Travel & Outdoors

Around the Sound in Snoqualmie, WA

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credit: Getty Images

In 1997, Snoqualmie, Washington had just about 1,500 residents.  In the 2010 census, however, that number was just about 11,000 – making Snoqualmie the fastest growing city in Washington state.  And about 35% of those 11,000 residents are under the age of 18, making it a haven for growing families.  There is the old, historic part of Snoqualmie, just of highway 202, and the newer, Planned Downtown Development side of Snoqualmie, which is a mix of historic preservation, new business, and pedestrian access.  There are over 25 miles of public trails, 34 parks and 540 acres of open space in Snoqualmie, besides the skiing and gorgeous Snoqualmie Falls that draw nearly 2 million visitors each year.

Getting There:

Take I-5 to I-90, then take exit 25 “Snoqualmie Parkway/WA 18″ and follow directions into town.

Metro Busses also run daily to Snoqualmie from North Bend and Issaquah, and there is a daily commuter bus from downtown Seattle.

Where to Stay:

The Salish Lodge and Spa
6501 Railroad Avenue
Snoqualmie, Washington 98065
800.272.5474
http://www.salishlodge.com

The  lodge was built in 1919, and totally renovated in 1986. The only part of the original building is the huge stone fireplace in the lobby. A Condé Nast Gold ranked luxury hotel, the Salish is known for its sweeping views of the Snoqualmie Falls, in room jetted soaking tubs and fireplaces, and scrumptious four-course breakfasts. The Spa was voted Seattle Magazine’s 2009 Best Destination Spa, and has a variety of hand and foot, body and massage treatments available.

The Old Hen Bed and Breakfast
47150 SE 162nd Street
North Bend, Washington 98045
425.996.4119
http://www.theoldhen.org

Just outside of Snoqualmie, in nearby North Bend, sits the charming country cottage that is The Old Hen. Voted “Best Bed and Breakfast in Western Washington” in 2010 by Evening Magazine, the Old Hen is quiet, warm and inviting. The B&B has suites, with free Wi-Fi, flat screen televisions, fluffy robes and private baths. You can pet the hobby farm animals, go on long walks, or just sit in the
common room and read. The breakfasts are hearty and satisfying and served at 9:00am – so you can sleep in!

Fall City Roadhouse and Inn
4200 Preston-Fall City Road SE
Fall City, WA 98024
425.222.4040
http://www.fallcityinn.com

In the neighboring town of Fall City, in the Snoqualmie Valley, is a delightful, 1920s seven-room inn that was completely renovated in 2009. Each of the rooms has down comforters, complimentary Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations, and flat screen HDTVs. It is a European style hotel, so each room has its own bathroom, but some rooms share showering facilities. The restaurant has a full menu of breakfasts, from eggs and bacon to apple cinnamon pancakes – all for a reasonable $7.95.

Where to Eat:

Woodman Lodge Steakhouse and Saloon
38601 SE King Street
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
425.888.4441

The building was the original Woodman of America Camp 4630. It was a fraternal organization to help the families who were harvesting timber, mining coal, building power plants and bringing the railroad over the Cascade mountain range to Snoqualmie, and then Seattle. Today the building gives a nod to its past, with dinner menu entries like the Lodge House Salad, The Woodman’s Prime Dip Sandwich, and the Camp 8630 Cowboy Steak. There are Northwest Seafood favorites, soups, and burgers. There’s a complete brunch and lunch menu Tuesday through Sunday. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.

Gianfranco Ristorante Italiano
8150 Railroad Ave SE, #C
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
425.888.6621

This cozy Italian restaurant was nominated for 2010’s Best of Western Washington. Gianfranco, the owner, is from Calabria, in southern Italy. He and his staff bring authenticity to their dishes, which keeps its clientele returning. Greeted with a friendly smile and home-baked bread with olive oil, try the Copper River Salmon dishes when they are in season in May and June. If you’re there and the salmon is not, try the signature Penne Gianfranco with Chicken. Delicious.

Snoqualmie Brewery and Taproom
8032 Falls Ave SE
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
425.831.2357
http://www.fallsbrew.com

Currently expanding their taproom, the Snoqualmie Brewery and Taproom makes five local beers year-round: Wildcat IPA, Copperhead Pale Ale, Steam Train Porter, PGA Amber and Haystack Hefeweizen. They also make seasonal beers, and their own root beer! Their restaurant is kid-friendly with a whole kids menu, and they have a whole line of soup, sandwiches and pub grub. The new renovation will make their seating double, and should be finished later this spring. Opened in 2007, stop by for a brewery tour. They are open 7-days a week.

Things to Do:

Northwest Railway Museum
38625 SE King Street
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
425.888.3030
http://www.trainmuseum.org

Located at the Snoqualmie Depot, the Northwest Railway Museum is the largest railway museum in Washington State with artifacts, locomotives, and freight and passenger cars.
The museum offers scenic excursions aboard an antique train between Snoqualmie, North Bend and Snoqualmie Falls along a 5 1/2 mile stretch of historic railway.

Snoqualmie Falls
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
425.985.6906
http://www.snoqualmiefalls.com
Snoqualmie Falls attracts visitors from around the world, and is only second to Mount Rainier in visitors in Washington State. Snoqualmie Falls cascades 268 feet over granite cliffs – more than 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls! It is a spectacular experience year-round. Although the hiking trails down to the falls are closed until 2013, you can see the falls from the observation platform.

Snoqualmie Casino
37500 Southeast North Bend Way
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
425.888.1234
http://www.snocasino.com

A 170,000 square-foot casino, Snoqualmie has 10 poker rooms, along with blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, and fortune pai gow. There are 8 different restaurants, bars and lounges, and an 11,000 square-foot ballroom with a huge variety of entertainers and live country, rock and jazz concerts.

Summit at Snoqualmie Skiing
1001 State Route 906
Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068
425.434.7669
http://www.summitatsnoqualmie.com

The mountains at the Summit West, East, Central and Alpenthal provide challenges for the beginner to the double-black diamond expert. Lessons, rentals, skiing, snowboarding and tubing are all at Snoqualmie, along with lodges for hot chocolate or a bite to eat. There’s season passes, night skiing, group skiing rates and special military rates. Through early May this year, thanks to all the snow, there are still some weekend skiing options. Check the website for all the details.

TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge Golf
36005 SE Ridge Street
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
425.396.6000
http://www.tpcsr.com

This Jack Nicklaus designed signature club is the only one of its kind in the Northwest. Open since 1999, the 200+ acre property is part of the Snoqualmie Ridge master-planned community. It’s the home to the annual Boeing Classic PGA Champs Tour tournament, which is held this year August 22-28, 2011.

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