the Portage Bay houseboat district or through the shaded cover of Washington Park Arboretum. You can also rent gear from the University of Washington’s Waterfront Activities Center.


Or, paddle board and kayak on Lake Washington with rentals at Juanita Beach Park. Issaquah Paddle Sports offers paddle board and kayak rentals on Lake Sammamish. Want a speedier adventure? Renting Jet Skis on Lake Washington might be the activity for you.

Go fly-fishing in Puget Sound. Emerald Water Anglers, a fly-fishing shop in West Seattle, offers guided trips (a boat trip and a walk-and-wade trip) and classes for beginners and experienced anglers alike. Class registration comes with gear for the day, including the 9-foot reel that provides a naturally socially distanced experience.

Water Parks and Pools

Wild Waves Theme & Water Park opens for the season on Friday, June 18. The park features a new wave machine, lakeside birthday venue, mobile food-ordering app, dive-in movies, rides and more. Parkgoers can purchase season-tickets or daily tickets online.

West Seattle’s outdoor saltwater pool opens June 19. The pool will be open for lap and recreational swimming at reduced capacity, and it features the “Giant Tube Slide.” Classes can be found online.