san juan water

Washington Water Activities to Try This Summer

Whether your style is laidback or thrill-seeking, Washington is home to a water adventure (or lack thereof) for just about anyone–of any age and any skill level. Dust off your life vest, and check out these Washington water activities for cooling off and chilling out this summer.

Stand-Up Paddle Board Via Exotic Aquatic Scuba and Kayak

Bainbridge Island is the perfect launching point to enjoy the Kitsap Peninsula, which is surrounded by 371 miles of shoreline and is officially part of the National Water Trails system in Washington State. The best way to take it all in (there are 50-plus miles of hidden coves, beaches, reefs and shorelines to explore!) is to reserve a kayak or stand-up paddle board through Exotic Aquatics Scuba and Kayak (lessons are even available). This summer, water adventurers can find an Exotic Aquatics stand at the city’s Waterfront Park and Public Dock for easy access. To learn more, visit

Paddling the San Juan Islands

Set aside three hours or three days (or longer) for a water adventure on the San Juan, Orcas or Lopez Island. Some outfitters offer specialty guided multi-day trips, with themes like “women on the water” and “yoga and kayaking,” that are complete with fresh gourmet meals. For more of a no-frills, back-to-nature experience, the San Juan Islands was the first in the country to adopt the Leave No Trace Principles, known as the San Juans Seven. Meaning, adventurers should expect limited facilities and be prepared to bring back and any all waste. Spot a whale? Be sure to should follow the Be Whale Wise guidelines and stay as motionless as possible until the whales have passed. For more information, visit  

Sail Bainbridge

All Aboard Sail Bainbridge

If you can’t imagine keeping your Washington water activities to just a single day, hop aboard Sail Bainbridge, which offers captained multi-day stay-aboard sailing vessels (single-day tours are available too). Sail Bainbridge tours in and around the island but also goes further to the San Juans and Canada, too. And you can feel good about setting sail as you’ll be in more than capable hands; Sail Bainbridge has a USCG licensed captain with a 50-ton Inland Master and Near-Coastal OUPV as well as CPR and Wilderness First-Aid training. To learn more, visit

Boating on Lake Chelan

This boater’s paradise offers endless Washington water activities that allow you to be as active (water-skiing, jet-skiing, kayaking, canoeing, rowing) or not (sightseeing, tubing, cruising) as you wish. Take on the glacier-fed waters of Lake Chelan with rentals from Shoreline Watercraft and Lakeshores Watercraft & Boat Rentals.

Methow Rafting

Float Away with Methow Rafting

At Winthrop-based Methow Rafting, Washington water activities are at your fingertips, regardless of your age, capability or adventure level. This summer, book a mellow tubing trip down the river, a white-knuckled white-water rafting expedition or a even beginner-friendly kayaking lesson. To learn more, visit

Bellevue Beach Parks

Bellevue residents enjoy easy access to a slew of nearby beach parks–Chism Beach Park, Enatai Beach Park, Luther Burbank Park and Meydenbauer Beach Park, to name a few–where swimming, boating, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding make for a refreshing summer day. Those who prefer to take in the water views without getting wet, many of the Bellevue beach parks are perfect for picnicking, summer strolls and birdwatching. To learn more, visit

Lake Chelan

Salmon and Trout Fishing

Lake Chelan is stocked with hundreds of thousands of salmon and trout–and they are mighty big catches sure to impress your Instagram followers. The pros recommend casting out in the lower lake around Chelan and Manson or, for fly-fishing, try Stehekin River. To learn more, visit

Enjoy a Beach Day on Bainbridge Island

Whether you’re seeking stunning scenery, watching ferries and boats in the distance, a great camping site or a spot for a little splishing and splashing under the sun, Bainbridge Island is home to several standout beaches. Favorites include: Fay Bainbridge, from where you might even spy Mount Rainier and Mount Baker on a clear day; and Schel Chelb Park, where there’s even a playground for the littles.

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