Floating Homes Tour
12 Floating Homes to Explore on East Lake Union Sep. 9
Sunday, September 9 | 12 to 5 PM
Question: Do you know what the difference is between a houseboat and a floating home?
Answer: A floating home is a house on a raft semi-permanently moored to a dock. It is always attached to city utilities, including the sewer. While house boats are boats that can drive themselves around.
With about 500 legal floating homes in Portage Bay and Lake Union, the floating communities of Seattle are thriving, quirky, eclectic neighborhoods beloved by those who cruise past and admire from water crafts of every kind. Thanks to the Seattle Floating Homes Association and some generous homeowners, the biennial Floating Homes Tour gives you the chance to get an up close look at a dozen of these floating neighbors.
This is your chance to see what it’s like to step outside your front door and nearly tumble into a bustling urban lake, to sip your morning coffee while you sway to the water’s rhythm, to watch seaplanes land by your windows and kayakers gawk inside your home. Seattle’s floating home communities are some of the most unique in the country and inspire the imagination of all who get a glimpse of them. These unique homes evoke the uncommon lifestyle of their floating inhabitants who share a love of water, boats and wildlife. This year’s tour will feature twelve homes, on the East shore of Lake Union.
Spend an afternoon visiting a series of floating homes each with its own fascinating history, architecture, art and inhabitants reflecting the spirit and evolution of the historic community. This year’s tour coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Floating Homes Association, celebrating the rich diversity and sense of community that has evolved among the homes floating on Lake Union. Participants will enjoy viewing a diverse array of home designs that range from quaint water cottages to larger floating residences.
The admission price includes electric boat and bus shuttle transportation between the north and south ends of the tour plus a free espresso drink. This is a self-guided walking tour and participants should expect to walk between docks so comfortable, slip-on shoes are strongly recommended. There are stairs and uneven surfaces on some of the docks. Participants will be required to remove their shoes or put slippers over their shoes; slippers will be provided. No backpacks or strollers will be allowed in the homes.
Capacity is limited, so advance purchase is recommended. Participants may begin the tour at any time between 12-5. Tickets purchased will be available at will call at the tour staging area on East Lake Union at Wards Cove at the foot of East Hamlin at Fairview Avenue East. If there are tickets remaining, they will be available for sale the day of the tour at Wards Cove, starting at 11 AM. Proceeds from the event benefit the Floating Homes Association whose mission is to support and nurture the floating home community and maintain the health of the marine environment.
The tour will take place rain or shine, and participants of all ages will be required to have a ticket, with the exception of babes in arms. Refreshment stands will be set up to offer food and drink for purchase and restrooms will be available.
Now is your chance to stop peeking from the outside in and take a look at what’s it’s like to live on the inside of a home that floats.