from USA TODAY 10Best

These are the 10 best urban kayaking spots in North America

You don’t have to leave the city to enjoy a day out on the water, at least not with these 10 urban waterways. Urban kayaking offers an unexpected way to get active in the outdoors while seeing a destination from a new perspective.

10. Lake Union - Seattle, WA

Kayaking on the waters of Lake Union is an excellent way to soak up views of the Seattle city skyline. From the water, it’s possible to spot float planes taking off and landing, and the occasional harbor seal basking in the sun.

9. Potomac River - Washington, DC

Image courtesy of Destination DC

From a kayak on the Potomac River, it’s possible to see the Washington Monument, Kennedy Center and the beautiful Georgetown waterfront.

8. Rideau Canal - Ottawa, Ontario

While Ottawa’s Rideau Canal may be best known as the world’s largest skating rink in winter, in summer, it’s a popular spot for kayaking.

7. Clark Fork River - Missoula, MT

Kayaking is so popular in Missoula that the city built its own waves along the Clark Fort River as it passes through the heart of downtown.

6. Inner Harbour - Victoria, British Columbia

Image courtesy of Tourism Victoria

The harbor and its surrounding waterways serve as a migratory bird sanctuary, making this a favorite paddling place for birdwatchers.

5. Lady Bird Lake - Austin, TX

Lady Bird Lake attracts paddlers nearly every day of the week. Eight access points make it easy to put-in or take-out, and the city skyline is visible from just about anywhere.

4. Bartram’s Garden - Philadelphia, PA

Image courtesy of Bartram’s Garden

One of Philadelphia’s best kept secrets, Bartram’s Garden offers a kayaking launch point with art installations along the Lower Schuylkill River.

3. Roanoke River - Roanoke, VA

Image courtesy of Roanoke Valley CVB

Roanoke sits in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge, making it an excellent base for outdoor recreation. The 45-mile Roanoke River Blueway offers easy paddling for much of its length.

2. James River - Richmond, VA

Image courtesy of Visit Richmond

The Richmond region has no shortage of great kayaking spots, perhaps none as popular as the James River. From Huguenot Flatwater Park, paddlers can head downstream to Williams Island or upstream to Bosher’s Dam.

1. Cuyahoga River - Cleveland, OH

The Cuyahoga River runs through the heart of Cleveland, providing a popular sport for all sorts of water recreation. The Cuyahoga River Water Trail features five segments along the 87-mile river.

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