FAQ

What days are you open?

The park is open every day of the year. Activities and events vary, so check out our online events calendar.

Where are the restrooms?

There are restrooms at MOHAI's Compass Cafe and The Center for Wooden Boats Boathouse.

Can I get to the park by kayak?

Yes! There is a kayak rack on the hand-launch beach in Lake Union Park.

Can I rent this facility for my wedding/meeting/Cub Scouts?

Yes, there are several facilities for rent at Lake Union Park.

  • Motor Vessel LOTUS and The tugboat Arthur Foss have cabins available for overnight visitors. Contact Northwest Seaport for more information.
  • The Center for Wooden Boats gallery is available for weddings and other events. Contact The Center for Wooden Boats for more information.

What’s a good place to eat around here?

Compass Cafe is in the park, and often a food truck will be present as well. There are several fine restaurants right next to the park. A map with dining options can be downloaded here, or picked up at the front desk of The Center for Wooden Boats.

Is this salt water? Is there a tide?

Lake Union is a fresh water lake, connected to Lake Washington and Puget Sound by the ship canal and the Ballard Locks. Because the locks control the water level, Lake Union is not affected by ocean tides. We are part of the Cedar River watershed.

What is the big white building?

The big white building is called the Naval Reserve Armory Building, and is the new home for the Museum of History and Industry

Where’s the water taxi?

The Lake Union Water Taxi is not currently operating. They may operate in the future - check back soon.

Can I get to the houseboats from here?

Yes! There are houseboats on both the east and west sides of the lake. The easiest and best way to see the houseboats is to rent a rowboat.

Where is the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat?

The Sleepless in Seattle houseboat is only visible from the water. It is on the west side of the lake, about 2/3 of the way up. It is beige with green and purple trim. They usually have flowers out.

What happened to Wawona?

The big green boat that used to be moored between Lake Union Park and The Center for Wooden Boats was the historic schooner Wawona, built in 1897 in Fairhaven, California. She measured 165' on the deck and sailed three bald-headed, gaff-rigged masts. She was built to haul lumber to California and elsewhere but became a fishing vessel in 1914. She sailed to the Bering Sea to seek codfish and was the most successful sail-powered fishing vessel during her 29 seasons in Alaska. During WWII, she was commandeered by the Army and was used as a barge to haul lumber to the Boeing Airplane Company, where it was used to make military aircraft. The Wawona became a museum ship in 1964 and was the first vessel to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in 1970.

Though only built to last about 20 years, it wasn't until the spring of 2010 when Wawona was moved to a dry dock and disassembled. Prior to her disassembly, Wawona was thoroughly documented by a team of experts, and many of her pieces were saved. Compass Cafe features a giant photo mural of Wawona, and all of the wood built into the cafe was salvaged from the vessel. Inside MOHAI, a towering sculpture made from Wawona materials is on permanent display.