seattle houseboats

Neighborhood Spotlight on Westlake

Westlake is one of the highlights of our Seattle floating homes neighborhood. It is truly coveted, but sometimes overlooked. The truth is that Lake Union floating homes in Westlake don’t change hands nearly as often as other parts of our community. Tom Hanks knew this when he lived here in 1993’s blockbuster hit Sleepless In Seattle. Just one stop into the Westlake Deli will keep you coming back for more. The neighborhood is also located on the acclaimed Cheshiahud Loop which offers lots of great options for connecting North to Fremont, Burke Gilman Trail, and more, plus South to South Lake Union and Downtown. Additionally, Queen Anne is right there and depending on where you are in Westlake, there is also an easy foot bridge across Westlake Ave N. It’s limitless.

seattle houseboats for sale in westlake
Westlake views – this dock has a great view of the iconic Sleepless In Seattle home as well as Gas Works Park!

Here are some reasons from one Westlake floating home owner.

Our bike/walk path is the best in Seattle from Fisherman’s terminal to Amazonville. Also, though Fremont is very walkable and close to us (0.8 mile to PCC), we are also only 1.4 miles to Queen Anne’s neighborhood – an area we always identify with and use daily – several restaurants (re-opening someday), Trader Joes, nail places, pet places, dry cleaners, indoor pool..

 I can understand why some people think Westlake is much busier, but it’s quiet on the water and more accessible location. When I lived on Fairview, I had also thought Westlake was more exposed… until I moved to Westlake and soon after I moved there, I appreciated it much more.”

Westlake in short supply per usual

Westlake floating homes for sale come up here and there. They are always sought after and won’t last. Please let us know if you would like to see them or learn more about this incredible neighborhood.

The 2466 Westlake Ave N dock is part of The Sleepless In Seattle Coop

seattle floating homes
Great view down the channel of the Sleepless coop.
Please call/text Molly for your private viewing of any available floating homes – socially distanced, cleaned, sanitized, and compliant with state and CDC guidelines. 206-841-6800 or email houseboats@cooperjacobs.com

Pending – 2766 Westlake Ave N Unit #A, Seattle, WA 98109

seattle houseboats for sale
Peaceful and colorful Westlake floating home with thoughtful details throughout. $798,000

There’s nothing like living on the water. This beautiful craftsman updated floating home proves it! Relax while taking in the expansive views from your new rooftop deck; an entertainment delight! A wonderful flex room is perfect for a family room, home office work space, or turn it into another bedroom. The kitchen and great room join to create a sophisticated space for entertaining guests. Endless counter space and loads of storage. One bdrm w/ full bath all on the main floor.

Please call/text Molly for your private viewing – socially distanced, cleaned, sanitized, and compliant with state and CDC guidelines. 206-841-6800 or email houseboats@cooperjacobs.com.

We are excited to show you this cool neighborhood!

Contact Courtney or Molly. We are your advocates in the floating home community and look forward to working with you! Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841/ Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800

2018 Seattle Floating Homes Tour: Tickets On Sale!

The 2018 Seattle Floating Homes Tour! 2018 Seattle floating homes tour

Tickets just went on sale for this year’s tour!

The Seattle Floating Homes Tour only happens every two years!  Buy your tickets here before it’s too late:

https://2018seattlefloatinghomestour.bpt.me/

Sunday, September 9th, 2018  Noon to 5 p.m. 

At Seattle Afloat, Molly and I are so proud to be supporters of the 2018 Seattle Floating Homes Tour!  Each tour, we work extremely hard  and we volunteer our time and sponsor the tour with our money. We love the Seattle floating homes community and this year’s 2018 Seattle floating homes tour is worth the price of admission ten fold! Want to have a peek into this amazing lifestyle and dream about living on Lake Union afloat? Here is the description of this year’s exciting tour!  We have seen the tour houses personally and you won’t be disappointed!

Don’t delay, the tickets for the 2018 Seattle Floating Homes Tour sell out fast!

The Seattle Floating Homes Association is pleased to present the Eclectic Eastlake 2018 Floating Homes tour! On Sunday September 9, from noon until 5, a dozen specially selected homes will be available for viewing from 2017 Fairview up to Mallard Cove at 2600 Fairview. You will come away with an appreciation of why Seattle’s floating home owners cherish their lifestyle and why they have become known as the Stewards of the Lake for nurturing the nature and animal habitats the docks, homes and surrounding foliage provide.  Nowhere else in the world will you find the coexistence of wildlife and city life blending so harmoniously. We look forward to having you as our guest! 

Proceeds from the 2018 Seattle Floating Homes Tour will benefit the Seattle Floating Homes Association and its mission to protect, preserve and promote the vitality of Seattles historic floating homes community through education, advocacy, environmental stewardship and collaboration. Parking is available in the lots south of E Newton on Fairview Ave E, at the Blue Ribbon Cooking School to the north and on side streets throughout the neighborhood.  Food, coffee and dessert trucks will be on hand for purchase of refreshments, and a bus will be circulating throughout the afternoon at several spots along the route.

This is a self-guided WALKING tour with stairs, uneven pavement and over-water dock surfaces; please plan accordingly. No backpacks, strollers, food or drinks are allowed in the homes. The tour will take place rain or shine, and everyone who wants to participate in the tour will need a ticket, except babes in arms. 

2018 Seattle Floating Homes Tour Ticket Information  :  Tour tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets. Ticket price is $55. Capacity is limited so advance purchase is highly recommended. Ticket Brochures will be mailed 1-2 weeks prior to the tour to Washington addresses only. Any out of state addresses can pick up their brochures at Will Call, at the ticket tent in the parking lot across the street from 2025 Fairview Ave. E. (between E. Boston and E. Newton), on the day of the tour beginning at 11:00am. Once you have this brochure you can start the tour at any location you chose.

Want to learn more about Seattle Houseboats and other types of  Seattle Waterfront Living?  Molly Cartwright & Courtney Cooper are Seattle Realtors who specialize in this special niche!  We would live to show you our favorite Seattle floating homes, luxury homes, and waterfront homes and are happy to help you find your perfect home in Seattle.  You can call/text us at 2016-841-6800 or email Houseboats@cooperjacobs.com

colorful Seattle houseboats

A Little “Dirt” On Seattle Houseboats History You May Not Know

Seattle houseboats

Colorful Seattle Houseboats History on The Log Foundation docks of Eastlake in 2014. Image courtesy of Cooper Jacobs Real Estate.

Seattle Houseboats History Has A “Colorful” Background & Entrepreneurial Spirit Transcends Time…

To look at all the colorful and cheery Lake Union floating homes today is to never know how truly Seattle houseboats history is. Seattle floating homes are a living and evolving part of Seattle’s history.  From their humble beginnings over a hundred years ago as floating shanties compiled of pillaged lumber, it is amazing to see that some sell for over $3 Million dollars in today’s real estate market.

Seattle houseboats were originally built in two different ways.  Either the worker would utilize his commuting work boat and build living quarters above it, or they would gather “loose” logs and raft them together to build a completely free floating structure.  It was an inexpensive way of living and was tax free on top of it.

Madison Park Seattle houseboats

Map of Seattle houseboats along shores of Madison Park. Image Courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives Item #944

At the peak, the Seattle floating homes community was as large as two thousand houseboats lining the shores of the city in various locations which even included Madison Park in Lake Washington.  The residents of the surrounding Seattle neighborhoods reportedly snubbed them and looked down at this way of life.  They apparently felt that it was beneath their standards and so began the struggle of Seattle houseboats to Stay Afloat In Seattle™.  Today there are around 500 Seattle floating homes and probably another two or three hundred liveaboards that are officially newly categorized as Seattle Floating On-Water Residences (final count once all have registered themselves in the latest legislation). The latest Seattle floating home dock was a new construction floating home development called Ward’s Cove.  Very specific requirements need to be in place in order to develop new construction Seattle floating homes, so it is next to impossible to do so.

If The City Historically Wanted Them Gone, Why Did They Allow Docks To Begin With?

Denny Hill View

Here is a view towards Downtown from the South slope of Denny Hill in 1886 (photo courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives Item # 2869)

The short answer is The University of Washington. Wait.  What? The long answer is that Seattle has a very long history of making some incredibly hairbrained decisions as far as infrastructure goes. A perfect example (and my apologies for going off subject here for a minute, but….) The Denny Regrade: The hill is too big?  Scrape it into the Puget Sound. In 1900, the city decided to basically eliminate a whole hill which covered 62 city blocks.  Denny Hill was a significantly beautiful hill in Seattle.  It had a gorgeous crowned jewel of a hotel atop it that was so grand that even President Theodore Roosevelt stayed there! It had an old cemetery and a beautiful park on it with expansivel views in all directions.  In all, they removed a reported six million cubic yards of earth.

Connecting the dots:  What does this all have to do with Seattle houseboats and The University of Washington? Let’s go backwards.  The modern day campus of The University of Washington was largely laid out and shaped by The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909.   In 1907 the city of Seattle platted and sold the submerged “parcels” in Lake Union to the adjacent waterfront property land owners.  This enabled docks to be built and Seattle houseboats to be moored to them.  According to The Lake Union Mail on an article about Submerged Parcels Park on the Cheshiahud Loop, “The “Lake Union Shore Lands” were created in 1907 as a funding mechanism for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (S.B. #101). Water extending from shore approximately one block (roughly 400 feet) was platted as buildable land, then sold. These parcels didn’t sink, they started sunk. And they were considered valuable.” Now you know how a World’s Fair, Denny Hill, The University of Washington, and Seattle Houseboats are related.

Seattle houseboats booze hatch

While replacing the carpet for one of our Seattle historic houseboat listings in 2010, we found an old booze hatch left over from Prohibition days. Image Courtesy of Courtney Cooper.

More Shady Past on The Lake: Life Afloat In Seattle℠: You Want To Stay Dry, Except When It Comes To Your Drink…..

Creativity has always been a strong characteristic of the Seattle floating homes community.  This was never so true as during the prohibition era. According to the 1996 article by Sharon Boswell in The Seattle Times, “But for those who couldn’t afford the pleasures of Doc’s or one of the hundreds of other boozy night spots and music clubs along Jackson Street, in Belltown or even on Lake Union houseboats, there was always a bottle of locally produced bootleg available to consume in the privacy of home.”  If floating homes seem like an unlikely place to get your alcohol fix then consider that In his highly acclaimed book, “Seattle’s Unsinkable Houseboats”, Howard Droker tells the story of a very enterprising entrepreneur who along with the cedar bark he sold off his boat, also sold smuggled Canadian liquor.

It’s absolutely true.  If you take a peek under carpets of older floating homes you will see the leftover evidence of the Prohibition era and how crafty houseboaters were able to not stay dry.  Many of them have hidden trap doors under the floor that were used for storing alcohol.  At one point in time there were regular “rum run” routes such as the one Droker writes about which would make their rounds delivering to Lake Union floating homes. These booze hatches were ingenious and stored between the floating logs with a wire cage so that the waters of the lake itself could keep the liquor cold and well hidden.  According to HistoryLink.org, The Seattle Times noted at one point that in regard to those wild times, “Some of the stories behind the houseboat population are as colorful as anything that ever came out of Seattle’s history, but respect for another’s privacy and past is an unspoken code on the lake.”

Seattle houseboats for sale in Eastlake

This historic Seattle houseboat was once used as a floating dance hall. It is for sale today for $697,000. Listed by Cooper Jacobs Real Estate. Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800

Seattle Houseboats Are Still Afloat & Strong Today

Go experience their magic – Take a kayak tour through Lake Union and Portage Bay where you will find what is left of the Seattle floating homes community.  Take a walk around Lake Union on the Cheshiahud Loop. Lake Union is the very heart of the city. Try and imagine the colorful past as you look at the beauty and creativeness which is so abundant today.  This is a living and breathing Seattle neighborhood, but also a significant part of Northwest history.  It is as vibrant as the wonderful people who live in it.  I am so thankful to have known so many of them and appreciate how they have enriched my life so far.  Please also take a minute and donate to the Seattle Floating Homes Association if you can.

Want more information on Seattle houseboats?

seattle houseboats expertsWe are happy to help!  Please call Courtney or Molly.  We are Seattle Houseboats Experts ℠, and have been Seattle Realtors specializing in floating homes and waterfront for many years. We look forward to helping you find your piece of Lake Union.

Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800   Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841
We can immediately answer your questions or email us at houseboats@CooperJacobs.com
Seattle Afloat ® We want to help you live your life Afloat In Seattle Cooper Jacobs Real Estate

Westlake Floating Home Tour In Style

Westlake Floating Home – $965,000 and just gorgeous Seattle waterfront living.

This is the perfect place to play all summer and cozy up in winter time by the fire to write your novel.  Seattle is full of life and with companies like Weyerhaeuser and Expedia moving in to close in Seattle neighborhoods, Westlake is a perfect place to live! Washington is still ranked as number one for bikes across the country and this Westlake floating home is right on the Burke-Gilman Trail!  With beautiful pathways and parks, Westlake has a lot to offer those looking at Seattle houseboats.

Please watch the video and then let us know if you would like more information.

seattlehouseboats@cooperjacobs.com  Molly: 206-841-6800

Cooper Jacobs Real Estate proudly presents:

our gorgeous Seattle floating home listing at 2420 Westlake Ave N.

Please let us know if you would like more info on Seattle houseboats, Seattle floating homes, or Seattle waterfront homes.   Also, if you are thinking about listing your Seattle home, please know that we are among the few that pay for our client’s staging bills.  This will save you thousands of dollars and can end up netting you tens of thousands of dollars over list price.

Please email one of us for details (no catch – promise).

courtney@cooperjacobs.com or molly@cooperjacobs.com

Seattle Houseboats Financing Available For This One

seattle houseboatsGorgeous Seattle houseboat for sale and financing available on this one!

Seattle houseboats can have financing again!  This one has condominium owned moorage and a secured place on Lake Union.  Houseboats that are vessels or barges have been difficult to finance as of late, but luckily, there are financing options available now – let us know if you would like to see this one!

More details:seattle houseboats

Gas Works Park Marina is a full time liveaboard marina with condo owned slips. Massive views from this sweet in-city retreat on the waters of Lake Union. Secured cabana on premise for additional showers and laundry. Dimensions of slip will fit up to a 33.5×10.5 houseboat or other vessel. Burke Gilman trail are just steps away for easy foot or bike access to Fremont, UW, and other favorite spots along the trail. A great investment!

Offered through Cooper Jacobs Real Estate and SeattleAfloat.com

Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841 or Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800

houseboats@cooperjacobs.com

Are Houseboats Drifting Away?

2143 North Northlake Way #18

2143 North Northlake Way

Are Seattle Houseboats Drifting Away?

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about Seattle houseboats in the news lately.  And if you receive your news from just one source, it might sound like Seattle houseboats are drifting away.

So what’s really going on? What is the dispute over?  One could argue it’s really about should private people be taking over public space.

In broad terms, the dispute is about freeing up the shorelines on parts of Lake Union.  According to the state law, water dependent (vs water oriented) businesses and industries, shoreline restoration and public access are all given priority.  With this in mind, some city council members say shorelines should be preserved for recreational and water-dependent uses (aka not houseboats).  Yet other city committee representatives say they want to protect the Seattle lifestyle of houseboats.  Yep, definitely confusing.  But one thing is crystal clear:  current houseboat owners and liveaboards say they’re tired of battling for their chosen lifestyle, investment, and freedom to live and just want to be left alone after years of this with the city.

Big agencies like The Planning Land Use and Sustainability Committee, State Department of Ecology, Coast Guard, and Lake Union Liveaboard Association are all trying to come to an agreement about what defines a houseboat.  The due date of January 14th is fast approaching to make this distinction and it’s complex to say the least.  By current standards, a houseboat is treated as a water oriented vessel.  Most should have propulsion, safety equipment, steering and navigational lights, and all already have a black water holding tank, also title and registration. One must beg the question: How is this standard different than say a sailboat, yacht or ferry which are all legal and not up for debate.

Some LULU members (Lake Union Liveaboard Association) remind city officials that houseboats have been around Seattle waters even before it was a city.  Naturally, anger and resentment have come to an all time high for the liveaboards, houseboat builders, marina owners, local vendors and businesses.

I want to be clear there is a difference between houseboats and floating homes in Seattle.  The 500 floating homes in Lake Union and Portage Bay are completely void of these litigation’s.  Floating homes, unlike houseboats, are floating structures usually consisting of logs or concrete which are connected to city water/sewer and are considered “real property” and remain in place by a very heavy moorage arm and do not move from their location.

I understand with the growing population and the fascination of such an intriguing lifestyle, the state/city would want certain regulations intact.  There are essentially two arguments going on simultaneously:  preserving the shoreline for recreational and “water-dependent” use and the defining a houseboat.  The houseboat community is no stranger to reinforcing their lifestyle to the city.  These are folks who care deeply about their lake and go to great lengths to pacify others in order to remain there.  This will not change and it will not change without a fight.

If you’d like more information about houseboats or floating homes please feel free to contact me via email at molly@cooperjacobs.com

 

 

 

Seattle Fireworks for 4th of July

FAMILY 4TH on LAKE UNION

Next week is the 4th of July on Wednesday. The Family 4th on Lake Union is presented by Starbucks AND Microsoft & the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce are major sponsors. Scheduled festivities begin at Noon when Gas Works Park opens up to the public. There are two entry gates, one at the North end of the parking lot and another at the South. Admission is FREE and there’s a security check at the gates so leave fireworks, animals, BBQ’s and claustrophobia at home. Millions of people gather around the lake to watch the fireworks show. To expand the viewing ability around the lake and new in 2012 is a viewing area and stage at Lake Union Park sponsored by Microsoft and listener supported radio station KEXP 90.3FM. The Star Bangled Banner will be performed by Vicci Martinez and start off the fireworks show. The synchronized music score with fireworks can be heard at both Gas Works Park and Lake Union Park. The fireworks are scheduled to begin a little after 10PM and this spectacular show designed by Eric Tucker of Pyro Spectaculars will be broadcast on KING 5 television in high definition.

Many HOUSEBOATS are currently FOR SALE.

Look for all the houseboat listings at Seattle Houseboats.

Contact Courtney Cooper at Cooper Jacobs Real Estate courtney@cooperjacobs.com if you have  questions about any of the houseboats FOR SALE.

Houseboat With A View

Houseboat With A View
By Brian Olsen, Cooper Jacobs Real Estate
 
Here is a Lake Union Houseboat listed for sale at $340,000. This delightful structure is only a short walk away from Gas Works Park. It has two decks with views and approximately 300 square feet of  outdoor space to BBQ and enjoy Seattle views. This houseboat was just put back into Lake Union after being cleaned underneath and approved by the surveyor. There is a spacious bedroom, sleeping loft and full bathroom along with many new upgrades to make things ship shape. The dock out to the houseboat begins with a cabana for guests that have their own showers. Another lifestyle benefit of this dock is that it’s condo moorage. This means the property owners own the slips where the houseboats are attached. Simply, a more cost effective way to approach Seattle waterfront living. Come see this wonderful opportunity to be on the water and have kayaks, fishing poles etc right there.
 
New financing opportunities have recently surfaced and worth exploring. Want to own instead of rent? Good idea! To view this listing(NWMLS# 252985), please contact Brian Olsen at 206.898.3627. We can also schedule a tour to include other Seattle houseboats around Lake Union and Portage Bay.       
 
 

Houseboat For Sale

I try to think of catchy titles when I write.  But today, I’m going to get right to the point.  I’ve got a houseboat for sale in Seattle.

There are a few other houseboats for sale around Lake Union and even one in Nickerson Marina (between Ballard and Fremont bridges).  How do they stack up?  First let’s start with the moorage of these beauties.  You have two options.  Lease or own.  Leasing allows you to enjoy monthly flexibility without the price fluctuating much.  Owning allows you right of ownership and resale value.  Which one is right for you?  Sometimes it depends on the houseboat you fall in love with.  Other times it’s knowing you have more versatility with your investment.

It’s a personal decision.

2143 North Northlake Way #18 offers a unique opportunity to own your slip AND your new beautiful houseboat.  It’s a smashing one bedroom + loft houseboat built in 2000 with loads of charm and freedom.

When you’re looking at buying a houseboat, space is a premium … including OUTSIDE SPACE.  This one has it!  

Two decks combining 300 square feet to enjoy those BIG southwest views on active Lake Union.  2143 North Northlake Way # 18 measures 33.5′ x 10.3′.  There is a 50 amp tower, 125 gallon gray water holding tank, 35 gallon black water holding tank and roughly 650 square feet.  A new hull was designed in 2006, new floors, carpet, remodeled kitchen, new marine toliet and the list goes on.

Whether you’re buying it for yourself or as an investment to rent out, the lifestyle is one only Seattle can offer.

 

Gas Works Marina offers a cozy cabana for those extra guests (boys and girls showers and bathrooms!) and a coin operated laundry service.  Pride of ownership here!

For more information about 2143 North Northlake Way #18, please contact us.  For other houseboats, housebarges and floating homes around Seattle, shoot me an email or call.  molly@cooperjaacobs.com or 206-841-6800. 

Classic Lake Union Houseboat For Sale

Seattle houseboats

Seattle Houseboats: Classic Lake Union Houseboat For Sale

There are just so many slips on Lake Union.  And one of those slips just opened up for your next houseboat adventure!  Don’t lease your moorage – own it!   And your home!  A special opportunity rests in slip #18 in Gas Works Marina for you to dive into.  Sorry…couldn’t resist.

A meticulously maintained houseboat with a strong steel hull, new dual steel keels and ballast, remodeled kitchen and bath, a tip top shape deck with over 300 square feet, and the list goes on.  One bedroom, one sleeping loft, equally spaced rooms with a thoughtfully created floorplan.  When space is a premium, you will find none wasted here.

Gas Works Marina is a condo-owned marina so once you’re in, you are IN!  A cute cabana is perfect for guests to shower, extra room to do laundry, and a killer community board so you are completely dialed in to this strong community.  Gas Works Park is your next door neighbor and you can cozy up with a picnic near the water or try out SUP from Urban Surf! 

Seattle houseboats

One of two docks at Gas Works Park Marina

Seattle Houseboat Living

Cabana Entrance

Seattle houseboats slip

Your New Address

 

Pets are welcomed and simply living is encouraged!  A water-dependent lifestyle is here to stay in this thriving Seattle community…the largest houseboat community in the country.  Own a piece of that and come enjoy life on the water.

Contact Courtney 206.850.8841 or Molly Cartwright 206.841.6800 at SeattleAfloat.com® for more details about 2143 N. Northlake Way #18 and Seattle houseboat living!

What Can I Say? I Am In Love With Lake Union

Yes, I do love Lake Union!  Here is a great shot I got of Lake Union from Gas Works Park while I was checking out the  collection of stand up paddle boards at Urban Surf (they have a great selection of SUP boards along with all kinds of other great gear) on Northlake…..  You can see over to the right across the lake the colorful Seattle houseboats at Roanoke Reef.  I love the flowers on the ground!

Lake Union

Let us know if you are interested in looking at Seattle houseboats for sale.  Molly and I have our favorite Seattle floating homes – and some that aren’t actually publicly listed, too (shhh!)

Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841  Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800

 

Eastlake Seattle Houseboats Dock Highlight – The Log Foundation

Looking at Houseboats and wondering about some of the docks?

Dock rules and By-Laws change, but here are some basics.

The Log Foundation is a group of 3 docks at and are on the three most South Seattle Floating homes docks just North of Terry Pettus Park.  The Log Foundation is a co-op.  This means the submerged land that their dock is on (less the DNR leased land) is cooperatively owned by the homeowners on the dock.

The Log Foundation addresses are:

2017 Fairview Ave E

2019 Fairview Ave E

2025 Fairview Ave E

Lake Union fluctuates almost two feet and is at its lowest point in August.  These three docks are not floating docks and so the houses go up and down depending on the water level in Lake Union while the dock stays the same height.  This requires stepping down or up to get on and off the houseboat or the dock.  Many clever home owners have come up with wonderful solutions.

Houseboaters in general tend to be quite considerate and thoughtful people, but The Log Foundation has some WONDERFUL people on it and the docks have great Southerly views of the city and Space Needle.  You can check for Seattle floating homes for sale on these docks by visiting our Seattle houseboats page on Cooper Jacobs.

The Lake Union Loop In Seattle

Univeristy Bridge looking Southwest

The Lake Union Loop:

According to all the city sites online, the Lake Union Loop (Cheshiahud Loop) is 6.2 miles long, but walking it in the 90 degree heat made it feel like at least 8 if not 9 miles long.  It could be because the Southwest portion of South Lake Union Park is not completed yet.  In fact, it has a barricade at the very furthest point you can go behind the Navy building – of course there is no warning that there will be a chain link fence at the very end of the trail and you will have to backtrack….

We started our journey around Lake Union at Gasworks Park.

I had two very obliging 10 yr olds with me for the trip so it can be done with older children.  We walked East on the Burke-Gilman Trail and to the University Bridge.  The hardest part here is just making sure you don’t get in the path of a bike.  For me it was making sure the girls stayed to the edge of the path.  We crossed the University Bridge which was an amazing site and headed into the heart of Eastlake.

Looking across from the University Bridge

Eastlake Portion of The Loop

Most of the trail in Eastlake is along the water and there are wonderful sights to see along the way.  There is one little jaunt up half a block when the trail meets a dead end leading to the the Mallard Cove Houseboats!  It is half a block up a steep hill so the girls complain and I admit it probably was the hardest point of the trail altogether.

Once you hit Roanoke though, you head right back down the hill to the water and pass the Roanoke Reef Houseboats and the other side of Mallard Cove.  There are patches f shade as you work your way South past the various houseboat docks on your right.  By the time we hit Pete’s, we decided that we would go ahead and take advantage of their much needed air conditioning and search for a little trail snack.  We took our time finding those Clif Bars and soaked up the cool air before heading back out in the 90 plus degree day.

A peek at the Malibu in South Lake Union

Getting into South Lake Union….

Further down Fairview Ave E the Seattle houseboat docks stop and then there is a patch of century old industrial buildings  before curving toward the West to head towards South Lake Union and Westlake. The Cheshiahud Loop, though, not completed around the far West end of Lake Union is simply delightful once you hit the boardwalk.

You head West and until you are directed to head closer to the water and walk along the shop front boardwalks on the water side.  Much like Santa Cruz, this is a wonderful way to see Lake Union and I highly recommend at least heading to this part and checking it out!  Right as you hit the boardwalk, you can look right and on most days the Malibu is docked right there.  The M V Malibu is a historic Landmark and is a beautiful wooden boat – you should see it!

South Lake Union Center For Wooden Boats

Speaking of Wooden Boats, if you like wood boats or even if you don’t, the Center For Wooden Boats is a must see stop in Seattle.  This is a collection of beautiful and mighty boats and a rich source of Lake Union history.

South Lake Union to Westlake

As you walk further along you can go past the Naval Reserve Building (big white one) and stay on the dock for more great boats at the North end of the Lake Union Park which is still being constructed.  This is where you can stop and take in more views of this gorgeous place.  We abruptly came to a chain link barrier right when we got to the new pedestrian bridge in the park.  I was really hoping it was open, but knew that it probably wasn’t.  We had to completely back track back to the path leading to the Naval Reserve Building and then head to Westlake on the busier street side path.

Westlake into Fremont and back to the Burke-Gilman Trail

One of the beautiful wooden ships we saw along the way

Once we hit Westlake, the Lake Union Loop was a very smooth and there are some beautiful boats and houseboats to see including the very famous Sleepless in Seattle houseboat.  It is a very straight forward walk all the way up a nicely paved sidewalk until you hit the Diamond Marina.  We stopped in and got some cool air conditioning and protein shakes at the local Starbucks and then kept going.  Once you hit the North End of Westlake, you can choose a couple paths.  At this point you can either head to the busier Westlake street side sidewalk and cross the Fremont Bridge from there or go straight past the turn off and along the old railway to a set of stairs leading up to the Fremont Bridge.  I prefer the lower route which is a combination of gravel and abandoned railroad track.  Along with a collection of charming North Westlake houseboats, there is also a cool over the water trestle you can choose to cross (carefully) or take the gravel road path.

Seattle Houseboats Along The Way

Crossing the Fremont Bridge is easy as there are dedicated lanes just as there are on the University Bridge.  We then met the Burke-Gilman Trail again and headed East to Gasworks.

Lake Union Loop walk. Check.

Whew!!!  I definitely recommend this, just bring a water!!!!  The Lake Union Loop (Cheshiahud Trail) is a work in progress and improving almost daily – I am excited to do this at least once a week and hopefully not in 90 degree temps again.

Email me and let me know what your favorite Lake Union Loop spots are!

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