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10 Unique Facts You Might Not Have Known About Seattle, Washington

Photo Credit: Christina Servin Photographs

For the last 25 years, Waterways Cruises has been a unique venue for weddings, corporate events, special celebrations and public dining cruises here in Seattle on Lake Union and Lake Washington. A cruise on a Waterways yacht gives guests a chance to see Seattle in a completely different way than experiencing the city from land. From cruising though the Montlake Cut and paying a visit to Bill Gates’ house to admiring the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat, the famous and interesting landmarks guests see during our cruises are just as unique as the Emerald City itself. Here are 10 unique facts you might not have known about Seattle, Washington.

Fact #1: Seattle’s annual rainfall is less than that of Houston, Chicago and New York City.

Despite popular belief, it’s not always raining here in Seattle. We have plenty of beautiful sunny days in the Emerald City and a few overcast days too. Rain or shine, guests can still enjoy their cruise on a Waterways yacht thanks to our fully enclosed, climate-controlled decks and interiors.

Fact #2: Seattle is home to the world’s first floating bridge AND the world’s longest and widest floating bridge.

We have two famous floating bridges here in Seattle, both connecting the city to its eastside counterpart. The world’s first floating bridge, built in 1950 is the I-90 bridge, spanning from Seattle to Mercer Island. The world’s longest and widest floating bridge is the SR 520 Albert D. Rosellini Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, which connects Seattle and Medina across Lake Washington. Guests aboard our Waterways cruises are able to see both of these bridges while cruising out onto Lake Washington.

Fact #3: The University of Washington is one of three schools in the U.S. where you can arrive at the football stadium by boat.

Most universities celebrate their home games by tailgating in the parking lot of their stadium. Here in Seattle, many Husky fans have turned tailgating into “sailgating” before and during home games. There are only three schools in the U.S. where fans can arrive at the football stadium by boat: University of Tennessee, Baylor University and University of Washington. Husky Harbor has been known to accommodate up to 150 boats on game day, linking fans who arrive by water to the stadium.

During football season, Waterways Cruises and the Woodmark Hotel partner together to bring fans Husky Game Day Boat Cruises. Guests board a beautiful waterways yacht from the Woodmark Hotel at Carillon Point in Kirkland 2.5 hours prior to game start time, with sailing departure promptly two hours before kick-off. From Carillon Point, there’s a one-hour pre-game cruise with the boat arriving at Husky Stadium one hour before kickoff. Onboard, guests can relax, enjoy the scenery and indulge in snacks and drinks during the cruise to and from the game. For more information about sailgating with Waterways Cruises and the Woodmark Hotel, click here.

Fact #4: People in Seattle buy the most sunglasses per capita than any other U.S. city.

With over 200 cloudy days a year, it’s common for Seattleites to either forget where they’ve left their sunglasses after not wearing them for a long period of time or leave the house without a pair of glasses thinking they won’t need them.

Fact #5: Seattle has nearly 500 houseboats, more than anywhere else in the world.

Photo Credit:

Fact #6: The world’s largest floating home is located on Lake Union in Seattle

With more than 2,000 square feet, the houseboat featured in the classic Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle is a popular landmark guests see along their Waterways cruise. The Sleepless in Seattle houseboat was built in 1978 and has four bedrooms and two baths. It’s not only the largest floating home on Lake Union, it’s the largest floating home in the world! Fun fact about the Sleepless in Seattle movie – Did you know that Kim Basinger, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Julia Roberts all turned down the role of Annie in Sleepless in Seattle before Meg Ryan got the part?

Fact #7: The University Bridge gets regular baths to protect it from the heat during the summer.

The University Bridge was built between 1915 and 1919. This double-leaf bascule bridge carries Eastlake Avenue traffic over Portage Bay between Eastlake to the south and the University District to the north. During hot summer days of 80-plus degrees, the University Bridge gets regular baths to protect it from the heat. This is to prevent its steel draw-span leaves from over expanding in the heat. The whole process takes about 10 minutes, from the stopping of traffic to the water truck running back-and-forth on the deck and the re-opening of the bridge.

Photo Credit: Seattle Weekly

Fact #8: The Washington State Ferry System is the largest in the country and the third largest in the world, carrying more than 25 million passengers each year.

While we can’t claim that we carry as many passengers as the Washington State Ferry System, Waterways Cruises accommodates over 60,000 guests per year for weddings, corporate events, special celebrations and public dining cruises here in Seattle on Lake Union and Lake Washington.

Photo Credit: Stock Photo

Fact #9: At 76 stories and 937 feet, the black-colored Columbia Center is Seattle’s tallest building and is the 12th tallest building in the country.

Guests can see the Columbia Center building from South Lake Union during their cruise while admiring the Seattle skyline from the water.

Fact #10: Seattle has the most cranes in the country for the third year in a row.

The recent economic boom and growth have literally changed Seattle’s famous skyline over the last several years thanks to the 65 towering construction cranes throughout the city.

Interested in learning more fun facts and the history of Seattle and want to see the city from a whole new perspective? Join us onboard one of our Waterways Cruises and experience Seattle like you’ve never experienced before. Whether it’s a public dining cruise, party cruise or a private charter, our Captains narrate each cruise with plenty of history and fun facts about the Emerald City. For more information about our cruises and booking online tickets, visit our Dining Cruises page.