Rent sea kayaks from the Northwest Outdoor Center (2100 Westlake Ave. N, 206/281-9694 or 800/683-0637, www.nwoc.com) on the southwest side of the lake. This is an outstanding place to learn about sea kayaking from the experts, with classes at all levels. It also sells kayaks and provides guided tours.
Also on the south end of Lake Union, Moss Bay Rowing & Kayak Center (1001 Fairview N., 206/682-2031, www.mossbay.net) offers kayak rentals and lessons, plus sculling lessons and teams.
Rent sailboards, surfboards, and in-line skates from Urban Surf (2100 N. Northlake Way, 206/545-9463, www.urbansurf.com). Washington’s largest rafting store, Swiftwater (206/547-3377) sells and rents rafts and nonmotorized inflatable boats of all types.
In the summer you can rent kayaks, rowboats, pedalboats, sailboards, and canoes to play around the warm waters of Green Lake from Green Lake Boat Rentals (7351 E. Green Lake Dr., 206/527-0171).
Over on Lake Washington, head to University of Washington Waterfront Activities Center (just east of the Montlake Bridge, 206/543-9433) for canoe or rowboat rentals.
Take rowing, sailing, canoeing, or kayaking lessons on Lake Washington from Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center (3800 Lake Washington Blvd., 206/386-1913).
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition