Travel & Outdoors
The city of Woodinville is a mere 30 minutes northeast of downtown Seattle, a quick drive past 520 in the Sammamish River Valley. The city itself offers an array of activities for visiting patrons, but the area is best noted for wine country. The wine industry began back in 1976 when Cheateau Ste Michelle established its vineyards, and today there are more than 90 local wineries with tasting rooms just a stone’s throw away. A majority of the wineries grow their grapes in the warm climate of Eastern Washington’s Columbia Valley, where they are carefully harvested and passionately fermented to craft the Northwest’s best world class wines. With so many wineries in such close proximity, you’d imagine there would be alot of competition between winemakers, but you’ll find the folks running the wineries here come together as a community to share their passion for great wine. Take advantage on a one-tank trip filled with sweet, red-wine memories.
When Seattleites crave an escape from the city, Ocean Shores is the perfect retreat away from home. Pack up the car and fill up the tank; this relaxing day trip promises everything from flying kites with the kids on the beach to strolling down the shoreline on horseback to window shopping at the local antique stores.
The San Juan Islands sit in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains and receive less rain than Seattle 65 miles to the south. Explore 172 islands, which up the archipelago highlighted by Fidelgo, San Juan, Orcas, Shaw and Lopez. Expect ample outdoor activities, art galleries, museums, festivals and scenic drives on this exciting island adventure. The islands are home to the largest concentration of bald eagles in the lower 48 states, three pods of orca and harbor seals. Explore the tallest peak, Mount Constitution on Orca Island, or just bask in the sun on a weekend getaway to the sunny San Juan Islands.
Astoria is the gateway to the Oregon Coast, nestled against the hills at the mouth of the Columbia River. Founded in 1811, the town houses historical Victorian homes and an up-an-coming artist haven, featured as the set of such movies as “Kindergarden Cop,” “Free Willy,” “Goonies” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Other must-visit venues include the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Heritage Museum, Pier 39 Cannery Museum and the Astoria Column on Coxcomb Hill.
A mere 30-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island feels a world away. The island overflows with quiet country roads, lovely gardens, beautiful beaches, wineries and even a farmers market. A hop to the island is a favorite day trip from Seattle because it boasts a lively arts community including a performing arts center and arts and crafts gallery. Visitors may also enjoy shopping in historic Winslow which is full of locally owned shops featuring everything from practical house wares to unique gifts from the Northwest. If outdoors is more your thing, enjoy a walk through the Bloedel Reserve, or go boating, hiking, biking, horse riding, out to the greens for a little golf or hit the tennis courts. No matter the endeavor, make Brainbridge Island your next big adventure.
When the Pacific Northwest does pride, it does it up right, and that’s never truer than when the Seattle Pride Festival and the Seattle Pride Parade take over the entire month.
From the waters of Puget Sound to the forest of the Cascades and the backwoods of Snohomish County, a new adventure awaits at every turn just a few miles out of Seattle. If it’s got to be a staycation, it should be one with an enjoyable drive, not just an exciting destination. Meander through Seattle’s scenic countryside and make a pit stop or two on the city’s most stunning drives.
In pauses between the rain, Seattle’s skateboarding scene thrives. Finding the gear to fit the weather and your needs, however, can prove a little challenging. Check out these great local skate shops, run by boarders like you, before you venture out into the great gray city.
Are you looking for a thrill in Seattle? Here are five extreme activities sure to leave your breathless and your heart pumping with excitement.
Seattle’s mixed martial arts and martial arts studios teach families fitness as well as fighting skills. Martial arts focuses on teaching self-defense, fitness, responsibility and skills for competitions with a focus on teens and adults, and these Seattle-area pros know their sport.