South Lake Union (SLU) for Kayaking, a Museum, and Eats


South Lake Union (SLU) is best known for being home to Amazon headquarters as current construction of their commercial (and ensuant residential condos) dominates the area. As the name suggested, SLU is located on the southern part of Lake Union, a freshwater lake that has kayaking, hydroplanes, and floating homes. The lake is lined by several picturesque parks and appears in the movie Sleepless in Seattle. If you do Ride the Ducks in Seattle, the “duck” part of the amphibious tour is on Lake Union.

When visiting SLU, make sure to bring a camera as the views at Lake Union park are simply stunning. Situated right next to the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), the park is a perfect way to spend an afternoon sitting outside or inside the Compass Cafe, the museum’s cafe.

The bridge at the SLU park. Beautiful, but the fountain is more so.

Around the Amazon area, there is a litter of delicious and quaint eateries ranging from great bakeries and snacks to wonderful brunch spots to tons of happy hours. Then, after you finish your meal, you can hit up REI’s Seattle flagship store for its huge indoor rock climbing wall! The REI is definitely worth a visit; just be careful not to spend too much money.


Portage Bay Cafe (multiple locations) – Berries buffet bar (fresh/frozen depending on season), pancakes, waffles, and all things local, organic, and sustainable, long line; if you’re visiting in the summer, Portage Bay is a must-do!
391 Terry Ave
Seattle WA 98109

Tutta Bella (multiple locations) – Neopolitan pizza in Seattle using a wood-fired oven, located on top of Whole Foods, free validated parking available
2200 Westlake Avenue
Suite 112
Seattle, WA 98121

La Toscanella Bakery & Paninoteca – Delicious Italian cookies, cakes, and pastries but also offers some soups, sandwiches, and salads. Go for the baked goodies like cookies and maybe skip the tiramisu
116 Westlake Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

Row House Cafe – Cute, very hipster cafe with a tree inside! Cute brunch or afternoon delight venue and bring your camera
1170 Republican St
Seattle, WA 98109

Compass Cafe – Huge MOHAI museum cafe with great views of SLU with all its expansive glass windows and huge selection of drinks and eats
860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109


Lake Union Park – Exceptionally photogenic park with many docked boats and ships, located next to the MOHAI
860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

REI Seattle – REI’s Seattle flagship store with a huge rock climbing wall and where you can test out mountain bikes on trails
222 Yale Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109


Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI): Learn about Seattle’s history and how industry shaped it
860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

Northwest Outdoor Center – $14/hr for a single kayak – see website for double and triple kayak and paddle board rates and hours
2100 Westlake Ave. N
Ste 1
Seattle, WA 98109

Ride the Ducks – Not in SLU but part of the Ride the Ducks tour is to visit Lake Union. You board the Duck in Lower Queen Anne area next to the Space Needle
516 Broad St
Seattle, WA 98109

Statuesque clock in South Lake Union park, next to the MOHAI

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