When you visit Seattle, there are many tours to choose from to see the city. While those are great, what if there was a way to see multiple parts of the city in just half an hour? That’s where a seaplane comes in handy. I recently had friends visiting from London and knew this was the best way to see Seattle – from above! Whether you’re visiting or have lived here for years, there’s nothing like viewing Seattle by seaplane.
For this trip, I first went to TripAdvisor to see what the options were. Kenmore Air had multiple flights a day out of Lake Union, which is in the heart of Seattle. TripAdvisor made it easy to read reviews and see pictures that other people had posted. I quickly booked a flight for my friends and me.
When the day came, we headed to Kenmore Air’s office, which is on the southwest corner of Lake Union. We checked in and watched other seaplanes taking off until it was our turn. Finally, they called our names and we walked out on the pier.
Once we were in, I was surprised it looks exactly like a normal plane, only much smaller. It sat about eight people and had headphones in each seat to put on once we started (and you’ll want to – it’s loud!). We taxied to the north part of the lake, and then turned around to start our ascent.
Taking off was so smooth that the only reason I could tell we were off the water was because I was looking at the window. We soared past all the houseboats on Lake Union and slowly got higher into the sky until we were above downtown Seattle.
I’ve flown above downtown many times on a regular plane, but you’re able to get much closer when you’re in a seaplane. The Space Needle seemed to be within reach from our plane when we flew by. Your headphones provide a play by play of what you’re looking at and the history of Seattle.
We left downtown and flew over West Seattle, which was the original settling point in the area. We could see people lounging on the beach and eating lunch in the outdoor restaurants. We then went over the water and were able to see Bainbridge and Vashon Islands.
After going over the water for a bit, we circled over Ballard and I could see Greenlake, a lake I’ve been to many times but have never seen an aerial view of. We then got into Husky territory by going over the University of Washington’s football stadium (go Dawgs!) and saw the team practicing for their first home game later that day.
The seaplane then went over Lake Washington so we could see parts of Kirkland and Bellevue. The floating bridges seemed small from how high up we were. After that, we made our way back to Lake Union to finish our journey. Once again, the landing was seamless and you could barely tell we had landed.
I highly recommend bringing any friends who are in town to Seattle, or coming here yourself if you have plans to the area in the future! It’s a great way to orientate yourself with all the different neighborhoods Seattle has so you have a better idea of where you are once you’re on land. Using TripAdvisor to book it allows you to plan this fun trip in just a few minutes.
Would you go in a seaplane?
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