Day Tours and Guides
Leaving from Lake Union, Seattle Seaplanes' 20-minute scenic flight for $97.50 per person takes in views of Woodland Park Zoo, Downtown Seattle, the Cascades and Olympics, the Ballard Locks, and Lake Washington. The company also schedules flying lessons, charter trips to places like Mt. Rainier, and dinner flights to the San Juans and area islands. Kenmore Air makes scenic flights over the metro area, as well as to the San Juan Islands, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, Port Angeles (Twilight fans take note), Victoria, British Columbia, and its surrounding areas.
Argosy Cruises offers sightseeing cruises, dining cruises, and event cruises around the Puget Sound region. Brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises are available, but of the dining cruises, the Tillicum Village excursion is a favorite with tourists—the four-hour trip takes you to Blake Island, where you'll enjoy steamed clams and alder-plank-fired salmon before a performance of dance, song, and storytelling in the tradition of Pacific Northwest Coast Indians ($84 for adults, $32 for youth ages 4–12, free for children under 3). If you just want to see more of the Sound but don't want to shell out the bucks, take a quick narrated sightseeing tour around Elliott Bay with Argosy Cruises (1 hour, from Pier 55, $22.75–$25 for adults), the Ballard Locks (2½ hours, from Pier 56, $35.75–$40.75 for adults), which also offers a cruise between Lake Union and Lake Washington (2 hours, from AGC Marina in South Lake Union, $27–$34). Let's Go Sailing permits passengers to take the helm, trim the sails, or simply enjoy the ride aboard the Obsession or the SC70 Neptune's Car, both 70-foot ocean racers. May through early October, three 1½-hour excursions ($35 for adults; $22 kids under 12; kids under 5 are free) depart daily from Pier 54. A 2½-hour sunset sail ($51 for adults; kids 5–12 are $33) is also available. Passengers can bring their own food on board, and catering is available for groups. The Center for Wooden Boats offers free boat rides on a first-come, first-served basis, Sunday at 10 am. Experienced sailors can also rent boats from them after completing a check-out process.
Several companies offer guided bus tours of Seattle and nearby attractions ranging from the Boeing Factory to Mt. Rainier.
Argosy Cruises. 888/623–1445; 206/622–8687; www.argosycruises.com.
Citypass. 888/330--5008; www.citypass.com/seattle.
Kenmore Air. 866/435–9524; 425/486–1257; www.kenmoreair.com.
Let's Go Sailing. 206/624–3931; www.sailingseattle.com.
Seattle Seaplanes. 800/637–5553; 206/329–9638; www.seattleseaplanes.com.
Tours Northwest. 888/293--1404; 206/768–1234; www.toursnorthwest.com.