Boating, Seattle, Washington
Concierge.com's insider take:
Boating is a favorite pastime in Seattle; locals race sailboats on the weekend and row before going to work. The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard are an engineering wonder. You'll get an up-close look as gigantic fishing boats are raised and lowered through narrow locks (like an elevator for boats) between the fresh water of Lake Union and the salt water of Salmon Bay (3015 N.W. 54th St.; 206-783-7059). Argosy Cruises' one-hour Harbor Cruise is a good way to get an overview of the city from the water, as well as fantastic photographs of the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges (Pier 55; 206-623-1445; www.argosycruises.com). If you're into self-propulsion, you can rent a kayak at the centrally located Agua Verde Café and Paddle Club and either head south toward the floating homes on Portage Bay or east into Lake Washington, where you can paddle through lily pads and lotus flowers on the arboretum's water trails. Afterward, pop into the upstairs café for incredible Mexican food (1303 N.E. Boat St.; 206-545-8570, ext. 101; www.aguaverde.com; firstname.lastname@example.org).