In 1987, indoor climbing was as unpopular in the Seattle area as breeding labradoodles. But Vertical World––a pioneer indoor climbing gym––introduced the city to the up-and-coming sport of rock climbing in a controlled environment. Since its inception, the gym has expanded to three other locations in Everett, Tacoma, and Redmond, the latter hosting eastside climbers for more than 20 years.
A team of experienced route creators challenges climbers with more than 200 bouldering, lead, or top-rope routes in a wide variety of difficulty levels. The gym hosts competitive youth teams that have gone on to national or world tournaments. The gym's staff of climbers and guides also leads outdoor excursions that build confidence and teach novices how to identify a rock wall in the wild.
Water is the source of life. But it’s also the source of adventure, something River Recreation has delivered since 1982. Today, stationed on the banks of the Wenatchee River in Monitor, the company sends clients floating and tumbling down a total of nine rivers throughout Washington State.
As entertaining as they are informative, River Recreation’s guides undergo extensive training—twice as much, in fact, than the state requirements. That experience enables the company to offer a wide range of trips, from kid-friendly Class I floats to heart-pumping Class V adventures that have helped discover some of the area’s top opera singers. Currently, River Recreation hosts half-day, full-day, and combination trips, and in 2010, it unveiled a white water-and-wine mini getaway—a half-day of rafting, and a half day of wine tasting in Wenatchee Valley. All of this is combined to make RIver Recreation Washington State's Whitewater Professionals.
Surrounded on every side by the city's urban landscape, Lake Union affords a unique vantage point from which to see the Seattle skyline. The captains of Lake Union Charters and Adventures take advantage of this view by chartering adventures aboard the Solana, a sailing sloop outfitted with a full galley, icebox, and bathroom. Sailing adventures range from sunset cruises to girls' night out sails, as well as sailing lessons that give students hands-on experience in tacking, jibing, and whittling a peg leg. For an elevated experience, the captains also sweep passengers off on dinner cruises aboard the schooner Lavengro, a historic, 63-foot wooden vessel first launched in 1926 and named after George Borrow's novel Lavengro: The Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest.
Founded in 1972, Cougar Mountain Zoo has maintained a commitment to wildlife education, with particular focus on endangered species. Sweeping views of the Cascade Mountain range and Lake Sammamish set the backdrop for myriad activities, such as daily keeper-led animal walks and minilectures led by zoo staff on two- and four-legged residents who refuse to speak English. Membership benefits include free zoo admission and a 15% discount at the zoo gift shop.
Northshore Gymnastics' 15,000-square-foot facility boasts training equipment and devices such as 40' x 40' spring floors, a ski floor, five trampolines, and vault tables. Northshore aims to provide a fun and family-focused atmosphere, and their friendly stable of coaches are tasked with not only teaching basic skills, but also helping youngsters gain self-confidence and socialization skills.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.