As I first take in the view of Snoqualmie Falls, I would describe this as a place where beauty and nature collide. At 270 feet high with a width ranging from 50 to 150 feet (depending on water levels), the falls are certainly impressive in every season of the year. This is a beautiful gem right in Woodinville’s backyard.
We arrived at the falls about lunchtime, and it was difficult to find a parking spot in either the lot adjacent to the falls or across the street. Considering over 1.5 million visitors come to Snoqualmie Falls each year, that isn’t surprising. Thankfully, there is a gravel lot just down the street (overflow parking) that has an easy to navigate path leading to the falls.
There are a couple of paths that lead to the observation decks with magnificent views. We had to wait our turn to get a good spot, but it was worth it. You can also follow the nature trail to the river below which is accessible from the observation platform. The trail is short and scenic and leads to the base of the falls.
Following our stop at the falls, we visited the iconic Salish Lodge for lunch. Although I had visited the lodge in the past, I had forgotten what a wonderful place it is.
Built in 1916 as a rest stop for travelers, it was originally known as the Snoqualmie Falls Lodge and only had eight rooms. It was famous for its country breakfasts that nourished visitors before they traveled over the mountain pass.
In 1988, the lodge was completely remodeled and reopened with 84 rooms, two restaurants, and a spa and became known as the Salish Lodge & Spa. The facility is owned by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. The lodge became famous as the setting for Twin Peaks™, the David Lynch TV mystery series produced in the early 90’s.
We enjoyed a delicious casual lunch in The Attic at a table with great views of the river below.
For more information, visit www.snoqualmiefalls.com and www.salishlodge.com.
You’ve probably noticed the unique and colorful building that sits just below the Seattle Space Needle, but you might not have had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP).
On a trip to Seattle about 15 years ago, we visited the museum, which at that time was called the Experience Music Project. We love music so we really enjoyed the museum at that time, but with the added exhibits encompassing more of the arts it was really worth visiting again.
The MoPOP’s mission states that it is “dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary popular culture.” Based on the exhibits available to explore, I’d say that they are reaching that goal. We visited the museum with our 21-year-old son and although we each had a favorite exhibit, we all really enjoyed our experience at the museum and wish we would have set aside more time to explore.
Current exhibits not to be missed:
Bowie by Mick Rock: Photographer Mick Rock captures music icon David Bowie’s transformation into the androgynous alien rock star “Ziggy Stardust” (great photos shot in 1972 & 1973) that made him the star he became.
Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds: As a new trekkie (truly I only saw my first Star Trek recently and now I’m hooked), this was my personal favorite. The exhibit features over 100 artifacts and props from all of the Star Trek television series, spin-offs, and films. Including the command chair and navigation console (first time on display to the public) along with Captain Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and McCoy’s costumes from the original series. Live long and prosper.
The Jim Henson Exhibition: This exhibit showcases Jim Hensen’s career (including early days performing with his wife Jane) with more than 20 puppets, character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photographs, behind-the-scenes footage, and much more. It was really great watching the kids perform-ing at the puppet theater at the end of the exhibit.
There are many more exhibits as well as an interactive Sound Lab where you can try out a number of musical instruments individually or with your group.
The MoPOP is located at 325 5th Avenue North in Seattle. There is paid parking onsite. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit https://www.mopop.org/ for more information.
We had some friends in town last weekend, and we took them on a few of our favorite explorations to date. Desiring some good exercise, we also added a few more places to our growing exploration list including Green Lake Park. The address is listed as 7201 E Green Lake Drive N in Seattle. Although in addition to a couple parking lots to access the park, there is plenty of parking along the perimeter of the park/lake as well.
We ventured out about 11 a.m. on Sunday, and the weather was beautiful. There is a 2.8-mile path that goes around the entire lake and is great for walking. Apparently also a favorite spot for skaters, bikers, and runners as the path was very busy. Walkers need to stay to the left along the paved walkways! There are plenty of trees along the path if you need to take a break from the sun or stop and people watch. You can also view numerous varieties of waterfowl that call the lake home. We also enjoyed checking out the posters on the backside of the old stage denoting the aquatic shows from many, many years ago and the final show on the stage in 1969 featuring The Grateful Dead. Boy it would be great to bring some of those events from yesteryear back to this beautiful park.
Since motorized boats are not allowed on the lake, it’s a great haven for kayakers and paddle boarders. We also saw a couple rowing teams out practicing on the water. There is a beach for swimming, and it is there you can also rent kayaks, paddleboards, and other watercraft to enjoy the lake away from the crowds.
There are a number of other amenities available at the park including an indoor swimming pool, community center, pitch & putt golf course, and tennis/pickle ball courts.
We finished our walk at the Green Lake Ale House and enjoyed a nice lunch on the patio with our friends. Another great park we’ve discovered in our new surroundings!
For more information on the park, check out www.seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/green-lake-park.
There are many explorations that you must plan a full day around while others can be enjoyed even if you only have a few hours to spare. A great example of this would be an afternoon lunch date at the Olympic Sculpture Park in downtown Seattle that I experienced recently. This short getaway fit the bill perfectly on a day in which I did not have all day to spare. What a treat this place is for the city!
The park is nine acres and includes about 20 sculptures that are situated along paths that lead to the water. Views of Puget Sound can be seen from every angle of the park and remind me of why we moved to the area…water.
I can’t think of anyone that likes traffic so I suggest heading over about 10 a.m. to avoid the rush. From Woodinville, it’s about a 30-minute drive. Parking is available in a lot at the park or on the surrounding streets. Be sure to stop by the Olympic Sculpture Park visitor information booth and pick up a walking tour brochure/map when you arrive.
There are many spots to sit and enjoy the views along the paths. You can pick up lunch at Taste Café located at the Pavilion plus there are many restaurants nearby on Pier 70. Have even less time to spare? Pack a lunch like we did, find a spot to sit, and enjoy the views.
Olympic Sculpture Park is located downtown at 2901 Western Avenue in Seattle. The park is open and FREE to the public 365 days a year. Hours daily: Opens 30 minutes prior to sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset.
Following our lunch, we looped around and crossed Elliott Avenue as we went back to the car. While walking, we discovered the extremely unique Neukom Vivarium. The Vivarium is a hybrid work of sculpture, architecture, environmental education and horticulture that connects art and science. It features a 60-foot-long "nurse log" in an 80-foot-long custom-designed greenhouse. This must be seen to be believed!
Set on a slab under the glass roof of the greenhouse, the log has been removed from the forest ecosystem and now inhabits an art system. Its ongoing decay and renewal represent nature as a complex system of cycles and processes. You are able to observe life forms within the log using magnifying glasses. The docent that was on duty was very helpful and really did a great job of explaining the art installation.
For more information on the park, please visit www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/olympic-sculpture-park.
My husband and I have certainly noticed that just about every day of the week during the summer season you can visit a farmer’s market in a community or neighborhood around here.
Early in the season, we enjoyed checking out the arts & crafts, nibbling on baked goods, and purchasing a beautiful fragrant bouquet. At this time of year, however, we go for the goods. The “goods” I’m referring to are farm fresh produce! The end of the summer means abundance as local farmers reap the rewards of their hard work and share their harvest with all of us.
Let’s face it. Vegetables that are grown locally with care just taste better. Not only that, but there is the great health benefit to be considered. Most farmers selling at a local farmers market are growing their produce organically without pesticides. Additionally in my experience when comparing to a supermarket purchase, I find produce at a Farmer’s Market usually costs less. My personal favorite is getting tomatoes late in the season…the sweet flavor is unbeatable.
I also enjoy discovering new vegetables or roots that I haven’t tried and use these when experimenting with new recipes. Recently I’ve made Garlic Scape Pesto and Jicama with Carrot and Green Apple Slaw with items purchased at the market.
If you haven’t in a while, check out a Farmer’s Market in your area:
Woodinville, Saturdays (through Sept 30), 9 a.m.-3 p.m., DeYoung Park
Bothell, Fridays (through September 29), 12-6 p.m., Country Village (23718 Bothell Everett Highway)
Duvall, Thursdays (through October 12), 3-7 p.m., Brown Avenue (between NE Richardson & NE Ring)
Carnation, Tuesdays (through October 17), 3-7 p.m., Stossel Avenue & Bird Street (one block east of Hwy 203/Tolt Ave)
Lake City, Thursdays (through October 5), 3-7 p.m., NE 125th & 28th NE
U-District, Saturdays (year-round), 9 a.m.-2 p.m., University Way NE (between 50th & 52nd)
Phinney, Fridays (through October 6), 3:30-7:30 p.m., N 67th Street & Phinney Avenue N
Ballard, Sundays (year-round), 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 22nd Avenue NW & NW Market Street
Farmer’s Markets are also located in Bellevue, Capital Hill, Columbia City, Freemont, Kirkland, Magonila, Madrona, Redmond, Snohomish, Wallingford, West Seattle, and the list goes on...
One of the reasons we moved to the Pacific Northwest is to be near the water! We especially love finding places to walk along the water soaking in the views. When we discovered Alki Beach Park in West Seattle, we found that and so much more.
The beach strip runs from Alki Point to Duwamish Head on Elliott Bay and is filled with sunbathers, volleyball players, and even a few swimmers despite the cold-water temperatures in Puget Sound.
There is a 2.5-mile path that follows along the shore. On this day, it was packed with walkers, bikers and joggers. We could tell that it would be popular any time of the year. It offers spectacular views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and a whole lot of seaworthy vessels.
You can park all along Alki Avenue SW, and at the south end of the beach there are picnic tables, a bathhouse housing an art studio and a restroom. Also, be sure to check out the Statue of Liberty replica!
We found a great spot to people watch and enjoy an ice-cold beer – the West Seattle Brewing Co. (Tap Shack) right on Alki Avenue SW. Now those who know me know that I’m not usually a beer fan. The day was hot and my usual Chardonnay was not available. The bartender recommended the West Pale beer, and I must say it was pretty good! My husband and I really enjoyed sitting right off the street in Adirondack chairs watching the people walk, skate, and bike by.
We’ve been there a few times since our first trip and always bring out of town guests to enjoy. We love to walk along the shore and watch the sunset. If it’s been awhile, it’s time to visit Alki Beach again!
For my husband Bob’s recent birthday celebration, he wanted to take a boat cruise on Lake Union. Of course, we couldn’t just take any boat trip. We had to check out the pirate ship cruise that we had noticed on the water one afternoon earlier while hanging out at Gas Works Park.
As it turns out, Emerald City Pirates offers trips on their “pirate” ship, and it’s the first year they are in business. Don’t let that deter you though as the owner, Captain Pete, is a very experienced boat captain and licensed by the US Coast Guard.
The trips depart from South Lake Union Park where we also discovered the Center for Wooden Boats, which we enjoyed checking out prior to the pirate cruise. The full scoop on that will have to be another “Editor’s Exploration.”
The pirate ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, is a 50-foot ship that can accommodate up to 47 passengers. We opted for the Adult Pirate Party Cruise (Ages 21+) that departs at 5:30 p.m., but there are also Public Cruises (great for families) as well as private charters available. I think a private charter would be great for a birthday party, corporate event, or really any special occasion.
You are greeted on arrival by the ship’s first mate and outfitted with a pirate vest to use for the trip. If you don’t have your own “pirate” gear, they have some fun items available for purchase like bandanas and eye patches. Our trip also happened to have a bachelorette party on board. These ladies dressed up as sea wenches that were ready to have some fun! Also note that you can bring your own alcoholic beverages for the “adult” trip.
As we have had for many of our adventures, the weather again was beautiful!
As the music started, we left the dock as the captain navigated around boats, kayaks and even planes on Lake Union. It is always a different perspective to see things from the water. We didn’t realize that there are a lot of houseboats that permanently reside along the shore. In doing some follow up checking, many are available for rent via property management companies and listed on VRBO and Airbnb.
The trip itself was about 1.5 hours and great fun. Our favorite part was waving (and yelling “RRRR” or “Aye Matey”) to the other people in boats on the lake and the landlubbers on the shores. I’m certain we were in the coolest vessel on the water that day. We are already making plans for an encore trip when our good friends visit at the end of August.
For more information on Emerald City Pirates, call 206-639-8689 or visit www.emeraldcitypirates.com.
As noted in my first “Editor’s Explorations”, my husband and I are new to the area and on the look out for wonderful experiences that are located in our new backyard. I hope you are learning about new adventures with this column or, if it’s been awhile, remembering ones that you haven’t enjoyed for a while. I must say that we are sure having fun!
I took you to the zoo last week and the ZooTunes concert series there. It wasn’t my intention to feature concerts back to back but after a wonderful evening at Chateau Ste Michelle this past week, I couldn’t resist.
A friend had a couple extra seats for the Lindsay Buckingham & Christine McVie show and with fond memories of Fleetwood Mac, we didn’t hesitate in saying yes.
Arguably Chateau Ste Michelle is the most well know winery in the area and lucky for us it’s in our backyard. They are celebrating 50 years in Woodinville and the setting in my opinion is the epitome of what a winery should look like with absolutely beautiful grounds and unique craftsman-style buildings. It is Washington State’s oldest winery and they are open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. with complimentary tours and tastings.
Concerts started on the Chateau Ste Michelle grounds in 1984 and I would say that they just about have it mastered. We had reserved seats for this show, which allowed us to arrive a little later and wind up with a great view for the show. The general admission seats are first come first serve and I was told that people cue up as early as 4 p.m. to be one of the first in line to claim their spots. We witnessed full on dinner spreads with people bringing their own picnic to the show. There is of course food for purchase available as well. You can also bring non-alcoholic beverages but wine must be purchased on site. Parking is limited at the venue but once that fills up, they have a nearby lot that has plenty of space and a complimentary shuttle takes you directly to the entrance gate. For a full list of Frequently Asked Questions see their website.
Back to the show…Buckingham and McVie did not disappoint. It is always a thrill to see seasoned professionals perform. They recently completed a new album together and despite the fact that they became superstars over 40 years ago, they still sounded great and had a strong stage presence that was fun to watch. They started with a few of their new songs then thrilled the crowd with some old favorite Fleetwood Mac tunes. For a period of time I was transported back to my early teens and loving the memories. Overall this exploration was great and I’ve already bought tickets and I’m looking forward to seeing another iconic band (Chicago) that plays here at the end of the summer.
At press time, the following concerts still had tickets available.
Aug 4 – Allen Stone
Aug 10 – Michael McDonald & Boz Scaggs
Aug 11 – Bryan Ferry
Aug 27 – An Evening with Chicago (Aug 26 is sold out)
Sept 1 – The Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo with Simi Stone
Sept 4 – The Australian Pink Floyd Show
Sept 8 – Steve Winwood
Sept 9 & 10 – An Evening with Pink Martini with singer China Forbes
Sept 15 – Goo Goo Dolls with Phillip Phillips
Visit www.ste-michelle.com for more information and concert tickets.
When was the last time you went to the zoo? My guess is that its been a while.
On a recent exploration, we visited the Woodland Park Zoo and attended a ZooTunes concert. The ZooTunes motto is “See Concerts. Save Animals.” I’d say that is an added bonus as it was a really terrific event with great music.
We went to the Ziggy Marley show in June. Ziggy is an amazing performer with tons of energy and smiled from start to finish. He songs are about love and hope and really make you feel great. He also played a few of his dad’s songs (reggae icon Bob Marley)that really got the crowd on their feet. Of course it didn’t hurt that the weather was perfect as well!
Celebrating more than 30 years of music at the zoo, this event is great for the whole family regardless of age. The doors open around 4:30 p.m. and the cue is lined up well before that. The show starts about 6:00 p.m.
The backdrop is the zoo’s North Meadow and easily accommodates the crowd and it didn’t look like there is a bad seat in the house so to speak. That was a good thing as it was definitely a sell out crowd.
The dos and don’ts of what is allowed is listed on the website (www.zoo.org/zootunes) so be sure to check that out in advance.
We did learn you can bring in non-alcoholic beverages as long as the seal isn’t broken. You can also bring your own food. Some party goers had full coolers and set up a picnics. We’ll be doing that next time for sure as lines were long for food and beverage.
We’re planning to go back to visit the zoo as well since your concert ticket gives you a discount to visit the zoo at another time.
Shows run through August and at press time the following shows still had tickets available.
August 13 – Blind Pilot and Gregory Alan Isakov
August 17 – Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home “Love and Comedy” Tour
Visit www.zoo.org/zootunes for more info and tickets.
We learned from our new friend Tim that the Boeing plant in Everett is the largest building in the world and he suggested adding a trip to Everett to our exploration list. We already had tickets to see Dreamgirls at the Everett Performing Arts Center (Village Theatre) last Sunday evening so we decided to make a day of it and visit the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour also.
We purchased tickets in advance for the Boeing Tour as we heard it sells out. It was sold out when we arrived so I’m glad we planned ahead. The tour departs from the aviation center and there are numerous interactive displays that are very engaging (and educational) here so its a great way to stay entertained before the tour. Once the tour starts, you watch a short film then you board buses for the Boeing building with your tour guide. You get the opportunity to see these massive planes (747, 777 and 787) being built on the production floor below. Your guide walks you through the process and shares fascinating facts along with way. We thought it was well worth the $25 ticket price. Visit www.futureofflight.org for more information.
Before the Dreamgirls show, we walked around downtown Everett and found a number of options for dining and settled on Amante Ristorante Italiano. We sat in the outside courtyard and had a tasty meal that was really affordable and had a very friendly and attentive server.
Then the show – WOW! As you’ve likely read in an earlier column of mine, we love live theatre and when you couple that with great singing, it’s even better. The cast was amazing and boy can they sing. Although we knew the story (from having seen the movie), the stage version flowed great and backstage production crew kept things moving smoothly. The theatre only seats about 500 so every seat is a good one. Definitely Broadway caliber all the way around! Dreamgirls plays until July 30th only so don’t delay. Tickets and information at www.villagetheatre.org.
Overall I’d say our visit to Everett was really nice and we’ll definitely be back!