Rocks and water, bikes and hikes, Seattle has something for everyone who is willing to move.
You’d think that with 150 days of rain a year, people in Seattle would be fine just sitting home and drinking their microbrews and artisanal coffees and calling it a day. They do that, but they’re also hearty souls who love to get out and enjoy their verdant habitat, which includes ample opportunities to hike, climb mountains, bike, swim and paddle. In fact, out of 50 cities, Seattle ranked No. 4 in the American Fitness Index’s annual survey, for its high percentage of people who partake in physical activity, and the number of farmers markets, parks, dog parks and tennis courts per capita, among other factors.
Here are five fun ways to work out in the Seattle and Eastside metro areas. Summers are beautiful, but the rest of the year you can also pack up your fleecy layers and get outside. And if you don’t want anyone to know you’re visiting, just ditch the umbrella.
Alki Trail: Take the time to head to West Seattle’s Alki Beach, where the shore-hugging trail welcomes bikers, rollerbladers, runners and walkers. The trail wraps around Duwamish Head, the site of an old amusement park and working lighthouse, and offers some of the most breathtaking views of Seattle. Most of the trail is easily navigable, but watch out for crowded, sunny weekends and more traffic as you approach the West Seattle Bridge segment.
Burke Gilman Trail: This nearly 30-mile trek around the city is perfect for anyone willing to move: hardcore runners and bikers, kids getting on their wheels for the first time, dog walkers and people taking the long, slow walk to nowhere. It features a lake, a river and lots of places to get off and explore the neighborhoods.
Stairways: Seattle is a city of hills, and the city’s many public stairways offer plenty of butt-busting climbs. Try the funky Fremont neighborhood, historical Queen Anne or the glorious Golden Gardens climb for striking views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound.
Stand-up Paddle: Take advantage of the region’s glassy-calm waters and try this not-quite-surfing, not-quite-sailing exercise that hails from Hawaii. Whats Sup (SUP is for “stand-up paddle boards,” get it?) offers lessons and rentals with locations in Bothell and Kenmore; Northwest Paddle Surfers has lots of locations for rentals and also features paddle-board yoga classes.
Rock out: Seattle Bouldering Project is one of the most comprehensive rock climbing gyms anywhere, with soaring climbing facilities, lessons for all levels, and additional fitness and yoga glasses.