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The Center for Wooden Boats
Vacation Travel Guide

Learn time-honored crafts and sail in old-fashioned vessels at this interactive museum, which celebrates the local boating legacy.

Enjoy hands-on activities at the Center for Wooden Boats, a lakeside museum that gives visitors the chance to ride and shape traditional dinghies, canoes and rowing boats. The center is run by passionate locals who wish to share their love of boating and the craftsmanship of boat makers. Join workshops that demonstrate the artistry of boatbuilding and paddle out onto the waters of Lake Union.

The center was born out of one couple’s love of old boats. In the late 1960s, Dick and Colleen Wagner owned a large collection of traditional craft, which they started to rent out. As these rentals grew in popularity, their collection became a museum, which eventually became the Center for Wooden Boats. Find out more about the center’s aim to preserve tradition and educate new generations.

Engage with the history of boatbuilding in one of the center’s rotating exhibits. Discover the role that the Pacific Northwest had played in the craft, get insights into engineering and glimpse into the future of sailing.

Head out onto the lake to experience these boats in action. The museum has a fleet of traditional vessels available to rent. Join a group of up to six people on a gentle pedal boat journey or find a partner to paddle in a classically designed canoe. The center offers lessons in sailing and kayaking for all ages.

Attend a workshop with the artisans who work at the center. Families can take part in activities like building toy boats or book into weekend-long courses where participants build their own vessel. Adult workshops range from holistic week-long programs to shorter courses that focus on specific skills like woodworking with hand tools.

The Center for Wooden Boats lies on the southern shores of Lake Union, just around the corner from the Museum of History and Industry. The South Lake Union streetcar line stops just outside the center, where you can also find limited parking. The Westlake Ave. & Mercer St. bus stop is under 5 minutes’ away. The center is open daily in summer; it’s closed on Mondays in spring and winter, and on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission is free, although rentals and workshops come with a fee.

Top Hotels Close to The Center for Wooden Boats

EVEN Hotel Seattle - South Lake Union
EVEN Hotel Seattle - South Lake Union
3.5 out of 5
527 Fairview Ave N, Seattle, WA
The price is CA $78 per night from Feb 25 to Feb 26

Located in South Lake Union, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Amazon Corporate Headquarters and Lake Union. Seattle Center and Seattle Central Business ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (501 reviews)

"Amazing staff and room was squeaky clean very modern feeling and looking. Heat worked so well! It was perfect distance from everything and some amazing food places near. Easily my favorite place to stay when visiting"…"

Reviewed on Jan. 25, 2021

EVEN Hotel Seattle - South Lake Union
Warwick Seattle
Warwick Seattle
3.5 out of 5
401 Lenora St, Seattle, WA
The price is CA $101 per night from Feb 7 to Feb 8

Located in Belltown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Moore Theater and Seattle Central Business District. Seattle Waterfront and Pike Place Market are ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,242 reviews)

"I loved this hotel. Amazing views and great staff."…"

Reviewed on Jan. 13, 2021

Warwick Seattle
Courtyard by Marriott Seattle Downtown Lake Union
Courtyard by Marriott Seattle Downtown Lake Union
3 out of 5
925 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, WA
The price is CA $97 per night from Feb 11 to Feb 12

Located in South Lake Union, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Lake Union and Amazon Corporate Headquarters. Seattle Center and Museum of Pop Culture ...

4.2/5Very Good! (1,000 reviews)

"Very clean establishment! Enjoyed our evening walk. We stopped by Italian Family Pizza since it had been 6 years since we had last been out here. Our lake view room was worth the few extra dollars. This hotel is definitely up to par with the Covid guidelines."…"

Reviewed on Jan. 16, 2021

Courtyard by Marriott Seattle Downtown Lake Union
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near The Center for Wooden Boats

EVEN Hotel Seattle - South Lake Union
EVEN Hotel Seattle - South Lake Union
3.5 out of 5
527 Fairview Ave N, Seattle, WA
The price is CA $78 per night from Feb 25 to Feb 26
EVEN Hotel Seattle - South Lake Union
Warwick Seattle
Warwick Seattle
3.5 out of 5
401 Lenora St, Seattle, WA
The price is CA $101 per night from Feb 7 to Feb 8
Warwick Seattle
Courtyard by Marriott Seattle Downtown Lake Union
Courtyard by Marriott Seattle Downtown Lake Union
3 out of 5
925 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, WA
The price is CA $97 per night from Feb 11 to Feb 12
Courtyard by Marriott Seattle Downtown Lake Union
The Paramount Hotel
The Paramount Hotel
3.5 out of 5
724 Pine St, Seattle, WA
The price is CA $107 per night from Feb 8 to Feb 9
The Paramount Hotel
Thompson Seattle
Thompson Seattle
4.5 out of 5
110 Stewart St, Seattle, WA
The price is CA $217 per night from Feb 8 to Feb 9
Thompson Seattle
Hyatt At Olive 8
Hyatt At Olive 8
4 out of 5
1635 8th Ave, Seattle, WA
Hyatt At Olive 8
Hyatt Place Seattle Downtown
Hyatt Place Seattle Downtown
3 out of 5
110 6th Ave N, Seattle, WA
The price is CA $118 per night from Feb 2 to Feb 3
Hyatt Place Seattle Downtown
Hyatt Regency Seattle
Hyatt Regency Seattle
4 out of 5
808 Howell St, Seattle, WA
The price is CA $152 per night from Feb 7 to Feb 8
Hyatt Regency Seattle
Residence Inn by Marriott Seattle Downtown/Lake Union
Residence Inn by Marriott Seattle Downtown/Lake Union
3 out of 5
800 Fairview Ave N, Seattle, WA
The price is CA $168 per night from Jan 29 to Jan 30
Residence Inn by Marriott Seattle Downtown/Lake Union
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.