Seattle, the northwest U.S.’s biggest city, is home to all kinds of tourist attractions like the Space Needle, the Experience Music Project museum and Pike Place. Because it is situated in the middle of dense forests on what is arguably some of the world’s most beautiful coastline, the birthplace of Starbucks has a lot to offer in the way of extreme sports.
The coastline is home to one-of-a-kind scuba diving. Edmonds Underwater Park, one of twenty-five of Washington’s underwater parks, is just north of the city. Some features include: man made reefs, various wrecked vessels in all kinds of different states of decay, and all of the marine life that has made these habitats their home.
If you are one who would rather be above the surface of the ocean to enjoy it, the San Juan Islands have world class kayaking. The area is home to orcas, seals, sea lions, porpoises, dolphins, octopus, sea urchins, anemones and octopus! And, if you’re into whitewater rafting, there is plenty of that to be had in the area. Check out the White Salmon River for some great views and great rapids. Husum Falls on the White Salmon is touted to be the nation’s largest commercially raftable fall; it’s a 10-foot drop!
If you are a surfer, be sure to check out Westport. It’s the best spot for surf around. If you are a kiteboarder, there’s all kinds of spots in the Puget Sound. Hook up with the Puget Sound Kite Boarding Association for all of the best spots. If you’re an outdoor rock climber, head on over to Leavenworth. It’s the most popular spot in the state for good reason. Leavenworth’s rocks are solid granite and they have plenty of routes for climbers of all skill levels. If you’re more of an indoor climber, be sure to visit Stone Gardens. With over 1600 square feet of climbable wall, there is sure to be something there that tickles your fancy.
Looking for good hiking? Check out Cougar Mountain. With over 5000 acres of land to explore with both day hikes and backcountry trails, you could spend days hiking around the park. Another great hike in the area is Mount Rainier (originally called Tahoma). There are 35 miles of glaciers surrounding the mountain, and the elevation of the peak is 14,411 feet. If you are one for adventure and beautiful scenery, this one is for you.
If you are a mountain biker, than you may be interested in visiting the I-5 Colonnade Mountain Biking Park. The first of its kind, it is a biking park that is completely man made and focuses on rider-based challenges rather than trails.
Although Seattle is generally known for good coffee and the grunge rock movement of the early nineties, there is so much more to the city. Seattle offers a world-class extreme sports experience for those who are willing to seek it out.
Top 10 Action Sport Activities in Seattle
- Mountaineering on Mt. Rainer
- Sea Kayaking in the San Juan Islands
- Rock Climbing in Leavenworth
- Whitewater Rafting the White Salmon River
- Kiteboarding in Puget Sound
- Mountain Biking at I-5 Colonnade Mountain Bike Park
- Hiking up Cougar Mountain
- Scuba Diving in Edmonds Underwater Park
- Surfing at Westport
- Indoor Rock Climbing at Stone Gardens
photo credits: Visualist Images, ScottElliottSmithson
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