In a place that is so intrinsically land and sea, it only makes sense that anyone would want to explore Edmonds by boat—and by foot, bike, car, train, rollerblade, etc. For this article’s purposes, though, we’re captaining the maritime vessels we see from our beach shores every day. We’re discussing boating adventures of all sizes and scales.
Whether you’re into kayaks, sailboats, ski boats, or yachts, or enjoy them all from the shore, you’re sure to find a good time on the water here. So, climb aboard, and come with us as we show you how to explore Edmonds by boat.
The Edmonds Marina
One of the most well-known areas in Edmonds is the Edmonds Marina. Managed by the Port of Edmonds, extending five hundred feet westward into the Puget Sound and dredged to minus 13 feet, it’s considered by many to be one of the finest (and most well-maintained) marinas in the region.
The original marina that was built in 1961 was destroyed in 1996 during a major storm. It was rebuilt by 1998. Now, the Edmonds Marina offers 662 wet moorage slips, 232 dry storage spaces (more on that below), abundant guest moorage for overnight and short-term stays, showers, restrooms, fuel, and a boat launch for both tenants and guests.
If you’re coming to visit, expect to be in good company with about 29 friends, depending on the day and time of year. In addition to its regular tenants, the Marina has room for up to 30 short-term guests at any given time. There are wonderful food and shopping options not even a stone’s throw from the docks, which adds to the area’s appeal. Disembark your vessel and walk, pedal, or call a ride to Edmonds’s vibrant downtown just minutes from where you’re tired up.
Edmonds Boat Launch
If you haven’t seen it, the Edmonds Boat Launch is an experience all its own. We have seen many locals and guests alike watching boats get lifted in and out of the water on its pulley system.
The Port of Edmonds operates one of the few public sling launches on the Puget Sound, which explains why it appears like such a novelty. Port staff lift your boat (max 26’ long, 9’ tall, and 10,000 pounds) directly from its trailer without you backing your vehicle into the saltwater. There is ample truck and trailer parking right by the launch, so you can be confident your water adventures will be seamless and fun. The Port also boasts extended hours during fish openings.
The Edmonds-Kingston Ferry
If you want to explore Poulsbo, Port Townsend, the Hood Canal, the famous Sequim lavender fields, or cult-following beach towns like Forks (thanks, Twilight!), look no further than the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry. Before we give you more detail, here are some things you might be wondering that we’ll address head-on:
The ferry ride between Edmonds and Kingston takes about twenty-thirty minutes
Whale sightings are common during whale watching season
The ferry can hold a max of 188 vehicles
Walk-ons are allowed (and encouraged!)
The ferry frequency depends on the season and weekday versus weekend, so check the WSDOT website for the latest. Typically, the first ferry departs before 6 a.m., and the last ferry departs just before midnight
While on your ferry ride, you can also expect sweeping views of the Olympics in the West, Mt. Rainier to the South, and Mt. Baker up North. No shame in shouting, “The mountain’s out!”
Edmonds Whale Watching Tours
There are whales and sea life at play around Edmonds often. Puget Sound Express is the most well-known touring group in town, and they keep their website updated with all their upcoming viewing opportunities. They’ve seen orcas, humpbacks, grays, and minkes. And a whole lot of other fun water creatures join in on the fun while they’re out: bald eagles, porpoises, sea lions, seals, and more will certainly make their presence known.
Also, consider All Season Charters if you’re interested in an outfitter that offers chartered fishing trips in addition to wildlife tours.
Boat Rentals in Edmonds
If you want to get out on the water with your own vessel, but don’t want to own the vessel, consider joining Freedom Boat Club. They have eleven locations around the Puget Sound, including one in Edmonds, where members have access to unlimited use. Additionally, the club offers reciprocal use in their new Anacortes / San Juan Islands locations. In Washington alone, Freedom Boat Club’s fleet includes 150+ vessels—from ski boats to fishing boats, to pontoons. Your membership comes with all maintenance and cleaning, flexible plans, unlimited training, and a “Choose Your Own Adventure” way to play out on the water.
Kayaks more your speed? Check out kayakshare.com, a self-serve kayaking service with boats out and ready to go right on Marina Beach. Think of it like a Lime Bike for the water. The father-and-son-run company’s mission is to provide access to kayaks to customers where they’re planning to be already. Easy, fun, and low cost. Just make sure you check the tides, wear the provided personal floatation device (aka life jacket), and invest in the proper training. Our waters can get pretty rough.
Get Your Fishing License in Edmonds
Whether you’re indulging in a morning of Edmonds Pier fishing or headed out on the water in your own Kingfisher, you’re going to need a license. The easiest place to secure one is at Ace Hardware right on 5th Avenue South. It’s a great place to gear up, too!
As for fishing, the possibilities are nearly endless: Check out this post about squid jigging on the pier, and take notes on spot prawn and crabbing dates (we are marine area nine). Consider a charted salmon fishing trip with Puget Sound Fishing Charter.
Get Out On The Water
And take us along with you! We love to see where your Edmonds adventures take you, and we share many of them on our Facebook and Instagram stories. Just tag @exploreedmondswa on either social media channel. Ahoy!
Photos by Matt Hulbert, whale photo by Janine Harles