While many Seattleites might opt to stay indoors and out of the sun the next couple of days during the region’s 90-plus-degree heat spell, there are other options for staying cool around the city.
As The Platform, Sound Transit’s blog, noted in its most recent post, residents can reach many bodies of water and other cooling spots by taking the Link light rail (which, yes, is air-conditioned). Here are a few of The Platform’s recommendations — and some our own! — on where to cool off around Seattle and how to get there without getting stuck in traffic.
If you are heading to a body of water to cool off, stay safe with these safety tips for lakes, rivers and beaches.
University of Washington station
If you get off at the UW station, walk past Husky Stadium to the UW Waterfront Activities Center. From there, you can rent a canoe or kayak any time between noon and 7 p.m. (10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekends) and embark on Lake Union or Lake Washington. Those who are unvaccinated are required to wear masks. You don’t have to be a UW student to rent, though students get a 25% discount.
Canoes are $14 per hour, a single kayak is $16 per hour and a double kayak is $20 per hour.
From Westlake, you can go to the top floor of Westlake Center and get on the Seattle Center Monorail, which will drop you off near the International Fountain at Seattle Center. After you’re done cooling off at the fountain, feel free to head into the Seattle Center Armory, which is opening as a cooling center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the weekend.
International District/Chinatown station
Once you get to the Chinatown International District, it’s less than a 15-minute walk to Yesler Terrace Park, a small but scenic spot that becomes a spray park during the summer. (Plus, you can get the unofficial best boba in Seattle on the way.)
Beacon Hill station
A 15-minute walk away from the Beacon Hill station is the Beacon Mountain Spray Park at Jefferson Park. Just head down Beacon Avenue South until you get to the park, where there’s plenty of space to bring a picnic lunch and cool down.
Mount Baker station
After you’ve arrived in Mount Baker, take the pedestrian bridge over Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and Rainier Avenue to South Mount Baker Boulevard. It’s about a 20-minute walk through the neighborhood and Mount Baker Park to Mount Baker Beach, where you can take a dip in Lake Washington (there are lifeguards, public bathrooms and a swimming dock).
Columbia City station
If you’re looking for another way to get to Lake Washington via public transit, get off at Columbia City, hop on a bus (Route 50 on South Alaska Street toward Seward Park) and make your way to Genesee Park. From there, it’s a couple of blocks to the water.
Not far from the Othello station is Beacon Hill’s Van Asselt Playground, which on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays this summer brings back its wading pool. Usually, Seattle’s water parks operate when there’s no rain in the forecast and the temperature is expected to be higher than 70 degrees, the city says.
For information about other spray parks and wading pools in Seattle (that may be more reachable by car or other transportation methods), visit the city’s website.
Rainier Beach station
If you get off at Rainier Beach, you can take a short walk east on South Henderson Street to the Rainier Beach pool, nestled between the neighborhood’s high school and playfield and open at limited capacity. While the leisure pool, sauna and spa aren’t open this summer, you’re free to splash around in the 25-yard, six-lane pool.
All swim sessions are available for in-person, drop-in admission on a first-come, first-served basis. More information about Seattle’s pool schedules can be found at seattle.gov/parks.